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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Rutten’

LAT In 90 Seconds

More on Angler: Barton Gellman has been getting great traction for his book, Angler, about Dick Cheney‘s vice presidency. And for good reason. As Tim Rutten quotes in his positive review: “In Cheney’s estimation, a president’s authority was close to absolute within his rightful sphere.”

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O.J. And The Media. 2gether 4ever: Rutten has a decidedly less glowing review of how the media have fared since the first O.J. Simpson trial and the way they are conducting themselves now. “There’s nothing to be said about TMZ other than the fact that the people who run it are the informational equivalent of pimps and panderers. But what to make of Entertainment Tonight, which has a reasonable reputation, and of ABC News?”

42534645-23195046.gifGoogle Me Sometime: Google Inc. showed off G1, its iPhone rival, “a mass-market device with a sharp touch screen and slide-out keyboard that brings the experience of mobile Web surfing closer to that of a personal computer.”

LAT In 90 Seconds

259cc541.jpgEasy On The Top, Easy On The Sides And, Well, Just Easy: Steve Lopez increases his carbon footprint just to drive to Orange County and make fun of Republicans. People living up to their stereotypes are hi-sterical. Next week’s column: Lunch at Nate ‘n’ Al’s, where Lopez discovers Jews bicker a lot.

42058943.jpgPolice Academy: The LAPD wants production companies to start hiring off-duty active police officers (and not just guys in LAPD outfits) to work film sets. Hollywood is down on the idea, siting rising costs and red tape, but the real story here: Those guys who shut down freeway lanes and straddle their motorcycles in full cop regalia aren’t cops?! We’re so sneaking into George Clooney‘s dressing room.

dfasfaesegasgaf.jpgPalin Deserves Privacy — And So Does The Rest Of America: Tim Rutten‘s column about Sarah Palin is a must-read. A snippet: “The point is that the Palins were able to make all these decisions according to the dictates of their own consciences, formed by their own religious convictions, within the privacy of their own family and according to its values and traditions. What they decided is nobody’s business but theirs; the fact that they were free to arrive at their own decision is everybody’s business.”

LAT In 90 Seconds

ltuccillos.jpgHow to Be Successful: It seemed to us when He’s Just Not That Into You author Liz Tuccillo eschewed the chance to be a dating pundit that she was throwing away a shot at fame, fortune and permanent job security. Not so.

40100530-17171131.jpgNews to Her: The lede of Rachel Abramowitz‘s story today: “Here’s a news flash: The Rock is no more. It’s not even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson but merely Dwayne Johnson, plain vanilla, regular guy, would-be action-hero for the text-message set.” Um, Rachel. That hasn’t been news for, like, the better part of a year. Someone get this woman a subscription to Entertainment Weekly.

22136250-26152521.jpgSeriously? Tim Rutten says he thinks it would be a mistake to indict George Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes, saying trials “would be a profound — even tragic — mistake. Our political system works as smoothly as it does, in part, because we’ve never criminalized differences over policy. Since Andrew Jackson‘s time, our electoral victors celebrate by throwing the losers out of work — not into jail cells.” Interestingly, this paragraph comes nine graphs into a story that list many of the administration’s crimes.

Urban Slaughter Covered in LA Times

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The LA Times runs two op-ed columns that are seemingly on the same subject–the mean streets of the city.

Tim Rutten on gang violence and City Hall inertia. Thoughtful, ponderous, not a quotable word. And an obvious point:

Often, both assailant and victim are gang members.

Sara Catania, who teaches journalism , writes about the carnage and slaughter in LA streets. No, she’s not writing about the same subject; she’s writing about tree trimming.

While she doesn’t actually use the word holocaust, we bet she wanted to.

She’s been writing about this since 2000. Yes, DWP tree trimmers often do a terrible job and like a bad haircut, the hack job will grow out. Unlike this one.

The DWP will also give you a tree here. Will Catania give us our time back?

Tim Rutten on John Grisham, John Edwards and Post-Literate Fiction

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When the LA Times moved Tim Rutten away from the Calendar section, he got visiting privileges. He’s reviewing the latest John Grisham novel, The Appeal, and notes:

People who keep track of such things report that Grisham was the bestselling author of the 1990s, when readers bought more than 60 million of his books.

People who keep track of such things include Rutten’s own paper. Book publishing isn’t exactly an esoteric pursuit.

Grisham’s books sell very well, which is a problem for Rutten:

In the world of popular fiction, those sorts of numbers not only put you beyond the reach of conventional criticism, but they also obscure any purpose but brute commerce.

