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Chuck Philips on Life After the LA Times

Pulitzer Prize winner Chuck Philips recently launched a personal blog called the Chuck Philips Post. Today, he shares the English-language translation of an interview he did last week with Spanish website SwaggaMusic.net.

One particular passage that caught FishbowlLA’s attention is Philips’ answer to the question – ‘In what aspects did your life change after leaving the LA Times:’

“Nobody would return my calls or emails. Nobody would give me the time of day. I lost my job, my hope, my faith. My mutherf*cking mind. Then, after about a year of unemployment, I said f*ck it, and decided to spend my savings on completing Big’s murder investigation. I solved it in 2009. Late in 2010, the money ran out.”

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Forbes Duo Ponder the $6 Billion LA NFL Question

For anyone running a professional sports league, this sure sounds like a good reason to take way longer than necessary to help the nation’s second biggest market reclaim a team (or two).

The observation comes courtesy of brand new Forbes contributors Henry DeVries and Tom Searcy. DeVries is assistant dean of continuing education at UCSD ; Searcy, a sales strategy expert based in Indianapolis. Together, they have also co-authored the upcoming book How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett: Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dealmaker. They write:

Since the NFL made an end run out of Southern California, 28 of the league’s 32 franchises have built new stadiums or renovated old ones at a total cost of $10 billion. Taxpayers covered $6 billion of that total… The threat of moving a franchise has gotten taxpayers to pay 60 percent of the tab for new and renovated stadiums in the last 18 years.

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WeHo News Editor Thanks Dorothy Lucey for Letting Him Keep Mascot*

We should all be so lucky as to get the kind of attention Dorothy Lucey has with her first blog item. Her recollection of a Good Day LA exec’s harsh personal put-down was quickly picked up last night by LA Observed and expanded upon today by our sister site TV Spy.

Some of the blog comments rolling in are equally noteworthy. Here for example is the feedback from WeHo News editor Ryan Gierach:

Personally, I must credit you (and GDLA) with giving me the greatest gift of my life. On an October morning four years ago, you were on air petting the dog that my husband Marcus Fant and I had picked from a picture on the Net the morning before as part of your daily adoption feature. We had already named him WeHo (yes, after our city and in honor of his mascot status for my newspaper, WeHo News).

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Award-Winning TheWrap Blogger Tastelessly Lowers the Bar

Nestled deep within TheWrap’s Hollyblogs network, Richard Stellar has made quite a name for himself. Earlier this spring, he claimed a pair of Southern California Journalism Awards from the LA Press Club for Best Weblog, Individual (tied with The Jewish Journal’s Danielle Berrin) and Best Facebook Presence by an Individual.

Which makes Sunday’s posting by Stellar all the more surprising. In a wildly miscalculated and deeply offensive argument, he suggests that the absence of Joan Rivers’ new book from Costco’s limited literary inventory puts the company on par with Nazi Germany. Never mind that only Rivers has suggested there was active censorship involved. Or the fact that because the chain carries such a tiny fraction of published books at any time, the notion that something not being sold is discriminatory borders on ridiculous.

The reader comments to Stellar’s August 12 item say it all. Here are just a few:

Baruch Ashem: I am contacting the Jewish Defense League and other media outlets regarding this article. I am simply aghast and appalled. How dare TheWrap publish this. I am (almost) speechless.

Arrowhead: Is this a hoax? This is a hoax, right?

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Village Voice Editor Shares Another Huge Scientology Scoop

Tony Ortega has done it again. Over the weekend, on his Scientology-focused blog Runnin’ Scared, the Village Voice editor-in-chief published a groundbreaking two-part interview with John Brousseau, a 32-year member who very methodically “blew” Hemet’s Int Base in 2010.

Ortega remains the church’s number one journalistic foe, tirelessly publishing scoop after scoop. But FishbowlLA figured that this latest Saturday-Sunday opus must rank pretty high on his list of feature articles. Via email, Ortega concurred.

“I think this is definitely one of my favorite four or five Scientology pieces I’ve ever done,” Ortega says. “And people are telling me it fills in some interesting gaps in the historical record, so that’s nice to hear.”

