nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, July 18, 2016

    dear tony, are you sure you’re not a rock star? 

    tom morello

    let’s see…
    cubs hat: check
    cubs shirt: check
    beautiful cherry wood gibson SG: check
    but i let my axe hang a lot lower than that
    also, the only time i wear a cubs hat and cubs shirt at the same time is at Wrigley Field

    but i do love Tom Morello and Rage and what he wrote in yesterdays LA Times

    is better than anything i ever wrote there times 100

  2. Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    sometimes i dont know any more 

    tony awardsyou do your thing, you walk around. you drive around. you talk to people. the people seem reasonable.

    but then you go on the internet and something changes. everyone loses their minds.

    were their minds always lost? is my mind lost?

    when something happens 1,000 times and every time is sad and every time is horrible, shouldnt it be changed?

    since the massacre at Sandy Hook where 20 little innocent kids were gunned down there have been 998 mass shootings in the USA. the land of the free. my home sweet home.

    of those 998 only three of the mass shootings were at the hands of Muslims.

    and yet the LA Times, my hometown paper, allows Jonah Goldberg to write a column about how its all the Muslims’ fault. and how Obama is weird by not calling it Islama Fascism or whatever Jonah Goldberg wants him to call it. and the Times pays him money for this.

    meanwhile of the 998 mass killings, all have been done by men.

    most of them white men.

    when will Jonah Goldberg whine that Obama doesnt tell the world that what we have here is a White Man With A Gun Problem?

    who will the LA Times pay to write that? you know, something that’s based in actual math and science instead of malarkey gleaned from the Fox News talking points.

    no one will write it there because, it’s not really a White Man With A Gun problem, it’s just a plain old gun problem.

    there are some guns we shouldnt have. and there are ways that we should be selling and registering and keeping an eye on these guns that is the problem.


    and thats why i feel like sometimes i just dont know. because some very smart people really truly believe in their hearts

    that if we treated guns like how we treat cars, which is to say, in order to get and keep a gun

    you would have to prove you are capable of using one, you have to register it, you have to maintain it, you have to do all the paperwork, etc.

    these smart people really think that it would lead to us taking away


    of the guns.

    they forget or ignore the fact that we haven’t taken away


    of the anything in the usa.

    hand grenades are illegal but there are still a few floating around.cartoon

    a man can’t have a bazooka, but every now and then you find someone with one.

    all we are asking for is a reasonable adjustment to these unreasonable actions occurring to innocent people.

    like i said yesterday, i believe this change will come.

    i believe the tides will change. i believe we will start voting out representatives who care more about money flowing in from the NRA than they do about blood flowing out of innocent victims.

    we will return to being the home of the brave

    and we will let go of some of the machine guns that have ruined the lives of far too many innocent families.

    we are not a stupid scared fucked up terrible ignorant doomed nation of jonah goldbergs

    who like to blame boogeymen and not ourselves.

    this is not a muslim problem or even a white man with a gun problem.

    this is an american problem

    that will be fixed by americans.

    which is why i cant wait to vote.

  3. Monday, May 23, 2016

    why do old people hate beyonce? 

    beyonce formation

    in my weird universe Beyonce is Queen. thats how it is on my social media, in the web sites i read, and the young people i know.

    when i drive if one of her songs comes on, especially the newer ones, everyone will hush up and sing along.

    last week she sold out the 100,000 seat Rose Bowl, by her damn self, to support a record that had just come out a few weeks previous. The average ticket price was about $100 and the good seats were much more.

    before the Rose Bowl concert went off,  she announced a future engagement at the more intimate 50,000 seat Dodger Stadium in September where face value ticket prices on the field range from $500 – $2,000. if you want to sit at the tippy-top of the baseball stadium tickets are a mere $109 before Ticketmaster et all get their cut.

    beyonce poolpeople admire her beauty, singing, dancing, style, lyrics, husband, child, marriage, career, and most importantly the way she handles herself in times of every day real life drama.

    people, other than those who wrote in last week to complain that the LA Times, that is. and what really irked them was the paper put one of their stories about her on the OMG front page.

