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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Orlov Guzzling Villaraigosa Kool-Aid

As I was reading the L.A. Daily News this morning, I thought I must have hit the wrong button and somehow wound up reading an article by a distorter for the L.A. Slimes.

But no, it was indeed an article by Rick Orlov in the Daily News, gushing over Villaraigosa, as if Orlov had simply written his name on one of the Mayor's endless press releases. For example:

"As he steps onto the international stage this weekend with his trip to Asia, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is waging a high-risk, reward-rich gambit."

Huh? High-risk? You want "high-risk," try living in one of the under-patrolled neighborhoods where my students live. Ask them about a typical week in their lives, and you'll have a whole new understanding of "high-risk." Flying first-class and staying in four-star hotels at someone else's expense is not "high risk." Trying to get to school in this city without being shot is.

As for Orlov's claim that this junket is a "reward-rich gambit," exactly what "rewards" are supposedly at stake, and for whom? Is Japan going to send troops to patrol South Central? Is China going to provide mental health care for the schizophrenics living on the sidewalks downtown? Or does Orlov mean the trip is "reward-rich" for the millionaires who finance career politicians' campaigns so those politicians will keep giving them our money?

Here's another line:

"Experts say the international attention and rapport can only be a boost for L.A. . . ."

"Experts?" Exactly what does it take to be an "expert" on what constitutes a "boost for L.A.?" What the hell does that even mean? Apparently one of the "experts" to whom Orlov is referring is Clowncilman Zine, who is on the boondoggle trip with Villaraigosa -- at your expense. Well that's certainly an unbiased, reliable, authoritative source! If HE says his vacation -- er, fact-finding mission -- will benefit L.A., then it MUST be true.

Another of the supposed "experts" is one "Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.," which is a trade group for the companies trying to get your tax money. And what training does this "chief economist," Mr. Kyser, have? Well, the fact that I referred to him as "Mr." is your first clue: he does not have a Ph.D. in economics. Nor does Kyser have a master's degree in economics. Indeed, he does not even have a bachelor's degree in economics. Rather, according to his own website, he has a B.S. in industrial design, and an MBA.

And I've personally seen this guy in action. I will never forget his attempt, at a forum for mayoral candidates, to pass off, as generally accepted economic theory, a completely lame diagram he had concocted. It was entitled something like, "The Virtuuous Cycle." His diagram "showed" that the more you raise taxes, and then spend it on selected businesses, the more tax revenues you generate, which then leads to more spending, which. . . you get the idea. Ask any real economist if he or she has ever heard of such a thing, or try to find that diagram in any econ textbook or scholarly journal. Then you'll know what Kyser's "B.S." really stands for.

Anyway, to you and me, these people riding along with Villaraigosa on this $500,000 Asian vacation junket are cronies and -- literally and figuratively -- "fellow travelers." But to Orlov, who has sipped once too often from Jim Jones Memorial Picher, they are "experts."

You can read the article yourself and reach your own conclusions (http://www.dailynews.com/ci_4454106), but I think it's time for Orlov to pack up his pom-poms, leave his office at the Daily News in the Valley, and officially join the City Hall chearleading squad as an L.A. Slimes distorter.

The Daily News is this city's only hope for serious reporting on City Hall, and, if I may again mix methaphors, Orlov is now part of the Villaraigosa Chapter of the Borg Collective. He no longer has any credibility as a reporter, at least not in my book.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

do you think all eight of the Mayor's press deputies are with him? Come to think of it, if Hahn or even Riordan had eight press deputies, let alone a half dozen staffers at MTA, the Daily News would have torn them to pieces. . waste in government. . abuse of your tax dollars, etc.

Must be love.

October 07, 2006 4:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can we just call it what it is "A SEX JUNKET".

October 07, 2006 5:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree; just another puff piece. This mayor has done nothing to improve the lives of what middle class taxpayers are left in this city, and instead goes on taxpayer-funded junkets staying in $700 a night hotels while sucking down Listerine strips.

