Rip Rense attended last week's Los Angeles Herald Examiner reunion, but he found it too surreal and disorienting to see his old colleagues — and editor Jim Bellows — 19 years later and hear their stories. It also troubled him to think of all the Her Ex alumni who settled in at the L.A. Times.
To Bellows, L.A. was a town, and the people simply needed to know what the hell was going on in their town: what the criminals were doing, what the scoundrels in public office were doing, what the robberbarons were doing, what the socialites and movie stars and homeless people were doing. And, by implication and editorial, what they should be doing.
He took L.A. seriously as one place---not, as Times editors forever puff, a mysterious, indefinable series of burgs and burbs and ethnic enclaves. (No wonder the Times is always so all-over-the-place.)
Anyone who doubts the impact of Bellows on that newspaper need only remember that hordes of Her-Ex people went to work for the Times, and did not make the slightest dent in its stodginess and pretense.
Which was another reason I had trouble “making funny” at the reunion. What have all those ex-Her-Ex people been doing at the Times all these years? Didn’t they learn anything from working at 1111 S. Broadway? Well, to be fair, they were up against institutionalized Times self-importance and coagulated bureaucracy, and after all, there was no Bellows around.
More at RipRense.com. [He fixed the address to read S. Broadway, not N. Broadway.]
Another reunion: A dozen survivors of the late Santa Monica Evening Outlook marked ten years since the paper's demise on Sunday. Bunch of photos.