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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Times’

Los Angeles Times Writer ‘Screws’ Up Reporting Job for a Source


We understand. Before the fall, you just get crapped on.

Meet Jason Felch. 

He was a star investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A guy whose credits stood on their own. That is, before he was “dismissed” after editors discovered he had an inappropriate relationship with someone who was a source for a front-page story that the newspaper says contained an error.

A double screw job, me thinks… *golf clap*

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Idiot on Twitter Arrested Because Shooting People Is Cool for Retweets

This story from the Los Angeles Times, sent to me by our fearless leader, really intrigued me for two reasons.

1. See what trends begging for retweets will get you?

2. In what back-asswards universe would anyone think this was a good idea?

What are we discussing? Meet Dakkari Dijon McAnuff, a 20-year-old dunderhead whose parents shouldn’t have been allowed to breed because of their choice of made-up first names and fancy condiments for middle names.

This jackleg fool thought he would capitalize on current trends and beg for retweets, “100 RT’s (Re-Tweets) and I’ll shoot someone walking.” Social media goes crazy and McAnuff was traced to his residence at the 700 block of 9th Street and promptly arrested (with an air rifle), the Times says.

He is being held on suspicion of making criminal threats and being a dumb@$$. His bail has been set at $50,000. Let’s hope he has 10 cents to his name.

Chinese Investor Wants to Buy WSJ Now Because He’s ‘Very Good at Working with Jews’


After failing in his attempt to buy The New York Times, China’s most awkward billionaire has now set his sights on The Wall Street Journal (and some bridge in California, too).

Chen Guangbiaodescribed by the South China Morning Post as a “recycling tycoon” who’s also one of the 400 richest people in the world’s largest country—really wanted to make the NYT his own before that “bid” was “undone by media attention.

He’s not done yet, though; he has some terrible quotes to entertain and amuse us all!

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Bloggers Slam Martha Stewart’s Food Porn Cred

Remember when Martha Stewart was like “bloggers are not ‘experts,’ but I hope they write about me anyway” and we were like “that is a very dumb thing to say?”

Last night Los Angeles Times blogger Jenn Harris got her revenge by mocking Stewart’s attempts to create food porn. Her headline?

Martha Stewart takes the worst food photos, ever

“Martha Stewart, the domestic goddess who can supposedly cook, decorate and get herself into and out of pleasant jail, can’t seem to operate her camera phone and take a decent food photograph to save her life.”

It was as bloggy as a blog can be—she even presented the offending photos in gallery form! But her points are valid. This salad, for example, looks like it just can’t deal anymore.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 5.31.47 PM

Stewart later defended the same meal, writing:

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Does Antonio Villaraigosa’s Edelman Gig Conflict with His Herbalife Gig?

It's just a question.

Yesterday’s announcement that former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would join Edelman to advise clients on public policy was interesting on its own, but one detail made it more so: last month the infamous “nutritional products company” Herbalife also hired him as an adviser.

This fact creates a conflict of interest, because venture capitalist Bill Ackman recently hired Edelman to help publicize his accusations that Herbalife is an illegal pyramid scheme in which the vast majority of paying members lose money. Both Villaraigosa and an Edelman spokesman say no such conflict exists, but we don’t see how that could be true considering that the most valuable advice Herbalife could receive from anyone right now concerns escaping the shadow of Ackman’s very public campaign (which, again, is managed by Edelman).

Ackman’s hardly the only one pressing Herbalife: while Villaraigosa praised the company for its “strong presence within the Latino community” when he took the job in September, several major Black and Latino advocacy groups recently called upon California’s attorney general to investigate its supposed misdeeds more thoroughly. In defense of Villaraigosa, Edelman’s global public affairs spokeswoman Katie Burke told the Los Angeles Times that he’s “not coming on board for any specific client or project”, which reads like a classic case of obfuscation.

At any rate, we wouldn’t put money on Herbalife if we had it.

Dunkin’ Donuts Didn’t Look So Great in Blackface

Well, then: welcome back to the grind. We hope your hangover isn’t too harsh—and if it is you can just chug some Pedialyte.

So what happened over the long weekend? To start it all off, Dunkin’ Donuts hung its head and apologized for August’s biggest facepalm moment, a “bizarre and racist” ad starring an actress in blackface. This story makes a little more sense when you consider the fact that the spot ran in Thaliand, where CEOs and creative departments are all apparently a little loopy (and racist).

