Notes

LA Observed notes: Trump's taxes and Vin's final game

Our occasional (but becoming more regular) column of media and politics notes, with other news and observations. From multiple sources and the LA Observed inbox.


At the top

trump-1995-return.jpgTrump's taxes and the NYT: The New York Times landed a massive Sunday scoop, that Donald Trump "declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years." It's based on analyzing a copy of Trump's 1995 return that came to a reporter anonymously in the mail and that was confirmed as real by Trump's retired tax preparer.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan....


Mr. Trump declined to comment on the documents. Instead, the campaign released a statement that neither challenged nor confirmed the $916 million loss.

“Mr. Trump is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required,” the statement said. “That being said, Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes.”

Reporter Susan Craig talks about finding the tax materials in her snail mail.... Deputy executive editor Matt Purdy on how the story came together.... Washington Post The Fix: The New York Times risked legal trouble to publish Trump’s tax return.... "Heroic journalism by Dean Baquet and the New York Times. Newspapers matter," tweeted Jim Newton, the former LA Times columnist and current editor of UCLA Blueprint.


South Los Angeles protests: The LAPD called a citywide tactical alert late Sunday night to deal with street protesters in South Los Angeles. The protests are about the shooting of 18-year-old Carnell Snell by LAPD officers earlier in the weekend, and ongoing concerns about police-community relations.


Changes at the Jewish Journal: Executive editor Susan Freudenheim has resigned to become executive director of Jewish World Watch. She explains the move from journalism to advocacy. Associate Editor Ryan Smith has been promoted to managing editor.


'I have said enough for a lifetime and for the last time I wish you a very pleasant good afternoon'

vin-scully-willie-mays.jpg
If you didn't grow up in Southern California, you may not easily appreciate what is going on with this Vin Scully business. Pretty obviously, for many of us this is bigger than a sports announcer retiring. In my Monday KCRW segment last week, I said that he has been a presence in the lives of Angelenos on par with a sibling or parent, through seasons, years, eras and life chapters. His voice and outlook has defined the city's very relationship with the Dodgers. But I haven't really had the words, and I still don't. Vin and the Dodgers were smart to handle this delicately, prepping the family for years that this day was coming, and giving the fans a few months to ease into the finality of Sunday's sign-off. That it happened in San Francisco I think took some weight off the moment.

You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart that I’ve always needed you more than you’ve needed me, and I’ll miss our time together more I can say.


But you know what — there will be a new day, and eventually a new year. And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, rest assured it will be time for Dodger baseball.

So this is Vin Scully, wishing you a very pleasant good afternoon, wherever you may be.

The Dodgers also ran this pre-recorded message:

Over the weekend, the great Willie Mays became the latest and final baseball legend to pay his respects, and Vin admitted that Mays was always his favorite player and the one who he considered the greatest he has ever seen. Vin broke in the year before Mays and was a New York Giants fan growing up in New York. Vin's final game ever on Sunday was aired nationally, and on TV and radio here in LA. He was honored with at least two standing ovations Sunday from the fans in San Francisco, and the Giants' broadcasters aired their own tribute.... NBC 4 "News Conference" host Conan Nolan on Scully's devotion to the principles of good journalism...Tom Hoffarth in the Daily News... Bill Plaschke in the LA Times.

Some tweets:







Media notes

snl-baldwin-mckinnon.jpgSNL's politics-themed season opener "scored its biggest premiere ratings in eight years." Variety... The weekend New York Times Magazine cover was How Donald Trump Set Off a Civil War Within the Right-Wing Media. Subline: "Since the candidate clinched the nomination, the green room has become a chilly place"... Nate Parker talks with Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes" about "Birth of a Nation" and the old rape allegation for which he does not feel guilty. Anne Thompson says not apologizing was a mistake by Parker... Brooks Barnes on the marketing campaign for 'Birth'... Jim Rutenberg column in NYT: On Twitter, Hate Speech Bounded Only by a Character Limit... Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post: Jeff Zucker’s singular role in promoting Donald Trump’s rise... Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin makes aggressive moves in Hollywood... How Atlantic senior editor James Hamblin stays at inbox zero.

36 more days: NBC's Trump campaign reporter Katy Tur tweets: "I've been staring at my closet for an hour and my suitcase is still empty. I've lost the mental acuity to pack."

Think piece: As government records move from paper to email to channels like Slack, how should the Freedom of Information Act keep up? Nieman Lab


Politics notes

The Washington Post began a series of endorsement editorials warning about the clear and present danger of Donald Trump: "If you know that Donald Trump is ignorant, unprepared and bigoted, but are thinking of voting for him anyway because you doubt he could do much harm — this editorial is for you"... The San Diego Union-Tribune became the latest Republican newspaper editorial page to urge a vote for Clinton. It's more anti-Trump than pro-Clinton, and breaks a 148-year run of endorsing Republicans... But the Chicago Tribune last week said no to both Trump and Clinton and endorsed Gary Johnson. He's the Libertarian who can't name any world leaders... Racist Trump supporter David Duke tweets that Lester Holt was a biased debate moderator — and is married to a Jewish woman. An LAT story on Duke quoted another white nationalist saying "Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign”... LA-based Atlantic writer Conor Friedersdorf takes on Trump's cruel streak: "He willfully causes pain and distress to others. And he repeats this public behavior so frequently that it’s fair to call it a character trait."... Just how far in the tank for Trump is the National Enquirer... David Lehrer loathes political correctness as much as Donald Trump but says Trump has become the unintentional great unifier: "Trump, by virtue of his stereotyping, bigotry, and wild assertions has become a cohesive force in a way he never intended. In Trump, we see a reminder of what we all fear in this land of diversity."

Some politics is local: Getty House, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence in Windsor Square, was egged after protesters angry about the police shooting of a man in South Los Angeles demonstrated there Saturday night. The LAT got the neighborhood wrong... An LAT editorial urges a no vote on Measure JJJ, the measure pushed by affordable housing advocates and labor... The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative was moved to the March 2017 city ballot... Garcetti endorsed Kathryn Barger, the longtime aide to Supervisor Mike Antonovich, for the Board of Supervisors.


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People are talking about

mary-mcnamara-lat.jpgLisa Napoli's take for our Native Intelligence blog on the Michael Ovitz-Ron Meyer reunion is a view from outside Hollywood. From inside: Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline... Also recently posted at LA Observed: Sue Laris puts Downtown News up for sale after 44 years... James Dean died 61 years ago today. Now the famous gas station is gone... Mary McNamara gets editor role at LAT, and more notes.

Gay-oriented Frontiers Magazine may be shuttering after 35 years... Time Out Los Angeles will publish its first print magazine on Wednesday. It will be free and quarterly.

Planning ahead: The only scheduled debate in the U.S. Senate race between Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez is Wednesday at Cal State LA, put on by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs and ABC 7... Convicted former undersheriff Paul Tanaka has been told to surrender to federal authorities on Oct. 7... Also Friday, the Los Angeles Times hold a “Future Cities” summit, and Desert Trip, aka OldChella, opens in Indio.


Notes on Place

Mapping the Arts District's never-ending parade of development. Curbed LA

The Figueroa Hotel will reopen in December with new, more upscale restaurants. Downtown News

Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Sandy Koufax's final regular season game for the Dodgers, and arguably his finest game. Steve Wulf makes the case.

Your Los Angeles Rams are now 3-1.


Selected tweets


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