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Interesting LA Times Paragraph of the Day

CAMERA Questions LAT Designation of Gaza Clash Victim as ‘Palestinian Journalist’

On Monday, as part of a report about the latest violence in the Middle East, LA Times Jerusalem bureau chief Edmund Sanders wrote the following:

Among the dead was Ramez Harb, a Palestinian journalist. Israel said he was a legitimate target because he served in the information department of Islamic Jihad.

On Tuesday, a blogger for Boston-based watchdog the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) challenged the designation of the victim as a “journalist:”

The Los Angeles Times does it again. Last month it transformed a slain Hamas gunman into a “Palestinian man.” Today Sanders transforms a slain top Islamic Jihad commander into “a Palestinian journalist…”

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Classical KUSC President Dismisses Disastrous Arbitron Ratings

Per Mike Boehm of the the LA Times, in this corner we have KUSC 91.5 FM president Brenda Barnes. She thinks that latest Arbitron figures, which show a 63% drop in “core listeners” since 2009, fail to take into proper account the college-graduate demographic.

In the other corner, there is Arbitron spokesman Thom Mocarsky. He stands by the figures for the period ending October 10 and says that if anything, the college-grad tier has been previously over-represented.

While Barnes deflected these numbers via email and KUSC’s total individual donor totals have actually increased from 2011 to 2012, a former employee hints the president may in fact be aware of what Arbitron is reporting:

Kimberlea Daggy, a veteran KUSC host who lost her afternoon weekday slot over the summer, said that when Barnes told her she was being let go on July 20, she cited drooping ratings and drops in donations. “I was told that the station had lost half its listeners and a million dollars in the last year,” Daggy said.

Barnes said the station doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

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CNN Anchor’s Twitter Spat Explanation Offends the Hotel ‘Help’

It was bad enough when CNN anchor Don Lemon engaged in a weird little Twitter spat with actor Jonah Hill over what he felt was a rude exchange with the actor in a hotel lobby. But the Atlanta newsman may now need to apologize to hotel service staff everywhere.

While trying to explain himself to Soledad O’Brien on CNN’s Starting Point, Lemon said that Hill “treated him like the [hotel] help…” In the comments to an LA Times Show Tracker report, hotel staffer jerandolph had this to say:

Your Royal Highness Lemon -

Sooooo… Mr. Hill – I mean, Jonah – treated you as The Help, eh? As a three-decade veteran of The Help at my hotel, I have a question: What are we??? The lowest form of life??? And, furthermore, if what he did to YOU was not appropriate – then why would it be alright to treat US is such a manner???

The Lowly Help

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Kooky Howard Hughes Rumor Flickers Anew at Las Vegas Neon Museum

John M. Glionna has a fun look in the LA Times at Las Vegas’ newest attraction, the Neon Museum, which officially opened over the weekend. Located downtown, the non-profit offers guided tours Tuesdays through Saturdays for a minimum suggested donation of $15.00.

The Neon Museum will rank as must-see for many LA visitors the next time they hit the Strip. Among the attractions is this one as highlighted by Glionna:

Outside the museum sits the refurbished silver slipper that legend says once spooked Howard Hughes. The billionaire reportedly suspected the slipper that revolved outside the Silver Slipper casino was being used as a government surveillance ploy because it often paused momentarily, pointing at his Desert Inn penthouse. (Some say Hughes just didn’t like the sign’s light shining in his window, but he eventually bought the casino and slipper, which he had filled with concrete.)

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Playboy Deputy Editor Ponders Hollywood Trades Love Match

Stephen Randall (pictured) has been on staff with Playboy for a long time. To put it in Nikki Finke terms, when the current deputy editor first started at the magazine, she was in her late twenties and in the middle of a brief marriage to attorney Jeffrey W. Greenberg.

This weekend, Randall takes humorous stock in the LA Times of the acquisition of Variety by Finke’s boss Jay Penske. While the op ed by this third-generation Angeleno is not entirely successful, Randall ends on a serious and very salient note:

Executives in Hollywood are in a shrinking business. They want to be important, but they increasingly aren’t. Important people have powerful enemies, and Hollywood has two dying trades and a handful of bloggers…

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Researcher Takes Issue with LA Times Chick-fil-A Coverage

Following up her initial report about some sloppy MSM reporting that suggested Chick-fil-A “had decided to cease donations to “anti-gay” groups,” consumer research specialist Anne Sorock today retraces the week’s full sequence of events. It’s not pretty.

On Tuesday, Chicago’s Civil Rights Agenda put out a press release claiming that its efforts in concert with local Alderman Moreno had led the chain to “cease anti-gay donations.” On Wednesday, much media coverage followed, followed by a Thursday clarification from Chick-fil-A:

For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.

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Innovative AT&T Web Series a Big Hit with Asian Americans

The key takeaway from Meg JamesLA Times article about a successful campaign created for AT&T by Long Beach firm InterTrend Communications comes four paragraphs down:

“The subculture is actually becoming the mass culture,” explained Julia Huang, InterTrend’s founder and chief executive. “The people who are watching Web series … are actually leading the way of how media is consumed and how the culture is shaped.”

InterTrend was hired to connect AT&T with a demographic that has been found to watch twice as many Web videos as any other ethnic American group. The result was the English-language Away We Happened, an interactive YouTube soap opera that has racked up more than 10 million views. The drama focuses on a young couple played by Sacramento actor Victor Kim and Internet personality Jen Frmheadtotoe.

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USC Bans Reporter from Trojans Game, Practices*

In August, USC promised to punish any journalist who passed on strategy or injury-related news garnered via the football practice sidelines. This week, they have put their money where their pigskin is. Or have they?

Per a report in the LA Times, Daily News sportswriter Scott Wolf has been barred from two weeks’ worth of Trojans practices and a September 22 home game for reporting that place kicker Andre Heidari (pictured) underwent surgery last week. Even though Wolf’s report does not cite a practice source:

“From our standpoint, Scott was doing his job,” Los Angeles Newspaper Group sports editor Gene Warnick said. “This wasn’t something that was part of practice. We were just trying to report the news.” A USC athletic department spokesperson declined to comment.

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Burt Bacharach Composes Touching Hal David Tribute

There’s no better way to remember the late songwriter Hal David (pictured) than through the eyes and ears of the composer who worked closely with him for all those years. Burt Bacharach’s fond reminiscences, posted online last night and adorning the front page of today’s LA Times Calendar section, wonderfully capture the pair’s professional highs and lows.

Bacharach begins by mentioning some early collaborations that never saw the light of radio day. He then takes responsibility for their major falling out:

The big bump — a disagreement that arose during the failed attempt to remake the film Lost Horizon as a musical — was most unfortunate. Hal and I didn’t speak for 10 years except through our lawyers, and I will take the count for that one — my fault. What we might have written in those 10 years we’ll never know.

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Ira Glass, Movie Producer

A few years ago, NPR’s This American Life highlighted comedian Mike Birbiglia’s struggles with sleepwalking. This summer, that report has morphed into the semi-autobiographical feature comedy Sleepwalk with Me, produced and co-written by show host Ira Glass. The film opened in New York last week and expands tomorrow to LA’s Nuart Theatre and several other cities.

As Glass and his star tell LA Times reporter Amy Kaufman, there was a key difference between the radio and film production processes. The decibel level:

“We turned a corner where you felt comfortable shouting at me,” Birbiglia said. “And vice versa,” Glass added with a smile.

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