LA Observed Notes: LAT's turn to break sex harassment news

spanish-girl-lacma.jpgA mysterious letter sent to LACMA dangles the presence of a missing Spanish painting within two miles of the museum. See Media notes below.

Our occasional roundup of news and notes, from media sources and our in-box. As always, between posts you can keep up with LA Observed on Twitter — now with 24,522 followers.

LA Times investigation nails director James Toback

The hometown paper has been noticeably absent from the honor roll of media outlets collecting kudos for scoops on the great Hollywood sexual harassment scandal of autumn 2017. The LA Times caught up in a big way with Glenn Whipp's story this weekend on sleazy director James Toback. Allegations about Toback have been around since the Spy magazine days, but the updated headline on Whipp's piece is a grabber: 38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment. That's 31 women on the record, including multiple actors and KCRW producer-reporter Anna Scott, who was approached by Toback when she was an an 18-year-old senior at New York City's Hunter College High School.

Since the story ran Sunday morning, Whipp tweeted, "15 more women have contacted me about Toback.... Now, it’s 16. Another woman just emailed as I composed this thread."

The LAT also scored last week with news of the LAPD's rape investigation of Weinstein and this weekend with How Harvey Weinstein used his fashion business as a pipeline to models, bylined by Daniel Miller, Meg James and Kim Christensen. "Nearly a dozen people with ties to the industry — including models, casting directors, publicists and executives connected to 'Project Runway' — said that he used fashion as a pipeline to women.... More than 10 other former or current fashion models — including Cara Delevingne and Angie Everhart — have accused Weinstein of a wide range of sexual misconduct."

Weinstein, through his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister, routinely denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Selected scandal reading if you missed it

• What Harvey Weinstein did to me - Lupita Nyong'o
• All the other Harvey Weinsteins - Molly Ringwald
• A TV Executive Sexually Assaulted Me: A Critic’s Personal Story - Maureen Ryan
• "I heard you rape women." Journalist Kim Masters remembers the first time she met Harvey Weinstein in person - CNN Money
• Reese Witherspoon Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Director at 16 - THR
• An Open Letter to the Entertainment Industry's "Good Guys - Jackie Fox
• Harvey Weinstein’s former employees reckon with what they knew and what they didn’t - Dana Goodyear in the New Yorker
• Tarantino on Weinstein: ‘I Knew Enough to Do More Than I Did’ - NYT
• Why This Actress Returned to Weinstein’s Hotel Room - NYT
• "#LAPD Robbery Homicide Div has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim involving Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Investigation ongoing" - LAPD HQ on Twitter
• How Harvey Weinstein used the most powerful lawyers in America to keep his secrets from the directors of his company - Financial Times
• After Harvey Weinstein’s Fall, Spotlight Finds His Brother Bob - New York Times
• After the falls of Weinstein, O'Reilly and Ailes, Trump's accusers wonder why he's still president - Washington Post
• Harvey Weinstein is done. But what about Lisa Bloom? - LA Times

HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen, a former New York Times reporter and editor, reminds that the most awesome thing about these investigative stories is how well attributed they have been. It's very difficult reporting, and as Polgreen points out, these have not been she said, he said stories.


And a real-world follow up from Kim Masters here in LA:

Can't make this up

World Series a hot ticket in more than cost

When the Dodgers and Astros start play in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, it might be on a day where the high temperature hits 100 degrees. That would be a new record by a lot. It was 94 when the series was played in Phoenix on Oct. 27, 2001. The National Weather Service office in Oxnard is warning not just of record temperatures for this time of year, but higher fire danger than we have seen in many years.

Also: Former Dodgers infielder Alex Cora coaches first base for the Astros and, after the World Series — win or lose — he will become manager of the Boston Red Sox. It's his first major league managing job and, as with the post-season heroics of the Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez and the Astros' Carlos Correa, a pretty big source of pride right now in Puerto Rico.... Dusty Baker, the former Dodger outfielder, was relieved of his duties as manager of the Washington Nationals.

Media notes

rico-brendan.jpgAfter ten years as a podcast and six years as a public radio weekend show, "Dinner Party Download" ends its run on December 1. Hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam (right) have a book coming and new podcast plans in their future... Lockhart Steele, Vox Media’s Editorial Director and the founder of Curbed, was fired after harassment allegations. The Awl... The big feature on Sunday's LA Times front page was a fun Christopher Knight yarn about an enticing mystery letter sent to LACMA about — or is that from? — an 18th century painting by Spanish artist Miguel Cabrera that might be in hiding within two miles of the museum... Praise from the New Yorker for Dear John, Christopher Goffard's serialized podcast for the LA Times.

