Morning Buzz: Monday 11.20.06

Tony Castro's piece on Antonio's father, the Monday political columns, the TMZ and Perez Hilton juggernauts and a letters-to-the-editor machine — all that and more inside.

Were you offline last week? Here's my Editor's Dozen of posts worth catching up on.

Myths of Antonio
Tony Castro's lede story in Sunday's Daily News speculating on the mayor's neuroses about his father will be the talk of City Hall today. They'll also be asking if the 80-year-old Antonio Villar of Montebello who is registered with the state as a sex offender (forcible penetration by foreign object) is the mayor's father, and if so why it didn't come up in the portrait of Villar as a model husband and father.
More Antonio's father
Political commentator Joe Scott weighs in.
14th district race
Jon Regardie of the Downtown News handicaps the challenge to incumbent Jose Huizar by ex-aide (and three-time loser) Alvin Parra.
Sterling is mad
Donald Sterling is close to dropping his plans to build a $50 million homeless center downtown, saying he has gotten the cold shoulder from political leaders. Story in the L.A. Business Journal.
Monday columns
Orlov: Alarcon's gambit, Villaraigosa's interview of Jon Stewart for the Geffen Playhouse, fundraising for Arnold's inauguration.

Hymon: Why the Ethics Commission's public financing plan will die, living wages, Eric Garcetti's jet-setting ways and Alarcon admits he just moved into the 7th district.
TMZ the juggernaut
How do you say media power? The site created by AOL and Time Warner didn't exist a year ago and last month was the number one entertainment new site on the Web with 6.8 million unique visitors. Harvey Levin in today's New York Times:
“I had such complete disdain for the Internet,” said Mr. Levin, a lawyer by training who had worked for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and has been a mainstay on “The People’s Court.” “But I’ve come to understand how many advantages we have.”

Mr. Levin, now the managing editor of TMZ, is schooling his 25 employees in a mashed-up form of journalism. Rule No. 1: some news buttons can’t be hit often enough.

“Britney is gold, she is crack to our readers,” Mr. Levin said. “Her life is a complete train-wreck and I thank God for her every day.”

Hyping Perez Hilton
The high-traffic blogger talks with Robin Abcarian in the Times about outing celebrities, his upcoming TV show, his spread in GQ and making the cover of the Advocate.
Remember his name
Walt Gardner is a retired teacher at University High in West Los Angeles who writes a lot of letters to the editor about education. He has had 41 letters published in the New York Times, 29 in the Wall Street Journal and has also been in the LAT, Washington Post, New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, Business Week, Christian Science Monitor and other publications. From Jay Mathews in the Post.
Hollywood is back
Movie attendance and box office take are up this year, reversing the trend. The Da Vinci Code, The Devil Wears Prada and even The Departed made millions, and Casino Royale opened strong this weekend for Sony. "We’re fantastically happy,” Jeff Blake, Sony’s vice chairman, told Sharon Waxman.
Venice eruv gets OK
The state Coastal Commission won't stand in the way of an Orthodox synagogue's wish to string fishing line around a huge swath of Venice, Marina del Rey and the Westside for religious purposes.
George Weller sentencing today
Judge has to make the call and decide whether to send an old man to prison.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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