Richard Metzger – Mediapunk Interview
Richard Metzger was the co-founder and creative director of Disinfo. He’s now the online editor at the LA Times’ alt weekly Brand X and the host of his own online talk show Dangerous Minds. He talked to me by phone on May 24th from his home in LA about the end of Hollywood as we know it, the future of advertising, and the circus that is the right-wing media.
You co-wrote a book treatment, which was originally called Hollywood Ending and then you renamed it Free for All, on the subject of digital piracy. Could you tell us about the research you did and the conclusions you came to?
This was written in the beginning of 2007 and I co-wrote this extended treatment, which ended up reading like a mini-book, with my old friend Steven Daly, who is a long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair*. It was taken from what I had seen as someone who was working in the DVD distribution business and also as someone who was downloading quite a number of things myself , true for Steven as well and so seeing it from that insider’s perspective and as someone who was also doing a lot of downloading. We looked around and that story wasn’t really being told. Parts of the story were being told in a lot of different places, but it had never been told in one place with a narrative arc. Since the time we wrote that treatment, a number of books have come out on the topic, but nothing exactly like what we wrote about.
LA Times adding paid links to certain content
The Los Angeles Times will begin selling e-commerce links in selected stories and blog posts — but not in news stories or columns — as “both a reader service and a revenue opportunity for the company,” editor Russ Stanton announced to the newsroom in a memo this morning. The ads disguised as links will be marked in green, to distinguish them from editorial content links, and the articles where they appear will carry disclaimers.
LA Observed: LAT to add paid links to stories, blogs
Consequences of Megan’s Law
After spending 20 years in prison for rape, Michael A. Dodele was stabbed to death. Police are investigating the possibility that his death was motivated by a listing on the sex offenders registry:
Although Oliver did not say he killed Dodele, he said that “any father in my position, with moral, home, family values, wouldn’t have done any different. At the end of the day, what are we as parents? Protectors, caregivers, nurturers.”
In fact, Dodele was not a child molester. But a listing on the Megan’s Law website could have left Oliver with the impression that he had abused children because of the way it was written.
Although Dodele’s listing has been taken down since his death, a spokesman for the state attorney general said the site described the man’s offenses as “rape by force” and “oral copulation with a person under 14 or by force.”
“He was convicted of other bad things, but nothing involving a minor,” said Richard F. Hinchcliff, chief deputy district attorney for Lake County. But “it would be easy to understand why someone might think so looking at the website.”
Full Story: LA Times.
71 year old Harry Berlin hasn’t been killed yet, but he’s being harassed even though he isn’t even listed in a sex offenders registry:
Christopher Risdon is a 35-year-old sex offender who was busted for child porn. But Risdon doesn’t live at this Tropicana Avenue apartment. Hasn’t for years. So when the curious (if that’s really all they are) come calling, they’re now ringing the wrong doorbell. Despite what sex offender-tracking Web sites say, this apartment belongs to Harry Berlin, 71 years old, frail and, frankly, petrified.
Full Story: Hit and Run.
Sending His Cancer A Signal
“John Kanzius, sorely weakened by leukemia treatments, drew on his lifetime of working with radio waves to devise a machine that targets cancer cells. The miracle: It works.
Kanzius did not have a medical background, not even a bachelor’s degree, but he knew radios. He had built and fixed them since he was a child, collecting transmitters, transceivers, antennas and amplifiers, earning an amateur radio operator license. Kanzius knew how to send radio wave signals around the world. If he could transmit them into cancer cells, he wondered, could he then direct the radio waves to destroy tumors, while leaving healthy cells intact?”
via LA Times
The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWa 13 and the Source Family
Imagine your fantasy commune, the one you’d find only in the movies, where everyone is young and beautiful; the clothes are fabulous; the leader benign; and home is a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Chances are it probably looks a lot like the Source Family, whose 140 members “dropped out” right in the middle of Los Angeles. Led by a bearded, hunky, 6-foot-3 former war hero who called himself Father Yod and, later, YaHoWha, this vibrant group of men and women embarked on a wild social experiment, turning all their material possessions over to the group and supporting themselves serving gourmet vegetarian cuisine at their popular Sunset Strip restaurant, the Source. Living communally in a Los Feliz mansion owned by the Chandler family (former owners of this newspaper) and then in a house built by Catherine Deneuve, many of them formed polyamorous relationships; not surprisingly, the most extreme example was Father Yod, who took 14 “spiritual wives.”
Full Story: LA Times.
(via Notes From Somewhere Bizarre).