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Los Angeles Times November 30 2017

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latimes.com
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
SENATE
TAX BILL
IS FULL
STEAM
AHEAD
Trump
spreads
fringe
group’s
videos
Final vote is expected
this week, but changes
are still being crafted
to appease at least 8
worried Republicans.
Two U.S. allies are
among many who
rebuke the president
for retweeting
anti-Muslim messages.
By Lisa Mascaro
By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans pushed
their tax plan past another
key hurdle Wednesday, a
show of momentum for President Trump’s top priority
even as frantic negotiations
with GOP holdouts made final passage uncertain.
A procedural vote, which
passed 52 to 48, with all
Republicans in favor and
all Democrats opposed,
marked an important milestone as the GOP-led Congress scrambled to deliver a
significant accomplishment
by the end of Trump’s first
year in office.
It was the first time the
plan had been considered by
the full Senate. A final vote is
likely by the end of the week.
Still the $1.5-trillion package remains in flux. Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is working
behind the scenes to prevent
defections from his 52-seat
Republican majority. He can
afford to lose only two votes,
assuming Vice President
Mike Pence breaks a tie.
But at least eight Republican senators have voiced
concerns. And even though
they voted Wednesday in favor of opening debate on the
bill, they could still vote
against the final package.
Some Republicans, led
by Sen. Bob Corker (RTenn.), want assurances the
tax cuts won’t add to the
deficit. Others, including
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.),
are pushing for increased
benefits to so-called passthrough entities, including
small businesses, law firms,
real estate partnerships and
other wealthy professionals.
Significant revisions to
the legislation still may be
made ahead of the final vote,
and negotiations could con[See Tax plan, A8]
In Beijing,
outrage over
mass eviction
Authorities in China
are tearing down
unsafe buildings,
displacing tens of
thousands of migrant
workers. The eviction
drive has led to a rare
public display of citizen
anger. WORLD, A3
Nathan Congleton NBC
“TODAY” SHOW co-anchor Matt Lauer, shown Monday outside the set in New York, is the latest high-pro-
file media and entertainment figure to lose his job after being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.
NBC fires Matt Lauer as
women allege misconduct
COMMENTARY
Colleague’s complaint
shows ‘clear violation’
of standards, company
says. Then two more
accusers speak out.
The veteran anchor
allegedly made the
‘Today’ show his own
fiefdom, with all the
‘rights’ that conveyed.
By Stephen Battaglio
By Mary McNamara
If you make a man a pasha, there is a good chance
he will act like one.
The near-daily sweep of
men from positions of power
in the wake of sexual harassment allegations ascended
to a new and more culturally
intimate level with the ouster of Matt Lauer from the
“Today” show on Wednesday.
For 20 years, Lauer has
been a constant presence on
early-morning
television,
prepping viewers for the
day’s news, scandals, setbacks and celebrations. The
on-air staff of “Today” was,
to many, an extended family,
anchored by its boyish patriarch and a succession of
smart and lovely female cohosts.
Of course the problem
with having a patriarch, boyish or no, is that it establishes a patriarchy. Ever
since Jane Pauley met Bryant Gumbel, networks have
clung to the notion that a
successful morning show requires some sort of “marriage” in the middle, a bantering between the sexes to
give the downtime juice and
make viewers feel like they
were hanging out with
[See Commentary, A13]
Drew Angerer Getty Images
HODA KOTB , left, and Savannah Guthrie embrace
at the end of Wednesday’s show, in which they announced the ouster of their on-air partner, Lauer.
MORE COVERAGE
Congress struggles with issue
Politicians navigate difficult terrain as they confront
harassment charges against colleagues. NATION, A6
Harassment is not a partisan matter
Robin Abcarian favors bipartisan punishment:
“The issue is justice for women.” CALIFORNIA, B1
End of an era for ‘Today’
Matt Lauer’s departure leaves morning TV without
one of its most recognizable faces. BUSINESS, C1
Star anchor Matt Lauer
was fired from NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday, the
latest high-profile figure to
lose his job as part of a
widening sexual harassment scandal that has
rocked the entertainment
and media industries.
NBC said Lauer was
ousted after it received a
complaint about the coanchor concerning “inappropriate sexual behavior in
the workplace.”
The move represented a
startling and swift action by
NBC to oust one of its most
popular TV personalities,
who has been a familiar presence on the network for two
decades. “Today” has been a
lucrative franchise for NBC
and a top-rated show in the
fiercely competitive morning TV landscape.
The announcement was
read at the top of “Today” by
Lauer’s on-air partners Savannah Guthrie and Hoda
Kotb, both of whom appeared shaken by the news
they learned only moments
earlier.
The statement from NBC
News Chairman Andy Lack
said: “On Monday night, we
received a detailed complaint from a colleague
about inappropriate sexual
[See Lauer, A12]
WASHINGTON — President Trump extended his
flirtation with racist extremists
internationally
on
Wednesday — and drew a
rare rebuke from two European allies — by retweeting
three anti-Muslim videos
from a far-right fringe group
in Britain.
“It is wrong for the president to have done this,” said
James Slack, spokesman for
British Prime Minister Theresa May. He described the
group, Britain First, as one
that “seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives which peddle
lies and stoke tension.”
Compounding the sudden diplomatic muddle with
the United States’ closest
ally, Trump hit back at the
prime minister Wednesday
night, again on Twitter,
telling her, “Don’t focus on
me, focus on the destructive
Radical Islamic Terrorism
that is taking place within
the United Kingdom. We are
doing just fine!”
May wasn’t alone in her
irritation with Trump. Members of Parliament and the
senior cleric of the Church of
England also condemned
the American president.
Officials of the Netherlands weighed in as well, implicitly criticizing Trump in
a statement that disputed
one of the videos and noted,
“Facts do matter.”
The
ultranationalist
Britain First — a name with
echoes of Trump’s “America
first” slogan — is known
there for conducting “Christian patrols” in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods. Its deputy leader,
whose Twitter posts Trump
retweeted, was arrested last
week on suspicion of inciting
hatred and violence and was
convicted last year of harassing a Muslim.
Trump’s posts were just
his latest to cause trouble
diplomatically since he took
office. This week, Libya’s
state-controlled
media
seized on recent Trump
[See Trump, A5]
A boost for group
A tiny, virulent antiMuslim movement in the
U.K. welcomes Trump’s
retweet. BACK STORY, A2
Beloved sculpture moved without notice
By Carolina A. Miranda
Directors taking
direct action
Seven directors —
Angelina Jolie,
Kathryn Bigelow,
Darren Aronofsky,
Guillermo del Toro,
Greta Gerwig, Sean
Baker and Jordan
Peele — share the stories behind their
(sometimes controversial) films and what
went into making
them. THE ENVELOPE
Weather: Mostly
sunny and pleasant.
L.A. Basin: 75/54. B6
Printed with soy inks on
partially recycled paper.
The streetlights stood for 24
years like a row of silent sentinels in
the strip mall parking lot at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and
Vermont Avenue in East Hollywood.
There were 25 of them, planted in
a grassy median before a Staples office supply store, collectively representing seven decades of Los Angeles history, from 1925, when the city’s
Bureau of Street Lighting was established, through 1992, when parts of
the neighborhood went up in flames
during the Los Angeles riots. The
streetlights, installed by artist
Sheila Klein and a crew of volunteers
in 1993 — 15 years before Chris Burden erected “Urban Light” at the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art —
were intended as a healing gesture in
the wake of that uprising.
Now they are gone.
Or at least they are gone from the
grassy strip they have occupied for
nearly a quarter-century.
Sometime before Thanksgiving,
“Vermonica,” as the sculptural light
installation is known, was removed
[See Streetlights, A10]
Carolina A. Miranda Los Angeles Times
THE PUBLIC ART installation known as “Vermonica” was recently moved to a new location in East
Hollywood without the artist’s consent. “It is no longer ‘Vermonica,’ ” artist Sheila Klein says.
A2
THU R S DAY , N OV E M BER 30, 2017
S
LAT IMES. C OM
BACK STORY
Wiktor Szymanowicz Barcroft Media
BRITAIN FIRST leader Paul Golding, center, leads a march on April 1 in London to protest against Islam and
terrorism after the Westminster Bridge attack in March that killed five people and injured dozens.
The anti-Muslim group
that caught Trump’s eye
Britain First says it is defending ‘our people’ against ‘militant Islam’
By Laura King
The tiny but virulent
anti-Muslim group Britain
First was virtually unknown
in the United States until
Wednesday, when President
Trump retweeted a trio of
inflammatory videos posted
by one of its leaders.
Trump’s online sharing
prompted criticism on both
sides of the Atlantic, including an unusual rebuke from
British Prime Minister
Theresa May, who said
through a spokesman that
the president was wrong to
pass along the videos. In a
rare show of unity in Britain’s fractious political
environment, the presidential retweets were also
condemned by lawmakers
from across the spectrum.
Even some of Trump’s
backers publicly expressed
unease at his use of a Twitter account with nearly 43.6
million followers to forward
the British group’s far-right
views, but the retweets were
defended by the White
House as reflecting Trump’s
stance on national security
issues.
Britain First, for its part,
rejoiced at what it saw as a
huge boost in its profile.
Here is some background about this group
and its leaders:
What does Britain First
stand for?
The group, an offshoot of
the far-right British National Party, calls itself a
patriotic movement, but
critics say its central concern is promoting hard-line
anti-Islam and anti-immigrant views. Its website says
it is dedicated to defending
British culture against
“militant Islam” and adds:
“We want our people to
come first, before foreigners, asylum seekers or migrants.”
How big is Britain First’s
following?
Longtime watchers of
the group, which was
founded in 2011, say it exists
more as an online presence
than a real-life political
entity. Its demonstrations
usually draw only a few
dozen participants, and
Britain’s Guardian newspaper calls it a “minor political movement” with an
estimated 1,000 supporters.
Determining its genuine
base of domestic support is
difficult; it has nearly 2
million “likes” on Facebook,
but the British Broadcasting Corp. said an analysis
carried out over the summer
showed that fewer than half
of those came from within
the United Kingdom, and
critics say it inflates its
totals with paid advertising
and postings devoted to less
contentious subjects, such
as support for British
troops.
Although it describes
itself as a political party, no
one representing Britain
First has won or even seriously contested any elected
office, and it is currently
barred by the country’s
Electoral Commission from
Daniel Leal-Olivas AFP/Getty Images
JAYDA FRANSEN is the public face of Britain First. She originally posted the
trio of inflammatory videos retweeted on Wednesday by President Trump.
fielding candidates under
its own name. That is due to
a technicality, not an outlawing of its views; British
news reports say it failed to
provide required paperwork
and pay a small fee to get
candidates on the ballot.
Who are the group’s
leaders?
Founder Jim Dowson,
who made a name as an
antiabortion campaigner,
left the group in 2014. A
British antifascist group,
Hope Not Hate, has described Dowson’s animating
ideology as “religious bigotry” and “doomsday
prophecies.” The organization is now led by cofounder
Paul Golding, 35, but its
main public face is Jayda
Fransen, 31, who originally
posted the videos retweeted
by Trump.
Both Fransen and Golding have had run-ins with
the law. Golding was jailed
last year for violating a ban
on Britain First leaders
entering mosques after a
series of organized provocations by the group, including barging into mosques
with shoes on and marching
with crosses as Muslim
worshipers convened.
Fransen was charged
with “religiously aggravated
harassment” for behavior
including berating a Muslim
mother in the city of Luton
during a “Christian patrol,”
a demonstration promoting
Britain as a Christian country. British news reports say
Fransen has another court
date this month in Belfast,
on charges of “threatening,
abusive or insulting” speech
during a visit to Northern
Ireland.
Fransen reacted with
delight Wednesday to the
president’s retweet of the
videos she had posted,
tweeting in all-caps: “GOD
BLESS YOU TRUMP!”
What are the group’s
tactics?
Britain First routinely
stages sparsely attended
protests with demands such
as the banning of the sale of
meat butchered and prepared in accordance with
Muslim law, but its stock-intrade is widely circulated
videos of confrontations
staged by its members
outside mosques and in
predominantly Muslim
neighborhoods. On its
social media feeds, its leaders and followers post dozens of videos similar to the
ones retweeted by Trump,
usually of unidentified
provenance, but purporting
to depict Muslims engaging
in violent acts.
As well as echoing
Trump’s “America first”
rallying cry, “Britain First”
as a slogan has chilling
overtones for many Britons.
In June 2016, shortly before
the “Brexit” referendum,
witnesses said the phrase
was shouted repeatedly by
Thomas Mair, who shot and
stabbed lawmaker Jo Cox,
an opponent of the push for
Britain to exit the European
Union, killing her. The
group said it had no ties to
Mair, but Cox’s widower,
Brendan Cox, said he was
repelled and heartbroken by
Trump’s retweets. “Spreading hate has consequences,”
he wrote on Twitter.
What was the provenance
of the retweeted videos?
News organizations and
online sleuths reported that
Britain First’s characterizations of the three clips in
question were distorted,
incompletely described or
outright false.