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NBC Uses News Shows to Promote Sitcoms

NBC's 1600 PennVia our sister site TVNewser, we bring you an ethics debate: NBC has now used its “editorial” news shows Rock Center, Today and Meet the Press to promote its upcoming White House sitcom 1600 Penn. (Well, OK, it was the Meet the Press web channel if you want to get all technical, but the clip will still appear on some affiliates.)

We understand the network’s need to go all out to promote its newest property. Now that The Voice is over, NBC is pretty much guaranteed to drop back into its perennial loser status among the big networks.

Still, we have to ask: is the network crossing a line by hyping the show on its supposedly serious editorial programs? Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times thinks so:

To be sure, the idea of media companies making use of their platforms to advertise their own assets and personalities is nothing new. ABC’s Good Morning America has no qualms about using its valuable time to talk about Dancing With the Stars.

But NBC is becoming the most aggressive in doing this and if it continues it could harm the credibility of its news division.

Crazy idea, but maybe news programming should be kept to news.

What do we think? Does NBC risk harming the credibility of its news division with this kind of everywhere-all-at-once promotion? What’s their marketing team so afraid of, anyway?

Massive PR Fail: Boy Scouts Hid Reports of Child Abuse

Looks like the Boy Scouts of America has a huge PR headache on its hands thanks to the investigative powers of the Los Angeles Times. While the group remains committed to excluding gay men from its ranks, its doesn’t seem to know how to deal with accused child molesters. We would advise leaders to turn to the Catholic Church for advice on what not to do over the coming weeks and months, but after reading the Times report we feel like they’ve already got that covered.

The Times accessed files stretching from the 70’s to the 90’s and uncovered a very disturbing trend in which the BSA’s PR interests clearly took precedence over its responsibility for the kids in its care. Hundreds of child abuse accusations were shelved, ignored or covered up. The story, first uncovered in August, will only get worse.

In 500 cases, officials learned of alleged abuses from staffers, parents, anonymous tipsters or the boys themselves before they were relayed to law enforcement authorities. 400 of these cases were never reported at all—and members of the Boy Scouts of America “actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it” in at least 100 of them. Why? To “protect the reputation of the Scouts”, of course. That didn’t work so well, though: At least 50 men were expelled for alleged abuse only to return to scouting and face further charges of improper sexual activity.

This is very bad–to say the least. So how did it happen?

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Is ‘Organic’ Food a PR Scam?

First the big news: A recent study performed by the Stanford University School of Medicine found “little evidence of health benefits from organic foods.” Let that one sink in for a minute.

Are those organic apples and peppers for which you fork over twice as much of your precious salary really no better than the perfectly shiny “modified” variety? After reviewing more than 237 relevant papers, the Stanford study’s senior author concluded that “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health.”

Wow. Color us slightly shocked. Researchers found that, while the consumption of organic produce did limit exposure to potentially toxic pesticides, organic foods were generally not more nutritious and did not “carry fewer health risks” than their non-organic brethren—and FDA-approved “organic” foods aren’t 100% pesticide-free either! Researchers were, by their own admission, “a little surprised” by these results.

This study amounts to a big PR challenge for companies that base their sell on the health benefits of all things organic, since it pretty much relegates their claims to the land of unproven marketing doublespeak.

Wait a minute, though: the Los Angeles Times takes issue with the study’s conclusions.

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A Brief Comment on ‘Honey Boo Boo’

We don’t like to think of ourselves as moralists. We understand that people often act in their own self-interests and that publicity—and the money it sometimes brings—can inspire otherwise rational individuals to behave in…questionable ways. We also understand very well that, in business, the success of one’s client is paramount (as long as no ethical lines are crossed).

But on hearing that “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” has become a runaway hit for TLC (an acronym which thankfully no longer stands for “The Learning Channel”), and reading a Los Angeles Times post in which “Jersey Shore” creator SallyAnn Salsano expresses regret that she did not produce the show herself, we had to voice our disbelief. Surely we can all do better than this:

PR pros: Have you worked with clients whose antics you find distasteful? What are your thoughts on the “Toddlers and Tiaras” phenomenon? Do you share our belief that someone somewhere should be very ashamed?