    Chuck from Huntington Beach said “I love newspapers.  I have been a subscriber of The Times since 1972.  I am not a subscriber of the National Enquirer, but it is beginning to seem that way.  I know all print media are struggling to stay afloat, but come on, guys.  There has to be some actual news you could put on Page 1.”

    Jeff in Eagle Rock wrote, “Does an unusually gushy article about Beyoncé deserve to be on the front page of The Times when another story about her is on Page 1 of Calendar?”

    There was Carole down in San Diego who complained, “Really, Beyoncé is front page news? And we wonder why someone like Donald Trump could be a leading candidate for president. By any chance, have you seen the movie ‘Idiocracy’?”

    And of course Marty in Whittier who asked, “Is it just me or is anyone else getting weary of Beyoncé?”

    if I was the LA Times, I’d write an op-ed defending its coverage and educating it’s whining readership why they, like the ticket buying public of this country and the world, appreciate her.

    beyonce formationperhaps they can get into the fact that it’s rare for a black woman on a solo tour to be able to command such a huge audience that cuts across race, gender, and age. perhaps they can show pictures of attendees of the enormous Rose Bowl audience crying. Maybe it should be written by a choreographer who can explain that while many female stars like Brittany Spears or Rihanna or Taylor Swift pose real nice, Queen Bey is dancing in dozen of numbers in ways we haven’t seen since Tina Turner.

    there’s a reason they keep inviting her back to the Super Bowl. there’s a reason HBO allowed her what amounted to an infomercial last month to air her groundbreaking Lemonade long-form video. there’s a reason she can put her album on the fledgling Tidal and everyone will rush to the streaming service to hear what she has to say.

    it is because for many many many who don’t usually have a voice in papers like the LA Times or even in LA, she is their Streisand, their Elvis, their Beatles. and there is no way in hell that Marty in Whittier would have bitched that the paper gave The King too much ink if he ever sold out the Rose Bowl.

    so he should probably STFU about The Queen getting hers.

    or better yet, perhaps they should OMG listen to what she’s singing about and realize that she’s just not singing to girls, women, black, brown, gay and straight people, she’s singing to and for everyone. and that’s why everyone, pretty much, adore her. including your local rag.

  4. Thursday, February 11, 2016

    eight years ago today we launched the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar blog 

    kareemhave i told you im the luckiest man in the world? i am.

    it seems like just yesterday, i had held the position of Blog Editor at the LA Times for just a few months when i got an email from the Sports Editor Randy Harvey who said the NBAs top scorer was interested in blogging for our paper.

    because i was new i assumed that this happened all the time and it was going to happen all the time. but alas it was the one and only true celeb who would blog regularly for us. and despite the hiccups that we had it was a dream come true.

    as a kid i idolized #33. the book about his life was my favorite book in grade school. so to work with him on this project was almost as surreal as being the damn blog editor of my favorite paper.

    my terms were simple, if he really wanted it to be a hit he had to have a real blog post every day. was he up for it? he told me he was. he told me about all the books he’d written and all the interests he had. and sure enough he DID have a lot of interests and he was able to mesh those with the current events of the day and he churned out a fascinating, controversial, edgy blog that was much more than just about sports.

    when Herbie Hancock won a bunch of Grammys, boom there was a recent picture of Kareem (a huge jazz fan) with Herbie. when one of the Manning Brothers was in the Super Bowl, there was a picture of Kareem with both brothers. he wrote about movies, health, politics, race, and yes, even sports.

    my belief about a blogging athlete was changed because of my experience with Kareem. at first i thought it would be difficult because most athletes and musicians have this image that they feel compelled to uphold through LACK of communication to the world. i thought it would be hard for someone to be able to write every day because of their schedule, but even though Kareem’s calendar was packed, he made time for it.

    and best of all he was not afraid to keep it real.

    over the years i spent there we had other athletes who asked to do what Kareem did and i asked them a few questions: can you keep it real, can you write every day, are you gonna be freaked out if and when the commenters turn on you? they all backed down.

    here are a few of the mentions the blog got when it launched.

    rock on, Cap!

