nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, November 12, 2015

    every now and then i get suckered into being a keynote speaker 

    me in pajamas

    i say this repeatedly but no one believes me because i am a fantastic public speaker, but the truth is i do not like public speaking, i barely like private speaking. i prefer blogging, instant messaging, whispering, texting or Instagram private messaging. but my favorite of all is ESP, which i wish we could master but no one seems interested in.

    this weekend, it just dawned on me, i have to go to Orange County to speak to college kids about social media. i am NOT looking forward to it. but i was invited by a college professor who i admire greatly because she is doing the Lord’s work and i’d be a huge jerk if i said no. plus im freaking incredible when i rock the mic.

    reactionsthe last time i was in OC talking to the kids, it was for the california college journalism awards. i wore pajamas and a robe and told them that their music was terrible – which is something they probably couldnt affect – but they could do something about their journalism. one suggestion i made to them was to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times. i told them that a subscription costs less than three tanks of gas and if they were sincere about a job in journalism it should be a no brainer to omg have the paper delivered to their home so they can see what will be expected of them when they hit the big time.

    the reason i wore pajamas is because when i was in college and we went to the california college journalism awards, we from the Daily Nexus wore dresses. i told them i would have worn a super pretty dress, but the other thing i wanted to impress on them was the topic of Change. i told them that often as we grow up we are resistant to change and even journalists need to always be adjusting to the what is happening out there. so instead of a dress i wore pajamas.

    sure it was a little embarrassing and the robe made me sweat more than usual and it made me stand out (something i dont really like at all) but hopefully it proved a point: those who resist change are stupid poo poo heads who are probably in the way.

    did the kids like what i had to say? of course. i told you, im incredible when i tell it like it is. but if there was an earthquake saturday morning and the whole thing was canceled id breathe a sigh of relief. there are people here in LA who would die for attention. im not that person. every now and then i have something to say and i want some people to hear it, but im ok if it doesnt go viral. im ok if i never end up on tv. im fine if i never have to do a poetry reading or anything like that. let those who need that spotlight have it.

    i just want to whisper in your ear and the message is usually the same: im a fucking idiot and i pulled it off. you can too.

    maybe i’ll just wear underwear saturday.


  2. Wednesday, October 21, 2015


    Free Rasool

    i have hundreds of friends who are journalists. many of whom, like me, would jump at the chance to be a foreign correspondent, especially if it was dangerous and important and thrilling and made our lives worth living that much more.

    about two months ago a young journalist for Vice, Mohammed Rasool, was arrested in Turkey with two other Vice reporters, while filming clashes between Turkish cops and members of the Kurdistan Workers’ party in Diyarbakir.

    eventually the Turks released two of the Vice reporters but are keeping Rasool in jail for allegedly aiding a terrorist group. the government wants to look at his encrypted files before deciding whether to go forward with prosecuting him.

    journalists dont give up files to nobody. they are ours. not yours. ever. theres the rare exception where, after a story is published, if the source denies that they said something, a journalist may reveal notes or audio or video to prove that the person said what was published.

    but you dont get to go on a fishing expedition through the files of any journalist that you want and get to see everything that theyve got in their tape recorder or notebook. if you suspect someone of foul play, and you have proof, then have a speedy, fair trial, otherwise get bent.

    Turkey is supposed to be an ally of the U.S. and the U.N. Barack Obama doesn’t mention the Armenian Holocaust solely because he wants to maintain a good relationship with Turkey. when Turkey falsely imprisons journalists for doing their jobs, shit gets fucked.

    Turkey knows it did the wrong thing. they’re no dummies. and even though Vice is Canadian, last week the US State Dept told Turkey to cut the shit with Rasool and treat him fairly, but bro is still locked up IN A TURKISH PRISON. a place i wouldn’t want to be and i wouldnt want any of my friends to be in right now.

    we can’t have allies like this. there are GOP debates in a week, i seriously doubt that this issue will come up, but i think it would be fantastic if those running for president were asked how they would handle Turkey if they were president right now and our so-called ally was raiding the offices of journalists and clamping down on free expression and freedom of the press.

    in the meantime, let’s keep this story in the forefront because Rasool could be me or you or any of our many journalist friends. and if they will do it to journalists they’d do it to anyone.

  3. Friday, August 21, 2015

    LA is a city on the planet and the NYT is on it! 

    terrible tweetheres the problem with the New York Times, they have this foolish desire to cover Los Angeles.

    actually that desire isn’t terrible unto it self, but what’s dumb is they take new yorkers and move them to LA and have them write about it AS IF THERE ARE NO ACTUAL LOCALS WHO COULD DO IT BETTER.

    case in point, adam nagourney, who is the NYT’s LA bureau chief, who today blocked me on Twitter (?!) because I called him out on his shitty non-story about some new Sunset Strip hotels and his shittier tweet to hype it (above).

    the thesis of his far-too-long piece is OMG THEY SHUT DOWN THE HOUSE OF BLUES WHICH JUST HAPPENS TO BE ON THE SUNSET STRIP and guess what, guys, THEYRE BUILDING A LUXURY HOTEL !!!!11!1

    anyone who has lived in LA for more than a handful of years knows that the House of Blues was not a go-to club. it was a place you reluctantly went to because Bad Religion or Social D or GWAR was going to play there. Maybe you’d take some out of towners there to see Steel Panther or the Gospel Brunch.