In a week of remarkable speeches by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it will be the ones by Sen. John McCain and Gen. John Kelly that will last, writes Eliot A. Cohen at the Atlantic. "Their contrasting visions of this country, of military service, and of our future bear reflection."... As Trump attacks the press hoping to undermine the reporting on him, "millennials are subscribing to legacy news publications in record numbers—and at a growth rate, data suggests, far outpacing any other age group." Stats at Politico... Washington Post analyst Philip Bump made a graphic of all the Trump steps that turned into problem missteps for the Administration last week... Axios broke the story that Trump has pledged to personally pay at least $430,000 toward the legal expenses of current and former White House aides being questioned in the official Russia investigations. That's one way to try and keep them loyal, eh? "Honest to god, this is what every drug kingpin does when his organization is tottering," tweets TV creator David Simon. "Pay all the defense lawyers so no one rolls."... Doesn't sound like Laura Ingraham's transition from talk radio Trump evangelist to Fox News Trump evangelist is going all that smoothly. The Daily Beast notes some Fox staffers hoping they don't have to work for the noted screamer and thrower, whose weeknight show starts Oct. 30.

The Newseum in Washington "is increasingly relevant, but can it survive?" Sopan Deb asks in the NYT... The Los Angeles Press Club will give its inaugural "Impact" award to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story... Publisher Dolores Sanchez announced that the family behind Eastern Group Publications has decided to sell the bilingual newspaper chain that has covered Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, East LA and other Eastside communities... The November-December issue of Playboy puts the magazine's late founder, Hugh Hefner, on the cover... Jann Wenner and his biographer are no longer on speaking terms... UC Press is looking for a senior editor for environmental studies... Everything you need to know about this week's Valley Film Festival from the Daily News.

What went on inside the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's newsroom while the staff covered the devastating wildfires this month... In a lot of America, the best (maybe the only) local media coverage of the opioid addiction crisis is in the obituaries.

Media people doing stuff

jim-nash-ktla.jpgJim Nash, a reporter at KTLA Channel 5 from 2000 until his 2014 retirement, died at age 73 after a cancer diagnosis. The station's tribute and former colleague Eric Spillman's tweet... Artist, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei joined LARB Radio Hour co-hosts Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher to discuss his new documentary "Human Flow." Listen. Iris Schneider reviewed the film in a post for LA Observed's Native Intelligence blog... Cari Beauchamp was asked onto MSNBC to talk about the Harvey Weinstein revelations in the context of her scholarship on Hollywood's past. Beauchamp is an LA Observed contributor. "Bravo to @caribeauchamp for telling it like it is," IndieWire's Anne Thompson tweets... Peter Flax, features editor of the Hollywood Reporter for 3-plus years, tweets that "I've gotten to edit some truly batshit crazy incredible pieces of longform. Here are my 10 favorites."... Also at THR from author David Howard: "How to Finish Your Book When Robert Downey Jr. Already Wants to Be in the Movie."

Saul Gonzalez of KCRW discusses the station's hot podcast project “There Goes the Neighborhood” with CityLab... LA Times writer Carolina Miranda on how the departure of editor and columnist Gustavo Arellano from the OC Weekly highlights the endangered status of Latinos in media... Frances Dinkelspiel wrote about the frantic hours during which she searched for her brother after finding his Santa Rosa home had burned down... LA Times publisher Ross Levinsohn saw Bruce Springsteen on Broadway and liked it enough to Instagram: "a gut wrenching, emotional journey of faith and hope, loss and despair, love and brotherhood, and the celebration of all things righteous on E Street."... LAT photographer Al Seib spoke about the late photog Anacleto Rapping, "my best friend for 30 years."

Lamar Odom, the former Laker and Clipper, goes first-person for the Players Tribune about his coma in Nevada and coming out of it.... First fiction from BldgBlog's Geoff Manaugh: "A socially mediated ghost story."... After last week's LA Weekly sale news broke, and our post, editor Mara Shalhoup tweeted: "Ack, should've tweeted before @LAObserved called me out. All I know: @LAWeekly's a treasure, some lucky group got it."

Transitions: Kristen Muller is now chief content officer for Southern California Public Radio. KPCC is still advertising for a managing editor... Allie Goertz is the new editor of Mad magazine... Zach Behrens, the former KCET web producer and Los Angeles blogger, is leaving his post at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to be public affairs officer for the San Bernardino National Forest. "On a clear day, I'll still be able to see as far as Catalina Island," he writes... Zahira Torres, who worked briefly at the LA Times in 2015-16 as an education reporter, was named editor/news director of the El Paso Times. She is the second woman to lead the paper and the first Latina... CBS LA anchor Pat Harvey and KCAL meteorologist Evelyn Taft Instagrammed and tweeted pics of the baby shower for CBS duopoly weatherist Jackie Johnson.... NPR West's Ina Jaffe tweets: "Fell asleep in front of TV. Woke to a fever dream of a spoof of All Quiet on the Western Front with an all dog cast. Not making this up."

And this from the LA Times book editor:

Point of personal privilege

mural-note.jpgOn Saturday afternoon, after an enjoyable hour with friends at the annual Archives Bazaar at USC's Doheny Library, my traveling companion and I took Metro downtown to catch the Barbara Carrasco mural at Union Station. It was the final weekend that the work would be on display and we were both looking forward to finally seeing it. Ah, but we arrived mid-afternoon to find the mural covered in a black drape. A crew was setting up for a private event that night in the Union Station ticketing hall, and for some reason the mural was hidden. We weren't the only visitors disappointed by the decision to cover the mural and by the note explaining it away.

Here is what the mural looked like from our earlier LA Observed Notes post.

Selected tweets


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