Thursday, June 23, 2005

Silence In Seattle! US Senator Criticizes Getty While LA Times Editorial Page Remains... Silent!!

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-getty23jun23,0,6898546.story?coll=la-home-local

While the editorial page of the LA Times continues to ignore Barry Munitz's on going rape of the Getty Trust and Getty Museum (I guess the LA Times is hard to find in Seattle coffee houses), the LA Times news section covers a US Senate hearing where Bad-As-He-Wants-To-Be Barry Munitz and his hand-picked Board of Stooges get raked over the coals of Vesuvius:

'Amid national attention to excesses at nonprofits, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has rebuked the board of the J. Paul Getty Trust, saying it has failed to curb Chief Executive Barry Munitz's lavish pay, perks and travel.

"Charities shouldn't be funding their executives' gold-plated lifestyles," Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said this week in a statement to The Times. His committee is considering the first major overhaul of laws governing nonprofit organizations in 30 years.

"I'm concerned that the Getty board has been spending more time watching old episodes of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' than doing its job of protecting Getty's assets for charitable purposes," he said.

Grassley's comments came in response to a June 10 Times story that related how Munitz, who makes more than $1.2 million and is among the nation's highest-paid leaders of nonprofits, had traveled the world first class at Getty expense, often with his wife. Records showed that even when the trust was cutting staff, Munitz used Getty resources on pet projects and favors for friends.

"The board's failure is especially troubling, because the Getty is a private foundation that doesn't rely on outside donations and therefore doesn't need to be responsive to potential donors," Grassley said.'

LA Times writers Jason Felch and Robin Fields also enlighten us that many of Munitz's expenses are ' independently reviewed' (my phrase) by two employees he hired instead of being reviewed by the just as toothless non-independent board of directors.

And so the saga... continues...

Will Munitz complete his sack of the Getty billions?

Will his Plinian ways - finally - fully engulf the Getty Museum?

Or... will the Getty - at last - become Munitz's own personal Herculaneum, entombing him forever, and saving the Getty billions for the citizens of Los Angeles?

Stay tuned!!

PS -- http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-me-lopez24jun24,0,6476739.column?coll=la-home-headlines

Philadelphia columinist Steve 'Call Me Philly' Lopez, during his recent visit to Los Angeles, editorialized above on the almost two week old LA Times revelation that Barry Munitz is using the Getty Musem as his own personal ATM.

And, being the fish shooting-in-a-barrel story this is, all Lopez did was recite the facts cited in the article - and then he labeled it... satire. Lopez, though, went no further, and in the true spirit of the LA Times, he ignored the civic consequences of Muntiz using the Getty billions to buy prestige for himself around the world, rather than using the funds to build a world class museum in Los Angeles.

Now, needless to say, if this was a museum in Philadelphia - or Chicago - then Lopez and the LA Times' owners would be demanding justice. But, of course, those are cities that the people who own or work at the LA Times actually care about.

1 comment:

I love LA said...

If the LA Times isn’t going to do anything about the Getty situation, we, Angelinos, must do something about it ourselves. I don’t know anybody’s specific email at the Getty, but the general email where you can send comments is info@getty.edu. I want the Getty trust to be used to build the best museum possible, as it was originally intended. I don’t want a stupid branch anywhere else in the world or an egomaniac at the helm. Thank you Deborah Gribbon for starting the revolution, but if the walls around the complex are going to fall we will have to put our trumpets together. So lets start an email campaign to the source.