One of the scenes, which
surfaced this year on a
Dutch website, was labeled
as a migrant Muslim beating up a Dutch victim; the
assailant was in fact born
and raised in the Netherlands, and punished for his
action, as the Dutch Embassy noted in a tweet. A
second video, which appeared online in 2013, shows
an Islamic militant in Syria
smashing a statue of the
Virgin Mary; scholars cited
by the Associated Press
noted that other faiths and
other Muslim sects were
also targeted by the same
extremists. A third showed
a widely distributed clip of a
rooftop confrontation in
2013 in the Egyptian city of
Alexandria, apparently
between protesters and
suspected government
supporters amid violent
street protests. The attackers were arrested, tried and
sentenced to death.
What are the potential
political repercussions?
The episode comes
against a backdrop of
broader concern about the
increasing clout of far-right
political parties in Europe.
British commentary mainly
revolved around concern
Trump was effectively giving hate groups an endorsement.
British leaders rarely
offer overt criticism of a
sitting U.S. president, but
May’s spokesman, James
Slack, said that Trump’s
sharing of the videos was
wrong, and that Britain
First uses “hateful narratives which peddle lies and
stoke tensions.”
Some British lawmakers
say public expressions of
anti-Muslim sentiments by
a Western leader can put
British and U.S. troops in
danger.
Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative member of Britain’s Parliament, said videos like the ones retweeted by
Trump are a prime recruiting tool for foreign armed
groups.
“It’s completely wrong,”
he told the BBC.
Others expressed worries that the president had
helped normalize the views
of a heretofore obscure
extremist group. London’s
Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has
been the target of online
gibes from Trump, called
Britain First a “vile, hatefueled organization whose
views should be condemned, not amplified.”
A planned state visit by
Trump to Britain, whose
date has not yet been set,
was still on as of late
Wednesday, but he is unpopular in the United Kingdom, and May is expected to
face renewed pressure to
cancel the visit.
A Labor lawmaker,
Chuka Umunna, made a
Facebook appeal for the
invitation, which was issued
early in Trump’s tenure, to
be withdrawn.
laura.king@latimes.com
Twitter: @laurakingLAT
T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
L AT I ME S . CO M
A3
THE WORLD
North Korean
missile reaches
scary milestone
By Matt Stiles
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images
A MAN rides past razed buildings in Beijing. A crackdown on unsafe housing has displaced migrant workers.
Workers out in the cold
A mass eviction in
Beijing leads to a rare
public display of rage.
By Jonathan Kaiman
BEIJING — Sun Di arrived in Beijing with a
dream. In May, the 28-yearold moved to Zhouying village, a swath of low-budget
apartment blocks on the
city’s outskirts. He found a
menial job at a pharmaceuticals company but aspired
to start his own business.
Then came the evictions.
On Nov. 18, a fire tore
through a cramped, lowbudget Beijing apartment
building — one much like
Sun’s — killing 19 people. Authorities responded by
launching Beijing’s biggest
eviction drive in at least a
decade. Sun has found himself caught in its grip, suddenly displaced along with
tens of thousands of other
migrant workers from lessdeveloped cities and towns.
Officials have given little or
no notice, leaving many people homeless in the freezing
cold.
This week, as social media sites have overflowed
with pictures and videos of
the evictions — migrant
workers desperately packing up their belongings,
sleeping on curbs, dragging
suitcases down streets littered with trash — Chinese
citizens have reacted with a
rare upswell of collective
rage.
“Now all of the time and
effort I’ve spent in Beijing
have been in vain,” Sun said
on Tuesday as he packed his
last few belongings, bound
for his hometown in nearby
Hebei province. “The government is too coldblooded,
and I feel helpless and hopeless.”
Beijing is home to millions of migrant workers —
construction workers, shop
owners, security guards and
delivery people who moved
to the city for a shot at a better life. Yet China maintains
a draconian residence registration system, barring the
migrant workers from receiving social services enjoyed by local residents,
such as access to healthcare
and public schools. Critics
say the system has created a
permanent lower class —
that the workers who built
Beijing’s skyscrapers cannot possibly afford to make
the city their home.
On Nov. 20, two days after
the fire, authorities announced a 40-day campaign
to rid the city of unsafe buildings, precipitating a rush of
inspections and tear-downs
across the city. They focused
on dark, subdivided apartments in suburban and industrial areas — the only
ones many migrant workers
can afford.
Beijing plans to cap its
population at 23 million by
2020, to ameliorate traffic,
save resources and promote
the development of hightech industries. According
to official estimates, the city
had 21.7 million “permanent”
residents at the end of 2016.
The precise number of migrants — called a “low-end
population” in official docu-
ments — remains unclear.
The online response to
the evictions has been swift.
More than 100 Beijing intellectuals signed a petition
calling the campaign a “violation of human rights.”
Nonprofit organizations and
volunteer networkers offered moving assistance,
shelter and food. E-commerce and food delivery
companies scrambled to
find shelter for their nowhomeless employees.
Some internet users
compared the evictions to
two other recent scandals.
On Nov. 23, a People’s Liberation Army general under
investigation for corruption
committed suicide, and last
week several middle-class
parents accused a kindergarten of abusing their children with drugs and needles.
“I’ve heard Beijingers
have a new greeting,” said
one widely shared post on
WeChat, the country’s most
popular messaging app.
“When you meet the low-end
population, you ask, ‘Have
you found a place to live?’
When you meet the middleclass population, you ask, ‘Is
your child OK?’ When you
meet the upper-class population, you ask, ‘Have the
party discipline authorities
found you yet?’”
The scandals have come
at a sensitive time, about a
month after a political conclave that elevated President Xi Jinping — an avowed
defender of the poor — as the
country’s most powerful
leader since Mao Tse-tung.
Authorities have censored discussion of the evictions on social media and restricted news coverage, according to a leaked circular
published online by the California-based China Digital
Times. “Concerning the Beijing city campaign to regulate and purge illegal structures, all web portals immediately shut down related
special topic pages, control
interactive sections, refrain
from reposting related content, and resolutely delete
malicious comments,” it
said.
Several posts offering
charity to displaced migrant
workers were censored. By
Wednesday, links to critical
articles on WeChat led to a
screen containing the message: “This content cannot
be seen because it violates
regulations.” Many WeChat
users shared screen shots of
the page as a more muted
form of protest.
“I really sympathize with
these migrant workers,” Li
Yanyan, a 38-year-old high
school teacher in Beijing,
said in an interview. “They
come here, they work hard,
and all they really want is to
make some money to send
home to their families.
“I cannot imagine my life
without them,” she said. “I
buy my breakfast and vegetables from migrant workers. The delivery guys are
migrant workers. The convenience store outside my
building — the one my whole
family uses — is run by migrant workers.... Almost 90%
of the services I use on a
daily basis come from migrant workers. The quality
of our lives depends on
them.”
Sun Di’s village, Zhouy-
ing, is now a ghost town.
Most storefronts are vacant.
Many of his neighbors have
returned to their hometowns outside the city. Some
have sought temporary shelter at local farmers’ homes
at exorbitant prices; others
have refused to leave.
A block away from Sun’s
apartment, a 49-year-old
who gave his name as Li remained in the small restaurant he managed. “They’ve
been moving people from
dangerous houses into even
more dangerous houses,”
said Li, who declined to give
his full name for fear of official retaliation. “The government has blamed this apartment for being unsafe. But
as long as you move out, they
don’t care where you go.”
Li said authorities cut
the power to his apartment
the day after the fire; and
one day after that, a security
guard told him he had three
days to evacuate. His neighbors panicked. “It was like
fleeing a conflict zone,” he
said.
He said he planned to return to his hometown in
Jiangsu province, about 450
miles to the south, next
month, once his 10-year-old
daughter finishes her semester at a Beijing private
school. Until then, he and his
family have been quietly
sneaking into his old apartment to sleep at night, always wary of police and security guards.
“Every night, at 11 or 12,
security guys come in to
check,” he said. “If they see
your stuff and sheets are
still there, they throw them
out.”
Some state news outlets
have lightly criticized officials over the evictions. “The
working methods of some
villages were indeed too simplistic and brutal,” the Global Times said in an editorial
last week. Yet the government is unlikely to change
course.
“This has been happening again and again to this
social group,” said Tzu-chi
Ou, a doctoral student at
Columbia University who
has been researching Beijing’s migrant worker communities since 2008. “I’d actually argue that it’s not unprecedented. But this time
it’s the scale, and also the
cruelty — the way they did
this is really cruel.”
The case calls to mind a
scandal in 2003, she said, in
which a young migrant
worker in China’s south, Sun
Zhigang, died in police custody after being physically
abused.
The
incident
prompted widespread outrage, which led to legislative
change.
“But this time it’s much
more pessimistic,” she said.
“People try to argue, or do
something, but your message just gets deleted.”
jonathan.kaiman
@latimes.com
Twitter: @JRKaiman
Gaochao Zhang and Nicole
Liu in The Times’ Beijing
bureau contributed to this
report.
SEOUL — For more than
two months, North Korea refrained from public displays
of its nuclear and ballistic
missile technology, offering
guarded hope that the communist nation had put its
ambitions on hold — at least
for a bit.
Such optimism disappeared on Wednesday when
U.S. and South Korean military officials detected the
early-morning launch of an
intercontinental
ballistic
missile, a device capable in
theory of reaching the East
Coast.
The provocation marked
a significant moment for the
nuclear-ambitious
North
Korea and an international
community trying to stop its
weapons development. At
the same time, the North’s
breakthrough opened the
possibility that the reclusive
country and its dynastic
government might have the
confidence to negotiate with
countries seeking to defuse
tensions in the region, analysts said.
“We know they were
building to this. They got it
no matter how badly we
wanted to stop them. Our
options to stop them are still
awful,” said Robert Kelly, an
associate professor in the
Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Pusan National University in
South Korea. “We are stuck.
We have to adapt to North
Korea as a nuclear power,
and we will, actually.”
The ICBM, the most
powerful tested this year,
soared higher than the
International Space Station, some 2,800 miles, traveling east about 600 miles
before splashing into the
East Sea.
The launch of what the
North Koreans called the
new Hwasong-15 missile represented a turning point in
the rogue nation’s weapons
development. That effort,
involving four nuclear tests
and at least 70 missile
launches since 2012, has repeatedly violated United Nations
resolutions
and
prompted economic sanctions.
President Trump said
the United States would
“handle” the threat, but security experts remained
stumped about the international community’s options
to slow North Korea’s advance to a full-fledged nuclear power capable of attacking around the globe.
That pessimistic outlook
was forecast the day before
by a key South Korean government official, Cho Myoung-gyon, the minister of
unification. While noting
North Korea’s relatively quiet period without missile or
nuclear “provocations,” he
said that the totalitarian nation had ruled out dialogue
with the democratic South
— and that its technological
capacity would probably advance faster than expected.
North Korean state media on Wednesday celebrated the launch, which
came at 3:17 a.m. from a site
north of the nation’s capital,
Pyongyang. The statement
seemed to confirm that the
nation had reached one of its
own milestones.
“We have finally realized
the great historic cause of
completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power,” according to a statement released
on the state-run Korea Central News Agency.
The launch prompted
international
condemnation, with the United States
calling for an emergency
meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
condemned it in strong
terms, seeking to maintain
international pressure on
North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un.
Although the reach displayed by the launch is worrisome, experts said hurdles
remain for North Korea. The
nation, believed to hold perhaps a few dozen nuclear
weapons, still must perfect
its ability to miniaturize a
warhead for a long-range
missile. North Korea has boasted about that progress,
issuing pictures of Kim
standing with warheads.
The nation also must feel
confident in its ability to deploy long-range missiles
that can proceed on a flatter
trajectory, allowing them to
reach not just space but distant targets after reentry
through the atmosphere.
It also remains unclear
whether the North’s longrange missile could carry a
heavy nuclear warhead at a
distance that would directly
threaten Americans at
home.
The nation boasted that
the missile had been outfitted with a “super-large
heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole
mainland of the U.S.,” a
claim that couldn’t be verified.
Stiles is a special
correspondent.
A4
T HU R S DAY , N OV E M BER 30, 2017
WST
LAT IMES. C OM
Zambia sees success
in its malaria battle
By Ann M. Simmons
EASTERN PROVINCE,
Zambia — Wearing blue
overalls, green rubber gloves
and a helmet while hauling a
22-pound canister of insecticide on her back, Emely
Mwale stood inside a small
hut and took aim.
“One
kwacha,
two
kwacha, three kwacha,” she
counted. The kwacha is the
national currency of Zambia, and saying it aloud was
her method for dosing out
the chemical mist, slowly
and evenly.
Mwale, 23, earns $6 a day
on the front lines of Zambia’s
efforts to eradicate malaria
within its borders.
Infections used to be
rampant here in the country’s Eastern Province. But
residents such as 40-yearold Dailes Phiri — whose 10
children used to contract it
routinely, sometimes pushing them to the brink of
death — said the spraying
has dramatically improved
the situation.
“I can’t remember the
last time one of the kids got
malaria,” she said in the
Chewa language through an
interpreter. “Maybe it was
five years ago.”
On a continent that has
been ravaged by the mosquito-borne disease — and
that has been losing ground
recently despite expansive
internationally funded efforts — the Eastern Province
of Zambia stands out for its
success.
