31 July 2008

If You Want Local Coverage, Best Go 5437.37 Miles Away . . .

Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police, William Bratton, proving that you can take the boy out of Boston, but you can't take the Boston out of the boy, stepped in it with his comments regarding the attempts to pass a new anti-paparrazi law.

I happen to agree with him that a new law isn't needed to protect celebs from the actions of over zealous paps, just enforce any existing laws that these idiots break while trying to get a shot should do the trick.

(I don't agree that Lindsay Lohan's gayness or not gayness has anything to do with anything he's talking about, or Britney's relative sanity and clothedness level at any given moment while in public)

But I want to point out that, the LAT just has one blog post, nothing in the actual paper, and yet the Daily Mail over in London has a full article, with background info.

Most of the LA City Council are asses (actually, I take that back, ALL of them are, sorry for any confusion my first statement may have caused), but Dennis Zine is especially asseriffic, so it's nice to see at least one paper singling out his douche-baggery for comment, even if it doesn't make it into the actual local paper of record for Los Angeles. And I say that even though he's one of two Republicans on the council, an ex-LAPD seargant, and most likely much closer to my own views on most subjects than any other council member. Despite all that, a tool is a tool, is a tool, even if that tool happens to agree with some of my own personal political philosophy.

So this post isn't really about City Council douchebaggery, rather this is about the LA Times utter lameness. If Sam Zell wants to make money with that rag, he should get tabloid-y with it, emulate the Daily Mail, the NYPost, and the Sun, and go ahead and actually cover the gossipy crap that is happening in their own back yard. Also, a Page 3 girl would be nice, if any city in the United States is ready for exposed nipples in their daily paper, it's Los Angeles.


The LAT did cover the story the following day, which given that the initial comment was uttered early in the AM on Thursday, is only natural. However, the Mail had it posted up on their website within hours of the incident and hearing, whereas the LAT waited until their normal publishing schedule and the story didn't hit the web until after 1AM (UPDATE within an UPDATE: it's possible they posted the story earlier than that, the last time I checked was about 8pm, and the first time I checked this morning was 9:30am, so all I know for sure is it was posted within that window, though their usual pattern is to post the entire day's paper around 1am and not post any bits earlier, unless it's a really big story like some Manny fella coming to the Dodgers). That's part of the problem that newspapers have, some get this right, some don't. In a 24 hour global news environment, you can't wait for the lead reporter on a story to be ready to post the completed and fully edited version just prior to the locked down copy for the print edition. Do that, and you'll get scooped on events that happen just down the street (as the LAT did). The rushed Mail report isn't demonstrably different than the LAT more leisurely produced piece, although I do like this one paragraph in the LAT:
As the dispute between officials churned on, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and representatives from celebrity- saturated communities, including Malibu, Beverly Hills and Calabasas, listened as the famous witnesses detailed their encounters with photographers, which they described as frightening.

Hmmm, "celebrity- saturated communities", I'm thinking celebrities aren't always mixed in easily and require more effort and mixing than mere saturation would suggest, I recommend using the phrase "celebrity- emulsified" instead.

Also, to prove my point about Councilmember Zine being an utter douche bag, here he is calling for an investigation of Chief Bratton
Later, Zine asked the mayor and the Police Commission to investigate Bratton's comments. He cited the assessment of Lohan's sexual orientation as particularly inappropriate. A police officer who said similar things would be investigated and possibly disciplined, Zine charged.

"I am just absolutely shocked at his obstinacy. We are trying to do something positive," Zine said.

Bratton brushed off suggestions that his remarks were insensitive. He said that he had a long record of supporting gay rights and noted that his sister is a lesbian.

There are already too many laws to deal with too specific of issues, why not try and get these paps in trouble on 'hate crimes' violations? Claim that 'celebrity' is a protected class, and these pap-swarms are a form of anti-celebrity harrassment. There are already plenty of bad laws on the books that could be taken advantage of, if that's what they want to do, passing new bad laws won't make the problem vanish.

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