    on the raaaaare occasion someone actually good would be there, but for the two dozen or so times that I’ve been there my favorite show was probably when Britney Spears did a 15 minute comeback lipsync secret show there billed as the M+Ms.

    at it’s heart, House of Blues was a corporate chain that eventually got bought by the most corporate of all chains, Live Nation, who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing called Ticketmaster.

    dudeONLY the NYT would try to make us shed a tear over a mediocre club owned by Ticketmaster being razed to build a high rise hotel.

    by the way, none of this has to do with The Doors, who played in LOTS of places in LA a half century ago, and yes one of the venues they rocked was The Whiskey which is a curvy mile away. Big whoop. (also the strip hasnt been “gritty” in decades.)

    If a local journalist would have written about it instead of someone who parachuted  in a couple of years ago, it might have been about how a) no one really loved that club anyways b) how after seeing the renovation of the Riot Hyatt into the Andaz across the street from the HOB and the ongoing success of the Mondrian next door or the Standard two blocks away OF COURSE a ticket corporation like Ticketmaster who actually doesn’t care about music would turn their club into a luxury hotel and c) this is more proof that the Sunset Strip is less about music (that trend has been moving east to Echo Park and DTLA since before poor adam moved west) and more about luxe.

    instead NY Adam interviews a nearby hotelier who claims the sky is now falling (because omg competition) and the Roxy’s Nic Adler who rightfully says this is a non story. BUT WHY WOULD YOU EVER BELIEVE THE SON OF THE MAN WHO HELPED PUT ROCK ON THE MAP ON THE SUNSET STRIP?!

    instead let’s publish another trend piece about LA that people in LA will laugh about because as Curbed LA wrote perfectly earlier this yearNew York Times stories about Los Angeles are amazing because they’re like seeing the city through the eyes of a dorky time traveler from 1992.”

    add one more to the list, boys, but be careful, nyc adam might omg block you from the twitters.



  4. Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Gay Talese explains perfectly why I hate broken links 

    “I am a record-keeper,” he says in this wonderful short video from Grantland.

    “I am someone who cares about the past as much as the future. I don’t think it’s ethical to erase the past.”

    I have had the sad fortune of working with some very powerful people who have no respect for what Mr. Talese succinctly laid out. Editors who care very much about writing stories that get temporary traffic, but years later abandon stories and sections and entire blogs and delete them willy-nilly for a variety of foolish reasons.

    As journalists, we ARE record-keepers. By being digital journalists we have a new responsibility to be custodians to the past even if that past is merely a few years old.

    Thus it is irresponsible to delete blogs, stories, posts and photos.

    There should never be a broken link on a professional news site that leads to something else within that news site.

    Likewise there should be more, not less, hyperlinks to corroborating evidence. Rarely do I see that in major news sites, and it’s appalling. All these digital editors, web producers, and online publications, and yet we try to pretend that all of the information is conveniently packaged in that one story? Impossible. Link.

    And for God sake, don’t change the URL, and if you must, have a solid way to redirect it to where it is now.

  5. Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Good riddance, LA Register 

    la registerI’ve seen some of my journalist friends “sad” to hear that the terrible Los Angeles Register has stopped publishing its newspapers that nobody wanted and nobody asked for. I assume they’re “sad” because as journalists they would like more than just a few solvent newspapers to work for. But the truth is the LA Register was a horrible idea for journalism and a ridiculous business proposition.

    Print journalism in 2014 is not a growth opportunity, especially for a new product. It’s like planting a seed in sand. But what’s worse: a RIGHT WING newspaper in LA in 2014 is even more foolish. Of all of the subsets of potential customers one could reach out to, that sliver of LA county is who you want to charge $1.75 a day to read your broadsheet?

    How about this: how about find out what portion of LA is truly underserved by the Los Angeles Times and reach out to them. It sure as shit aint Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood, DTLA and Pasadena: the same old beaten paths the LA Register attempted to cover.

    I’ll give you a hint: the areas that are underserved and are not currently subscribing to the biggest paper west of the Mississip are probably brownskinned, democrats and/or bilingual. If your agenda is to push your political agenda north from Orange County via an OMG newspaper, you’re doomed and deserve your money to be taken away. If, however your agenda is to compete by providing news that the old DTLA paper doesn’t specialize in, your political agenda will probably have to take a back seat as you cover South LA, Inglewood, Highland Park, West Adams, East LA and all the other areas where working-class people live but who often don’t see their stories told in the media.

    There are more than enough avenues in print and online to beat the GOP drum both locally and nationally. But strangely there are very few that tell the story of the majority of Los Angelenos, you know, those about women and “minorities”. If Mr. Kushner was truly interested in telling that story, in a bold way, his newspaper would still be in business.

