CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2009 |
Those waiting impatiently for the traffic light to change Monday may not have noticed, but the eyes of France were focused on the corner of Beverly and San Vicente boulevards. That's where a rock legend known as the "French Elvis" was lying in Cedars-Sinai hospital, slowly coming out of an artificially induced coma in a medical drama that has engrossed the European continent for the last week. Curious passersby wondering which celebrity had attracted the swarm of reporters and photographers that has been camped out on the corner in tents and satellite trucks were puzzled when told it was pop singer Johnny Hallyday.
December 13, 2009 |
As the carefully constructed public image of Tiger Woods continued its excruciating free fall last week, one question perplexed those who think there should have been hints of trouble: How was it possible for Woods, among the world's most scrutinized professional athletes, to keep his infidelity secret for so long? Just about everyone is at a loss: the golf writers who banter with Woods (when he allows it), golf fanatics who can tell you which way his golf ball's Nike logo was facing when Woods chipped it into the 16th hole in the final round of the 2005 Masters, paparazzi whose paid informants can sniff out a straying spouse a mile away.
December 4, 2009 |
All this talk about the couple who broke into the White House state dinner has been kind of interesting. But, for my money, the most fascinating gate-crasher this week on the Washington scene had to be Michael Ware. I'm talking about the CNN foreign correspondent who, though invited, descended on the cable station's otherwise temperate panels on Afghanistan like some feral creature from the vast, untamed Outback. The unshaven, unruly and apparently unfettered Aussie appeared on seemingly every one of the cable station's platforms in recent days, chiding President Obama for being unspecific, mocking the idea of anything like a clear "victory" in Afghanistan and warning of atrocities if America throws in with unsavory partners.
December 2, 2009 |
Escalating the battle between traditional newspapers and online news providers, media mogul Rupert Murdoch lashed out at Google Inc. and other Web companies Tuesday, accusing them of looting news articles and contributing to the industry's decline. "There are those who think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production," Murdoch said at a Washington forum on the future of newspapers. "Their almost wholesale misappropriation of our stories is not fair use. To be impolite, it's theft."
November 18, 2009 |
A Zambian editor charged with distributing pornography for sending photographs of a woman forced to give birth on a street during a hospital strike to officials has been acquitted by a court in Lusaka, the capital. Chief Resident Magistrate Charles Kafunda ruled Monday that there was no evidence the photos were obscene or likely to corrupt public morals. Chansa Kabwela, the news editor of the independent newspaper the Post, decided the photos were too shocking to publish but sent them to senior government officials and two women's groups to draw attention to the hospital crisis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2009 |
It seemed like eavesdropping on a private conversation -- or reading a rival journalist's notes. But I eagerly did it anyway out of curiosity about Jerry Brown. What I found confirmed that the California attorney general hasn't changed a lot, at least in tone, since he was governor 30 years ago (1975-83). He's still argumentative, rebellious, inquisitive, self-confident, articulate, outspoken and egocentric. A reporter's dream. And it's a big reason -- along with the surname inherited from his late father, the revered Gov. Pat Brown -- that he has managed to survive 40 years in politics and now is the early front-runner to replace Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2009 |
In the four weeks since director Roman Polanski's arrest, Samantha Geimer has once again found herself in an unwanted spotlight. Phone calls from the media besieged her at home, on her cellphone, at work, seeking comment from the woman who was the 13-year-old victim in the director's sex case three decades ago. Calls have come at all hours of the day, from as far as Germany, Israel and Japan. Every TV network's national morning show called, as did Larry King and Oprah Winfrey.
October 23, 2009 |
My 1st Amendment hero brings close-up photos of celebrity rear ends to the world, under the witty, witty headline "Beach Bums." My 1st Amendment hero delivers us the news any time someone famous looks fat, drunk or plain gaga. My 1st Amendment hero posts Mini-Me's sex tape and treats the Kardashians as if they were America's first family. And my hero also lands real scoops that the rest of the media, including this newspaper, would love to have. Yes, Harvey Levin is my 1st Amendment hero, and I'm not (that)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2009 |
Los Angeles County officials have been complaining for years about the ever-decreasing number of reporters who cover them. The county press room, once bustling with a dozen or more reporters, now looks like a ghost town, home to three reporters on a good day. Nonetheless, the Board of Supervisors has decided that the few journalists still around are causing problematic "traffic jams" during board meetings. So supervisors have decreed that reporters can no longer interview key personnel in the back rooms and corridors where the officials work during board meetings.
October 4, 2009 |
You heard all about it, in this newspaper and others, on talk radio and television and all over the Internet. The Angels had celebrated their division championship by pouring beer and champagne over the jersey of Nick Adenhart, the rookie killed in April by an alleged drunk driver, and everyone had an opinion. Tim Mead, the Angels' vice president of communications, was stunned by the wave of reaction. Surely, he thought, someone would ask him for the answer he considered essential to forming an opinion: Had the Adenhart family objected to the celebration?