First thing Thursday, 1.26.06 *

OprahThis is the anniversary of the Metrolink disaster near Glassell Park. Unrelated, we think, fictionating non-fictionist James Frey will guest on Oprah to address the literary hubbub he has created. In the morning's roundup, there's reportorial fear in Baghdad, Christopher Knight's Getty Villa review, the LAPD's online shooting reports, Hizzoner's latest tour through the national media, Chris Penn's autopsy, Joel Stein's instapoll and some Yvonne Burke speculation. Plus, as they say, much more when you turn the page.

* 10:30 am Update: Oprah apparently apologizes to her viewers for defending Frey and unloads on him. Film at 3 on Channel 7.

Today's front pages
New York Times See/Read
Washington Post See/Read
LA Times See/Read
Daily News See/Read
Daily Breeze See/Read
Press-Telegram See/Read
Register See/Read
Star-News Read
Variety Read
Hwd Reporter Read
La Opinión Read
Slate: Today's Papers
♦ James Ricci in the Times looks at the aftermath of the Metrolink derailment near Los Feliz Boulevard a year ago today. Juan Manuel Alvarez, seen parking his vehicle on the tracks, awaits trial on eleven murder charges.
♦ Dispatch from Baghdad by the LAT's Alissa J. Rubin: "The truth is that we are working in a war zone where no rules apply. No one is safe: not Iraqis, not Westerners, not men, not women."
♦ Christopher Knight reviews the Getty Villa: "Gorgeous, vulgar, filled with astounding treasure, tainted by corruption, often brilliant, more than a little decadent — not unlike the vivid twilight of empire itself." Blog translation: "It's pretty cool." Also, beleaguered Getty Trust board member Barbara Fleischman resigned.
♦ Summarized reports on the LAPD's examination of three officer-involved shootings are now online for public perusal. Names have been removed to protect the innocent and the guilty. "A harrowing look...and rare insight," says Dan Laidman in the Daily News.
♦ An autopsy on the body of actor Chris Penn failed to pinpoint a cause of death, pending more tests.
♦ Big day for Mayor Villaraigosa in D.C.: He's supposed to be on C-Span's "Washington Journal" at 9:30 am EST, live on NPR's "All Things Considered" at 10:30 and on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" at 5:30 pm. The Times' Patrick McGreevy went on the trip and heard cheers for the school takeover plan.
♦ Controller Laura Chick will release her audit of the Los Angeles Fire Department's management practices at 11 am.
♦ Gail Goldberg sailed through the City Council to confirmation as the new planning director.
♦ Soul Vine columnist Betty Pleasant reports in the L.A. Wave that Councilmembers Bernard Parks and Janice Hahn are likely to join any upcoming race to succeed Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. Pleasant figures Councilman Herb Wesson and Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas are already in. She also includes a tribute to Louis White, the longtime Nate Holden aide who died at age 79.
♦ Results so far on the junk poll about Joel Stein's column: 64% disagree with his point and 18% say "why did you hire him again?" Five letters to the editor make the paper, only one from within California.
♦ Anaheim's lawyer in the lawsuit over the Angels' use of the name 'Los Angeles' was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Bush. Andrew J. Guilford is a former president of the State Bar. Story in the Daily Journal.
♦ Marc Cooper posits at the LA Weekly that Andrew Jones, the UCLA anti-liberal provocateur, is a "wack job" but has a valid point.
♦ Quandary: what to do with the Ambassador Hotel pantry where RFK was gunned down. It's going in storage for now, apparently against the Kennedy family's wishes for destruction.
♦ An emailer writes that it was Mark Kriski, not Sam Rubin, who called The CW the "Can't Win" network in yesterday's LA.comfidential item.
♦ 1947 Project's bus tour of L.A. crime scenes is the subject of a feature in Weekend Calendar in the Times.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent stories on LA Observed:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Volleying with Rosie Casals
Lloyd Hamrol


LA Observed on Twitter