LA Weekly's Top 11 News Stories of 2011
And here we thought 2010 was a sexy one for Los Angeles.
Our most popular news stories in 2011 make last year's fare -- alleged John Travolta sightings at a gay spa, Vegas broads who sell sex to make rent -- look wholesome by comparison. Los Angeles was a blur of nude pics and racy murders these last 12 months, and yes, we wrote all about it.
Here are LA Weekly's top 11 news stories of the year, by measure of web traffic. Nostalgia, ultra:
11. "Give Sodomy a Chance"
By Paul R. Abramson and L.J. Williamson
This lawyerly entry in LA Weekly's big wintertime sex issue raised all the right questions about our right (or non-right) to fornicate when, and how, we wish. It brought in more readers, somehow, than the UCLA sex survey and Sailor Moon/giant bunny photo shoot combined.
To be clear, sodomy law refers to either oral or anal sex. It would be a bleak day if Congress made the eradication of the backdoor and the blow job a priority over war, economic upheaval and environmental disasters, but that's beside the point. The bigger question is, does sex, sodomy included, warrant constitutional protection?
Even bigger question: Does the Ninth Amendment cover cartoon characters? What about furries?
Star Foreman/LA Weekly
By Chris Vogel
In a federal lawsuit against 843 "John Does" who uploaded "1 Night in Paris" to the Internet -- identified only by their IP addresses -- XPays, the company who inherited Hilton's swan song from Rick Salomon, made a somewhat laughable attempt to uphold sex-tape copyright in the digital age.
Not only does the company claim it has lost lots of money, it also says in the lawsuit that such illegal distribution of the sex tape allows minors to "download adult entertainment content without being subject to the age verification process that most adult content-providers require."
See, it's not just all about the money. It's about the children.
Hef's little cash cow.
By Simone Wilson
Playboy recently announced that its current Lindsay Lohan-does-Marilyn issue is setting new sales records for the company. Even though we only posted two photos as a preview -- and later took them down, at Playboy's request -- this measly post on the leak of Lohan's big "classy" comeback shot into the year's top stories in a matter of weeks. Guess everyone really wanted to see Venice Beach's hottest mess without clothes on. Go figure.
The way Playboy king Hugh Hefner is Tweeting this thing up, you'd think the Lohan photo leak was orchestrated to hype the issue.
Even if this isn't a PR stunt, it's doing great things for a dying icon. Hell, Playboy hasn't gotten this much buzz since L.A. County health officials found pneumonia in the grotto.
By Simone Wilson
L.A. City Hall hypocrisy, exemplified. Political skeptics over at Drudge flocked this post to rip our elitist mayor to shreds for ordering the king's men to erect a barrier between him and the people -- after rising to office on a "bridges not walls" platform, no less. Good riddance.
Indeed, we're having trouble thinking of a single instance in which the mayor was subjected to some danger that the rest of Los Angeles hasn't been subjected to as well.
Oh right -- librarians and city workers with picket signs. Scary stuff, really: In April, the library folk went so far as to sit on the mayor's lawn, where they brought out the big guns -- BOOKS -- and read them aloud to children.
Nothing a blighty "F y'all" wall can't fix!
By Dennis Romero
Apparently not understanding that women are totally turned off by penis pics, nor understanding what can happen to these things in the 21st century wifi-sphere (especially with bloodthirtsy bloggers like Andrew Breitbart around), U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner made the fateful mistake of sending this cock shot to one of his online victims. Forgive us for a second time:
Creative angle, at least.
Fred Noland/LA Weekly
By Chris Vogel and Simone Wilson
When ex-LAPD Detective Greg Kading told us he had been sitting on documents and tapes that could potentially solve the Tupac and Biggie murders, we knew this would get big. But after listening to hours of Compton gangster "Keffe D" talk about Sean "Puffy" Combs and his alleged pledge of $1 million for Tupac's head, the gravity of the evidence really sunk in. So why didn't the LAPD follow up on that confession? Nor give an explanation, in recent months, for dropping Detective Kading's investigation? We smell a coverup.
A barrel-chested black man with a front tooth missing, relaxed yet instinctively cautious, is seated across from four spellbound cops in a glass-walled conference room at 8200 Wilshire Blvd.
