Monday, 4.24.06

Morning BuzzUnhappy U.S. prosecutors, very happy (and affluent) L.A. firefighters and the Hiltzik story goes national—plus items on Villaraigosa, Dov Charney, Reggie Bush, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and much more. Click on the Buzz to get started...

♦ Journalistic dissonance: Morale is plummeting since U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang told her office that new budget cuts were coming, totalling 25% over the past five years. "People are really depressed,” an assistant U.S. attorney told John Hanusz of the Daily Journal. But Justice Department officials said the Los Angeles office’s funding has actually risen almost a third. Which is correct? I dunno.
♦ No morale problem at LAFD: More than a dozen Los Angeles city firefighters banked more than $100,000 in overtime last year, the Daily News reported Sunday. Most of the 100 city workers who earned more than $200,000 last year work for the fire department.
♦ No Hiltzik today: I don't know what if anything to read into it, but the Times website shows no Golden State column by Michael Hiltzik today. His blog was suspended last week after it was found he used pseudonyms to go after critics and boost himself in the blogosphere. Today's New York Times has a story saying the paper is still looking into it, quoting Patterico and Mickey Kaus; Tim Rutten weighed in Saturday, Jeff Jarvis has a take, Slate had a piece, and it's still a hot blog topic where it began at Patterico and at Hugh Hewitt. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post returns to the subject today as well, quoting Cathy Seipp and Claude Brodesser:
♦ Riordan II? The Times' Jim Newton sees similarities between the Villaraigosa agenda and the Riordan years.
Riordan and Villaraigosa could barely be more different in political terms. Riordan was a venture capitalist Republican swept into office in his first bid on the heels of a riot. Villaraigosa is a seasoned Sacramento politician, former speaker of the state Assembly, a liberal Democrat backed by organized labor who lost his first run for mayor only to recover and win the seat four years later. And yet, Riordan's administration was distinguished by precisely the same two defining goals that thus far have marked Villaraigosa's reform of the school system and expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department.
♦ Tensions rising: Mayor Villaraigosa and the neighborhood councils aren't getting along and it could get worse, says the Daily News' Kerry Cavanaugh. Tuesday is Greg Nelson's official last day at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and the mayor's office apparently told councils they won't be consulted on a successor.
♦ Ho-hum: The Times editorial board endorses all of the countywide incumbents for reelection, "unenthusiastically."
♦ "Jewish hustler": Jaime Wolf in the NYT Sunday Magazine profiled Dov Charney of American Apparel—"quite possibly the most unorthodox Jew in the history of the shmatte business"—and calls his Los Angeles shop "the single largest garment factory in the United States." Wolf also hits the usual sex bases. Last week: Hiltzik on Charney.
♦ Crossover: Along with Editor Dean Baquet and managing editors Doug Frantz and Leo Wolinsky, the L.A. Times table at Tuesday's Society of Professional Journalists banquet at the Omni Hotel will include Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her husband Brad Hall. She is a long-time friend of honoree Karlene Goller, the paper's legal counsel.
♦ Mystery solved: Bloggers Matt Welch and Jack Shafer discovered that KCRW has sponsored links on Google searches of their names—and mine. Turns out the ads are donated by the Google grants program—and even though he doesn't remember, KCRW says Shafer was on "To the Point" on June 6, 2003.
♦ Army land in Brentwood: Already told you about the L.A. Business Journal story; today's LAT has one as well—and it's free online.
♦ Immigration rally in Leimert Park: Is it an accident that shouting happens where Ted Hayes is involved? I don't think so either.
♦ Reggie Bush: Staff stories in the Times and Daily News follow yesterday's Yahoo! Sports story on the family home of USC star Reggie Bush.
♦ Upped: Michael Newman, the Times' deputy editorial page editor, was somewhat mysteriously added to the paper's masthead.
♦ Today in L.A.: The Milken Institute's Global Conference opens at the Beverly Hilton. Today's lunch panel features Nobel laureates in economics Gary Becker, Daniel Kahneman and Myron Scholes.
♦ Playoff teams: Lakers lose, Clippers and Ducks win.

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