Between 2010 and 2016,
the number of infections
here fell 42% from 1.4 million
to just under 805,000, and
the number of deaths fell 91%
from 2,862 to 248. It was here
— along with Southern Province, which has seen even
bigger improvements —
where the government has
carried out its most intensive campaigns against the
disease.
Now Zambia hopes to
replicate those successes
nationwide with what experts say is starting to take
shape as one of the most
comprehensive assaults on
malaria in Africa. The effort
has a lofty goal: zero new
transmissions by 2021.
There is much work to be
done. Although Zambia, a
Texas-size nation of nearly
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16 million people, has seen
big drops in malaria deaths,
it recorded 6.1 million infections last year. That’s up 36%
from 2010 — and part of a
trend in Africa that has derailed the World Health
Organization from its goal of
major reductions in infections and deaths worldwide
this decade. Africa accounted for the vast majority of the 216 million malaria
cases and 445,000 deaths
worldwide last year.
Zambia’s localized efforts began about a decade
ago with a variety of tactics
aimed at killing mosquitoes
that carry the malaria parasite and transfer it from one
victim to the next, preventing people from being bitten
and infected, and treating
them promptly when they
do contract the disease.
The campaigns included
distributing mosquito nets
to cover every bed, increasing the availability of tests to
rapidly diagnose infections,
mass distribution of antimalaria drugs, and prophylactic treatment of pregnant
women.
The nationwide effort
launched last spring is
funded with nearly $100 million in international aid,
though Zambia has increased its own spending on
malaria — from $1 million in
2010 to $17 million this year.
The campaign is now in
full force. Nurses have joined
doctors in being authorized
to prescribe anti-malaria
treatment. Health officials
trace people who are infected but who have no
symptoms, then test and
treat everyone living within
140 meters. Spraying programs have increased in intensity and sophistication.
Border checks have been instituted to prevent people
with infections from entering the country.
Inside the country, volunteer field workers fan out on
foot to distribute information about malaria, lead
community education meetings on the importance of
spraying, sleeping under
nets and removing stagnant
water where mosquitoes
breed.
Carol Mbewe, 37, a community health worker in
Eastern Province, said that
Patrick Adams For The Times
EMELY MWALE marks a home she just sprayed with insecticide in the Eastern
Province of Zambia, which hopes to replicate its smaller successes nationwide.
in the not-so-distant past,
many who fell sick with
symptoms of malaria would
seek help from traditional
healers. Now, if they are
stricken with fever they contact her.
One of her colleagues,
Adrian Banda, 34, whose
territory includes around
1,700 people in 11 villages,
said the declining number of
cases keeps him motivated.
“It gives me more hope
that we can eliminate the
disease,” he said.
The government and its
supporters insist that is possible by 2021.
“We have the political
will,” Chitalu Chilufya, the
health minister, said at a recent briefing in the country’s
capital, Lusaka.
Success in Eastern Province and Southern Province
FOR THE RECORD
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has fueled a sense of optimism.
“The timeline is ambitious,” said Melanie LuickMartins, head of health programs in Zambia for the U.S.
Agency for International Development, which leads a
U.S.
malaria
initiative
launched in 2005 by President George W. Bush. “But
the goal is within their reach.”
But
other
experts
pointed to many reasons to
be skeptical.
“They’ve made progress
throughout the country, I
think the government is genuine in its commitment, but
I think it is an unrealistic
goal to eliminate malaria in
the country by 2021,” said Dr.
William Moss, a pediatrician
at
Johns
Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public
Health who has conducted
malaria research in Zambia
for several years.
Moss said that though
Southern Province has recorded dramatic declines in
malaria transmission, other
parts of Zambia, such as Luapula province in the northern region, continue to see
“very high and very intense”
transmission.
With its lush swamps, the
north offers mosquitoes
year-round breeding sites.
“The standard package
of control efforts … have not
had a discernible impact on
malaria
transmission,”
Moss said. “They can’t even
control [it].”
Roger Bate, an economist who researches international health policy at the
Washington-based American Enterprise Institute,
said that because Zambia is
landlocked, any malariaelimination program depends on similar efforts by
its neighbors, including the
Democratic Republic of
Congo, where malaria is especially rampant.
“You
could
actually
achieve elimination and
then see malaria come back
in a couple of years quite easily,” he said.
Local officials also point
to other obstacles.
Resistance to insecticides and anti-malarial
medicines is growing. Some
residents object to spraying
because it forces them to
temporarily vacate their
homes and sends rats and
other vermin scampering
through their living spaces.
Malaria tests are rumored to
be a trick used to collect
blood for witchcraft. Mosquito nets are sometimes refashioned for fishing, wedding dress veils or to hang
between soccer goal posts.
Still, fighting malaria has
largely become a community
project.
One recent night, at a hut
in the Southern Province village of Sikaneka, two men
supported the cause by volunteering to be human bait
in a research project.
Design Simushu, 31, and
Omega Khalama, 27, wore
shorts and flip-flops to expose their limbs.
The men used a suction
device to catch the mosquitoes that landed on their
skin and deposited them in
cups while noting the time
and species. The bugs are
later tested to determine
whether they are carrying
the malaria parasite.
Scientists use all that information to study mosquito
behavior — research that
helps health officials develop malaria-control strategies.
Using human bait offers
the most accurate picture.
The men were protected
with anti-malaria drugs.
ann.simmons@latimes.com
Reporting of this article was
sponsored by the
Washington Global Health
Alliance in partnership with
Malaria No More.
S
L AT I ME S . CO M
Extremists applaud
Trump’s retweets
[Trump, from A1]
tweets lambasting cable network CNN as “fake news,” to
label as lies CNN International’s report of a Libyan
auction in which African migrants were sold into slavery.
The president’s tweets
against North Korea, vowing
to unleash “fire and fury”
and deriding dictator Kim
Jong Un as “Little Rocket
Man,” repeatedly have rattled allies threatened by the
nuclear-armed nation.
Trump earlier angered
many in Britain when, after
a terrorist attack in London
in June, he misleadingly suggested on Twitter that the
city’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq
Kahn, had minimized terrorism by suggesting there
was “no reason to be
alarmed.” Kahn was referring to the widespread presence of armed police. J.K.
Rowling, author of the Harry
Potter books, excoriated
Trump in her own tweet: “If
we need an alarmist blowhard, we’ll call.”
What vexed many British
about Trump’s latest tweets
is that he elevated a hate
group that until now has had
minimal support. Its deputy
leader,
Jayda
Fransen,
whose tweets Trump had
circulated, quickly thanked
the president on Twitter for
introducing the faction and
its anti-Muslim message to
his 43 million followers.
“GOD BLESS YOU
TRUMP! GOD BLESS
AMERICA!” she tweeted.
Her reaction echoed that
of a counterpart in the
United States, former Ku
Klux Klan leader David
Duke, who posted on Twitter: “Thank God for Trump!
That’s why we love him.”
More widespread was the
criticism of Trump, within
minutes of Americans awakening to his retweets. Republicans in Congress were
mostly silent or avoided
questions, though Sen. Jeff
Flake of Arizona, one of
Trump’s Republican antagonists, called his posts
“highly inappropriate.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the
head of the Anti-Defama-
tion League, said that
Trump would “embolden
bigots.”
“These are actions one
would expect to see on virulent anti-Muslim hate sites,
not on the Twitter feed of the
president of the United
States,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council
on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.
“Trump’s posts amount to
incitement
to
violence
against American Muslims.”
The blowback was reminiscent of the reaction to
Trump’s failure in August to
explicitly condemn white supremacists for two days following deadly clashes in
Charlottesville, Va., and his
blaming “many sides” for the
violence that caused a woman’s death.
While Trump traveled
Wednesday to Missouri for a
political rally promoting the
Republican tax-cut bill, his
aides defended the president’s tweets and dismissed
the criticism in this country
and elsewhere.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee
Sanders
said
Trump
retweeted the videos to
bring attention to “the
threat” and the need “to promote strong border security” and increase military
spending.
“I’m not talking about
the nature of the video. I
think you are focusing on the
wrong thing,” she told reporters. “The threat is real.
And that’s what the president is talking about, is the
need for national security,
the need for military spending, and those are very real
things.”
Fransen, the Britain
First member, was convicted last year of religiously
aggravated harassment of a
Muslim woman wearing a
head scarf, or hijab, as the
woman’s
four
children
watched. Her arrest last
week, on suspicion of inciting hatred, was related to a
rally in August in Belfast,
Northern Ireland.
The videos Fransen had
circulated purport to show
Muslims engaged in violent
or anti-Christian acts.
The titles — “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on
crutches!” along with “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist
mob pushes teenage boy off
roof and beats him to
death!” — reflected the sort
of anti-Muslim sentiment
Trump expressed as a candidate, but had muted since
his election. “I think Islam
hates us,” he told CNN last
year, as he campaigned for a
“total and complete shutdown” of Muslims coming to
the United States.
The caption on one video
said the young man kicking
and punching a Dutch boy
on crutches was a Muslim
migrant. Yet according to a
statement from the Dutch
Embassy in Washington, authorities in the Netherlands
investigated the assault and
said the suspect was not a
migrant.
“Facts do matter,” the
embassy said. “The perpetrator of the violent act in
this video was born and
raised in the Netherlands.
He received and completed
his sentence under Dutch
law.”
Also joining the fray was
Brendan Cox, the widower of
a member of the British Parliament, Jo Cox, who was
killed last year by a man
shouting “Britain First!”
The group denied it had any
connection. Cox wrote on
Twitter, “Trump has legitimized the far right in his own
country, now he’s trying to
do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences and
the President should be
ashamed of himself.”
The influential Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin
Welby, the senior bishop of
the Church of England, said
it is “deeply disturbing that
the President of the United
States has chosen to amplify
the voice of far-right extremists.” Welby called on Trump
to take down the tweets and
“make clear” his opposition
to racism and hatred.
brian.bennett@latimes.com
AN IMAGE from court video shows Slobodan Praljak after a ruling against him.
Convicted Bosnian Croat
takes poison in courtroom
associated press
THE HAGUE — Seconds
after a U.N. judge confirmed
his 20-year war crimes sentence on Wednesday, former
Bosnian Croat military commander Slobodan Praljak
shouted, “I am not a war
criminal!,” threw back his
head, drank liquid from a
small bottle and told the
court he had taken poison. A
flustered judge halted the
hearing and Praljak was
rushed to a hospital, where
he died.
Shocking images of the
72-year-old former philosophy professor and theater
director who became a
wartime general shouting
and drinking what he said
was poison were streamed
live on the court’s website
and around the Balkans.
The death cast a pall over
the last case at the groundbreaking
International
Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia. Judges
upheld sentences ranging
from 10 to 25 years against
Praljak and five other Bosnian Croat wartime political
and military leaders for their
part in a plan linked to Croatia’s late former President
Franjo Tudjman to violently
carve out a Croat-domi-
nated mini-state in Bosnia
during the Balkan wars by
killing, mistreating and deporting Muslims.
Croatian Prime Minister
Andrej Plenkovic offered his
condolences to Praljak’s
family and said the former
general’s actions reflected
the “deep moral injustice”
done to him and the five others whose sentences were
also upheld by the appeals
judges Wednesday.
In their ruling, the judges
confirmed that Praljak was
guilty of crimes including
murder, persecution and inhumane treatment as part
of the plot to establish a
Croat entity in Bosnia in the
early 1990s, as well as the 20year sentence initially handed to Praljak in May 2013 at
the end of the six men’s trial.
Ironically, Praljak, who
surrendered to the tribunal
in 2004 and had been jailed
for 13 years, could have soon
walked free because those
who are convicted are generally let go after serving twothirds of their sentences.
After Praljak’s outburst,
Dutch police immediately
were called in to launch an
independent investigation.
Questions the detectives
will attempt to answer include: What was the liquid
Praljak drank and how did
he manage to get it into the
tightly guarded courtroom?
The courtroom where the
dramatic scene unfolded
was sealed off. Presiding
Judge Carmel Agius said it
was now a “crime scene.”
A Serbian lawyer who has
frequently defended suspects at the U.N. war crimes
court in the Netherlands
told the Associated Press it
would be easy to slip poison
into the court.
Attorney Toma Fila said
that security for lawyers and
other court staff “is just like
at an airport,” with security
staff inspecting metal objects and confiscating cellphones, but “pills and small
quantities of liquids” would
not be registered.
Nick Kaufman, an Israeli
defense lawyer who used to
work as a prosecutor at the
tribunal, also said a defendant could find a way to bring
in a banned substance.
“When deprived of authority over the masses and
the attention which formerly
fueled their ego and charisma, such defendants can
often be extremely resourceful with the little power they
retain,” he said.
Wednesday’s hearing was
the final case at the groundbreaking tribunal before it
closes its doors next month.
T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
A5
A6
T HU R S DAY , N OV E M BER 30, 2017
LAT IMES. C OM
THE NATION
Harassment issue vexes Congress
Politicians, influenced by partisanship, struggle with how to police ranks
By Cathleen Decker
WASHINGTON
—
American corporations in
recent weeks have scythed
through the ranks of alleged
sexual harassers, dispatching personalities as powerful
as movie producer Harvey
Weinstein and television anchor Matt Lauer, who was
swiftly fired on Wednesday
after a credible accusation of
sexual misbehavior.
