Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Open Letter to Gloria Allred:

How about coming up with a REAL solution to the Casting Couch? Instead of waiting for another sickening example to emerge ,so you can get your face on television, then allowing the subject to go dark for a  few more years, take action that will  really make a difference!

The discussion shouldn't just be about Harvey Weinstein, Woody Allen, or Bill Cosby. It should be about the S.O.P. in Hollywood-which protects  MCP producers and others who have been  exploiting  young  women for a hundred years......and the stars who are too greedy, selfish, and apathetic to blow the whistle. The Casting Couch is a way of life, not just a piece of furniture.

This suggestion would include hard, unprofitable work in between your media  appearances.

Every major feature film ends with an advisory that no animals were hurt during its production. It's time to establish  the same protection for the performers who make you rich.

Gloria, here's what you should do: Demand that an independent committee be set up to monitor the on-set conduct of directors, producers,writers-anyone attached to the project-not just on the set, but during any business that involves making their product. It's a simple concept: treat the actors as well as you treat the animals. You are in a position of power and clout. Use it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hate Mongers Not Welcome

Now that the election season is over, it's time to turn down the hate speech and start caring about our neighbors again. No matter who is the president-elect, we still have to live with our fellow men/women/alternative genders after the hate spin-masters head for a tropical  beach, waiting for their next chance to turn us against one another. Before you take the "I voted" sticker off your lapel, here are some things we all should do:

  1.  Tell your "friends" on social networks you will show kindness going forward. Unblock them and open  a conversation, as long as it's civil (no need to show them your cat or what you had for lunch.)
  2.  Get off as many political mailing lists as possible. We can't cleanse our minds of stinging and sometimes vulgar and unnecessary thoughts if they keep showing up on our timelines.
  3.   Reconnect with loved ones in the opposing party. invite them  over for coffee.   DON'T talk politics!   
  4.   Show up for at least one religious or charity event in the next ten days. Bring your wallet!
  5.   Write to the FCC and demand a new focus on the Fairness Doctrine. If they still believe that the broadcast airwaves belong to the people, start regulating content again. Otherwise, let the stations OWN the frequencies and do whatever they please. It's time to stop this charade where the FCC pretends to regulate but allows licensees to slant the news and run explicit sexual content at night.
  6.   Contact your congressperson and senators. Let them know you're watching them. All the focus has been on the presidential race. But it's congress that makes the laws, and is responsible for the gridlock that's crippling our government. Demand that they start doing their job, which requires both parties to sit down and iron out some compromises. People who say they hate congress usually like their local representative. TOO BAD! They ALL have to go if they're not getting anything accomplished. Don't let them play the blame game to cover for their own inaction.  
  7.   Be Kind!
  8.   Be Kind!    
  9.   Be Kind!
  10.   Be Kind-red!      

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Proposal

     When I chose Burbank as my adopted home town a dozen years ago, I had no idea that every  part of my life would be in motion,  with the loose ends intersecting in all the dusty  corners of my previous existence in the City of Fallen Angels. 

      I’d been an apartment dweller nearly all of my life, forced to follow the landlord’s rules. No pets, No late-night parties, no picking up the green shag carpets to install hardwood floors. But now, the time had come to seek a foundation for pursuing the American dream,1...a house of my  own 2. pets, 3. marriage.  Number 3 resulted from numbers one and two, but hardly in the usual way. I’m married today because of a misbehaving puppy and a rude talk radio host.

      It took a trip to the Castaway restaurant to bring my universe into alignment,. You see, right  after moving in to our lovely little craftsman home on Chandler, We got a puppy. (first time homeowners, don’t do this: wait a year after closing escrow BEFORE getting a dog). Phantom today is the love of our lives, 13 years old , a 120 pound Shepherd/Akita mix with severe arthritis, but he still gets around and goes to the dog park at least once a week. It’s hard to remember him as the terror he was as a baby. Phantom flunked obedience school. Twice. He was chewing everything he could sink his canines into. A one dog weapon of mass destruction. 

     After a week of “please honeys”,I convinced my wife to call a pet show on the radio. Friends had told us about crate training and how much it helps a puppy claim his own space and stay out of your face. we needed professional advice, but  I didn’t want to call the show  myself because I worked at a competing radio station. I had no idea the pet guy would  accuse BJ of being an animal abuser. 

     “How dare you put your dog in a crate? You are your dog’s jailer! YOU are the problem, not your dog!” That was one of his NICER statements.

     Now I was facing three dilemmas at once: How can I avoid being banished to sleeping on the couch for seven dog years? How will I ever get this woman to marry me now? And, what do I do about Phantom?. I had learned from years of reporter deadline pressure that quick thinking often produces the best solutions, even if the solutions seem silly at the time.

      So, here was the plan: Keep the crate but get Phantom to enjoy  his time in there (Kong dog toys and  Peter Pan Peanut Butter  made a fortune off me at the time) and take advantage of BJ’s anger to create a road map to a proposal. Break up to make up, or  something like that which I barely recall in an old song.

