Friday, December 23, 2005

Steve Hymon's All Too Infrequent City Council/City Government Column Runs Again!,1,6336560,full.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Once again, above is Steve Hymon's great new column that dares to tell the readers of the Times what is really going on in our city government. Equally importantly, it also tell us what is not going on - and the why and how of all of the entire process. It also makes readers want to know more about how government in this city - and it is wonderfully written and very funny.

So what more could this cowboy possibly ask for?


Much more!

To begin with, most people in LA barely know who their own councilperson is, much less know who else is on the rest of the council. Ergo, Steve Hymon needs to do do a series of sketches on each member of the council and each major player at Citynow Hall and then also handicap them.

That should all then be put on a Steve Hymon page on the website where they can all be easily accessible.

Then the column needs to run at least - at the very minimum - three times a week since as any red blooded newspaper used to know - City Hall is a soap opera!

I mean - who needs telenovas when we have City Hall! But the only way we can all follow the storylines and the characters is to have the story updated at least three times a week, if not even more often.

Plus there is a side benefit to all of this. When certain activities of shall we say... questionable... ethics happen - it will be a lot harder for the powers that be to hide these things if they are being reported on in an almost daily basis. The procedural gimmicks that too often hide and confuse what is really going on - will suddenly become exposed to the glare of public scrutiny.

And, best of all - since this is clearly identified as being an opinion piece - Hymon can whack away with impunity at the malefactors.

But - and here is the critical part - this column needs to run often enough to allow the readers of the Times to get to know who the players are and to understand the primary and the secondary storylines.

After all, not even MGM at its peak boasted such a cast of such... characters. I mean - who needs telenovas with a city council as wonderfully cast as our is? And I mean this in a good way. Member by member, this is the smartest, best city council I have seen in my lifetime. And the fact that half of them are also... in their own unique ways, totally crackers... is just a wonderful side benefit.

But the seriously good news is that LA - finally, at last - has a true city columnist.

We now have our Herb Caen, our Mike Rokyo, our Dennis Hamil, our Balzac, our Pepys!

The only bad news - there ain't yet near enough yet.

So there needs to be more... more... more!

And if a relative newcomer like Steve can dig up all this stuff - just imagine what Patrick McGreevy would have to say about the Mayor's office or the County Supervisors or the various city departments in a column like this. Not only does he know where all the bodies are buried - he's even put a lot of them there himself!

And these columns should not be in the spot of death on the second page, but right on the front page of the Metro Section!

Oops. Excuse me.

I keep forgetting.

The LA Times has no Metro section.

That is because the Times is no longer a Los Angeles paper - but a regional paper. Just like the San Francisco Chronicle is no longer a San Francisco newspaper - but a regional newspaper. And totally coincidentally - of course - the Chronicle is the only major newspaper in the country losing readers faster the the LA Times.

Hey - what can I say - great minds think alike!

So instead of a Metro section - the LAT has a California section that on occasion sneaks in a little news about Los Angeles. But that can be the next step.

Make the California section a true Metro section - with a California section appended to the back part of the section. And if the state news is more important - put it in the 'A' section. This will allow Steve Hymon and the other new columnists to connect with the people of LA and allow people of Los Angeles to connect with - the city of Los Angeles.

And - how knows - this might even make the LA Times once once again vital reading for anyone who cares about this city.

And then - the final move - put Hymon's name and his face on very bus in this city!

Well - OK - maybe we better stick with just his name for now.

But once he loses a few pounds, gets a better tailor, borrows Jerry Sullivan's hat and gets a cooler pair of glasses - he'll be ready for his close-up!.

After all this is LA - and not... Kansas, I mean, Ohio.

And - to close - this all merely reinforces what Mickey Kaus said a long time ago about the LA Times - it needs gossip! - and it needs this kind lively of writing to deal with - and personalize - every major part of the paper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"So instead of a Metro section - the LAT has a California section that on occasion sneaks in a little news about Los Angeles."

Brady, I lay out pages in the
California section and I can tell that when there was a page titled "The State" that was the hardest one to fill.

Now, on the section front, you'll often find big state stories because the Los Angeles edition section is the template for the other editions AND in the past few months there have been a lot of medium [not A1] stories out of Sacto. But, in the overall, the bulk of the space is L.A. city and county.