By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Last week Mr. Mayor pronounced sentence on the “international anarchists” schooled in “strategies of destruction and guerrilla tactics” whom he expects to descend on Los Angeles for the Democratic National Convention. “Fair warning to all,” Richard Riordan said in an op-piece obligingly published in the Los Angeles Times. “The police will get tough when confronted with lawlessness.” Anarchists wielding tire irons won’t make L.A.’s finest “look unnecessarily brutal in counteracting them,” our fearless leader boasted. Rubber bullets and pepper spray, and who knows what else, will greet the merry mayhem. Seems the mayor can’t wait to crack some heads.
But hold on. Buried in his pugilistic proclamation — in which he also declared war on “nonviolent civil disobedience” — was a curious invitation. If you want “to see just how determined and organized these anarchists are . . . log on to http://www.D2kla.org.” We did, and what we found was a call to “join us in a series of marches, nonviolent direct actions and events . . . [which] will celebrate and renew our resistance to: corporate globalization, militarization, poverty, starvation, campaign-finance reform, sexism, racism . . .” Etc., etc., etc. Not one mention of how to shatter plate-glass windows without getting cut to ribbons or how to blockade a Burger King. In fact, if we didn’t know any better, we’d think this program had been purloined, with the occasional left-wing quibble, from the DNC party platform. So it kinda makes you wonder: Why, in the midst of battle, is the Republican mayor referring practically the entire (reading) public to the progressive agenda of his avowed adversaries? Is Richard Riordan a closet liberal? Is Mr. Businessman troubled by the inequitable distribution of wealth? We suspect the mayor secretly has a class conflict, but his office insists, “The mayor was talking about anarchists, but he used the web site simply to show how organized these groups are.” —Greg Goldin
A book review in the Los Angeles Timeslast week touted a coffee-table book titled Imagining Los Angelesas “an ambitious and even audacious effort at describing Los Angeles in all of its complexity and diversity through the medium of old-fashioned black-and-white photography.” Fair enough; we at OffBeat were intrigued to hear about a new volume that puts together archival newspaper images of such classic L.A. benchmarks as the Zoot Suit Riots, the Japanese internment and the 1936 Caltech student launch of one of the first controlled rocket flights.
Following the article from the front page of the Southern California Living section to the jump, however, we were surprised to see an advertisement for Imagining Los Angeles. On closer inspection, we were even more shocked to learn that the book’s publisher was none other than Los Angeles Times Books. The discriminating reader might have noted the name of the publisher in the review from longtime books contributor Jonathan Kirsch, albeit in a parenthetical note tucked inside a quote from Ray Bradbury. But Kirsch otherwise made no mention of the fact that he was being paid by the same company that hoped to make money off the book he was so lavishly praising. Nor did the review disclose that a formerTimes staffer, Carla Lazzareschi, was among Imagining Los Angeles’ four authors.
Well, we guess we were a little naive in thinking that the forced departure of Timesmen Mark Willes and Michael Parks would put an end to cheesy advertorials in the city’s monopoly daily. Granted, the book ad hardly rises to the level of the Staples Center profit-sharing debacle, which brought down the Willes regime. But the advereview does show that, even in the brave new era of Tribune Co. ownership and respected new editor John Carroll, the line between editorial and advertising at the Timesremains very thin indeed. At the very least, the wall between commerce and journalism is full of peepholes.
Bush's Little Brown One
A Latino Bush has emerged to help George W. take the White House. Nephew George Prescott Bush, 24, the son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Mexican-born wife, Columba, has hosted club events in Fresno, and was sent to woo young Latino voters in San Bernardino. Now, he is appearing in TV commercials in California and other key states, trying to convince Latino swing voters that his uncle cares about what his grandfather once referred to, memorably, as “the little brown ones.”
“I am a young Latino in the U.S. and very proud of my bloodline,” the sports-star-handsome, Spanish-speaking Rice University graduate says in one TV commercial. “I have an uncle that is running for president because he believes in the same thing: opportunity for every American, for every Latino . . . His name? The same as mine, George Bush.”
George P.’s Say It Loud, I’m Brown and Proud message, however, has caused some head scratching among former classmates at Rice in Houston, Texas. They recall undergraduate George P. as someone who steered clear of all things Latino.
“He [Bush] was never at any of our events nor did he hang out with any of us much,” says a Rice University student who belonged to the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice (HACER), the main Latino-student group on campus.
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