  5. Friday, January 15, 2016

    the LA Times asks an interesting question on their front page today 

    la times front pageand of course when you ask one good question it usually leads to more good questions.

    and since their question was about diversity, let’s keep asking questions.

    first off, of all the writers on the front page of the LA Times this morning, how many are not white? how many are not white in that lead story?

    of all the people who edited those stories, as in their bosses, how many are not white?

    is the news editor white? is the person in charge of entertainment white? is the photo editor white? what percentage of the masthead is white?

    and since the examples used in their story really centers about the lack of african-americans, something near and dear to my heart, let’s keep asking questions down that path: how many african-american editors are there at my favorite local paper?

    how many african-american editors-in-chiefs have there been there? how many african-american entertainment editors have there been (digital and/or print?) how many african-american publishers have there been?

    how many african-american blog editors have there been? how did they do?

    are these unfair questions about a paper that serves an incredibly diverse city? do they matter at all in context of this dramatic front page story? about film? (speaking of: how many black film critics has the times employed?)

    the great thing about good questions is there’s never a lack of them. how many black opinion editors has the times hired? how many black sports editors have they had in their 100+ year history? how many black ad sales vps have there been? we could even ask: of the people who run the parking garage – how many at the very top are black? would our guesses be correct with all of these questions?

    trust me, i am thrilled that questions about diversity are asked in 2016, especially when it concerns african americans,

    but at what point am i allowed to say to my bffs in the press: pot, kettle?

    at what point can someone say, doctor heal thyself?

    is it bad form to quote matthew 7:5 which teaches “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”?

    im sure the LA Times, just like Hollywood, knows that progress can often take a long time to achieve

    but some industries,

    and companies,

    and entities,

    are easier to turn around than others.

    the question is, why haven’t those easy ones changed quickly either

    especially after they’ve taken the log out of their own eye?

    those are the questions i can’t wait for them to ask

    and answer.

  6. Thursday, November 19, 2015

    Long Live Henry Fuhrman 

    henry fuhrman

    Any time there are cuts at the Los Angeles Times it makes me sad because I have the deepest respect for the brilliant journalists who work there. But this is devastating to me. Not only is Henry Fuhrmann a perennial finalist in the Nicest Guy in the World competition, but he’s a fantastic and patient teacher. There were a few people whose offices I would regularly camp out in to learn about journalism, our paper, and how to be an effective editor. Henry was one of the best teachers to learn that from. Because Henry is such a mild mannered and gentle man, I was often embarrassed by the topics that I had to consult him about: “Mr. Fuhrman, it appears Congressman Weiner sexted his, um package, to a young lady. I feel like I need to show that image, which is PG, but I’m not sure.” “Henry, what’s your stance on a band called Pussy Riot?” “Henry, Rihanna got beat up yesterday, TMZ is running the photo, is there something that says we can’t run the photo?”

    What I loved about him is first he would research LA Times precedents. If the topic was “can we use this word?” he would find out all the times we ran the word and if it appeared in print, in a headline and/or online. Each instance held a slightly different weight in his judgement. He’d explain that to me in a very calm way. He knew I wasn’t trying to be some crazy person breaking down all the walls and traditions, but I was often pleasantly surprised when we he gave us the green light because it meant it wasn’t a rash decision and I would be supported later if someone cried foul.

    Henry had great stories about baseball, but even better stories about the writers I grew up reading who I never had the chance to work with. Even though I’m very sad that he won’t be at the paper, I really really hope some smart college is sharp enough to have him spread his knowledge and experience with the kids. In a building of very sharp and well-read gentleman, Henry is one of the very best.

    Enjoy your retirement!

  7. Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  8. Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Sarah leaves the LA Times :( 


    Your BFF Sarah is moving on to greener pastures. My everyday lunch buddy left this very sweet farewell note to the staff the other day:

    Before I leave the building, I just want to say how much I appreciate every single one of you. I have learned so much sitting beside you, hearing your stories and learning your ways.

    It makes me sad to leave, but I’m comforted by the fact that I won’t be far away (that means I’ll see you at the Farmer’s Market).

    Keep in touch, stay the same, fight the good fight.

    Most of all, keep on rockin’!