But in Washington, the
growing public intolerance
for harassment has tied politicians in partisan pretzels,
and left them grappling for a
way to assess guilt and mete
out consequences.
Several factors have
slowed the political response. In the sharply divided Capitol, partisanship
inevitably affects how cases
are viewed. So does a reluctance to sit in judgment of
peers who are friends and allies. Congress also has more
than a whiff of entitlement,
accustomed to operating by
its own rules while other organizations rush to protect
themselves from liability.
Beyond that, some lawmakers argue that voters,
not colleagues, should serve
as the ultimate judges of
those under scrutiny.
When Rep. James E.
Clyburn (D-S.C.) was asked
Wednesday about the difference between quick actions
taken against non-politicians and lagging moves
against members of Congress such Rep. John Conyers Jr., a fellow Democrat
from Michigan, he blurted
out one line:
“Who elected them?” he
said, referring to the privatesector figures.
But the slow response
also reflects a political system struggling to sort out
Photographs by Associated Press
DEMOCRATIC Rep.
SEN. Al Franken, also a
REPUBLICAN Senate
John Conyers Jr. faces
harassment allegations.
Democrat, is accused of
grabbing women.
candidate Roy Moore is
under fire in Alabama.
the nuances of wrongdoing
on a topic that until recently
was kept mostly under
wraps.
Melanie Sloan, a Washington ethics lawyer who accused Conyers of gender discrimination
when
she
worked for him decades ago,
said, for example, that she
saw his case as distinct from
that of Sen. Al Franken of
Minnesota, who was photographed
pretending
to
grope a sleeping woman and
was accused of grabbing
other women’s buttocks during photo sessions.
With Conyers, Roy Moore
— the Alabama Senate candidate who is accused of inappropriate contact with
teenage girls — and President Trump, “you have to tar
everyone with the same
brush,” she said.
Conyers has been accused of harassing several
women who worked for him
and, in at least one case,
agreed to a $27,000 wrongful
firing settlement for a female
aide who said she spurned
his advances. Trump has
been accused by numerous
women of multiple acts of
misconduct, which he denies.
As for Franken? “I just
don’t know. I’m not OK with
what Franken has done.
Why am I more OK with
Conyers’ resignation? The
numbers, the settlement
and maybe I also happen to
know what Conyers is like,”
she said.
Rep. Jackie Speier, the
Bay Area House Democrat
who has tried for years to improve Congress’ mechanism
for protecting accusers, is
one of the authors of a bipartisan measure that would,
among other things, require
members found to have sexually harassed others to repay the Treasury for settlements and make those
agreements public.
Speier said the punishment options were “questions that … we need to sort
out over the next couple of
months.”
“I do think there are gradations in terms of sexual
harassment,” she said. “A
sexual innuendo versus
grabbing someone’s breasts
are two different things. Is
there a pattern? That’s what
needs to be discussed.”
Speier has said that
Moore should not be allowed
to serve as a senator if he
wins Alabama’s Dec. 12 election — a position that sev-
eral leading Republicans
have also taken. But asked
whether Conyers should resign, she declined to answer.
She was hardly the only
one trying to step around
such
judgments.
On
Wednesday, both parties
dodged questions regarding
a fellow partisan’s culpability.
House Speaker Paul D.
Ryan (R-Wis.) was hesitant
when asked whether leading
by example — which he had
just said the House should
do when it came to sexual
harassment — meant believing more than a dozen women who last year accused
Trump of misbehavior. “I’m
just making sure this place
works the right way,” he said.
Democrats offered similar dodges when asked
about Conyers, who has
been debating whether to resign. In part that is because
he was one of the founders of
the Congressional Black
Caucus, an influential element of the party,
Rep. Linda T. Sanchez
(D-Whittier) said it was “a
good first step” that members voted Wednesday to require sexual harassment
training, but that in the case
of Conyers, “I don’t know all
the facts.”
Democratic
Caucus
Chairman Joseph Crowley of
New York said that Congress “should be not the gold
standard, but the platinum
standard.” But he, too, declined to say whether Conyers should resign.
Part of the jumbled
Washington response rests
on the fact that the incidents
brought to light so far affect
both parties.
Democrats once expected to gain political advantage from the Moore controversy, much as they did in
2012 after Todd Akin, a Republican Senate candidate
from Missouri, said in an interview that rape victims did
not need a right to abortion
because in “legitimate rape,
the female body has ways to
try to shut that whole thing
down” and prevent pregnancy.
That could yet happen if
Moore wins, but for now,
“there’s no obvious winner
or loser in terms of partisanship here,” said Peter Brown
of the Quinnipiac Poll. “It’s
both
Republicans
and
Democrats…. The question
may not be which party has
how many incidents; it may
be which incident sticks in
people’s minds.”
The audience potentially
looking at the parties’ response is immense: A
Quinnipiac Poll last week
found that 60% of female voters said they had been sexually harassed; of those,
about 7 in 10 said the harassment occurred at their workplace.
But there were partisan
schisms: Overall, 60% of voters said Moore should be expelled from the Senate if he
wins. Republicans said he
should not be expelled, 49%
to 33%.
Republicans appear to be
more skeptical regardless of
who is accused. In a recent
Morning Consult poll, 39% of
Democrats said they found
the Conyers claims credible,
a view shared by 32% of Republicans.
Since the Washington
Post reported in early November that four women
had accused Moore of making advances on teenagers
decades ago when he was in
his 30s and a local prosecutor, the party’s response
has been split. Senior Republicans in Washington, including Ryan and Senate
Majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have
called on Moore to leave the
race, seeing him as an anvil
around the party’s neck in
2018.
But others say the party’s
need to retain the Senate
seat should override concerns about Moore. A victory
by Democrat Doug Jones,
who is narrowly trailing in
the most recent polls, would
cut the GOP majority by one
to 51-49.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has come out
against Moore, explained
the logic Wednesday in an interview with Politico.
“It is a complicated, difficult situation. Because on
the one hand, as a Republican, you want the Republican Party to keep the seat.
On the other hand, I personally find the accusations
against him to be credible,
and I don’t think he has done
or said anything in the last
month that has helped himself or in any way made me
feel better about it,” Rubio
said. “But he’s staying in the
race, the people of Alabama
will have their vote, and we’ll
move on from there.”
cathleen.decker
@latimes.com
LOS ANGELES TIMES
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
A7
A8
THU R S DAY , N OV EM BE R 30, 2017
LAT IMES. C OM
GOP nears a final vote on tax plan
[Tax plan, from A1]
tinue in a conference committee as the House and
Senate reconcile their different bills.
To pay for concessions
negotiated in recent days to
win over reluctant Republicans, GOP Senate leaders
need to find about $160 billion in additional revenue. It
remains unclear where that
money will come from, but
some lawmakers are mulling
whether to scale back the
proposed corporate tax cut.
Under the current plan,
the rate would drop substantially, from 35% to 20%,
though some senators support increasing that to 22%.
The White House swiftly
opposed that option, and
Trump reiterated his promise for a 20% corporate rate
that has been the centerpiece of the Republican
plan.
“That’s good for everybody in the room, whether
you have a company, or
whether you want a job, because we’re going to bring
back jobs,” he said, standing
before a pair of Christmas
trees at a rally in St. Charles,
Mo. “With Trump as your
president, we are going to be
celebrating Merry Christmas again and it’s going to
be done with a big beautiful
tax cut.”
One key change sought
by Corker and other senators — inserting a trigger
mechanism to roll back the
tax breaks if economic
growth doesn’t cover costs
as promised — was met with
strong opposition from big
business and conservatives,
including a group backed by
the influential Koch brothers that has been running
digital ads and robocalls targeting wavering senators on
tax cuts.
Instead, GOP senators
began floating an alternative trigger mechanism that
Michael Reynolds EPA/Shutterstock
SEN. BOB CORKER, a Republican from Tennessee, wants assurances the GOP’s
tax cuts won’t add to the deficit. Other Republican senators have concerns as well.
would impose automatic
spending cuts to prevent
deficits. But that idea also
ran into resistance from
some lawmakers.
“The trigger has been a
moving target,” said Sen.
Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, who said she had
agreed to vote to open debate but was not yet supportive of the tax plan.
Collins won a commitment from McConnell to address healthcare fixes to prevent insurance premium increases if the tax bill includes a repeal of the
Affordable Care Act requirement that all Americans
have health insurance.
Experts say such a repeal
could cause market disruptions.
Collins wants votes on
two bipartisan healthcare
bills that would seek to stabilize markets — one from
Sen. Lamar Alexander (RTenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and another
from Collins and Sen. Bill
Nelson (D-Fla.).
Leaders agreed those
would happen this year, possibly as part of a must-pass
spending bill next week.
But Collins is still seeking
other changes to the tax bill,
including a provision cham-
‘I don’t think
anybody in the
Milky Way
thought this
would be easy. I’m
ready to saddle
up and vote.’
— Sen. John Kennedy
(R-La.)
pioned by Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-Fla.) that would make
the expanded $2,000 child
tax credit refundable. That
would cost as much as $180
billion over the decade.
“We’re doing this one step
at a time,” she said. “I’m having ongoing negotiations …
on a host of issues.”
Late Wednesday, leaders
reached an agreement with
Johnson to increase the
17.4% income deduction for
pass-through businesses to
20%, which helped bring him
on board for the procedural
vote. But he too is seeking
further changes.
The Senate GOP’s tax
package, like one passed by
the House, hews to a blueprint that lowers corporate
and some individual tax
rates but allows fewer deductions. Experts say the
approach provides more
benefit to big businesses and
wealthy individuals than average Americans.
The corporate cuts, for
example, would be permanent, while the individual
cuts expire after eight years
in the Senate plan.
Studies show that while
most Americans, on average, would see tax cuts,
some taxpayers — especially
lower- and middle-income
filers — would see tax hikes,
especially once the reduced
rates expire.
The package will add $1.5
trillion to the deficit, and
some senators complain
there has not been enough
analysis to see if economic
growth will cover those costs
as Republicans argue.
Others senators, though,
worried Wednesday that ongoing talks could delay momentum, especially if views
hardened among Republicans, who have not won support from Democrats and
are trying to pass the legislation on their own.
“I don’t think anybody in
the Milky Way thought this
would be easy,” said Sen.
John Kennedy (R-La.). “I’m
ready to saddle up and vote.”
Ahead of the vote, McConnell made it clear that
time was short and the only
way negotiations could continue was to start the voting
process.
Republicans are rushing
to advance the tax plan as
the legislative agenda piles
up with other items, including next week’s votes to continue funding the government and avoid a shutdown.
They are eager to close
out the year, before facing
midterm election voters,
having delivered on a Trump
priority.
“This is our chance to deliver relief for the people who
have sent us here,” McConnell urged his colleagues. “And the way that
we can do that is by voting to
proceed to the bill.”
lisa.mascaro@latimes.com
Times staff writer Noah
Bierman in Washington
contributed to this report.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
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Streetlight artist left in the dark
[Streetlights, from A1]
and then reinstalled in a
slightly different configuration before the Bureau of
Street Lighting offices on
Santa Monica Boulevard,
two blocks east of the original location.
What’s the big deal?
Klein was never contacted about the move.
“It was totally out of the
blue; there was no notification whatsoever,” says
the artist, who now lives in
Washington state. “This has
been in the public realm for
24 years. It’s outrageous.”
In a statement posted to
the blog of Esotouric, the
historic Los Angeles tour
company, Klein said the removal of the work, in essence, represented its destruction.
“While the Bureau of
Street Lighting put the piece
on their property with the
historic street lights in the
order I designed,” she wrote,
“this is not my piece and it is
no longer ‘Vermonica.’ ”
Megan Hackney, assistant director at the Bureau of
Street Lighting, says the
move wasn’t intended to be
permanent.
“We were recently contacted by the property management at that strip mall
and we were told that [the
lamps] needed to be removed — I think, because
they are redesigning the
parking lot or there will be
construction
going
on
there,” she says. “The timeline sped up because one day
they started doing some
work over there and they
called and said, ‘We need to
have two lights removed immediately.’ Our sense of urgency was to protect and
preserve the streetlights so
that they wouldn’t be damaged or removed by someone other than us.”
Hackney did not provide
an explanation for why the
artist wasn’t notified, but
says the Department of Cultural Affairs has since been
contacted and will coordinate with Klein to help determine the future of the
work.
“We need to meet and we
need to discuss options
about what can be done,”
Anacleto Rapping Los Angeles Times
“VERMONICA” was installed by artist Sheila Klein and a crew of volunteers in 1993. Klein says its recent relocation in effect destroyed it.
says the department’s general
manager,
Danielle
Brazell, who reached out to
Klein after the removal.
Altering or destroying
the work of an artist could
violate the California Art
Preservation Act, which
aims to preserve “the integrity of cultural and artistic
creations.”
But “Vermonica” occupies a legal gray area.
The piece was not commissioned by the city or any
of its entities. Instead, its installation — in true Los Angeles fashion — was more
DIY.
Klein received a small
grant from the Department
of Cultural Affairs to install
the work and received the
light posts on loan from the
Bureau of Street Lighting.
And she persuaded the
property owner of what was
then a small strip mall anchored by an electronics
shop called Hollytron to provide the median in the parking lot as an installation site.
