Is the LA Times trashy?

I get the paper (4 days a week) but I don’t check it first thing. So I was shocked when my friend Bruce told me he cancelled the Los Angeles Times today. He’s one of only a couple of friends who still get the paper! Oh, no! We can’t exchange complaints and info!

I asked him why, and he said “Johnny Depp is on the front page.”

“I don’t understand. I don’t like him either, but…”

“No, his face was all over the front page. They did this once before, and it just makes the paper look so trashy.”

johnny depp on LA TimesI had no idea what he meant, but I wanted to tell him about a trashy editor of a woman’s magazine who had been so rude to me today, so we changed the topic.

Now I just heard John and Ken on KFI talking about the same thing! I ran to get the paper out of the plastic bag, and, um, it does look pretty bad. It’s a fake front page, with a hideous photo of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in the new release of Alice in Wonderland. (Does Johnny Depp have a big space between his teeth? Euwww. His hair is wild orange like Carrot Top.)

The photo and the ad, all in color,  covers the entire front page, except for a few paragraphs on either side and the top pretend masthead. It really looks like the front page – they call it a cover-wrap.

Unattractive, but this is an industry town. I’m not offended.

Oh My Gah, I just saw that the NY Times reported on this!

People who don’t read a newspaper are dull.

One of the sites that I never go to -oh, perhaps once every couple months, if I must – is Huffington Post. Or as I call it, PuffPost. I remember when it started – Arianna Huffington had parties out here, got bloggers together. But it was super-liberal, so I never paid much attention to it.

All they do is rewrite real journalists, or use the news verbatim published elsewhere, and slap a provocative (and usually misleading) title on it. Now PuffPo has gone local, with a Los Angeles subsection. Watch out, LA Times, for plagiarism and attribution without links.

But the part I take personally is that they don’t pay anyone!! They are the biggest blog in the country now, if not the world, run by one of the richest women. Check out this article in the LA Times. Arianna Huffington is quoted:

Huffington said ads will run on the site, and the Huffington Post and Causecast will split the ad revenue. Any money donated to any cause goes directly to the cause, with nothing coming out of it.

Her site continues to expand, reinvesting its proceeds in the product. “We’ve had a very, very good advertising year,” she said. “We would be in the black if we were not expanding. Whether you are profitable or not depends whether you’re standing still or expanding. This is a window we need to take advantage of.”

The article is about how the PuffPost is adding a bunch of news about causes, called Impact, because they’re so liberal and they want to help. Well, wanting to help is a good thing. Yet…her own writers and worker bees get NOTHING, NO MONEY, in their best year yet!  Yet she wants them to donate from their non-existent wages. This doesn’t sound liberal to me, it sounds like a medieval caste system. Ugh, PuffPo is pathetic.

huffington post cartoon

It’s been a cliche for a few years now – everyone online loves to write how they never read a real newspaper anymore. Like this is something rare, unusual, and quite cool. They have Twitter, all the news websites, social media, etc, and newspapers are dead. Um, yeah, right.

How many minority and women cartoonists are in the LA Times?

I wrote the post below last February in my Griffith Park Blog. It’s a popular post, so I thought cartoon people would like to take a look at it here. I update it below.

I just couldn’t believe this article in the LA Times and many other papers today.

But for one day — this Sunday — nearly a dozen cartoonists of color will be drawing essentially the same comic strip, using irony to literally illustrate that point. In each strip, the artists will portray a white reader grousing about a minority-drawn strip, complaining that it’s a “Boondocks” rip-off and blaming it on “tokenism.” “It’s the one-minority rule,” says Lalo Alcaraz (”La Cucaracha”). “We’ve got one black guy and we’ve got one Latino. There’s not room for anything else.”

Let’s respect syndicates like King Features for not allowing registered and copyrighted characters and cartoons to be uploaded, I really do, but it makes my life as a comic reporter much harder. However, came across this blogger who has some very cool comic book covers for you to ogle and enjoy. Blondie is written and drawn by two men, bless their hearts.
Or, as Darrin Bell says in Tampa Bay

I need to frequent more bars.

The Idea

This is from my self-syndicated series, Daily Special. It ran in the LA Times for almost 5 years, and I slowly expanded it to reach a dozen other major newspapers (like the award-winning Minneapolis Taste section!) and alternates, like Nashville Scene. Daily Special is all about restaurants. Don’cha love them? I still think it’s a treat when I get to go out and be served a carefully configured meal with a smile. I stroke the lovely tablecloth, or get out markers to draw on the placemats, whichever seems more appropriate. Hopefully they’ll give us special restaurant bread, as we start drooling when we read the menus.

The Drawing

I was so nervous  by the idea that hundreds of thousands of people would read me every week in the Times – including people I knew, some of whom were critical (Marty Murphy) some who were better! (Marty Murphy)- that I did the thing I know really well – signs! (went to sign school, did them in the studios.)  Out of the 4 or 5 cartoons I did a month, one would just be a funny sign – without any people in the drawing. (Even though a person or stray dog adds some perspective to the size of a building or window.)

I fancied up the drawing by adding  all the bricks here, and the little plants outside the bar. (I don’t go to bars very much, so had to imagine that par

Dilbert isn’t funny anymore.

dilbert
All rights reserved by Scott Adams.

At least in the LA Times.

Hello, Dilbert, my old friend. (Can’t link to him on caption: http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/).

I know papers are trying to save money. The LA Times is laying off 150 more reporters this month. Really shameful. And haven’t I already been a victim from that?!

And so sometimes they shave a sliver off the page. I guess the columns just got skinnier, too, because a few months ago I noticed Dilbert, which runs in the Business section of the LA Times, was suddenly running vertically, instead of horizontally. read more