LA Observed Notes: A mea culpa, good reads and many media moves

LA-2_web-1200.jpgWeekend delight: A still from the New Yorker's video on the Los Angeles light.

Our occasional roundup of media, politics and place notes from assorted LA Observed sources. Join us (and 23,828 other readers) on Twitter.

At the top

Mea culpa: Sunday's LA Times Travel section devotes most of the back page to the official explanation for last week's letters in support of Japanese American internment in camps during World War II, and three counter letters. There are a few more letters on the website.
Weekend delight: In 1998, the New Yorker had Los Angeles ex-pat Lawrence Wechsler write about the light he missed beside the Pacific. He and the magazine have now revisited the topic in a piece and original video — The Science and Poetry of the Light in Los Angeles — that visits with, of all people, news copter pilot Zoey Tur.
Worth a read: Thomas Curwen in the LA Times on the state's 102 million dead trees and who's getting rich off harvesting them.
maui-sugar-cane-hpr.jpgDispatch from America: The final days of sugar in Hawaii: the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar mill in Puʻunene on Maui is closing, the end of jobs for 675 workers on the island, and the close of the sugar era in Hawaii history. The company pledges to keep the land agricultural. Hawaii Public Radio
Celebrity obit: Zsa Zsa Gabor died at age 99. Obits: NYT, LAT (co-byline to ex-staff writers Valerie Nelson and Beverly Beyette)

Media notes

Donald Trump has gone 144 days without a press conference, and called the media "dishonest" seven times at a Saturday night rally in Alabama — but he schmoozed off-the-record with his traveling press pool for about half an hour on Sunday night in Florida. In a weird way, that's a good sign. If they are going to be our main conduits from the White House and the only honest brokers of news, they need to have more insight into how he really feels and operates.

With Vanity Fair the latest media outlet enjoying the boost of a baseless Trump Twitter attack, Jim Rutenberg columnizes that by attacking the press, Trump may be doing it a favor ... Washington Post reporter assignments for the post-election period... The Wall Street Journal San Francisco bureau said goodbye to reporters Candace Jackson, Don Clark and Rebecca Smith... Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Fox News host who is said to be a contender for a White House flack job under Trump, is the former wife of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom... Debra Saunders, who just a week ago gave up her longtime conservative column at the San Francisco Chronicle, re-appears as White House correspondent for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the paper bought by Trump backer Sheldon Adelson: "While I’ve written columns and editorials for 30 years, I have never worked as a straight news reporter. I expect to be the oldest cub reporter in the White House press corps."


The New York Times is vacating eight floors of its Manhattan building to save money and bring in some rental income... The paper's public editor Liz Spayd columnized that the NYT needs to do a much better job of diversifying the newsroom... Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Vice are blazing a new trail on climate change coverage, per The Conversation... Cindy Stowell, the current returning champion on "Jeopardy." died of cancer on Dec. 5, before her episodes began airing. NYT... Snapchat does not cater to celebrities the way other social media channels have. NYT... Here is Longreads' best of 2016 — all of the number one story pics from the year with links. And The Atlantic's list of the 50 best podcasts of 2016... MSNBC has cancelled "Live With Thomas Roberts" as of now... Former Connecticut TV news anchor Logan Byrnes is said to be landing in an anchor chair at Fox 11 here. Another white guy.... 12 years after she died, the AP corrected the obituary age of singer Laura Branigan. Instead of 47, she was 52 when she died.


Around the LA Times: Another lawsuit against the LAT by an older writer: Steve Dilbeck, the paper's former baseball writer and blogger, who alleges he was let go "because of his age, participation in protected activities, and good faith complaints." He's represented by the lawyer for T.J. Simers and Jeff Gottlieb... Remember when the Tribune Company tried to strip Times employees of the benefit of vacation time they could accrue and use when desired? That move ran up against newsroom opposition and state law. Now Tronc is reviving the policy, including the requirement that to take any vacation, staffers first have to be in good graces with their bosses. Stay tuned.


bob-coburn-cds.jpgMedia obituary: Bob Coburn, a KLOS personality who began there in 1980 and was the host of the syndicated show "Rockline," died Saturday at age 68 of lung cancer. He was previously at KPPC, KMET, KLXS and KZLA. KLOS, AP, All Access, Facebook tribute page