The piece was supposed
to be temporary, lasting only
a year. But thanks to its
popularity, it lasted 24 — its
ownership always an unresolved question.
Over the years, Klein
says, there have been occasional discussions with the
city about formalizing the
work’s status (it was installed as a quasi-public
work on private property)
and finding a new location
for it — preferably on public
land.
But relocation, she insists, irrevocably changes
the meaning of the work, a
site-specific
piece
that
emerged from an urge to
mend the city.
“Originally,
I
had
thought of a more pastoral
site for the piece,” Klein says.
“But after the riots, I
thought it has to be right in
this place where things had
burned down. I remember
driving by that strip mall
and seeing the sign that
said, ‘We are rebuilding!’ So I
called the number on the
sign and asked if I could put
up the piece.
“This is a site-sensitive
piece. Context is everything.
Part of the piece is that it
changes its context. It’s not
some statue where you can
say, ‘I’ll move it to another
square.’ ”
Richard Schave, cofounder of Esotouric, says
the work’s quotidian location gave the piece its beauty
and its significance.
“It’s just hidden in this
parking lot,” he says. “But
it’s this parking lot that was
one of those iconic scenes
from the riots, with Korean
store owners on the roof ”
protecting their property.
Brazell also notes its significance within the context
of the Los Angeles art scene.
“This is an important artwork because it does predate Chris Burden’s ‘Urban
Light,’ ” she says. “It was
done by a woman artist —
and, often, women artists
have to operate outside of
convention.”
For Klein, the work was
about bringing together elements from different areas
and eras of the L.A. landscape — streetlights — and
presenting them as a stirring “urban candelabra.”
“My hope is that the piece
will be reinstated,” says
Klein, who has numerous
other public commissions
around Los Angeles, including the sculptural design of
the Hollywood and Highland Metro station. “This
whole situation raises a lot of
different conversations —
like the things that aren’t
landmarked but are still important to the nature of a
city.”
Ultimately, the sculpture’s sudden relocation
could rescue it from the gray
area it currently inhabits.
“It puts the story forward,” she says. “Hopefully
now it will be installed in the
appropriate way.”
carolina.miranda
@latimes.com
Twitter: @cmonstah
LOS ANGELES TIMES
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
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WST
LAT IMES. C OM
‘Today’
co-host
Lauer
ousted
by NBC
[Lauer, from A1]
behavior in the workplace by
Matt Lauer. It represented,
after serious review, a clear
violation of our company’s
standards. As a result, we’ve
decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first
complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years
he’s been at NBC News, we
were also presented with
reason to believe this may
not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer engaged in inappropriate behavior with a female NBC employee in 2014,
including while “Today” was
broadcasting from Sochi,
Russia, to cover the Winter
Olympics, according to a
person familiar with the
matter who was not authorized to comment publicly.
Ari Wilkenfeld, the attorney representing the woman
who brought the accusation,
said in a statement that he
and his client met with
NBC’s human resources
and legal departments Monday night to discuss the matter.
“Our impression at this
point is that NBC acted
quickly, as all companies
should, when confronted
with credible allegations of
sexual harassment in the
workplace,” Wilkenfeld said.
“While I am encouraged by
NBC’s response to date, I am
in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to
raise a complaint and to do
so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
An NBC News spokesperson said two more accusers have come forward
with
harassment
complaints about Lauer since
the news broke Wednesday
morning. The company said
Craig Ruttle Associated Press
PEOPLE stand outside the set of the “Today” show Wednesday after NBC fired
co-anchor Matt Lauer over a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
current NBC News management was not aware of any
complaints about Lauer’s
conduct before the employee came forward Monday
night.
On Wednesday afternoon, Variety published allegations by three unnamed
women who accused Lauer
of sexual harassment. Variety said the women’s accounts were corroborated by
friends or colleagues. The
women declined to be
named out of fear of professional repercussions.
In one case, according to
the report, Lauer dropped
his pants and showed a female staffer his penis after
calling her to his office. In another case, he gave a colleague a sex toy and included a note about how he
wanted to use it on her, the
report said.
The women, as well as
other current and former
staffers interviewed by Variety, described crass and philandering behavior, including some with willing participants. Some staffers described a button under
Lauer’s desk that allowed
him to lock his door from
the inside for additional privacy.
“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but
that’s still a problem because of the power he held,”
a former producer told Vari-
ety. “He couldn’t sleep
around town with celebrities
or on the road with random
people, because he’s Matt
Lauer and he’s married. So
he’d have to do it within his
stable, where he exerted
power and he knew people
wouldn’t ever complain.”
A
spokesperson
for
Lauer at public relations
firm Rubenstein Associates
said Lauer did not have any
comment.
Lauer, 59, is the second
morning news anchor to be
fired over allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior
this month.
Last week, Charlie Rose
was dismissed from his cohost job at “CBS This Morning” after a report that eight
women complained about
his behavior at his longrunning nightly talk show at
PBS, which has now been
dropped.
Allegations of sexual harassment and other sexual
misconduct have also taken
down the careers of several
other prominent figures in
media, including Fox News
anchor Bill O’Reilly, NBC
News political analyst Mark
Halperin, NPR executive
Michael Oreskes and chief
news editor David Sweeney.
On Wednesday, Garrison
Keillor, the former host of “A
Prairie Home Companion,”
was fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of
improper behavior.
NBC News this month
also fired its senior vice president for booking, Matt
Zimmerman, after learning
about “inappropriate conduct” with female employees.
“This shows that companies that have high-profile
stars will no longer be able to
turn a blind eye when women bring credible allegations
forward,” said Debra Katz, a
founding partner of the
Washington-based law firm
Katz, Marshall & Banks,
who has represented victims
in sexual harassment cases.
For TV viewers, the harassment allegations against
Lauer and other network anchors are doubly shocking
because they are being
made against personalities
we have come to trust every
day, said Bernice Ledbetter,
a professor at Pepperdine’s
Graziadio School of Business and Management.
“We know these men, we
know these faces,” Ledbetter said. “What we’re seeing
is a phenomenon where the
heads of these news organizations are sending a message of zero tolerance for
behavior that crosses the
line.”
Lauer’s ouster is likely to
have a seismic impact on
“Today,” one of the most successful morning TV shows in
the business and a cash cow
for NBC.
He has been co-anchor of
“Today” since 1997 after first
joining the show as a news
reader in 1994. He has been
the highest-paid anchor in
television news, with an annual salary of more than $20
million, and the longestrunning host on the program, which NBC launched
in January 1952.
“Today” runs second to
ABC’s
“Good
Morning
America” in the ratings, but
it’s by far the top revenue
earner in network morning
TV, taking in about $500 million annually.
While Lauer has weathered a number of controversies over his career on “Today,” he remained popular
with viewers. Internal surveys done by NBC often
showed that he was a key
reason viewers chose “Today” in the morning.
In light of the recent sexual harassment allegations
against figures in the media
and entertainment business, there had been talk in
the TV industry that a number of news organizations
were looking into Lauer’s behavior.
Lauer’s departure will alter the makeup of the “Today” on-air family, which
matters to the viewers who
look for consistency and
comfort in the morning programs they watch. Lauer’s
co-anchors, who by all accounts had a good relationship with him, were grim
when reporting the story at
the top of the program on
Wednesday.
“We are devastated,”
Guthrie said after reading
the statement. “We are still
processing all of this, and I
will tell you right now we do
not know right now more
than what I just shared with
you.… For the moment, all
we can say is that we are
heartbroken.
“I’m heartbroken for
Matt. He is my dear, dear
friend and my partner, and
he is beloved by many, many
people here, and I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to
tell her story and any other
women who have their stories to tell.”
Kotb said, “It’s hard to
reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we
know that walks in this
building every single day.”
“Access Hollywood Live”
host Natalie Morales, who
was Lauer’s former coworker at “Today,” also
shared her views.
“I woke up to the news
like everyone this morning
— just in shock,” Morales
said on her show. She also
praised the courage of a colleague “who did come forward.”
Lauer’s firing prompted
a swift reaction from President Trump. In a tweet, he
asked when executives at
NBC and parent company
Comcast would be “fired for
putting out so much fake
news.”
stephen.battaglio
@latimes.com
Twitter: @SteveBattaglio
Times staff writers Meg
James and David Ng
contributed to this report.
T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
L AT I ME S . CO M
A13
‘Boys’ club’ claim resonates
[Commentary, from A1]
friends over their morning
coffee.
Unfortunately, the dynamic of many of these
shows, including “CBS This
Morning,” from which Charlie Rose was recently canned
for similar reasons, is based
on the man having the bigger
role (and, inevitably, paycheck).
The longer Lauer reigned
at “Today,” the more the
marriage in the middle came
to resemble one of the grimmer bigamous situations in
“Big Love,” with Lauer at
command central, surrounded by equally talented
yet clearly not as high-status
female co-hosts and coanchors.
Two of whom — Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb
— had to do the dirty work of
breaking the Lauer news,
which they had obviously
just received themselves, on
Wednesday morning.
And, unfortunately, it
looks like it was an example
of form following function.
While on screen, Lauer
mugged and teased in his
self-conscious, self-deprecating way, offscreen he allegedly did what many monarchs do. In a report in
Variety that quickly followed
news of his firing, several
women accused Lauer of
systematically sexualizing
and harassing female employees; the desk in his office, the report notes, was
rigged with a button that
could lock the door from the
inside.
As with Roger Ailes, who,
until he stepped down under
similar charges, oversaw a
Fox News newsroom filled
with glamorized women in
tight sheath dresses, the
sexism on “Today” existed in
plain sight.
Barbara Walters was the
first official female co-host of
“Today,” and since the idea
of two female hosts is apparently heresy, the tradition
since has been that if a woman is in one chair, a man will
be in another. Gumbel and
Pauley were the first to turn
that template into a team;
though their relationship
took time to jell, it eventually
included a familiarity that
added a new dimension (and
higher ratings) to “Today.”
So much so that when Deborah
Norville
replaced
Pauley, she lamented breaking up a professional marriage.
Norville was quickly replaced by Katie Couric, then
Gumbel by Lauer, but the
idea that “Today’s” co-hosts
should function as a professional couple remained.
As television news, and
culture in general, grew
more informal and brandedpersonality-driven, so did
“Today.” Couric went on to
host the “CBS Evening
News” and was replaced by
Meredith Vieira. By then
Lauer was the unofficial star
of “Today,” praised for his
ability to do a tough interview one minute and goof off
with the gang the next. He
trotted around the globe in
“Where in the World is Matt
Lauer,” co-hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the opening of various Olympics. He and Viera
appeared to get along like
gangbusters and “Today”
owned the a.m.
But when Ann Curry replaced Vieira in 2011, the
chemistry was not as good.
Curry’s quieter mien clearly
made Lauer uneasy, and it
quickly became plain that
the responsibility for fixing
Justices question
police searches of
cellphone records
By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON — The
Supreme Court weighed privacy rights in the digital era
Wednesday, confronting the
question of whether the police can obtain a suspect’s
cellphone records to track
his travels for four months
without a search warrant.
The answer appeared to
be: No.
During an intense oral argument, the nine justices
sounded divided along unusual lines, but most appeared to agree that collecting cell tower data to track a
suspect’s movements for 127
days amounted to an unreasonable search.
It was unclear whether
they would decide simply to
limit how long the police
may track a suspect through
his mobile phone, or instead
rule broadly that cellphone
records are private and off
limits to the police or the
FBI without a search warrant.
That would amount to a
major change in the law, the
government told the court,
and one that could hamper
investigations when police
do not know who committed
a murder, robbed a bank, abducted a child or set off a
bomb.
In those cases, investigators often obtain data from
cellphone towers to narrow
the list of people who were
nearby when the crime was
committed. They would not
have “probable cause” to obtain a warrant for a particular suspect and his cellphone.
By contrast, the case
heard Wednesday began
when police learned that
Timothy Carpenter was the
leader of a robbery ring in
Detroit. Several of his cohorts had confessed.
To build their case, prosecutors obtained a magistrate’s order requiring several wireless carriers to turn
over records of 16 phone
numbers that Carpenter
had used over four months.
The data confirmed he was
nearby when his accomplices carried out eight robberies of Radio Shack
stores. He was convicted
and sentenced to 116 years in
prison.
Under current federal
law, the prosecutor has to
show the magistrate only
that the cellphone records
are “relevant and material to
an ongoing criminal investigation.”
In his appeal, ACLU lawyer Nathan Wessler urged
the court to set a higher
standard and to require
prosecutors to show “probable cause” that the suspect
was engaged in crime.
He described cellphones
as a “kind of time machine”
that allows police and prosecutors to track a suspect’s
movements over a long period.
His argument focused on
the length of the tracking.
He urged the court to set a
one-day limit for cellphone
records.
Justices Samuel A. Alito
and Anthony M. Kennedy
were the most skeptical of
the ACLU’s argument.
In the past, the court said
police needed a search warrant before they listened to a
suspect’s phone calls or,
more recently, downloaded
digital contents of a smartphone.
But the court said investigators may obtain bank records and phone records
without a search warrant because customers knowingly
made calls or wrote checks
and because the records
were held by a private company, not the government.
Alito said he did not see a
need to change that framework.