This is not the first time a gangster has done business at this Beverly Hills office building. It once served as the bullet-riddled headquarters of the now-defunct Death Row Records, run by Bloods with a strict policy of never talking to cops. But for Duane "Keffe D" Keith Davis, a shot caller for the Southside Crips, it now happens to be his lawyer's office. And on this surreal morning on Dec. 18, 2008, Keffe D is going to snitch.
By Simone Wilson
Like with the Lohan leak, we have our suspicions that the UCLA racist rant heard 'round the world was a genius publicity stunt. But that doesn't detract from the love-to-hate-her charm of UCLA bimbo Alexandra Wallace, who made for SEO gold by dropping "tsunami" bombs amid the crisis in Japan (and leaving a steamy Internet trail of bikini pics).
By Dennis Romero
Turns out March was a big month for shameful college behavior in Los Angeles. Just a couple weeks after "Asians in the Library" drew bad press for UCLA, USC just had to one-up its rival campus with a fratty rooftop bone, beautifully photographed by a dorm voyeur next door.
By Simone Wilson
We had no idea, when L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky dropped the word "Carmageddon" on news radio last June, that it would soon break all previous hype records for a city construction project. Though the two-day closure of the world's busiest freeway made for a different kind of apocalypse in the end -- the carless, desolate, "28 Days Later" kind -- that's likely because of the unprecedented amount of press and paraphernalia surrounding the thing. You're welcome, Metro, for turning a useless, expensive undertaking and potential traffic nightmare into the most pleasant, PR-friendly weekend in recent L.A. history. (Aside from those damn helicopters.)
"We'll be landlocked and isolated," San Fernando Valley resident Gerald Silver tells the LA Daily News today. "We're going to Ralphs early, stocking up and not leaving the house for two days."
Sadly, that's not an option for those who planned their summer tours of Los Angeles over a month in advance (as your average non-backpacker/Euro bum tends to do). Instead of the usual hour-long commute between attractions, annoying yet tolerable (and so authentic!), mid-July visitors can expect apocalyptic traffic mayhem ... for their entire weekend stay. And the Getty, one of the city's biggest draws, is out of the postcard completely.
Brunch on the 405: The only semi-world-ending thing that happened on Carmageddon.
Jesse Glucksman/Team Tiger Awesome
By Simone Wilson
The tragic, unthinkably brutal rape of TV journalist Lara Logan was a shadow on the victory of Egyptian protesters this year. When we collaged her history with the sex-hungry media into a report on her sexual assault -- and called it what it was: rape -- commenters (and, uh, CNN) went into a rage. In case you missed it, here is our far less trafficked, far more important followup on her ordeal.
1. "Porn Machete Murder"
By Michael Albo
B-list porn star Stephan Hill, with the machete, in the studio.
Porn. Machete. Murder. Where could this story go wrong?
Porn actor Stephen Clancy Hill had reason to be tense as he sat inside a Van Nuys production house late on the evening of June 1. He was about to lose his crash pad.
Hill had lived at the porn studio for nearly a year in exchange for performing menial tasks and, occasionally, landing fleeting parts in the "fem-dom" movies it produces. But the owner thought Hill exhibited strange behavior. He wanted the bit-part actor to move out.
Late that evening, Hill found himself alone inside a 900-square-foot room with studio manager Christopher Rachal, whose tasks now included getting the 34-year-old actor to leave. Hill sat on a couch, repeatedly and obsessively watching a battle scene from director Ridley Scott's violent swords-and-religion epic Kingdom of Heaven. He pestered Rachal to join him in watching the DVD.
Rachal didn't want to be sociable. "I was trying to get him out," he recalls.
Finally, Rachal relented and crossed to the couch. As he neared, Hill "reached behind his back and came up with a machete," Rachal says.
Just you try and stop reading.
So there you have them -- the pervy politicians, ignorant blondes and myriad sexy bits that drove your mice in 2011. This year, for the first time, the LA Weekly's oft-juicy news blog largely surpassed print stories in page views. (On the one hand, that probably means newspapers are dying, but on the other, makes the online future of journalism look pretty bright.) We'd say we expected more of you, but we're well acquainted with the delicate line between news wire and gossip rag.
Fuck guilty pleasures, right? Here's to an even porn-machete-murder-ier 2012.
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