    Your friend,
    Sarah Ardalani

  9. Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    if you want to see whats wrong with print journalism today, look no further than TJ Simers 

    TJ Simersbefore i bash the old soul, let me state that i enjoy TJ. and i’m not alone.

    to me he is the Bobby Knight of sports journalism: brutal, intense, entertaining, mean, and occasionally hugely successful. he is a brash maverick who demands (and gets) respect while being prickly.

    in this Ryan Seacrest world of Bruno Mars halftime shows and metro-sexuals in skinny jeans sipping on soy latte vegan whathaveyous, some of us appreciate a macho man putting pro athletes (and owners) in their places.

    i attended a charity event he threw a few years back where he interviewed the equally independent Sandy Koufax and asked the Dodger legend all of the tough questions that many of us in attendance wouldn’t have dared to – even after a few drinks. The spacious Nokia Theatre was packed yet stone silent as TJ fired good questions at the southpaw, and the Hall of Famer answered them honestly. it made you wonder why Koufax didn’t give more interviews.

    But whatever, he granted it to TJ because TJ is TJ and maybe Koufax appreciated a man with similar moxie.

    but unfortunately TJ is just a man. And as we know, mankind is flawed. because in the same way that he is fearless in asking questions, he has tunnel-vision when it comes to the future (and present) of  journalism.

    the occasional sports columnist of the LA Times recently told  the USA Today sports blog The Big Lead that he is jumping ship to the OC Register because he wants to work with “folks eager to still have some fun as newspaper men and women.”

    in the short email that he sent the blog, he mentioned the word “newspaper” six times.

    1. “I was overwhelmed by the exictement [sic] I felt at the Orange County Register and the crusader-like effort to prove newspapers still matter.”

    2.  “In my initial meeting with the paper’s top editors they were aware of the best newspaper movie ever made: Deadline USA…”

    deadline USA

    3. & 4. “The Times still offers a terrific newspaper, but there is a feeling there that the newspaper is dead and most efforts should be directed to the Internet while waiting to see who buys the paper.”

    5. “As Sandy Koufax’s grandfather told him, ‘Time is the most important thing you have in life.’ And I choose to spend it now with folks eager to still have some fun as newspaper men and women.

    6. “I would hope everyone would now start reading the Register—at the very least to save newspapers as we remember them.”

    If you read those six quotes you’d think TJ is 93, not 63. And if you didn’t know any better you’d think that the OC Register has 3 editions and little kids in knickers at the corner yelling Extra Extra.

    Meanwhile, it’s curious that such a loud mouth would want to use such a tiny megaphone.

    Although the Register, under its new ownership, is a shining star, whose circulation slightly increased at last count; the LA Times has double the print readership of the OCR. Likewise, despite the empty LA Times desks that depress the suddenly sensitive Simers, latimes.com attracts millions (if not tens of millions) more eyeballs to its pages each month than the OCR. It’s obvious Simers couldn’t give one fig about the web, but still.

    In fact the odd irony about today’s news is he EMAILED the USA Today BLOG about a previous BLOG POST that was based on a TWEET that then turned into an even more popular BLOG POST that everyone today is reading ONLINE and now talking about on FACEBOOK, blogs and Twitter.

    I sincerely hope the LA Times didn’t really offer a guaranteed contract (as TJ alleges) to a writer who is so willfully ignorant about how news travels in these modern times. As much as he may yearn for the days of Bogey and Barrymore in black & white Deadline U.S.A., he happens to be living in the color world of Deadline Hollywood / Deadspin where even the luddite knows when you want to clarify a point you OMG  email it to a blawwwwwg.

    In his email he alluded to the fact that the suits at the OCR knew of my hero Mike Royko.

    If I had been one of those suits and TJ floated that name past me I would have said, “oh you mean the man who basically blogged at the Chicago Tribune by cranking out lively columns every single day, on a variety of topics, with gusto and panache? If you are saying that you’re ready to step up your game and produce like that, then yes welcome.”

    But when TJ utters that name I imagine he just thinks of a fellow crank – and nothing more.

    Let’s hope I am wrong and this apparent move to his new NEWSPAPER will instill him with a second wind because when TJ is good, he’s very good. Meanwhile I worry for the Times who in the last year has lost giants in news (Andrew Blankstein) and entertainment (Geoff Boucher).

    Soon they may be saying ciao to their giant pain in the butt.

  10. Thursday, April 11, 2013