Media obituary: Howard Bingham, the Los Angeles photographer who was a close friend of Muhammad Ali and a "warrior for social justice," died Thursday at age 77. He first paying job as a photographer was for the Los Angeles Sentinel. Earlier this year, Bingham signed with agent Harlan J. Werner to represent his collection of photos featuring Ali, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela, the Black Panthers and Elvis Presley. LAT


THR-group-convo.jpgHollywood notes: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donald Glover, Issa Rae and Damien Chazelle in conversation with Jon Favreau and each other for the Hollywood Reporter... John Ridley is producing “Let It Fall: LA 1982-1992,” a two-hour documentary for ABC on the 1992 LA riots... Director Ava DuVernay's South LA roots in LA Weekly... Peter DeBruge spent two years covering the international film festival circuit for Variety. Here are a few lessons learned along the way... An appreciation of the Steadicam after 40 years.




California's 55 Democratic electors are scheduled to convene today at 2 p.m. in the state Capitol to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton. There will be a live webcast on the California Channel.... While voter turnout was up across California, it fell in Los Angeles County to 67.5 percent, the lowest in a presidential election here in two decades... The Guardian reports that a leak of corporate documents in the Bahamas reveals that Trump's secretary of state appointee, Rex Tillerson, was the long-time director of a US-Russian oil firm based in the tax haven... Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says he's staying in Congress and not taking a job with the Trump administration... Arnold Schwarznegger was not a Trump supporter during the election but says he is now. Of course he's also now the host of "Celebrity Apprentice."

Some politics is local: Former LA Times (now Pro Publica) reporter Robert Faturechi testified against his wishes in the Lee Baca trial last week. The former sheriff won't be taking the stand in his own defense... Confidential health data or personal information of more than 750,000 people may have been accessed in a phishing scam on Los Angeles County employees in May that led to charges last week against a Nigerian man. LAT... LA Unified faces a cumulative deficit of $1.46 billion through the 2018-2019 school year, per LA School Report... The city of Pasadena placed a plaque on the apartment building at 253 East Glenarm Street where Occidental College sophomore Barack Obama lived in 1980-81... Antonio Villaraigosa's latest fundraising pitch in his race for governor: "I’m proud to live in one of the most diverse and inclusive states in the country."... Former City Hall hand Ben Golembek is moving from Sacramento to be regional vice president for public affairs for AT&T in San Francisco.... Coro Southern California executive director Sara Hernandez and former school board member Yolie Flores jumped into the race to succeed Rep. Xavier Becerra in the 34th congressional district.... Councilman David Ryu put out a statement that he's not running in CD34.


People are talking about...

Three LA Times film critics give their end-of-year best movie lists and none mention "La La Land": Kenneth Turan, Justin Chang, Mark Olsen... KTLA anchor Lu Parker will enroll in a city attorney diversion program for people accused of petty crimes in exchange for having theft charges against her dropped. She was arrested in November for allegedly swiping expensive headphones from the TSA checkpoint at LAX — said headphones belonged to an LAPD detective. Daily News, LA Times... Fox 11 anchor Lisa Breckenridge needed a trip to the hospital after a motorized scooter mishap live on "Good Day LA."... No one tells Megyn Kelly what to wear, says the NYT fashion section... ivanka-boots.jpgBrutal (but often witty) customer comments on the Amazon page for these Ivanka Trump line boots... The 2015 obituary of Francesca Hilton is number 2 on the LA Times' most popular list tonight, right under the obit for her mother, Zsa Zsa Gabor... The Vanity Fair story of "Don's Plum," an indie film made by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in 1994-95 but never released.

Also: Obit, a documentary by Vanessa Gould, looks at the obituary staff of the New York Times. It's due to open theatrically in April. The trailer:



News nuggets

• Hundreds of anti-Donald Trump activists marched peacefully Sunday downtown. LAT
•For the first time, women are a majority of the students in U.S. law schools. NYT
•California's jobs recovery is lagging away from the coast. LAT
•California is installing nearly 1,000 sophisticated metal detectors, scanners and secret security cameras at its prisons in its latest attempt to thwart the smuggling of cellphones, thousands of which continue to flood the prisons despite previous efforts. AP


Media people doing stuff...

