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January 16, 2003|Susan Carpenter

All the news you never hear

It was billed as a book reading, but the event in support of Richard Metzger's "Disinformation: The Interviews" was more of a video screening for his soon-to-be-released DVD.

The young and dapper L.A. resident has been running a sort of cottage industry for subcultural exploration since 1996, when he founded his Disinformation Web site (www.disinfo.org) to expose "the kind of stuff that never seems to slip through the cracks of the corporate-owned media."

At that, he has not only succeeded but also excelled, parlaying the success of his site into books and a television show he hosted in England. "The punk-rock '60 Minutes,' " as he calls it, will soon be available on DVD, segments of which he screened before a packed house at the Book Soup Annex in West Hollywood.

Among them were profiles of a Woodland Hills woman who claims she was a "CIA sex slave," and a man who allows his nephew to not only light him on fire, spray-paint his face and perform other "Jackass"-type activities but also film them.

Incredibly well produced and presented in a straightforward manner, the segments come across like mockumentaries, although Metzger says the people are real and the interviews are unscripted. The results are bust-a-gut funny, as the capacity crowd's reaction proved. Hardly a moment passed that someone wasn't laughing at the absurd statements and actions on screen.

-- Susan Carpenter

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