Wessler said charting a
“minute-by-minute account
of a person’s location” reveals more sensitive information than checks showing
a person’s purchases, but Alito said he was not convinced.
Kennedy said Congress
had set a reasonable rule
that requires police to show
why the records are relevant
to a particular crime. “You
give zero weight to that,” he
told Wessler.
But Chief Justice John G.
Roberts Jr. and Justice Elena Kagan said they saw a
need for setting new legal
limits on the use of tracking
technology.
In the past, the government “never had the ability
to go back even for 24 hours
and basically test everybody,
everybody in the whole community who happened to be
there,” Roberts said. “The
government didn’t have the
capability of tracking an
individual or every individual.”
Justice
Sonia
Sotomayor, citing an opinion
survey, said, “Most Americans want to avoid Big
Brother. They want to avoid
the concept that government will be able to see and
locate you anywhere you are
at any point in time.”
david.savage@latimes.com
the “problem” was hers. Ratings fell, but Lauer got a new,
reportedly $25-million contract and Curry got the ax.
When Curry broke down on
camera and later spoke of
the show and network as a
boy’s club, Lauer’s first reaction was to blame her and
then the media. For a moment the smiley-face curtain was pulled back; “Today” was a workplace like
many, filled with competition, cutthroat contract negotiation and the ruthlessness of a high-stakes enterprise, and Lauer was the one
with protection. If he had
not orchestrated Curry’s removal, he certainly had done
nothing to prevent it.
Which is why, minutes after the news of Lauer’s firing
broke, Curry’s name was
trending on social media, as
thousands wondered how
she was feeling and what
“Today” would be like if she
and Guthrie were the cohosts.
Certainly that is a notion
that needs to be considered
as NBC and CBS attempt to
save their shows. Morning
television is not Noah’s Ark,
so hosts do not have to come
in his ’n’ her matching sets.
Guthrie and Kotb seemed
pretty comfortable, and as
shows as disparate as “Cagney & Lacey” and “The
View” have proven, you can
have a show with just female
leads and people will watch.
More important, the notion that male and female
co-hosts or co-anything are
obligated to flirt or tease to
goose the ratings has got to
go. Chemistry is fine, but it
comes in all sorts of flavors
and professional is one of
them. ABC’s “Good Morning
America” has his ’n’ her cohosts, Robin Roberts and
George
Stephanopoulos,
who are friendly and gracious to each other without
inching into “Oh, there you
go again,” “Moonlighting”
territory, and if there’s a star,
it’s Roberts.
Lauer and Rose, are, of
Peter Kramer NBC
ANN CURRY and Matt Lauer didn’t work out as
a “Today” show team — and it cost Curry her job.
course, completely responsible for their own actions, and
many men oversee female
employees without harassing them. But sexual harassment isn’t so much about
sex as it is about power, the
belief that a person’s value,
to a show, to a company, to
the world, is so great that the
word “no” literally does not
apply to him (or her).
NBC certainly seemed to
think Lauer could do anything — during the Sochi
Olympics in 2014 (at which at
least one of the harassment
incidents was alleged to
have happened), he even
took over for veteran Bob
Costas, faring only slightly
better than he did during his
ghastly and blatantly unfair
interviews of Donald Trump
and Hillary Clinton during
the presidential campaign.
And, as the increasing
number of allegations appears to indicate, Lauer believed he could do anything
too.
mary.mcnamara
@latimes.com
A14
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LAT IMES. C OM/ OPINION
OPINION
EDITORIALS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LETTERS
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You, too, Matt Lauer?
N
BC’s sudden dismissal of “Today Show” host Matt Lauer
following allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior,
coming a week after the termination of Charlie Rose of “CBS This Morning” after sexual harassment allegations,
upends the anchor desks at two of the three
major broadcast network morning shows.
The firings will redefine the landscape of
morning television, not just leaving these
shows without their biggest stars, but also
rattling the millions of viewers for whom
these anchors have played the powerful hybrid role of morning greeter, interviewer and
gentle bearer of news, bad and good.
The fact that news organizations were
willing to summarily fire stars as big as
Lauer and Rose is testament to the sea
change in the public attitude toward sexual
harassment. (Granted, NBC knew that Variety was about to publish a piece detailing
multiple accusations of sexual harassment
against Lauer.) The reckoning shows no
sign of slowing; shortly after Lauer’s ouster
was disclosed, Minnesota Public Radio announced the firing of folksy radio show raconteur Garrison Keillor in response to allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”
This reckoning is a good thing, but of
course it’s been politicized. Noting Lauer’s
dismissal, President Trump tweeted, “When
will the top executives at NBC & Comcast
be fired for putting out so much Fake News.”
It may have been hypocritical for Lauer to
soberly grill Bill O’Reilly about allegations
of sexual harassment if Lauer had also engaged in sexual misconduct. But there’s no
connection between Lauer’s personal behavior and the network’s news gathering.
What these latest accusations and consequent banishments show is that the misuse
of power in a sexual way, almost always by
men, is alarmingly frequent in entertainment, finance, media and politics — and,
until now, tolerated and endured. It’s also
evidence that, as industries take these allegations seriously, more women and men
who were harassed will feel confident coming forward. If Trump were still just the star
of “The Apprentice” today and the multiple
women who’ve accused him of sexual harassment came forward, can you imagine
NBC saying anything to him other than
“You’re fired”?
Of course, the falls from grace that have
grabbed headlines involve celebrities and
other high-profile people. What’s just as important now is that the rest of the business
world take seriously the accusations leveled
by and at their workers. It shouldn’t take
word of an impending exposé or fear of bad
publicity to get business owners to do the
right thing.
Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets
A
nother day, another bizarre
and irresponsible tweet by the
president of the United States,
another dilemma for this editorial page: Why comment on this
inane exhibition when another one is sure to
follow in a few hours or days? But President
Trump’s retweeting early Wednesday of a
series of anti-Muslim videos posted by a farright figure in Britain is worthy of comment
— and condemnation — for several reasons.
First, it continues — indeed, escalates —
Trump’s demonization of Muslims, which
had its origins in his breathtakingly bigoted
campaign proposal to impose a "total and
complete shutdown of Muslims entering the
United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” Trump’s call to exclude adherents of
an entire religion has cast a lasting shadow
over his presidency and his efforts to impose
what he continues to call a “travel ban.”
Trump also has given aid and comfort to
anti-Muslim bigots, who will feel encouraged anew by his retweeting of three videos
posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader
of the group called Britain First. Fransen’s
resume includes a conviction last year for
verbally abusing a Muslim woman.
The videos are titled: “Muslim Destroys
a Statue of Virgin Mary!”; “Islamist mob
pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to
death!” and “Muslim migrant beats up
Dutch boy on crutches!” — though the
Dutch embassy in Washington said that
“the perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Nether-
lands.” Trump does indeed have a problem
with fake news — the kind spewing from his
Twitter feed.
Violent extremists — including Islamic
terrorists — do indeed pose a threat. But
demagogues seek to blur the distinction between Islamic extremism and Islam generally, firing up their followers with hatred and
an appeal to stereotypes.
That is true in Britain as well as the U.S.
As the office of British Prime Minister Theresa May said in reaction to Trump’s
retweets: “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives
that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They
cause anxiety to law-abiding people.”
By retweeting these videos, Trump has
put the enormous power of his bully pulpit
in service of their cause — sadly, just one of
many times he has blithely uttered or repeated things far beneath the dignity of the
presidency. On Twitter, Fransen exulted:
“Donald Trump himself has retweeted these
videos and has around 44 million followers!
God bless you Trump! God Bless America!”
In a remarkable rebuke, the prime minister’s office also said: “It is wrong for the
president to have done this.” That’s another
problem with Trump’s impulsive decision to
recycle these inflammatory videos: the unnecessary damage it has inflicted on relations with one of America’s closest allies.
The president’s itchy finger, atrocious
judgment and lack of empathy have dismayed Americans, including some who
voted for him, for months. But, as May’s reaction shows, the problem isn’t ours alone.
Don’t cut poor kids’ coverage
E
very major federal health insurance program has become a political hot button in recent years, as
Democrats and Republicans have
tussled over the cost, reach and rationale of Obamacare, Medicaid and Medicare. One oasis of bipartisanship, though,
has been the Children’s Health Insurance
Program, which helps states insure nearly 9
million kids in families too poor to afford
coverage but not poor enough to qualify for
Medicaid. About 2 million of those children
are in California. Created in 1997 by a Republican-majority Congress and a Democratic president, the program has been reauthorized regularly since then with broad
bipartisan support.
Until now. The Republicans who control
Congress allowed the program’s authorization to lapse in September, shutting off the
spigot of federal dollars. The main issue
holding up reauthorization has been a fight
over how to cover the program’s price tag.
Let’s be clear: any sign of fiscal responsibility in Washington is welcome. Nevertheless,
the hand-wringing over children’s health insurance, which costs $8 billion a year, stands
in sharp contrast to the GOP’s eagerness to
pass a package of tax cuts that would cost
an estimated $1.4 trillion over the coming
decade.
The program has been running on fumes
since October, with state and federal governments relying on reserves to keep it going. If Congress doesn’t reauthorize it by the
end of this month, states will start dropping
kids from the program, rolling back benefits
or cutting other services to make up for the
lost federal dollars. California is legally committed to keep the program going until late
2019, but the loss of federal funding — it received $2.4 billion for the program in fiscal
2016 — would blow a huge hole in the state’s
budget.
We can debate the pros and cons of the
Republicans’ tax cut plans all day long. But
there’s no debate over the value of extending
insurance coverage to children whose families could not otherwise afford it. Being insured enables children to receive checkups
and other preventive care, treat illnesses
promptly and stay in school, ready to learn.
Healthy kids are the foundation of a healthy
economy in the future.
Republicans and Democrats in the
House and Senate are negotiating a compromise to extend funding for five years at
the current rate, intending to pass it before
the end of December. Their intentions may
be good, but the foot-dragging means the
reauthorization bill will be competing for
time and attention with a slew of other,
much more controversial must-pass measures, as well as a potential government
shutdown in early December.
Two states — Colorado and Virginia —
have already let families in the program
know that they may be losing their coverage
at the end of the year. That’s a cruelty needlessly inflicted by Congress. Lawmakers
need to reauthorize the program before the
situation gets any worse.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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MANAGING EDITOR
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DEPUTY MANAGING EDITORS
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Juliet Lapidos OP-ED AND SUNDAY OPINION EDITOR
in an orderly way. Mulvaney’s stunt may be good
for TV news ratings, which
Trump loves, but it’s a
smokescreen.
Theda Snyder
Sherman Oaks
Try lowering
taxes, California
Re “The Republican tax
overhaul is terrible for
L.A.,” Opinion, Nov. 29
Christina House Los Angeles Times
ROBERT VAN DE HOEK looks at what he says is
Palmer’s goldenbush in the Ballona Wetlands.
A ‘restoration’?
Re “Another rare plant might uproot a wetlands project,”
Nov. 27
Focusing on the possible discovery of a rare plant at
the Ballona Wetlands ignores a number of other reasons
why the “restoration” project should not occur.
This is not a restoration, which is the act of returning
something to its former condition. Rather, this entire
project is about making Ballona a tidal wetland
inundated with salt water, when historical photos and
information strongly suggest this was mainly a
freshwater wetland.
During a recent public hearing on the project, none of
the advocates for this plan even challenged this claim,
which is something that should stop the so-called
restoration.
Robert Vaghini
Los Angeles
I have been a resident of
Marina del Rey for more
than 18 years. I attended
the public hearing on Nov.
8 at Burton Chace Park.
From the window of my
gym across Lincoln Boulevard, I get a daily panoramic view of the Ballona Wetlands, which mostly looks
like an overgrown landfill.
In fact, most of the remaining wetlands is a landfill, as
the dirt dredged out to
create the marina was
dumped into this area. It is
overrun with non-native
species. Right now, it is not
healthy.
I don’t believe the wetlands can actually be “restored,” but it can be made
healthy again. Proponents
of the project have put
forth good workable proposals for doing just that,
including the removal of fill
dirt so as to improve water
flow and remove nonnative species. They also
want to make the wetlands
more accessible to visitors.
Doing nothing, as the
opposition demands, is not
a logical option.
Mark Johnson
Marina del Rey
::
I was fascinated with
the article about the Ballona Wetlands.
Over the years, biologist
Robert “Roy” van de Hoek,
whose unverified discovery
of a rare plant species
could stop a controversial
restoration project, has
educated many students
and parents at our school
about plant and animal life
at the Ballona Wetlands.
His knowledge is so extensive and his curiosity
boundless.
How exciting to hear he
may have discovered another rare plant. Thanks to
The Times for keeping us
abreast of the constant
tug-of-war surrounding
this vital stretch of land.
Deirdre Gainor
Venice
::
Independent citizen
groups have been a critical
part in saving the Ballona
Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
In the late 1990s, the
group Grassroots Coalition alerted the city of Los
Angeles to oil field gas
leaking out of the Playa
Vista development site.
The project’s experts denied there was a problem.
After years of volunteers
giving their time, Grassroots got the city to have an
independent expert conduct a study.