jonathan-gold-and-me.jpgKTLA anchor Frank Buckley's latest podcast interview is with Jonathan Gold. They talked at Lincoln Cafe in Pasadena... Former KPCC reporter and show host Kitty Felde's Book Club for Kids podcast recently featured the voice of former CIA operative Valerie Plame, working with fifth graders at LA's Ambassador School of Global Education... Lots of kudos around for OC Weekly's R. Scott Moxley after the U.S. Attorney announced an investigation into the Orange County jail snitch scandal that he broke stories on... Former OC Register editor Rob Curley is now ensconced in charge of the Spokesman-Review in Spokane... Sam Quinones, the author and former LA Times reporter, has a new book, "The Virgin of the American Dream," looking at the murals of the Virgin of Guadalupe used by businesses to discourage tagging.

trump-couch-fallon.jpgPete Fallon in MEL Magazine: How Trump’s Campaign Made Me Start Drawing Cartoons Again... Alana Hope Levinson joins MEL as deputy editor... Scott Timberg writes for Salon how "a chance encounter on an unlikely stretch of Magnolia in Burbank yields arboreal insight and renewed faith in Xmas."... Jeffrey Gettleman, the former LA Times reporter now in East Africa for the NYT, has a Travel section piece on driving 4,250 miles through six African countries with five children and four adults — and a 36 Hours In Nairobi.... Kelly Oxford, the Studio City author-tweeter-social media figure, is looking for peace of mind in an encounters piece in NYT Sunday Styles... Former LA Weekly publisher Michael Sigman has a book on holiday shopping lists: "History of the Music Biz"... Doug McIntyre signed on for at least two more years of "McIntyre In The Morning" on KABC radio... Mimi Chen bills her Sunday 8-11 a.m. block on 100.3 The Sound as "Southern California’s only Hippie Dippie music show: Peace, Love and Sunday Mornings"... Ross Becker, the former Channel 2 reporter and anchor here, is joining KMIR-KPSE in Palm Desert as news director.
victor-merina-breeze.jpgVictor Merina: The former LA Times investigative reporter and USC Annenberg fellow had a first-person piece in the Daily Breeze last week discussing the death last year of his wife Cyn from ovarian cancer and a new feature-length documentary called “N.E.D.” (doctor speak for “No Evidence of Disease,” the best report you can get from a cancer test) that revolves around six gynecologic oncologists who adopted that name for their rock band, which helps educate about cancers that are too often misdiagnosed or overlooked... In Chicago, author Bill Zehme talks about his cancer survival: "I’m dead right now if Obamacare hadn’t happened when it did."

'Tis the season: The Golden Mike Awards will be given Jan. 28 at the Universal City Hilton. NBC sportscaster Al Michaels, KNBC weathercaster Fritz Coleman and KCBS/KCAL investigative reporter David Goldstein will be the special honorees. There will also be a freedom of information award for earthquake scientist Lucy Jones. RTNA... The deadline for entering the 2017 PEN Center USA Literary Awards in Journalism is Jan. 15... Also: The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is conducting its online board of directors election this week.


Place notes

"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead and Hillbilly "Elegy" J.D. Vance are the bestsellers right now in Southern California independent bookstores. More

This Americana Life: What would my life be like if I lived at the mall? Writer takes a tour of The Americana at Brand Luxury Apartments to find out. MEL Magazine

Stop the presses: the LA Times editorial page argues that George Lucas should locate his proposed museum in Los Angeles. LAT editorial

The great California eucalyptus debate continues. This time in the Bay Area. The Atlantic

Where Southern California gets all its Christmas trees (hint: they aren't local). Curbed LA

Emmy-nominated dancer Cheryl Burke and actor Brian White will host the free Christmas Eve holiday celebration from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Why you can’t be gay in Scientology. The Underground Bunker Plus: A report that missing Scientology spouse Shelly Miscavige has been spotted recently near a church compound in the Lake Arrowhead mountains.

LA artists are heading for cheaper digs in the Antelope Valley, says Curbed LA.

A Los Angeles art gallery plans exhibit in the form of a videotape rental store with nothing but thousands of VHS copies of the Tom Cruise film “Jerry Maguire.” NYT

Click bait from Los Angeles Magazine: The 100 L.A. Things Every Angeleno Should Do at Least Once.



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