nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, July 20, 2020

    dear people of a certain age 

    A year ago today I was super frustrated trying to get a job in Social Media. I had a pretty good track record. Just about every place I was allowed to be free saw a giant uptick in all of the metrics any boss cared about.

    But for some reason I couldn’t get a job interview to save my life.

    Was it because I was 2x the age of the others who were applying for the job?

    Were these hiring managers fearful that I would demand a giant salary? Were they nervous that I would quickly demand my boss’s job?

    One guy said, “Tony, hiring the Social Media Person is the one chance men have a great excuse to get a smoking hot recent college grad into the office. You lost them at Tony.”

    Could that be true? Who knows. But it was depressing.

    When did being experienced, thinking outside the box, using creativity, being courageous, and learning how to adjust in an ever-changing career raise so many red flags?

    And when will companies and organizations realize that giving the most junior staffers the biggest microphones is borderline crazy? And worse: sending out messages through social via a committee of senior managers with zero experience in social media almost always comes across as soulless and stale?Thus useless.

    Fortunately Sophia Kercher a fellow graduate of the Robyn Bell school of Fuck Yeah invited me to a Los Angeleno party at a former strip club where I was introduced to the incredible staff and publisher, and things so far have been a smashing success.

    Not only do I get to write what I want but I handle our Twitter and Facebook.

    Last week I posted something on Facebook that reached 8 million people,  tripled our followers, and boosted our newsletter subscribers.

    While at the Academy I increased followers by 4,000% but I only had 2 or 3 FB posts that did over 5 million. One was about Titanic, and one was the Genie Yr Free. I think the whole time I was there just two Oscar night items ever got 5 million reach and that was when Leo finally won and the final video of Moonlight winning.

    But we had the advantage of having 1-2 million followers at the Oscars.

    8 million reach from an audience of a couple thousand, during a pandemic when allegedly no one is in front of their computers like they typically are, is a damn miracle.

    Age means nothing in social media.

    I’ve seen high schoolers do incredible things and hopefully I’ve shown that 50somethings can still run circles around recent college grads with all of their theories.

    We should all be so lucky to be blessed with bosses who will allow us the freedom to succeed in bigger ways than we could ever imagine.

    I’m very grateful to Lauren, the publisher of Los Angeleno, for letting me do my thing when others wouldn’t even pick up the phone.

  2. Sunday, July 5, 2020

    10 things i wrote in June for Los Angeleno 

    it’s funny. i dont think i write much. i dont think i write as well as i used to. i dont think theres any magic in my makeup. when i look in the mirror i dont see the man i thought i would be.

    then something happens. then something gets popular. and i think i still got it.

    which is ridiculous because who cares if the public responds? who cares if the right people at the right time click the retweet button? did that make what i wrote any better? shouldnt i just judge myself with my heart?

    shouldnt i just say, i wouldnta published it if i didnt think it was good?

    i have never cared about people’s approval. why start now? because im not 21 any more? because im not getting 100s of comments on shit anymore? trust me, in 2020 if youre getting 100s of comments on something it’s probably bad news.

    last month i was in DEEP on the Rona beat. then i had to also do the BLM beat. it was a lot. it kept me from features and Q&As which is why this month i’ve been asked to lay off the roundups and focus more on original things.

    this week imma write about baseball and swimming pools. but best laid plans… who knows i might meet the coolest Somebody and talk to them for an hour and write it all up and dole it all out. thats why i love Los Angeleno.

    15 Epic Moments From LAPD’s Police Commission Zoom Meeting


    Skip the Lines and Get Tested for COVID-19 at Home


  3. Friday, May 1, 2020

    here’s what i wrote for Los Angeleno in April 

    Pretty sure this is the most productive I’ve ever been as a reporter. Even with LAist I didn’t produce these many original pieces in one month.

    Of note: interviews with American Apparel founder Dov Charney about what his new company, Los Angeles Apparel is doing to help curb the pandemic, a visit to a Walmart in the Valley as it gets new pallets of toilet paper and paper towels, features on a radio journalist from KNX and an outgoing Pulitzer winner from the LA Times, an interview with an ICU doc in Palm Springs who uses the controversial cocktail to try to save lives of coronavirus patients, a feature on smokeless weed with several fascinating people, and a bunch of news wrap-ups all about the terrible virus that changed everything.

    And I took some cool pictures.

    Coronavirus: Fountains of Wayne Co-founder Dies; Covered California Extension

    Dov Charney’s New Passion: Face Masks

    Coronavirus: 1M Global Cases; Furloughs Hit Disney

    Coronavirus: Richard Simmons Returns; News Viewership Up

    T.P. Hits the Shelves — ‘This is Like War Rationing’

    Know Your Journalist: KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta

    Coronavirus: County Extends Stay-at-Home Order; Supplies Stolen at Naval Medical Center

  4. Saturday, March 28, 2020

    this month has been busy for journalists – and me 

    here’s what i wrote and co-wrote for Los Angeleno this month

    it’s been wild

    As Pot Sales Boom, Many Encourage Smoke-Free Consumption

    Coronavirus: L.A. Beaches Close; Free Bus Rides for Some of L.A. County

    Dear L.A. Times: Take Down Your Paywall

    Coronavirus: L.A.’s Crime is Down; Angels Star ‘Going Crazy’ at Home

    Angelenos Answer: ‘Are You Middle Class?’

