FROM Tim Rutten
What Does Tribune's Dividend Payout Mean for the LA Times? Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman says the Tribune Company’s plan to spin off its newspapers threatens the future of the LA Times. Meantime, the conservative publisher of the Orange County Register is starting up a new Los Angeles Register. Tim Rutten spent 40 years with the LA Times as reporter, editor and media columnist. He now writes weekly for the LA News Group, which owns the Daily News and other local papers.
The Legacy of Cardinal Roger Mahony Retired Cardinal Roger Mahony has apologized for decades of protecting child abusers from criminal law. But Archbishop José Gomez has relieved him of "public duties" anyway. Mahony says that, once he understood the magnitude of the crimes he was covering up he instituted a system of child protection. The recent release of tens of thousands of unedited documents — and the Archbishop's action — have raised questions about Mahony's legacy as the long-time leader of the largest Catholic Archdiocese in America. We hear from KCRW's Saul Gonzalez, who went to St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Pasadena yesterday and spoke with parishioners after the 8am mass, from reporters following the story and an attorney for some of the victims.
Conventions: Do We Need Them? For some time now, political conventions have been scripted, long-form commercials aimed at selling the candidate to the electorate. This year's Republican and Democratic conventions cost taxpayers about $68 million for each party's gathering. But was anyone watching, outside of Obama or Romney supporters and political pundits? We hear from a couple of veteran political reporters, including To the Point's own Warren Olney, who's covered conventions for years , dating back to the 60's, when the conventions actually did real work.
How Did the RNC Play as Event TV? For some time now, political conventions have been planned with the television audience in mind, becoming week-long scripted commercials, essentially, aimed at selling the candidate to the electorate. So, was anyone watching this week, outside of Romney supporters and political pundits? As the Democrats prepare to stage their week-long commercial, what should they do to get that audience tuning in? Include Honey Boo Boo ? Have an empty chair for the President to talk back to? We ask former Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten and Variety 's Ted Johnson.
Gore Vidal Dead at Age 86 Gore Vidal was an extraordinarily versatile writer, who wrote 25 novels, two memoirs, and several volumes of essays. He also wrote for TV and the stage. An outspoken political activist and occasional actor, he ran for Congress in New York State and for the US Senate in California. Vidal died last night at the age of 86, from complications of pneumonia. In 2007, he disparaged America's popular culture in an exchange with Michael Silverblatt , host of Bookworm on KCRW radio. Former Los Angeles Times book critic and columnist, Tim Rutten was a friend of Gore Vidal.
More Layoffs at the LA Times Since 1972, Tim Rutten has been reporter, editor and columnist at the Los Angeles Times. He's four years short of retirement and his son is about to start college. Yesterday, he was told, he's being laid off. He will be missed.
George W. Bush's Take on His Presidency George W. Bush called himself "the decider," and his account of eight years in the White House is called Decision Points . It officially goes on the market tomorrow, but a lot has already leaked or been the subject of book reviews. Tim Rutten is a book critic and columnist for the Los Angeles Times .
From Olvera Street to Grand Avenue Olvera Street in downtown LA is part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles historical monument, designed to preserve the city’s earliest lifestyle and culture. But 40 Olvera Street merchants are refusing to pay their full rent , and that could lead to evictions. The controversy involves a total of $72,000. Another matter of municipal public policy involves a dollar a year, what billionaire philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad might be paying for 82,000 square feet of city property across the street from Disney Hall.
What about Banning Illegal Billboards? LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is at war against certain outdoor advertisers. He got a judge to set bail at a million dollars for misdemeanor violations of city law, and wants fines of $5000 a day for supergraphics illegally draped on city buildings. He's also filed a nuisance-abatement suit in federal court. Now Sky Tag , a supergraphics shop in Beverly Hills has offered a quid pro quo: drop the legal challenges and Sky Tag will put up $12.5 million to save the Hollywood Sign .
End of an LAPD Era as Parker Center Closes On Saturday, the ribbon will be cut on the new headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department. It doesn't have an official name yet, but the old headquarters does. Parker Center was named in 1956 after the death of Chief Bill Parker, who re-shaped the LAPD for good -- and for ill. Tim Rutten is a veteran reporter and now columnist for the Los Angeles Times .
Congestion Pricing: Is it Time to Charge LA Drivers for the Right to Be on the Road? New York's Mayor Bloomberg wanted to institute what's called "congestion pricing," but the state legislature turned him down cold. That made money available for Los Angeles to institute a pilot program on what used to be called "freeways." The federal government will give LA County $213 million for high-capacity buses and upgrading the Metrolink in the San Gabriel Valley. In return, the MTA will conduct pilot programs on the 10, the 210 and possible the 110 freeways.
WSJ Reporters' Union Seeks Alternatives to Murdoch The Wall Street Journal , which often covers billionaires in its news pages, has a particular interest in them these days. Last month it became public that media magnate Rupert Murdoch has offered $5 billion to buy the Journal and its parent, Dow Jones and Company . Journal employees are so worried about what Murdoch might do to its editorial independence that their union has begun writing letters to a select group of billionaires, asking whether they might be interested in a newspaper for sale. Columnist Tim Rutten writes on the media for the Los Angeles Times .
Wall Street Journal Employees Seek Anyone but Rupert The Wall Street Journal , which often covers billionaires in its news pages, has a particular interest in them these days. Last month it became public that media magnate Rupert Murdoch has offered $5 billion to buy the Journal and its parent, Dow Jones and Company . Journal employees are so worried about what Murdoch might do to its editorial independence that their union has begun writing letters to a select group of billionaires, asking whether they might be interested in a newspaper for sale. Columnist Tim Rutten writes on the media for the Los Angeles Times .
Former CIA Director Tenet Goes Public Last night, it was 60 Minutes and tonight it ' s Larry King Live , in a publicity blitz for George Tenet' s new book, At the Center of the Storm . He claimed the Bush Administration ignored good intelligence in its rush to war in Iraq, but admitted that former Secretary of State Colin Powell got bad intelligence when he made the case at the UN Security Council that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Retail sales did not begin until this morning, but Condoleezza Rice was already leading the backlash on yesterday ' s televised talk shows over Tenet ' s claim that his famous " slam dunk " phrase was used to make him a scapegoat for intelligence failures. Tenet admits there was bad intelligence, but he claims good intelligence was ignored. Why didn ’ t he speak up sooner? Does he " tell all " or only part of the story?
Journalists and the "Scooter" Libby Trial Today's LA Times says the " Scooter" Libby trial is really about the " ugly mutual exploitation " between government and the media in Washington. Judith Miller, Matt Cooper and Tim Russert are scheduled to testify for the prosecution. Among the journalists testifying for the defense is New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson, who Libby's attorneys think will cast doubt on Miller's credibility. Never has a trial gone so deeply into the way the news media do their jobs. We speak with journalists and ethicists about how the case has put a spotlight on the use of anonymous sources, changing the way news is covered.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.