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Matthew Fleischer

LA Times Delivery Drivers Shot by LAPD Get $40,000 in Lieu of New Truck

Well, this was infinitely more complicated than it needed to be. After pumping 102 bullets into the truck of Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, during the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD volunteered to replace the truck, which the women used to deliver newspapers. When it came time to actually make good on its promise, however, the LAPD tried to force the women to pay the taxes on the new truck, claiming its hands were tied by the IRS.

According to the LA Times, the LAPD finally came to its senses yesterday and worked out a reasonable solution: give the women $40,000 so they can buy their own truck, and still afford to pay the relevant taxes.

The voluntary settlement still doesn’t prevent the pair from suing LAPD, particularly for shooting Hernandez twice in the neck. We’ll see if it will still buys the goodwill that it should have if it had been handled sensibly.

Reuters Social Media Editor Matthew Keys Indicted for Aiding Anonymous

OK, this is an odd one. Matthew Keys, a social media editor at Reuters and a former employee of the Tribune Company-owned Fox affiliate KTXL in Sacramento, has just been charged by the feds with helping Anonymous hack into the Tribune Company website in late 2010. More specifically, they are charging Keys with giving away log in keys to the Tribune website in an online chat room. Someone then took the log in data and used it to mess with the online version of an LA Times news story.

From the Times:

The indictment says Keys provided members of the hacker group Anonymous with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to KTXL FOX 40’s corporate parent, the Tribune Co.

According to the indictment, Keys identified himself on an Internet chat forum as a former Tribune Co. employee.

After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website.  According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Co. server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.

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Kevin Drum Celebrates 10 Years of Cat Blogging

Irvine’s own political blogger Kevin Drum fielded an AMA today on Reddit. Was he answering questions about his work at Mother Jones? Sequestration? Health care? Drone strikes? His Caltics days?

Ha! This is Reddit we’re talking about. No, cats and not news were the order of the day.

Says Drum:

Ten years ago, I took a picture of my cat and posted it on my blog. One thing led to another, and a few days later Friday Catblogging was born. Ten years later we’re celebrating its anniversary here on Reddit.

Indeed, the cat questions followed–including a rather salacious one involving tuna. We’ll let you sample that one for yourselves.

We personally were unaware of Drum’s role (ha!) in spreading metaphorical toxoplasmosis across the web. Now we are–and we’re shaking our fists grandpa-style in the general direction of Orange County (which we actually do regularly anyway).

Bill Simmons Suspended from Twitter by ESPN?

Deadspin says so. And its story makes a certain amount of sense.  Simmons hasn’t tweeted since Monday, which is wildly unexpected since he is both a Boston guy and an avid tweeter. The idea of Simmons voluntarily staying quiet on Twitter after one of the most popular athletes in Boston history, Wes Welker, signed with his Patriots’ rival AFC team, the Denver Broncos, is unthinkable.

Deadspin says Simmons’ recent Twitter criticism of ESPN’s angry-sports-talking-head-show First Take is what got him in trouble.

More from Deadspin:

An ESPN source told me that the tweets violated ESPN’s social media guidelines; Simmons was told to lie low for a few days. He hasn’t tweeted since Tuesday Monday, and he’ll apparently be allowed to return to Twitter tomorrow, making it a three-day hiatus. An ESPN spokesman declined comment, and Simmons didn’t respond to an email.

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Keith Olbermann and Current TV Finally Come to Settlement Terms

The Hollywood Reporter says that Current TV and Keith Olbermann have reached a settlement over his high-profile sacking last year. Not surprisingly, the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Olbermann and Current released a joint statement to the trade.

“The parties are pleased to announce that a settlement has occurred, and that the terms are confidential. Nothing more will be disclosed regarding the settlement.”

