Warren & Annette & Arianna & Me

Click here for the Los Angeles Times Op Ed that ran Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.

I love those articles that run in magazines following celebrities around and giving quantitative information about them: What time they wake up, leave home, take meetings; how many iPhones, BlackBerries, e-mails, clothing changes, personal assistants, crusades launched before lunch. There was one recently in the Wall Street Journal magazine about my friend Arianna Huffington. I don’t mean to be a namedropper here, but I honestly think of her as a friend even though I haven’t spoken to her in person for almost a decade.

At one point, when our lives crossed in Los Angeles in the ‘90s and oughts, we saw quite a lot of each other. When I was pregnant with my now 13-year-old twin sons, we even had a “date” to a screening of “Bulworth.” Those were the days before Arianna drove and before I had a cell phone and at one point, while I was trying to navigate my Jeep Cherokee to a parking space wherever this event was, she handed me her cell and instructed me to talk to one of her daughters to prove that Mom, just divorced, wasn’t out with a man…”  Continue reading

Chronicle of a Death Foresold

In the 1990s, when I first worked there, the Los Angeles Times was at the end of its legendary “Velvet Coffin” era for reporters and editors: unlimited time to work on stories (the years-long investigation of Scientology became a newsroom joke); first-class travel (at least for longer flights); salaries that, if they weren’t in the same ballpark as television reporters’, were at least in the same zip code. But then the Chandlers’ benevolent monarchy was overthrown by a series of moneygrubbers, in and out of the family. As one of my editors put it to an outraged reporter who threatened to appeal some decision by the bean counters, “Otis has gone surfing, and he’s not coming back.”

And so it went: buyout offer, layoffs, next buyout offer, more layoffs, voluntary severance, involuntary severance. Each round deliberately Continue reading