That study showed
Grassroots was right —
there was a major gas leak
at the site that required a
new experimental gas
mitigation system to be
installed. Because of the
gas issue, Playa Vista became a willing seller to the
state of the Ballona Wetlands west of Lincoln Boulevard.
Restoring Ballona as
the seasonal freshwater
wetland it is will be safer for
the wildlife and plants and
will use much less of our
precious taxpayer funds.
Kathy Knight
Santa Monica
The writer is project
manager for the Ballona
Ecosystem Education
Project.
Trump is a
phony populist
Re “The fight for the CFPB’s soul,” editorial, Nov.
28
The battle over the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a proxy
fight between Republicans
and Democrats on deregulation.
The Great Recession
occurred because the
subprime mortgage market was unregulated and
the banks were largely
deregulated. The resulting
financial crash caused
millions of people to lose
their jobs, houses and
savings.
Republicans claim that
deregulation produces
jobs, growth and prosperity. The Great Recession
proved that to be untrue.
The GOP opposes regulation because it costs businesses money.
President Trump is a
phony populist who is
really just a typical Republican looking out for Wall
Street and the corporations, which is why the
GOP wants to trash the
CFPB.
Michael Asher
Valley Village
::
The fight between Mick
Mulvaney and Leandra
English over the helm of
the CFPB is a great illustration of how Obama
administration holdovers
are trying to undermine
our president.
Ex-Director Richard
Cordray’s naming of English as his successor was
clearly out of line and a
blatant attempt to further
former President Obama’s
overreaching agenda for
that agency. It won’t stand
in court, as the president
has the right and duty to
appoint agency heads.
As they say, elections
have consequences. The
Obama clan should stop
acting against Trump and
suck it up.
Rick Kern
Incline Village, Nev.
::
This is much ado about
very little. People are acting as if this fight will settle
the permanent leader of
the CFPB.
Here’s how it should
work: Under the DoddFrank law, English is the
acting director until the
new one is confirmed. If
Trump had any sense, he
would immediately officially nominate Mulvaney
as the CFPB head.
Republicans have a
majority in the Senate, so
they would confirm Mulvaney, who would take over
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin’s
op-ed article deserves
close examination.
He cites the Joint Committee on Taxation as
proof that 10 years from
now, federal income taxes
will increase for individuals
earning less than $75,000.
Further, federal taxes will
increase by about 25% for
people earning less than
$30,000. I assume Galperin
looked out so far because
he expects the cuts in rates
to individuals in the plan to
be eliminated in eight
years.
But will Congress actually allow a big tax increase
to go into effect then? Why
not just tell us what lowerand middle-income earners will pay in the meantime?
Furthermore, Galperin
says the elimination of the
deduction for state and
local taxes will boost federal revenue by $1.3 trillion,
with 2.2 million Angelenos
now claiming only $33
million. Really? If his data
are correct, we will take a
loss of $15 per claimant.
The questions Galperin
needs to ask are why our
state and local taxes are so
high, and what explains
the survival of many states
that have no income tax. If
Galperin is so concerned
about losing our deduction
for state and local taxes,
there is an easy answer:
Eliminate our state income
tax.
Lee O’Connor
Huntington Beach
::
Right now, the Republicans are pushing a tax bill
that will add more than $1
trillion to the national debt
— which they would be
whining long and loud
about if it were proposed
by the Democrats.
Two or three years from
now, if they’re still in power,
the Republicans will claim
to be shocked, shocked by
how large the deficit has
become. And who will be
responsible? Why, the
people who can’t afford
medical insurance, of
course.
The elderly use Medicare, and the poor must
use Medicaid. Cutting or
doing away with those
programs will reduce the
deficit.
As for the remaining
budget hole, that will be
squared away because we
reduced the corporate tax,
and corporations are using
their savings to pay their
employees more, causing
them to pay more in taxes.
Simple.
Nicholas Orchard
Long Beach
Should Franken
fear expulsion?
Re “Politics roiled by sex
abuse claims,” Nov. 27
Sen. Al Franken (DMinn.) sure is bold, actually volunteering for a
Senate Ethics Panel investigation. But perhaps he is
not so bold as it might
appear.
The last time the U.S.
Senate expelled any of its
members was in 1861.
That’s when 10 senators
were ousted because they
served Confederate states
that were waging war on
the U.S. Remember the
Civil War? That is what it
takes to get expelled.
Franken rates as a
disgusting groper. His case
well illustrates what a fetid
swamp Washington is,
always covering for its
politicians.
Gary LaPook
Moorpark
HOW TO WRITE TO US
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submission guidelines, see
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T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
L AT I ME S . CO M/ OP I N IO N
A15
OP-ED
Cure for toxic masculinity?
By Eldra Jackson III
T
here have been an overwhelming number of news stories of late
focused on the behavior of men,
from boorish and crass to criminal. Not coincidentally, the wave
of sexual-harassment and assault charges
has crested a year after we elected president
an individual who, in his own words, takes
pleasure in grabbing women without their
permission. Together the accounts are
validating long-held assumptions about the
real cost of doing business in a male-dominated society.
I have contributed to this problem, and I
have also searched for a remedy. For 24
years, I was a resident of various prisons run
by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, most recently New
Folsom Prison. I was serving a life sentence
for a laundry list of offenses, committed as
part of my once-chosen vocation of gangster.
As a gang member, I immersed myself
into a world of toxic masculinity. I saw victimizing others as not merely a choice but a
right. If I wanted something, I took it. If
someone was in my way, I knocked them
down.
It is easy for me to identify with the mindset of the men who are being unmasked in
this ongoing flood of stories, even though
they have led their lives in a very different
kind of context. I see the air of entitlement
that comes from having power over others,
the rush and euphoria of invincibility.
I embraced this way of being at a young
age. I joined a gang when I was 14 years old,
and at each phase of the descent into that
lifestyle, I was instructed by other “hypermasculine” males on how to spew my specific brand of poison into the world.
While sitting in solitary confinement —
not for the first time — for stabbing another
prisoner nearly 30 times, I began to wonder
Harassers could benefit
from a type of group
therapy forged in an
unlikely place: prison.
how I had spiraled so far into the abyss. I
didn't have answers to the questions that
began to crop up in my mind, but I knew
that the questioning was due.
This inquiry led me to “doing my work.”
“Doing work” is vernacular I learned at
New Folsom Prison. When I was released
from solitary, I was invited to join a men's
group called the Inside Circle. Unsure what
to expect from sitting around a candle with
a bunch of dudes, I halfheartedly agreed to
give it a try, knowing that I could walk away
at anytime.
I quickly realized that I had entered a
realm that would change my life. Sitting “in
circle,” each man in the room takes a turn
delving into his darkest emotions — or
resisting doing so. In the process, each man
is challenged, confronted and supported by
other men.
The Inside Circle is made up of men who
have been confined to a maximum-security
prison, often for decades. They are men who
learned early on to meet feelings of vulnerability with violence and force. It is not unusual for confrontations in circle to become
physical in some respect. But together these
men manage to redefine vulnerability as a
sign of strength rather than weakness.
The circle allows men to examine the
most vile and horrendous deeds a human
can perpetrate on another — without condemnation, judgment or justification. Instead, they are permitted to be curious so
that they might locate the origins of their
frame of mind.
In circle, I got to see others struggle
through the truth of their actions and support them through the process. I also got
the benefit of men supporting me as I investigated my dark corners and figured out
where I am damaged as a human being. The
work took me back to my early childhood,
when I began to bury pain that I then
crafted into a justification for hurting others
— a way to disguise my fear, insecurity and
shame. The circle graced me with awareness
of the damage I am responsible for, and with
it came something entirely new: accountability.
The circle takes it to the next level, challenging men to change what does not work.
Harming others does not work. Harming
oneself does not work. Manipulation does
not work. Control and dominance do not
work.
I have often wondered if and how we as a
society can put an end to our legacy of aggression and violence, in which men use
their position to prey on others. The trickledown effect is so pernicious that sometimes
women even blame women.
Our collective groupthink reminds me a
lot of the prison mentality — people just
going along with something we all recognize
is wrong so as not to stand out. I don't know
if men's group work is a model that can
bring healing to everyone, but I do know
that it works for some of the most damaged
of men.
I have witnessed transformation in the
deepest, darkest bowels of society, among
people deemed the most despicable of humanity. If change can occur under those
circumstances, isn’t it possible outside?
Eldra Jackson III served 24 years in the
California prison system, was released in
2014 and now works in the traffic-control
business. He appears in a new documentary
about group therapy in New Folsom Prison,
“The Work.”
Justin Sullivan Getty Images
PURGING SERRA’S name from university buildings won’t erase his legacy in history or on the Stanford campus.
Stanford is stuck with Junipero Serra
By Charlotte Allen
S
tanford University is in a bind between political correctness and historical fact. Two dorms; an academic
building; a street (Serra Mall) that
fronts Stanford’s historic Main Quad
and is the university’s official address; and a
major road running through the 8,000-acre
campus are all named after Junipero Serra,
the 18th century Spanish-born Franciscan
friar who founded the first nine of the 21
California missions. Now Native American
and other campus activists are pressuring
Stanford to erase from the campus all traces
of the padre. Serra, the activists say, brutalized Indians at the missions, covered for
Spanish colonization and squelched indigenous culture by converting the Indians to
Catholicism.
Stanford administrators have been
wringing their hands over all this since
March 2016, when the student assembly passed a resolution calling for the renaming of
three buildings and a change of the university’s official address. (Stanford doesn’t have
the power to rename the Mall, its campus extension, Serra Street, or the bigger public
thoroughfare Junipero Serra Boulevard.)
The Stanford Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate quickly joined in. The university
set up a committee to recommend new
names, but after a year and a half of inability
to come to a consensus, the committee announced in October that it was giving up and
would instead issue guidelines for future deliberations.
That decision didn’t sit well with some
students and alumni. One Native American
activist called it a “slap in the face.” And indeed Stanford does seem to be missing out
on a growing trend of altering campus infrastructure whose original namesakes are no
longer in compliance with current notions of
political acceptability.
Earlier this year, Yale changed the name
of its Calhoun College because John C. Calhoun, in addition to being a Yale alumnus
and a former United States vice president,
was a leading pre-Civil War advocate of slavery. Duke University took down a statue of
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Just a few
days ago, the regents of the University of New
Mexico agreed to a redesign of the school’’s
seal, which includes images of a frontiersman and a conquistador that Indian activists consider offensive. Meanwhile, at Princeton, the trustees decided not to bend to student protesters demanding the removal of
the name of famous alumni (and segregationist) Woodrow Wilson from dozens of
campus buildings and institutions. Instead,
the university sponsored an exhibition on
campus exploring the former president’s
flawed nature.
Serra’s nature is open to debate. Once
revered in history books as a protector of California Indians against the brutalities of the
invading Spanish military — and canonized
as a saint by Pope Francis in 2015 — Serra’s
reputation has been tarnished by leftist
thinking that regards all things Spanish and
Catholic in the New World as colonialist oppression.
But that ought to be beside the point.
Serra is inextricably intertwined with the
history of Stanford University, and the history of California itself. He cannot be easily
purged.
Indeed, Serra could be said to have invented the Golden State. The missions that
he and his successors founded were the vertebrae that formed the spine of El Camino
Real (pretty much coterminous with U.S.
101), the path that connected the missions,
most of them separated by just a day’s horseback ride. Every major city in California —
San Diego, Los Angeles (thanks to its proximity to San Gabriel), San Jose, San Francisco — lies on the mission trail.
Serra was, if nothing else, a gifted administrator, introducing cattle and wine grapes
as staples of California agriculture. (His successor, Father Fermín Lasuén, brought in
the first olive trees.) He engaged in constant,
well-documented and often fractious turf
battles with secular Spanish authorities.
And as a matter of aesthetics and lifestyle,
California Mission architecture, in a massive
revival starting in the 1880s, became the
state’s signature building mode, dotting the
landscape with thousands of tile-roofed, colonnaded and court-yarded churches, civic
buildings, hotels, shopping malls and residences.
Among those caught up in the Mission
Revival craze were railroad tycoon Leland
Stanford and his wife, Jane, the university’s
founders, in 1885. The pair weren’t Catholics
or even especially religious, but they considered Junipero Serra a towering California
figure.
El Camino Real runs just outside the
front portals of the campus, the couple’s former horse farm in Palo Alto. The Main Quad,
part of a master plan designed by landscape
architect Frederick Law Olmstead, imitates
Serra’s missions (with some Romanesque
touches). Besides the Mall and the boulevard, other campus streets are named after
his friar-disciples (Lasuén and Francisco
Palóu), as well as José de Gálvez, the inspector general for New Spain who facilitated
Serra’s missionary work in Alta California.
If the Stanford activists aim to obliterate
Serra’s presence from their campus, they’ve
got their work cut out for them.
The ancient Romans invented the practice of damnatio memoriae (“condemnation
of memory”), in which all traces of those
who had fallen from political favor were systematically removed after their deaths from
public squares, coins and documents. Today’s version turns human beings of complex
mores and motivations into cardboard villains for leftists to stomp on. But it tells a lie
in the name of reinvention.
Stanford is free, of course, to rename
parts of itself and to pretend that a man
revered by its founders never existed. But it
can’t make the very foundations of California
history go away — and that’s what winning
the war against Junipero Serra would require.
