Hit and Runs? Readers Are Still Talking About L.A.'s Epidemic

He Hit, They Run

Nope, we won't stop talking about hit-and-runs! Three weeks after the Weekly's Simone Wilson first exposed the magnitude of the city's problem ("Hit-and-Run Epidemic," Dec. 7), our writers (and readers) continue to explore the issue.

This week, readers responded to Jessica P. Ogilvie's Dec. 21 story, which told the tale of Marvin Rinnig, who tracked down a hit-and-run driver only to get burned by the family that had promised a $10,000 reward ("Hit-and-Run Reward No-Show").

Quinntense writes, "I want to start off by commending both Marvin Rinnig and L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz. Without the former, this case would likely not have been solved. Without the latter, there would have been less media coverage and, thus, less chance to get Mr. Rinnig's attention.

"That said, I resent two implications put forth by the article/writer: the idea of Rinnig as a victim, and the argument that Koretz — and, by association, Los Angeles government as a whole — has any responsibility for the actions of a third party (i.e. the victim's family, the Zelmans). The Zelmans are the people — the ONLY people — who owe Zelman the $10,000.

"Rinnig is NOT a victim. I do not feel sorry for him, nor do I care that he 'needs the money.' We all need money. Millions of people in Los Angeles have rent to pay. The more the writer keeps trying to position Rinnig as a victim — 'My apartment is going to condo'? Boo-freaking-hoo, ever consider moving? — the more I question the need for this story to even see print."

MiltonWah believes Ogilvie didn't do Rennig any favors in her telling of his tale. "Somehow, a whiff of misrepresentation emerges from between the pages of this tale's portrayal of the good Samaritan–cum–shakedown artist intent on prying $10K from the Kleenex-clutching hands of comatose valet's mother. Is it fair, this portrayal of our complicated hero? I sense there is earnest goodness in this man, moreso than what emerges in the spirited and, yes, captivating copy."

Our Darkest Hour

Several readers also questioned Scott Foundas' review of Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, finding it too willing to excuse torture ("Raiders of Abbottabad"). "'Call it torture if you must'?" writes reader Mattcornell0. "Really, Scott? You don't know whether to call it torture?"

Steve Barr agrees. "I'm surprised that a critic as good as Scott Foundas has, like a lot of other film critics, been taken in by the tag team of Boal and Bigelow," he writes. "First he thinks the torture shown was effective. I guess after senators Feinstein, Levin and McCain, followed by the acting director of the CIA, poured water on that (pun intended), he must feel like a fool. Also, if he thought that the London subway scene or the CIA base attack was gripping, he either didn't see it coming like I did, or never read newspaper accounts of both events. Either way Zero Dark Thirty has to be one of the most overpraised films in years."

You Write, We Read

Please send letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or write us at Full name and contact info preferred.

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