Displeasure on Venice Boulevard. LA Observed photo.
1. KCRW doubles down
KCRW's long-running Friday afternoon political discussion show, "Left, Right & Center," is responding to these hyper-political times by expanding to an hour. It has been 30 minutes for as long as I can remember. (LR&C debuted in 1996.) The longer version debuts July 7. In case you haven't caught the show in a while, the current lineup is Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, on the left; Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, on the right; and Josh Barro of Business Insider and MSNBC as the moderator.
"LRC is one of KCRW’s most popular shows, on air and as a podcast, which shows that now is the time to double our efforts – and the time we spend – on this critical exchange,” KCRW program director Gary Scott says. “After hitting an all-time high of almost one million podcast downloads last May, we knew this was a conversation that required more air time."
2. Fake quake news
The email bulletin from USGS that landed late this afternoon was frightening: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the ocean just off Santa Barbara. I knew that a quake of about that size had devastated Santa Barbara in the 1920s and that much of the Spanish-ish style downtown along State Street dates to the post-quake rebuild. The "new" Santa Barbara became the model for Westwood Village in Los Angeles. A quick scan of Twitter found no one in Santa Barbara buzzing about a quake. Hmm. That could either be good news or very, very bad news — 6.8 is plenty of quake to knock a town off the grid for a time.
A closer look at the USGS alert, though, showed the date was June 29, not today. The year was 2025. A message from the future, perhaps? Turns out that the bulletin was sent in error — the explanation given is that a staffer was updating the web entry for the real 1925 quake and that a fresh bulletin was triggered. Oops! A correction followed — but not before some websites, and the Los Angeles Times news blog L.A. Now, posted the non-news. The LAT, remember, likes to auto-post quake news directly off USGS alerts without any confirmations or human reporting. Sometimes that gets the news on minor quakes up on line a few seconds earlier, and sometimes they get burned. Like today.
3. A new podcast from LA
"The Bottom Line puts a spotlight on companies that are advancing social progress—and those that aren’t," the flackage reads. "By engaging in lively conversation with top executives and other experts, Wartzman draws out insights into some of the most pressing issues of our time—all through the lens of what is arguably the most powerful institution in our country: business."