July 30, 2008
Fake L.A. Times: Polygamists pen TV deal
The Los Angeles Times has already become a parody of itself, but in case you hadn’t gotten the joke, check out Roy Rivenburg’s new faux-news site, Fake L.A. Times.
The site reports that San Diego has been sold to ease the state budget woes, that the Times has fired the rest of the staff, though Steve Lopez remains amused with his own superior columnizing (he is good) and that Texas’ real-life Big Love Mormons have penned a deal with HBO, tentatively called “Sect and the City” Rivenburg also reports that social conservatives were right: Allowing gays to marry did indeed open the floodgates, and the courts since determined Paris Hilton and a dolphin could wed.
The site also includes a handful of blogs, including one from Crazy Lee Abrams, who looks strikingly like Borat. I don’t think the site is much of a money maker—that’s not really satire—but there are ads promoting “iCoffin” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cathedral.” And, also like the real Times, there is an apology to P. Diddy:
Rivenburg, who spent 15 years at the Times and got out before things got really, really, really bad, either isn’t suffering from survivor guilt or does a good job appearing otherwise. He is, however, a very funny guy and remains the author of one very memorable and controversial profile disputing the incredible tales of speech-coach-to-the-stars Michel Thomas.
In other L.A. Times news, Sam Zell, the newish owner of the parent Tribune Co., isn’t denying that the LA Times is in hell. He tells BusinessWeek, which like the Times now piles up by my front door: “It will continue to be the deal from hell until we turn it around.”
To be clear, Zell’s idea of “turning it around” has thus far proven unpalatable to concerned Angelenos.