In city halls and state houses across the country, politicians often have a thing called “clipping” services. It's something that culls all of the headlines from print and digital media — newspapers and blogs — in a neat package so, say, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can quickly get a beat of what's happening in the city he serves.
Every week, for example, Villaraigosa and his mayoral staff receive in their email boxes something called “community clips,” which provides select articles about “public safety,” “political” news, and “community” news. This week, L.A. Weekly obtained a copy hot off the presses, as it were, and news about an outlandish video that spoofs the mayor's work habits took the top slot for clips the mayor and his staff should most definitely read, pronto.
Under the baffling banner of “commmunity” news, the headline of a post from the blog LAist.com blares into the eyes of Villaraigosa and his staffers: “Holy Satire! Over the Top Villaraigosa Spoof Video Hits YouTube.”
Then there's a link to the actual post, with LAist editor Zach Behrens noting that “(if) you follow local politics, this video should make you laugh. The L.A. Weekly finds it was based on a story of theirs from last year where they concluded that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was the 11% mayor.
Despite all that the video pokes fun at, the city is still here and the
crime rates are down. Still, what's up with the million trees?”
While we congratulate Behrens and LAist for taking top billing in this week's “community clips,” we would dispute his notion that everything is hunky, dory in LA … just read Jill Stewart's news story on the exit of LAPD chief Bill Bratton in the current issue of L.A. Weekly or Mayor Sam's tough coverage of the city or Ron Kaye's justified populist outrage about City Hall chicanery on his blog.
But it's always interesting to see that the L.A. Weekly feature story Behrens mentions, titled “The All-About-Me-Mayor,” continues to dog Villaraigosa … now almost one year after it was first published last September. It's also interesting that the top news item in “community clips” isn't actually about the community, but the mayor himself. Interesting, but not surprising.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.