More from THR:

The move comes days after Olbermann filed extensive summary judgment motions (read in full) in advance of a May trial date in Los Angeles Superior Court. Olbermann claims he was improperly terminated without cause from his Countdown show a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with the network. He argues that Current and its co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt also trashed him in the press, used his name and image in connection with a commercial for AT&T and denied him editorial control over specific shows.

Newspaper Delivery Drivers Shot by LAPD Won’t Get New Truck

The LAPD PR-nightmare continues unabated. After mistakenly shooting more than 100 holes through the truck of Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, (who also took two bullets to the neck) during the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck apologized and promised to replace their truck.

The new truck, however, is apparently not going to happen, according to NBC4, who spoke with the pair’s attorney Glen Jonas.

According to Jonas, LAPD and Galpin Ford wanted his clients to pose for a photo opportunity and pay income tax on the truck. The women no longer want the truck after they were told they needed to fill out a 1099 form for the donation, Jonas said Monday.

“You tried to murder the woman, now you’re telling her she can’t have a four-wheel drive, you’re telling her she can’t sell it and you’ve got to be taxed on it?” Jonas said. “How would anyone react to that?”

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James O’Keefe Agrees to Pay $100,000 to Victim of ACORN Sting

It was the sting that made him a household name, but James O’Keefe is paying for it now. Wonkette reports that the Breitbart protege just agreed to pay $100,000 to former California ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera–who O’Keefe filmed without consent for his doctored pimps-and-hoes sting operation that helped shut down the community organizing group in 2010. You know the one.

Vera was fired after appearing in O’Keefe’s video, even though it later turned out that O’Keefe’s “investigation” into unethical ACORN activity had been edited to look far worse than it actually was.

From Wonkette:

According to a copy of the deal, obtained late last night by your wonkettes and viewable after the jump, O’Keefe has also agreed to ink an 11-word non-apology apology, that sources close to reality are calling “insincere” and “suuuuuuuch bullshit.”

According to the final 5-page agreement, signed by O’Keefe and his legal counsel Mike Madigan this past Tuesday, the boy detective now publicly “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.” O’Keefe and his counsel have also consented to fork over the $100,000 within 30 business days of the settlement agreement’s being signed.

Full settlement docs after the jump:

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KPFK Has Scabies

Yikes. LA Observed got a hold of an internal KPFK memo from general manager Bernard Duncan, alerting staff that one of their own had contracted bitey, bitey mites.

It begins:

We have been informed that a KPFK staff member has been diagnosed with and treated for scabies.

There is quite a bit of information available on the Internet about this condition – the following from WebMD, and should you wish, you are encouraged you to look further.

Scabies is a condition of very itchy skin caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin.

Scabies can affect people of all ages and from all incomes and social levels. Even people who keep themselves very clean can get scabies.

Blame the mite and not the victim. Very KPFK.

Read the rest of the memo here.

*A tipster suggests we change the name of this post to ScabieFK. Which made us laugh.

Jon Stewart to Go on Hollywood Hiatus

Don’t expect The Daily Show to keep you occupied this summer on those hot, concrete-baking nights. Deadline reports that Jon Stewart is taking a 12-week hiatus from the show to make his Hollywood directorial debut.

From Deadline:

Stewart has written the script, and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater. Bahari wrote the book with Aimee Molloy. Scott Rudin will produce with Stewart and Gigi Pritzker. Pritzker’s OddLot Entertainment is financing the film.

Daily Show fans should take solace in the fact that John Oliver will take over hosting duties for eight weeks this summer in Stewart’s stead. So stay strong. You can handle four weeks of re-runs.

Yahoo News Lands Rob Walker

Yahoo News just landed a pretty big name for its tech coverage. Longtime New York Times Magazine contributor and editor Rob Walker will be joining the site as its newest tech columnist.

Walker wrote the “Consumed” column for NYT Mag for seven years between 2004 and 2011 and created the Ad Report Card column for Slate.

We especially love his book Letters From New Orleans, however, which he published just before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Walker will report to Yahoo News deputy editor Chris Suellentrop.

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