nothing in here is true

  1. 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!

  2. Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Thursday, April 11, 2013
  6. Sunday, November 18, 2012

    are we really still pretending we dont know what jonathon gold looks like? 

    jonathan gold on cbs

    hes the greatest pulitzer prize winning food critic to ever give props to food trucks

    he also has a unique look and happens to be walking the earth during the Information Age

    in LA which makes anonymity or privacy nearly impossible.

    blame Google if you must

    or blame Gold.

    way back in 2008 he posed for a pic with a serious journalist knowing full well it was headed for FishbowlLA.

    later that year, while he was food critic there, the LA Weekly published a photo of him: no big deal.

    and a little more than a year later, bro starred on a panel discussion for the Zocalo PUBLIC Square.

    look at all the people seeing him in the flesh

    even the writer is all, yeah its nice to see him in real life or in video. (there was video too)

    surely the OC weekly writer saw the famous LA weekly photos in 2007 of gold

    sloppily drinking outta those hilariously huge wine glasses

    as he celebrated winning the pulitzer.

    does no one remember the time in 2009 when the Weekly hosted a thing called

    The Gold Standard foodie event where mr. gold posed for pictures and kept it real?

    how about the time he read aloud a restaurant review at LACMA in front of a painting of Spam?

    strangely it seems like the only people who think their audience doesn’t know who he looks like

    are my beloved daily newspaper and cbs news.

    you can unring a bell if it’s made of gold?

    although to some it’s cute marketing, or a quaint nod to a once-preferred tradition.

    but nowadays i prefer it when my news organizations treat their audience (and subjects)

    like theyre smart enough to know how to use the google.

    thats my gold standard.

  7. Monday, September 10, 2012

    Geoff Boucher confirms he’s leaving the L.A. Times 

    Geoff Boucher, Suzie Reynolds, Chris Lee – Coachella 2008

    While many were watching the Raiders on Monday Night Football,

    Hero Complex superstar and veteran Times journalist tweeted this sad message

    Howard Stern’s stylist Ralph Cirella then asked

    and then Boucher tweeted the tweet heard across the galaxy

    there is a disturbance in the Force,

    rock with caution.

    [Update, Tuesday: Geoff writes: Thanks everyone for your thoughts and words and sentiments. It is very strange and sad to leave the paper after 21 years but it is completely my choice. I’m going to gamble and bet on myself and what I’ve learned over these past few years with the Hero Complex success. As a friend of mine in Metropolis says, you can’t fly until you take a leap…]

  8. Thursday, August 23, 2012

    geoff boucher moving on to greener pastures? 

    geoff boucher

    one of my all time favorite people to work with at the LA Times was mr Geoff Boucher

    creator and main cape-wearer of The Hero Complex blog

    a production so successful that it turned into a big time film festival.

    how many blogs you know have their own damn film festival

    with A-list stars and A-list directors?

    after reading many of his tweets today and some of his facebook posts it makes me wonder if some bigger paper, tv network, or studio

    has lured away one of the Times’ greatest assets

    and it all started with this mysterious tweet:

    my top three guesses:
    he’s going to the Wall Street Journal
    he’s going to the New York Times
    ABC is giving him a prime time tv show

  9. Saturday, August 18, 2012

    pussy riot is free… to now say in the LA Times 

    pussy riot on the front page of the paper

    one of the reasons my mom was happy when i worked at the LA Times was that

    the busblog’s language mellowed out significantly because my boss there asked me to tone it down here.

    the rule at the time was dont put anything on this blog that i wouldnt put on the work blogs

    which included swear words.

    my mom, and the paper, cringe at curse words.

    which is one reason the Times hadn’t named the band, Pussy Riot, currently imprisoned in russia for “hooliganism”.

    the paper instead simply called them “the russian punk band” or “the russian band with the profane name”.

    but today right on the front page, there was this dramatic photo and in the cutline, there was the band name.

    so i went to the website to see if it was changed in the In The News mini headers on the homepage

    pussy riot is ok not ok to say on the homepage

    and nope, wasn’t changed. still says Russian Punk Band.

    which doesn’t surprise me, since sometimes decisions for the print product arent always relayed to the web immediately.

    but i clicked the link anyways and whattya know, the entertainment desk is using the band name… but not in the headline or sub heds

    pussy riot is ok to say on pop & hiss

    one of my favorite blogs at the Times is the Readers Rep.

    i like it because the inner workings of the grand paper are often explained there.

    now that the word is free, i really hope Deirdre writes about why the word was originally banned

    and what happened that allowed the word to be printed.

    im a weirdo, i’m fascinated by those decisions.

    speaking of freedom. here is a slice from one of the members of Pussy Riot’s closing statements:

    Despite the fact that we are physically here, we are freer than everyone sitting across from us on the side of the prosecution. We can say anything we want and we say everything we want. The prosecution can only say what they are permitted to by political censorship. They can’t say “punk prayer,” “Our Lady, Chase Putin Out,” they can’t utter a single line of our punk prayer that deals with the political system.

    Perhaps they think that it would be good to put us in prison because we speak out against Putin and his regime. They don’t say so, because they aren’t allowed to. Their mouths are sewn shut. Unfortunately, they are only here as dummies. But I hope they realize this and ultimately pursue the path of freedom, truth, and sincerity, because this path is superior to the path of complete stagnation, false modesty, and hypocrisy.

    amen, sister

  10. Monday, August 13, 2012

    Swing, man. 

    frank sinatra

    a long time ago Frank Sinatra walked the Earth.

    he also read he newspaper.

    one day the Chairman of the Board read an LA Times piece on a young kid named George Michael who was going through some emotional issues and he wanted to quit being a pop star.

    So Frank wrote the Calendar section of the Times where the article was published and this is the letter he sent them.

    Great advice to us all.