     “Honey, Let me make this up to you by taking you out to a nice dinner”. We sat in one of those lovely booths at the Castaway overlooking the Burbank lowlands. Out came the diamond ring, and those words, “Will you marry me? She said yes. We got married at Napili Beach in Maui, but not THAT night. We wanted to go home right away and show Phantom the ring, but we never got around to it. He had pooped on the rug.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cameras for the 9/11 Trial

      The idea of allowing TV cameras and radio microphones inside the upcoming federal trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is drawing support from an unusual segment of the political world. Check out the above link from the Huffington Post, where Senator Arlen Specter speaks in favor of electronic coverage of the proceedings.FEDERAL courts are still under a mandate NOT to allow cameras in the vast majority of cases.

     I've covered trials from Rodney King to Robert Blake, and, of course, the OJ case, which resulted in an off-the-record blackout of live coverage for years thereafter. Judges, especially in LA, were afraid of becoming "Ito-Ized", terrified their mistakes would be put on display for the entire world to see. A POST OJ rule also allowed them to deny cameras without giving a reason ,or holding any hearings.As President of the Radio-TV News Association, I spent years working with the courts, judges and lawyers helping the local radio and TV stations get back into the judicial process, but much work still needs to be done.
     It may seem counter-intuitive to even CONSIDER giving a piece of human excrement like KSM an open microphone, but consider this: It's the only way to show both the American people (in real time) how we prosecute terrorists, and the outside world that we (hopefully) have a fair and honest court system.
     Advice to the judge who ends up presiding over the case: Run a no- nonsense courtroom, don't LET your case turn into a circus, and allow the media to show the world (in real time) what's going on. The last thing we need is a star chamber where all the documents are sealed and all of the witnesses sequestered. The many tricks, gimmicks, and sometimes illegal tactics used by BOTH sides in the People Vs. O.J. Simpson generated many reprimands from judge Ito, but at the end of the day, he dismissed ALL of his sanctions, and none of the lawyers paid any fines, nor were any investigated by the state bar. For supporters of the 1st Amendment, some good news: the California Judicial Council is considering an edict ordering judges to allow cameras, unless they can show a compelling reason, in writing, why they shouldn't.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The McCourts aren't ready for their close-up

 Once again, we are seeing The L.A County Superior Court's reactionary nature when it comes to celebrity proceedings SINCE the OJ Simpson case. Here, a judge has decided that the privacy rights of the  owners of the LA Dodgers trump the public's right to see what's going on in a high profile case. The court has a long history of favoring the rights of well-heeled plaintiffs and defendants over the needs of journalists to tell their stories to the public. For years, I've been working with the judges and members of the media to  seek solutions, while avoiding knee-jerk decisions like the one in the document below. We have made great progress since OJ, but obviously, still have a ways to go. Your honor, if you're concerned about  your litigants getting a fair hearing, how about an order telling us where we may or may not  shoot inside the courtroom, which faces may NOT be shown, and taking swift action against any members of the media who violate your rules?. Instead, cameras (as well as recording devices ESSENTIAL to radio reporters) are locked out. BTW, how would YOU like to have to do YOUR job without basic tools?. We need our tape recorders, laptops, cell phones etc. to meet our objective of serving the public interest. If any of us are using these tools in a way that obstructs your proceedings, throw the offender out! Interesting to note that rule changes now now under consideration by the state judicial council would allow cameras in ALL cases automatically unless the trial judge can show, in advance, why they should not be allowed. Here is the order in re: McCourt versus McCourt:

Nov. 4, 2009


(BD 514309)

Media representatives covering Jamie McCourt v. Frank McCourt hearing tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2009, should check in with a PIO staff member outside Dept. 88 on the 8th floor of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (111 N. Hill St, downtown LA, 90012) by no later than 8 a.m.
Commissioner Scott Gordon denied media requests to film/photograph the hearing. Sketch artists will be in attendance. The use of electronic equipments, such as PDAs, BlackBerrys, laptops, cell phones, etc, will not be allowed. They must be turned off and put away.
Once the hearing begins, reporters will not be permitted to leave the courtroom until proceeding is concluded or there’s a break. If someone needs to leave before the hearing is over, this person will not be allowed to get back in.

# # #

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best of LA Radio People

  Thanks to laradio.com for their mention of me today, as they review some of the best talents in the local radio market. For my fans, good news is coming...stay tuned to _______(Oops! almost spilled the beans!)

Steve Kindred (former KFWB newsman) 
  • “Great off the cuff reporting and a huge improvement on the previous occupant of the PMD chair.”
  • “Steve excelled in every category for 21 years – traffic anchor, editor, field reporter, business anchor, and afternoon drive. He was president of the Radio-TV News Association for five years. He was there for coverage of the LA riots, Northridge earthquake, and trials from Rodney King to Robert Blake.”