    Local Food Bank Triples in Business, Gets A Bump from Artist Shepard Fairey

    10 Things That Are Suddenly Free

    Coronavirus: A Pause in Mortgage Payments; Beware Zoombombing

    An Open Letter to Uber and Lyft Drivers Right Now

    Coronavirus: Sheriff Warns Strip Clubs to Shutter, MOCA Layoffs

    Predictions for a Post-Coronavirus 2020

    Coronavirus: Garcetti Puts the Kibosh on Hiking, Questions Rise About Test Access

    Coronavirus: 292 Confirmed Cases in the County, Chinese Restaurants Face Xenophobia

    Coronavirus: Governor Asks for Navy Ship to Dock in L.A., Glendora Man Dies After Visiting Florida

    10 Films Streaming Right Now That Will Transport You

    Coronavirus: L.A. County Courts Close; Apple Pan Delivers

    Coronavirus: Moratorium on Parking Tickets; Sheriff to Release Over 600 Inmates

    Meet the Bernie — and Trump — Supporters Hanging Out in Venice

  5. Sunday, February 2, 2020

    what i wrote for los angeleno in january 2020 

    Where Does the Eastside of L.A. Start?

    Our Sex Workers and Firefighters are Lending Their Talents to Help Australia

    MLK Through the Eyes of Those Living and Working on MLK Blvd.

    What It’s Like to Be the Publicist for The Oscars

    L.A. Mourns Kobe Bryant

    Remembering Kobe Bryant the Oscar Nominee

    Tips for Making a Killer Super Bowl Spread

    fucking loved the eastside story. very first guy i talk to, homeless, dressed 1,000x better than i am, clean, funny, tells me a few things he asks me to keep off the record. then he tells me exactly which taco stand he was at in east la just yesterday. ended up in a tattoo shop, disturbing two self proclaimed introverts playing a form of Magic the Gathering, met the coolest old guy ever, and barely understood about a half hour of mumbles from two drunk guys who actually had good stories.

    for the sex workers it was great to be able to text jeff koga and say, got any pics of riley reid.

    mlk was one i did with a photographer i’d never met before. she was really terrific. the funniest was interviewing this rapper whose day job is dressing up as the statue of liberty while spinning a sign for an income tax office. he was all you can take a picture but dont show my face. i was like yr a rapper? he was all yeah. so i go, you’re missing out on your story. countless handsome black guys are rappers. but how many were dressed up as the statue of liberty — willing to do anything for that dream, and then make it to the top? and he let me take his picture.

    the oscar publicist interview was great. perfect conversation. warm day. dogs. i ate half of an eggs benedict. at the other half when i got home. who can eat when they’re conducting an interview? on the way there i thought of the perfect studio for a podcast: a mini van. just soundproof it real good, flip one of the rows of seats around. carpet the floors. install the mics. then you can just go wherever they live or work, drive to a park, and chat in the van. always perfect sound.

    for the kobe oscar nom piece, i love the photos. the academy photographers were always so easy to work with. and at oscars time, mama mia they had some good stories. some of the older ones have seen it all. like they used to have to rush their film to the developer via a guy waiting on a motorcycle in the middle of oscar night.

    and then yesterday we posted my interview with sarah gim who makes the most beautiful images of food and spreads. im working on this long middle class thing or else i would have had more to show.

  6. Tuesday, September 17, 2019

    today i got a job 

    if you’ve noticed, i havent had a job for going on six months.

    that all ended the other day when one thing led to another which led to another which led to an email which led to some paperwork and before you can say


    i had a job.

    with cool people. who are just as idealistic as i am. and creative. and fun.

    and most importantly, ready to rock.

    i dont wanna jinx it – if that’s even possible – but this might just be the perfect fit.

    i told them some of the ridiculous things that i aspire to accomplish in the next few years

    and whereas others said, yeah no

    these people said, yes yes.

    i posted it on facebook and all my friends said yes yes too

    it was very sweet.

    then like a dozen new people followed me on twitter

    to be honest, today was a daze just like how you feel when you lose a job

    all day i was thinking, is this real? am i getting emotional?

    must. keep. it. together.

    i had a boss a while back, a genius, she said there are two type of people

    builders and maintainers.

    builders like to be places where there’s a thing, and it’s sorta new and they like to see if they can help it grow to be something spectacular.

    then theres people who like to enter when it’s fully grown and do it’s best to keep it strong and vital.

    she said, tony you’re a builder. build your crazy dr seuss kingdoms and get out when it feels like maintaining.

    and looking back, all the times when i wasn’t part of giant growth i was trying to find new ways to grow stuff, to make things, to put cool things on the map.

    amber has had to ask me twice now to say the website

    los angeleno, i said, like you. you are a native los angeleno

    and she was all, yes yes

    yes yes