“I was talking to JB for more than a year,” he adds. “In February 2011, Larry Wright’s New Yorker piece described some of the work Brousseau had done for Tom Cruise, and then I actually put his photos of that work up (Marty Rathbun had already done that too). Then, over the last year JB helped me here and there with stuff and questions about people like Ann Tidman [link] and Shelly Miscavige [link].”

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Anonymous Blogger VFX Soldier Finally Does an Interview

Several major media outlets have been chasing after an interview with the anonymous author of the entertainment industry blog VFX Soldier. In the end, the proponent of unionizing visual effects workers and doing away with international production subsidies chose to give one to Bob Oedy, lead organizer with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Oedy says that if people within the film and TV industry knew who VFX Soldier was, they’d be “blown away.” The blogger chooses to remain anonymous to avoid being blackballed and told Oedy his biggest media moment came earlier this spring:

“The topic that garnered the most response were my posts dedicated to recent statements made to investors by Digital Domain CEO John Textor. In candid recordings he told investors that he hoped to open schools where the government would give him grants and [VFX] students would pay him tuition so they could work on some of the projects they intend to make money off of. What caused the most outrage was when he declared, ‘Free labor is better than cheap labor.’”

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IMDb Puts Erroneous John August Projects in Turnaround

Screenwriter John August is now a member of a very privileged group: people listed on IMDb who have managed to get the Seattle behemoth to respond full-throttle to notifications of erroneous info.

In his blog post, August suggests that IMDb’s quick action might have had something to do with the fact that other even bigger names were also tangled into the mess of two short films he never touched:

I suspect some higher-up at IMDb paid attention, because the other writers who had been listed (including Joss Whedon) are also now unlinked. But the same director is still drafting on credits for other filmmakers. IMDb has corrected one mistake, but not their system.

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TheOatmeal.com Turns Attempted Shakedown Into Charity Fundraiser

Imagine a website uses your copyrighted material without permission or attribution, refuses to remove all your work after you complain, and encourages their users to troll you. You might be tempted to sue, but you wouldn’t expect to get sued, right?

But that’s what FunnyJunk.com did to Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal. Because Inman wrote a blog post complaining about his copyrighted work being posted on FunnyJunk, the humor website is threatening to sue him for slander. Their lawyer sent a letter demanding $20,000 in damages. Inman, naturally, created a webcomic out of it. A (properly attributed) excerpt:

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Jerry Stahl Blogs the Birth of His Daughter

Author and screenwriter Jerry Stahl been chronicling the final month of his girlfriend’s pregnancy over at The Rumpus, calling himself the “OG Dad.” That’s OG for Old Guy, which may sound harsh for a man of 58, but as Stahl explains, when his new daughter is 12, he’ll be 70.

The blogging culminated Thursday with an account of the birth of his daughter, as gritty and raw as you’d expect from the author of Permanent Midnight. Fans of the junkie memoir will recall that when Stahl’s first child was born, he was high on black tar heroin. But two decades of clean living later, Stahl is sober enough to observe every excruciating moment of his girlfriend’s labor:

I’m at my post, by the head of the bed, mopping E’s brow with a weirdly scrapey washrag. The doctor glances up at me. “HERE SHE COMES! Come on Daddy, do you want to see?”

And without thinking, I leave the head of the bed and stagger to the foot, where, before I can blink, I see some kind of long black probe protruding from E’s savaged vagina. “Jesus fuck! What is that? An antenna!?”

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Style Bloggers Share Struggles with LA Weekly

Once viewed largely as amateur competition, fashion and beauty bloggers are being embraced by mainstream media. Women’s magazines increasingly use bloggers as freelance writers and stylists, and Lucky magazine has taken that symbiotic relationship one step further with their Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference, held for the first time on the west coast this past April.

But as LA Weekly pop culture critic Gendy Alimrung learned from attendees, style blogging success can come with the pressures of a career, minus the paycheck.  Lauren Wickman of L.A. in the bay described the 25 hours a week she spends blogging as an unpaid third job. Stephanie Liu, who runs the popular blog Honey & Silk, devotes not just time to her blog but emotional energy:

She doesn’t depend on it for income (traffic at that rate earns her a monthly $50-$100 or, as she says, “a dinner”), but the blog is always on her mind.

“I’m not gonna lie,” she says. “There is pressure.”

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