A long night*
Newsrooms may be shrinking across Los Angeles, but the LA Press Club still managed to find three or so hours of material for its awards night on Saturday. A complete list of the winners is here.
A few standout moments from the night. Harry Shearer tried mightily to mine the beatification of Tim Russert for humor. Few in the audience responded. Shearer had better luck skewering Lee Abrams, Tribune innovation guru, for his exclamation-point speak, and Sam Zell, Tribune owner, for his fondness of the word fuck. Since I left my Mayhill Fowler-brand audio recorder at home, I can't offer a transcript, and paraphrasing jokes is a sure-fire loser, but through a wine-soaked memory I remember the Zell line had something to do with Zell using "fuck" more than 300 times in his latest memo, and that was just the first sentence.
The most amusing speech of the night came from Steve Lopez, who won the President's Award. He, too, took aim at Abrams and Zell, and at Shearer's suit. Lopez noted that Abrams came to visit the Times last week and was genuinely surprised to discover the paper had a bureau in Baghdad. Seriously. Lopez also recounted his trip to the beach to knock on Sam Zell's front door, which prompted a fuck you from Zell, and then promised to go back again.
The most moving defense of journalism of the night came from Daniel Pearl's father, Judea Pearl, in introducing the night's Pearl honoree, Bob Woodruff. In losing his son, Pearl said realized how elusive the truth can be and how dangerous the road sometimes is in trying to finding it.
On a more personal note, KCRW's Warren Olney won two awards, both for shows produced before I came here. The Los Angeles Daily Journal also took home a couple honors for work done in the Southern California office - I was up in the Capitol for them. Unfortunately, I didn't see a single nomination from the MediaNews newspapers in the San Gabriel Valley, despite some deserving work. I gather they didn't submit anything. Neither, it seems, did the Daily Breeze.