lready friends," said Fairburn, 34. "When 9/11 happened, and people started heading to Afghanistan, we started talking about how we wished there was a way to raise awareness among the American people about the Marine Corps. Not as an advertisement but more like what they used to do." And yet ... reading this article is like talking to a very knowledgeable recovering meth addict -- information herks and jerks hither and yon. And somehow the writers fail to understand that they have a very interesting profile on their hands, choosing instead to muck it up with various librarians and historians. I dunno, maybe I'm being a jerk.

But this has been a pattern over the last few days. Here's the final paragraph in a serviceable story about how the concession for the dilapidated Malibu Pier has been granted to 49-year-old surfshop dude Zuma Jay Wagner, who was the only one to bid:

Just think, he said, "all those millions of taxpayer dollars, and they're putting it in the hands of a surfer."
I'm obviously quite sympathetic to anyone named "Zuma Jay" with a sense of humor like that, but bidding processes that produce only one bidder deserve just a wee bit more scrutiny, no?

Here's another killer quote buried at the end of a story, about how Police Chief William Bratton sent a congratulatory post-election note to the wrong City Council Latino -- losing Nick Pacheco instead of winner Antonio Villaraigosa:

Sgt. John Pasquariello, an LAPD spokesman, confirmed that the congratulatory letter was sent to Councilman-elect Villaraigosa at the City Hall office he will assume. "Probably in hindsight we should have sent it to his campaign office," Pasquariello said.
And here's a strange story about an abandoned ship sitting in the Long Beach harbor, in which we have to read most of the confusing and twisted history and rumor-mongering around the vessel before learning that, oh yeah, some weird hobo named Frank has been living on the thing for four years.

Posted by at March 8, 2003 10:39 PM
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