October 07, 2006 6:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WALTER- i have seen this develop over time in Orlov's writings. He usted to have an edge, at least some healthy reporter skepticism. i really enjoyed reading what he had to say. but now it seems he has become slow, and just.. lame. i think he may have some illness or something, which may account for it. In hope he can regain his mojo. I'm pulling for him.

October 07, 2006 7:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

comment moderation is censorship.
bullshit, and is insulting. I'm gone if it continues. were all adults, come on..
disable comment moderation, mommy.

October 07, 2006 7:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


October 07, 2006 7:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Talk about Kool Aid. MAV loves China/Communist Philosophy.

Well, looka here my boy,

"As principal of the New Millennium school, Mr. Wang oversaw the teaching of 430 gradeschoolers until the closure order came in July. Two months later, a demolition crew moved in. Wang still runs a kindergarten nearby, but is worried that it, too, could be shuttered amid a crackdown on unregistered schools in Beijing.

"If they close us down, the children have nowhere to go," he says.

This refrain is echoing across the grittier parts of China's capital, where millions of migrants have come in recent decades. Their labor sustains the vast construction that is transforming the city for the 2008 Olympics. But as nonresidents, they are denied access to services, including free education.

Hundreds of private schools have sprung up in migrant communities, flourishing in the shadow of the public school system. In recent months, though, a wave of closures has left parents struggling to find new places. The timing of the move has angered educators, divided families, and sparked accusations that Beijing wants to deter migrants from staying through the Olympics as part of an image makeover."

October 07, 2006 9:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, you did not mention the thousands of dogs recently and literally beaten to death by the Chinese, because of an outbreak of rabies. Only 3% of all dogs in China receive rabies vaccine.

My veternarian says the best possible way to spread the virus is to beat a rabid animal to death.

As an animal advocate you should be asking His Polliness to ask the Chinese to stop beating their dogs to death and to vaccinate them instead.

At least that way we might get some small thing accomplished from this half-million dollar junket.

October 08, 2006 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, Mayor Sam:
And here I thought I was drinking some iced tea. Now, I know what that bitter after-taste is. Or,maybe, it's acid reflux.
I will let the article stand for itself. You are entitled to fair comment. The only point I will make is that is said the risk Villaraigosa runs is how the trip and whetever results from it are perceived could serve to haunt him. It seems your attack on him and me proves that point.
But, beyond that, I have to say I am disappointed in the vehemence and tone of your personal attack against me and in Mayor Sam allowing you to post it.
I am not a shill for this mayor, this City Council or anyone involved in the areas I cover and I would put up more than 30 years worth of reporting to prove that.
And, while I might be limping these days, I don't consider myself lame.
I guess was is disturbing is that I have treated both of you with the same respect I give other city officials in my reporting on how you are involved with Los Angeles politics
Walter, you in particular know this first hand since I was the first reporter to even mention your candidacy in stories and, I believe, the first to offer a profile on you and you issues in the race. I did so against the wishes of several of my editors who thought it was a waste of space and time.
As I said, fair comment is one thing. All I ask is you keep your attacks on a professional level.
Rick Orlov
Los Angeles Daily News

October 08, 2006 5:10 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

With all due respect, the attack was not personal, but was based entirely on what you wrote.

1. The people you labeled "experts" show no signs of expertise.

2. You claim there are possible "rewards," but fail to specify what they supposedly are, or for whom.

3. You use the label "high risk" for something that involves no risk at all.

4. The tone of the article was not balanced, but was instead more akin to a press release issued by the mayor himself.

There was no mention of your personal life, family, etc.

As for vehemence, it is vehemently disappointing to see a reporter who has done such a good job in the past appear to slide into the common practice in this city of waiting around for press releases to pour out of the fax machine and then re-write them.

As for your decision to cover me early in the campaign (and then stop), I trust you do not regret your decision, especially in view of the percentage of the vote I got, the effect on Hertzberg's and Villaraigosa's campaign, and the subsequent rise of illegal immigration as an issue.