Brute commerce being a stumbling block for so many at the LA Times.

Is it possible that readers of the LA Times might also read John Grisham’s novels? He also works in a paean to John Edwards. We’d like to see that Venn diagram, please.

Anyway, Rutten likes the book, picks at the copyediting, and calls it “post-literate fiction”, which would be news to Yolande Villemaire. He means to say that Grisham is a good story-teller but not an especially good writer.

Tim Rutten Blames Sportswriters for Steroids in Baseball, Ignores Other Sports

Tim Rutten tut-tuts over the baseball steroid “scandal” and sportswriters who’ve ignored it. The dugout is a crack den, and little boys will be disappointed in their heroes. He writes:

ALCOHOL and drugs always have been a part of professional sports, but the latter usually were confined to painkillers, occasional amphetamines and quack hangover cures.

Maybe back in the good old days, Gramps, when the White Sox threw the series.

What professional atheletes don’t use performance enhancing drugs? Cyclists, tennis players, track and field? Swimmers? Football, hockey and even golf.

Rutten’s nostalgia-fueled outrage is almost touching, but ultimately, just one more example of his need to retire.

Try to Comment at LA Times Site–We Dare Ya!

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LA Times hell-hound Patterico invites all interested parties, (as it’s a rainy Friday, that’s everyone) to submit comments at the LA Times Readers’ Representative blog.

And why should you do so? Because, Patterico is pretty sure that the blog comments are very carefully screened, so that only happy talk can appear. The site’s disclaimer states:

All comments will be read and forwarded to the appropriate Times staffers. Those that touch on topics of wide interest or raise new aspects of the conversation will be posted.

Thus, Jamie Gold can figure that comments asking why Tim Rutten is still employed or who’s at fault for a screw-up will be considered not new enough for publication. She might represent the readers, but she’s paid by the LA Times.

The San Francisco Chronicle has been roundly criticized for a tricky little software maneuver that deletes critical comments, but allows the commenter think otherwise. Clear your cookies!

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Media Matters

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Tim Rutten is at the peak of his form today, castigating Dan Rather for being a buck passing whiner. Okay, Rutten put it more eloquently, but that’s the gist. LAT.

Mary McNamara critiques Rather’s performance on Larry King. It’s sad when King is the coherent one, isn’t it? McNamara has really hit her stride as a TV critic–maybe she had to let it out after years of writing suck-up celebrity interviews. LAT.

AFTRA is going after TMZ TV. Seems the tabloidy show didn’t want to pay union money, which explains the utter nobodies hired to host. TabloidBaby.

James Woods says Nicole Brown Simpson wanted to get cozy with him. Even if this is true, shut up! Do her kids need to know this? Page Six.

Katha Pollitt and Deborah Solomon have a hen-fest, during which Pollitt displays her ignorance about the rise of neighborhood nail salons. Don’t forget–when learning to drive, she admitted to not knowing anyone Asian. NYT.

Tim Rutten on Private Actions, Public Scrutiny re: Villaraigosa/Salinas

Tim Rutten gives the word from on high about the media and the mayor and the mistress.

Los Angeles mayors Sam Yorty and Tom Bradley were married men who had affairs, which never got into the papers because, even if City Hall reporters had been inclined to pursue the story, it would have been virtually impossible to make it conform to the standards their editors enforced.

Yes, back in the dear golden days of wordsmithery. The less charitable might think that those (nearly always male) editors were cronies and pals of those politicians, and would be glad to keep such secrets. After all, man’s life is his own affair, can’t go telling tales out of school, etc.

See Ben Bradlee and JFK and Mary Meyer.

See Ben Bradlee and JFK and Judith Exner:

Ben Bradlee has told us of his horrified astonishment at finding that Ms Exner knew all of the secret telephone numbers for contacting the President out of hours.

Read more

Wiener & Pals Recall the Good Old Days at the LA Weekly—It’s All Jill Stewart’s Fault

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In The Nation, Jon Wiener, the UCI prof and John Lennon expert, bewails the new era or rather the passing of the old era at the LA Weekly. He has reinforcements from Tim Rutten, Kevin Roderick, and Harold Meyerson, and to summarize: it’s all Jill Stewart’s fault.

Matt Welch, on book leave from the LAT, isn’t so sure about that or most of Wiener’s other assumptions. Bob Norman makes the point in a letter to Romanesko.

Wiener emailed Jill Stewart a pretty general question in March:

My basic question: the departure of Harold and your arrival seem to signal a major political shift in the paper. Is this correct?

And Stewart replied:

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