Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pillow Talk

Well, it seems that the Grazergate controversy is crashing. From what I've read in L.A. Observed is that the Sunday effort from media mogul Brian Grazer might be killed by David Hiller.

Boy, if it isn't bad enough to have your dating life outed, you have to become the Brangelina of the Times (Andelly).

I thought it was a bizarre match up . No, Not Andres and Kelly (who --mark my words, will be finished as an 'item' before we finish this blog, though I'm sure the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. M is happy to have more ammo to blast during their divorce negotiations)....sorry, I digressed ... but the odd pairing of Brian Grazer and the LA Times. As your average schmoe, I could have entertained the idea of a guest editor who has won several awards like Ken Reich or any number of solid journalists. I could have even seen them asking a popular writer if they were going for the "PR buzz" like Tom Clancy or better yet, Scott Turow. Or even asking that fancy schmancy in from Vanity Fair, the man with the grey mane, Graydon Carter. But Grazer just never made any sense to me, there was no logical reasoning to ask him --unless he is going to buy the Times.

Yet, there people who try to turn the table: Mullens' superior at 42 West, Allan Mayer, says in the story: "If this thing was killed over this, I think it would be an indication of the moral bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Times. If the newspaper is so fearful of what uninformed people think that it would allow itself to be stampeded in that way … I think it would be a very sad day."

Okay, so let's take this argument apart. Allan Mayer is in the business of promoting his client and any interests his client might have. He's not interested in lack of logistics that led to the idea of bringing Grazer in. He doesn't care about what Charles Ornstein, a pulitzer prize winning journalist has to say. No, I'd strike Mayer's opinions as typical self serving Hollywood biz speak. I think the moral bankruptcy is if everyone stopped caring and let the "vanityships" like this go unquestioned. If Hiller kills it, hopefully he'll do it because some seasoned journalists have struck a chord.

And while it might not have been pillow talk that brought Grazer in, it still doesn't explain why we'd let someone without any experience take command.

But now that Brian Grazer is kind of stuck here at the Times for another few days, surely there are things he can do? Wash the bling mobile? Go get take out for the gang in the Pressmen's lair? Pick up kids? Sell leftover boxes of Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos?


Ed Padgett said...

You beat me to the punch Kanani; I had a few comments to make regarding this affair. At first I thought it would all be forgotten and fade away, but it’s growing as the hours pass.

Bill Boyarsky is calling for an independent investigation into this situation, and suggests reviewing past issues of the Current section and editorial pages led by Andres Martinez.

This ado certainly brings the spotlight to the Los Angeles Times and away from Tribune Towers for the moment.

Kanani said...

Andres Martinez has long been criticized by journalists like Ken Reich.

I know that to many, the whole Geffen/Broad prospect of owning the Times seems like a golden donut. But, I wonder (given the pull Hollywood already has on culture in general) how independent The Times would be?

I wonder about people like Mayer and Mullen. They represent a small but powerful spectrum of LA, indeed, the world. It's no secret that "the media" infiltrates our perceptions. Do I really want show biz telling me what's important? I wonder if it would be the end of journalism in this region.

Boyarsky calls it as such:
Only independent journalism has a chance of saving the Times reputation in a scandal that is the Times’ worst ethical failure since the Staples affair of 1999.

Let's hope The Pressmen's blog goes noticed by the brass.