We've got nothin' but love for you here, Rick. Just don't lose your edge. That's all we ask.

October 08, 2006 8:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good one Walter. The Daily News overall is one of the best papers that call it like it is and has consistently blasted the Clowncil members for decisions they have made. I'm surprised that Orlov is becoming so gushy. He's a great reporter and done some negative stories on Antonio. Let's not judge him on one story.

October 08, 2006 8:14 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Agreed. It is precisely because his writing in the past has been good that this latest article was so striking.

If he had always been in the Kool-Aid crowd, I wouldn't have bothered writing about his article.

Let's hope this "intervention" works.

October 08, 2006 8:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The "GREEN SHEET" stake out editorially their support for full mayoral control of LAUSD. "HIS POLLONESS" met with the editorial board last week. i would cut Orlov some slack on this one story. Rick has been the one constant in objective reporting on "SILLY HALL" issues.

October 08, 2006 12:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rick Orlov: don't waste your breath or your words here at Mayor Sam. you are making a mistake in thinking that the Anti-City Hall, anti-everything bloggers that post here and at a couple of other local blogs have the kind of journalistics ethics that professional writers like you are supposed to have.

these guys all have their own agendas. I could go down the listvof people who post here regularly and tell you exactly what they want-- but mostly they just want to be "players" on the local City scene and so they play up their own accomplishments and like to see their own names in print.

it's ridiculous for anyone to think that writing for a major paper requires you to ONLY write negative things about the City Hall. here at Mayor Sam the writers may choose to be completely negative about everything all the time... but again, these are not actual journalists you are addressing.

October 08, 2006 12:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rick Orlov is still the best beat reporter at "SILLY HALL" One article on "HIS POLLONESS" that has a low puff factor should not be weigh against his full body of work.

October 08, 2006 2:45 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

12:49 is a joke...criticizing City Hall is some kind of mental illness in his view.

Rick Orlov has every right and reason to respond to Walter's post. I've spoken and corresponded before with Rick and think he's great. But I think Walter is spot on with this critique. Usually, Rick is right on with his stories, leaving it to other journalists to write puff pieces and depend on so called less than experts like Kyser, et al.

Rick is welcome to post here anytime.

October 08, 2006 8:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And what about the dead dogs, Walter? Are you or are you not pro-animals?

October 08, 2006 11:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm trying to remember the last time Rick Orlov told us something we didn't already know, except that traveling to Japan appears to be "risky" mulitple decades since WWII. This was a good post Walter and please stick to it, even if Rupert Murdock posts a defense of that insipid Orlov article. If Orlov wants to come slobbering here and Mayor Sam is so honored to have him, let's start asking the tough stuff. Why are Mayor Antonio's speeches written and then rewritten and then cut down to a managable five minutes? Orlov wants to get to the bottom of that and come back and tackle it I know a hundred people who will be thrilled to post "nice to see you Rick. You are the real thing" Otherwise, that article was City Hall pandering at its worst and simply indefensible.

October 09, 2006 12:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think Rick Orlov does some great reporting out of city hall. If you read some of his stories unlike the LA Slimes he reports the facts on these clowncil members. When Antonio has been out for his photo ops Rick Orlov has stated some negatives about them in his Tip Off column. Again, let's not judge him on one story and why didn't you post how the LA Slimes always report puff pieces on Antonio? We all know they have the groupies of all reporters. They print the largest photo of the midget mayor..so go after them.

October 09, 2006 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is the Daily News going to fall into the same trap of endorsing only "safe seat" candidates or is it going to take the bold step and endorse candidates who take the bold risks of stepping up and standing out?

October 09, 2006 5:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Exactly where can one see the actual list of people going at taxpayers expense, who they are and what they purportedly bring to the trip? I see the Mayor and Zine, who else?

Hard to agree with either side when only viewing generalities.

October 10, 2006 2:17 PM  

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