  6. Thursday, September 18, 2014

    i was a special guest star at a usc journalism class last night 


    mr Drew Tewksbury who ive read in several publications like the LA Weekly invited me to speak to his entertainment journalism class at the famous private school

    id spoken there before but every time i go i get nervous.

    the main theme i told them is: in modern journalism no one really knows what they’re doing.

    we went over a few of the latest scoops and they were all broken by non-traditional outlets, typically digital ones

    ray rice, jay-z and solange, and most importantly the NSA.

    i said newspapers dont know what to do with that type of news any more so people either approach outlets who will pay for the videos or the sources themselves choose to deal with bloggers turned journalists (like glen greenwald) who wont spike the story because it might upset the government (something the new york times has been known to do).

    i said the good news about all of this is there are big opportunities for young journalists to break news as long as you are excited to work for media outlets like Vice, Buzzfeed, Gawker, and LAist instead of struggling to get a spot at a newspaper or tv station.


    not sure if that information actually reached them, the kids tend to keep their eyes on their laptops

    and they smile and they nod but do they understand the words coming out of my mouth?

    who knows.

    i do know that the new annenberg center for journalism is beautiful and wired and wireless and even at 8pm

    there were a lot of kids in there studying or maybe they were escaping the heat?


    afterwards i ubered a kid over to LACMA then picked up a guy going to sushi then took a young lady across town

    then had donuts with amber and her friend

    then watched the first half of the fault in our stars.

    i have a weird life.

    today we are moving back to our academy office in beverly hills.

    it has been remodeled over the summer.


  7. Monday, June 30, 2014

    many of the best journalists in LA were in the house last night 


    we honored many including maria shriver, former mayor bloomberg, and ann curry (pictured)

    they all gave such positive and inspirational speeches without being cheesy.

    awards were given out and kcrw and the la weekly seemed to have won the most.

    stephanie o’neill of kpcc won 4 awards, more than anyone else.


    your boy welch and several of his reason peeps won awards

    welch’s was on something about jackie robinson which now ive gotta read.

    when bob scheer won for best website (truthdig) i told him that i went to school with his son chris

    he said, were you on the daily nexus?

    which surprised me that he could recall our school paper that quickly

    i said, hell yeah. he said, so with matt welch?

    so famous, that welch.


    only through many hours of doing research about the academy do i now know that this room

    the crystal ballroom

    is where the very first academy awards were held.

    it covered two years because it was so new.


    when i told that to former LA mayor richard riordan

    he said, why dont you ever put that sort of useful information in the busblog

    you always write such worthless garbage.

    i said, shhhhhh its all just xbi code.

    and at this moment when the picture is being snapped hes saying Balderdash


    food was good, duh


    the LA press club is secretly run by the west coast swedish mafia who for some reason love great journalism.

    on the left is rebecka, on the right is diana. diana is the most delightful whirlwind and secret weapon of the club.

    she makes great things happen. and they always end up beautiful.

    we are very very lucky to have diana involved in the club. 


    i got to see old kpcc friends, old LA Times friends, and some Nexus and digital LA peeps

    maria shriver probably had the best story, for me at least.

    she said when she was a girl flying in the plane as her dad was running for vice president,

    she noticed that all of the people in the front of the plane, like her, the politicians

    were sad and nervous and quiet and anxious.

    and the people in the back of the plane, the journalists, were happy and partying

    and pretty much running the whole operation.

    she said thats when she decided she wanted to be in the back of the plane

    with the people who could actually effect change on the planet.

    amen to that.

  8. Monday, November 25, 2013

    Fun at the NEJ 


    last night the LA Press Club gave out the National Entertainment Journalism Awards

    because i’m on the board of directors i was tasked with tweeting the events

    we gave two special awards to Forest Whitaker and LA Times movie critic Kenneth Turan


    it was held at the beautiful Biltmore in DTLA. Forest is thinner than I was expecting and so humble. it was sweet


    the food was good, the drinks were nice, but as always it was very energizing to be around so many talented LA journalists


    it was also very nice to sit at the KPCC table and especially nice when Air Talk won an award, Larry Mantle is a classic


    Patt the Hat was in the house of course, and nothing could have happened so nice without Diana, the secret weapon of the Club


    Jon Regardie of the Downtown News and Mike Roe were in the house. excellent gentlemen


    and it was nice to see John Rabe, his husband (far left) and a nice fellow also named Tony.

    it’s so funny how ill i felt Friday and didnt think i could do anything this weekend, but when push came to shove i did it

    and it was all such a very nice success.

    except for the Bears loss. sigh.


  9. Monday, October 7, 2013
  10. Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    some newspapers do this thing where they try to shame criminals by printing their pic 


    recently in Chattanooga, Tennessee a bunch of rich high schoolers at a private school

    were popped for underage drinking

    one young lady either has a lawyer for a parent

    or is stoked to finally get her picture in the paper.

    maybe it’s good that i’m not a parent because even though i’d be sad if my kid was arrested

    i’d be stoked that they were all, is that all you got on me copper?

    anyways, i’d like to see a debate from local papers as to how they’d have dealt with this story.

    seems unnecessary to me, but i’d like to hear from the Times Free Press as to why this made their pages.

    h/t reddit for exposing this chattanooga crimewave