Media swarm The Hump over whale meat

hump-nyt.jpgIt's been kind of amusing watching today's Twitter traffic from reporters who showed up at The Hump, the exotic food restaurant upstairs at Santa Monica Airport. They were there because the New York Times went front page this morning with a Jennifer Steinhauer story detailing a sting that accused the restaurant of serving outlawed whale meat. The revelation even had a nice Oscar connection: the presence of whale on the menu was checked by the team from Sunday's Oscar-winning documentary film “The Cove,” whose members went in with hidden cameras and collected speciments that were tested and confirmed as being the flesh of a Sei whale. Steinhauer:

In the clash of two Southern California cultures — sushi aficionados and hard-core animal lovers — the animal lovers have thrown a hard punch.

“This isn’t just about saving whales,” said Louie Psihoyos, the director of “The Cove,” a documentary that chronicles eco-activists’ battles with Japanese officials over dolphin hunting. “But about saving the planet.”

Psihoyos has a local media connection himself. Now a photographer living in Boulder, he was once a photo intern at the Los Angeles Times. For the restaurant, the feds say charges are likely to be filed. The Wrap has the federal search warrant affadavits. Watch for more stories tonight.

Photo: Monica Almeida / New York Times

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