Charlotte Allen graduated from
Stanford in 1965.
A very
deadly
beetle
The shot hole borer could kill
38% of all trees in the L.A.
region. We need to control it.
By Akif Eskalen,
Shannon Lynch
P
ick a tree at random anywhere in Southern California
and examine it closely.
Chances are good that you
will find small wet stains on
its trunk. Those wet stains are most
likely signs of a fatal tree disease that
is spreading throughout the region at
an alarming rate, and which has the
potential to significantly change the
way Southern California looks.
The disease is called Fusarium
dieback, and it is transmitted by one
type of fungus-farming beetle: the invasive shot hole borer.
Thought to have arrived in Southern California in packing materials
from Southeast Asia, this beetle burrows into trees and grows fungal
pathogens for food. The pathogens
then interrupt the transport of water
and nutrients within the tree from
roots to leaves, eventually causing
branch dieback and possibly death.
What sets this invasive ambrosia
beetle apart from similar pests is the
wide variety of tree species it threatens. Whereas many bark and ambrosia beetles can target a handful of
species, the shot hole borer can drill,
grow its fungi and reproduce in 58 tree
species.
Moreover, while many of these
pests attack weakened trees that are
already under some type of stress,
such as drought, pollution, dense
planting or other tree diseases, the
shot hole borer requires healthy trees
so that it can grow its fungus, which
needs moisture and nutrients.
What exactly might this mean? According to a U.S. Forest Service survey
conducted earlier this year, this single
insect could kill as many as 27 million
trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties
— roughly 38% of all trees in the urban
region.
The first shot hole borer on record
in California was found in L.A. in 2003,
caught in a California Department of
Food and Agriculture trap. The beetle
went largely unnoticed until 2012,
when we found that it was damaging
backyard avocado trees and urbanforest trees in the L.A. Basin. Although researchers quickly began to
monitor the beetle at that point, its
ability to affect street trees and native
vegetation was only gradually recognized.
Because such an unusually wide
variety of tree species are susceptible
to this pest-disease, it has spread
quickly throughout urban forests,
wildlands and avocado groves across
Southern California. Among the 58
tree species it can target are willows,
palo verdes, sycamores, cottonwoods,
oaks and maples. Preliminary results
from our surveys of urban forests in
L.A. suggest that its movement
through the landscape is strongly correlated with the location of sycamores, but more monitoring over time
will better determine the strength of
this association.
Epidemiologically, rare tree hosts
are less important, but their vulnerability suggests the pest could cause a
loss in overall biodiversity. What’s
more, many of the native plant communities it targets are critical breeding habitats for endangered animals,
such as the least Bell’s vireo, the
southwestern willow flycatcher and
the arroyo toad. As it kills off willows
and cottonwoods, the beetle could
also make riparian habitats more susceptible to invasive plant species.
To manage the invasion effectively,
we need to predict where it will spread
and cause damage. We have therefore
begun a systematic survey of urbanwildland forests and agricultural
lands throughout the region. We are
measuring vegetation and landscape
characteristics, microclimate and microorganisms. By comparing these
data with what we know about the
beetle’s host range, we will be able to
identify areas where it is most likely to
spread.
The public can help in a number of
ways. This winter, purchase firewood
locally and avoid moving wood or
green waste out of infested areas. Do
remove heavily infested trees, however, to help reduce populations of the
beetle. Chip the infested wood onsite,
to a size of one inch or smaller. If
branches are too large to chip, you can
“solarize” them by covering them with
a clear tarp and allowing them to sit
for several weeks. Be sure to cover and
contain the wood during transport.
Sterilize pruning tools with household
bleach or another cleaning solution.
Finally, please report heavily infested street trees in public areas to local and county officials as soon as possible.
Akif Eskalen is an associate
specialist in plant pathology and
microbiology at UC Riverside.
Shannon Lynch is a forest
pathologist and doctoral candidate in
environmental studies at UC Santa
Cruz.
A16
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
LOS ANGELES TIMES
CALIFORNIA
B
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 1 7 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / C A L I F O R N I A
State
targets
online
college
tactics
For-profit university
misled students, then
buried them in debt,
Becerra’s lawsuit says.
By Anna M. Phillips
Photographs by
Christina House Los Angeles Times
HAILEY POLAND was stabbed by her boyfriend’s erratic neighbor, Kevin Janson Neal, in January. She says it was one of several
signs officials failed to adequately act upon before Neal went on a rampage this month in Tehama County, fatally shooting five people.
A tragedy’s warning signs
Her boyfriend’s neighbor terrorized them; months later, he’d killed 5
knife during a confrontation in
January.
Poland said she’s still jittery
from the sound of gunfire that echoed frequently from the killer’s
property next door, as well as the
sound of violent confrontations between him and his wife.
“We all knew this was going to
end bad,” said Poland, 34. “We just
didn’t know how exactly and
when.”
By Joseph Serna
She was 500 miles away when a
wild-eyed gunman killed her
boyfriend, his mother and three
other people in a dusty mountain
hamlet in Northern California.
Now, just two weeks after Kevin
Janson Neal’s bloody rampage
ended in a hail of police gunfire,
Hailey Poland said she can’t help
feeling that she should have been
with the victims of Rancho Tehama.
“I just wish I could’ve been there
for them,” Poland said from her
parents’ home in Lancaster. “Kevin’s dead, he got the easy way out.
The world is rid of one less
psychopath with a gun targeting
innocent people.”
Poland knew the killer all too
well. She once lived next door to
Neal and carries a short scar where
he stabbed her with a kitchen
::
DANNY ELLIOTT , Poland’s boyfriend, was one of the five killed
this month. “We all knew this was going to end bad,” Poland said.
Initially, Tehama County sheriff ’s officials said Neal’s violent
binge was random and therefore
couldn’t have been predicted. Later, when they discovered that
Neal’s wife, Barbara Glisan, 38, had
been shot to death and hidden beneath the floor of their trailer
home, sheriff ’s officials said her
slaying precipitated the rampage.
[See Shooter, B6]
CALIFORNIA JOURNAL
Blast Lauer?
Take a look in
mirror, Trump
ROBIN ABCARIAN
Wednesday
morning, we
learned,
NBC brass
fired “Today” show
veteran Matt
Lauer for
sexual misconduct.
Almost simultaneously,
public radio pioneer Garrison Keillor revealed that he
had been fired from Minnesota Public Radio for “inappropriate behavior” with a
colleague.
Blink these days, and
you might miss the next
professional beheading of
some man once considered
untouchable because of his
power, popularity or gravitas.
Men all over American
must be quaking in their
Deputy, man
hurt in shooting
Law enforcement
officer is expected to
survive; suspect is
critically wounded
at Santa Clarita
apartment complex. B3
loafers. Who’s next?
I’ll tell you who should be
next: our sexually misbehaving commander in chief.
President Trump has
been accused of sexually
harassing or assaulting at
least 16 women, dating back
decades. Last year during
the presidential campaign,
we all heard the 2005 tape on
which he boasted to “Access
Hollywood” host Billy Bush
about the way he assaults
women.
“You know,” said Trump,
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just
start kissing them. It’s like a
magnet. Just kiss. I don’t
even wait. And when you’re
a star, they let you do it. You
can do anything. … Grab ’em
by the pussy. You can do
anything.”
His aggressive tech[See Abcarian, B5]
Many unaware
of HIV infection
Half of newly diagnosed
Americans had the
virus for more than
three years without
knowing, CDC says. B2
Lottery ......................... B2
As the Trump administration backs away from
Obama-era efforts to crack
down on for-profit colleges,
California is taking a step
into the regulatory void.
On Monday, California
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
announced at a news conference in San Francisco that
the state is suing for-profit
Ashford University and its
parent company, Bridgepoint Education. The state
has accused the online-only
school of misleading students about its tuition costs,
burying them in student
loan debt and offering little
of value in return.
Ashford
has
an
enrollment of about 43,000
students, according to the
Chronicle of Higher Education, which published an investigation of the university
earlier this month. It called
the school “a poster child for
the ills of the for-profit college sector.”
Becerra described Ashford as a “nightmare” for students. It is “an institution
that professed to provide
higher education but was
making a ton of money instead,” he said.
Although
Bridgepoint
Education is based in San
Diego, Ashford enrolled students across the U.S. According to the Chronicle,
Bridgepoint is also under investigation by attorneys
general in New York and
[See College, B4]
Ex-cop
admits
sex with
witness
NYPD detective is
grilled about probe of
1982 disappearance of
Robert Durst’s wife.
By Marisa Gerber
Rich Pedroncelli Associated Press
LOBBYIST Pamela Lopez says that just by being the victim of sexual harassment,
“a woman becomes evidence of wrongdoing on the part of her perpetrator.”
CAPITOL JOURNAL
Harassers must pay price
GEORGE SKELTON
in sacramento
How can
powerful men
be stopped
from sexually
harassing
vulnerable
young women? One way:
Make the men
vulnerable by making them
pay.
If enough male predators
were forced to pay with their
careers, their wallets and
their reputations — really
pay — there’d be more of
them keeping their mouths
shut and their hands off.
At least they’d stop to
think twice.
This is especially true of
politicians whose careers
depend on their public
images. To stay employed,
after all, they must compete
in popularity contests.
In other high-profile
fields — entertainment,
media — alleged harassers
recently have been getting
fired soon after victims went
public with accusations.
In politics, the creeps
normally can be fired only
by voters. That must wait
until the next election.
Meanwhile, the political
system usually does its best
to stall token in-house
investigations and cover up
any embarrassing findings.
Culprits too often aren’t
revealed. And victims frequently lose their jobs.
Lobbyist Pamela Lopez,
who has told reporters that
she was trapped in a bar
bathroom last year by a
legislator who masturbated
in front of her, told a legisla[See Skelton, B5]
Retired New York Police
Det. Michael Struk testified
Wednesday that during his
investigation into the disappearance of Robert Durst’s
wife three decades ago he
had sex with a witness.
Would you agree, a prosecutor asked, that your actions were “about as unprofessional as you could get?”
“Yes,” Struk responded.
The bombshell testimony came during a hearing
in Los Angeles, where Durst
is charged in a separate case
— the 2000 slaying of his best
friend, Susan Berman. Prosecutors allege that Durst
killed Berman, a crime writer and the daughter of a mob
boss, to keep her from telling
authorities what she knew
about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife, Kathleen.
Durst, 74, has denied
killing either woman.
In an L.A. court Wednesday, Struk testified that during his investigation he received a phone call from a
witness asking him to come
search a location the next
day. When he arrived at the
[See Durst, B4]
B2
T HU R S DAY , N OV E M BER 30, 2017
LAT IMES. C OM
SCIENCE FILE
In the dark about living with HIV
Half of Americans
diagnosed with virus
didn’t know they had
it, CDC report says.
MELISSA HEALY
Half of the Americans
recently diagnosed with
HIV had been living with the
virus for at least three years
without realizing it, missing
out on opportunities for
early treatment and in some
cases spreading it to others,
according to a new report by
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
What’s more, of the
39,720 Americans newly
diagnosed with HIV in 2015,
one-quarter had been infected for seven years or
more without knowing they
were ill.
Among all 1.2 million
Americans living with HIV
in 2015, the CDC estimates
that about 15% were unaware of their HIV-positive
status. Those people are
thought to be responsible
for 40% of new transmissions of HIV, according to
the study published Tuesday in the CDC’s Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report.
The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is responsible for causing AIDS.
Infection used to be considered a death sentence, until
antiretroviral medications
capable of suppressing the
virus came into broad use in
the late 1990s.
The new report is the
latest measure of how well
public health authorities
are doing at boosting rates
of early diagnosis and care
for HIV — goals that will
extend life expectancies for
patients and reduce the
virus’ spread.
For each of the new cases
diagnosed in 2015, researchers estimated a rough time
of infection on the basis of a
patient’s level of disease
progression. Based on
patients’ initial count of
infection-fighting CD4 cells,
they gleaned how long the
HIV virus likely had replicated unchecked. A normal
range for CD4 cells lies
between 500 and 1,500; a
CD4 count below 200 brings
a diagnosis of AIDS.
Although the median
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
THE MEDIAN time between HIV infection and diagnosis for all Americans was three years, but for African Americans it was 3.3 years,
2.2 years for whites, 3.3 years for Latinos and 4.2 years for Asian Americans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
time between infection and
diagnosis for all Americans
was three years, there was
considerable variability
among patients of different
racial and ethnic groups.
For instance, half of
African Americans had
been infected for 3.3 years
when they were diagnosed,
while the median time for
whites was 2.2 years. This
gap was seen despite the
fact that African Americans
were more likely than whites
to have been tested for HIV
in the previous year.
For Latinos, the median
time to diagnosis was also
3.3 years; for Asian Americans, it was 4.2 years.
The authors of the CDC
report surmised that the
longer diagnosis delay
among nonwhite racial and
ethnic groups might reflect
an observed trend: For
whites, men who have sex
with men are the predominant sources of HIV spread,
but for other groups, sexual
contact between men and
women is responsible for a
higher proportion of infections.
Age, too, was a key factor,
with older patients more
likely than younger ones to
go years without knowing
they were HIV-positive. Half
of newly diagnosed patients
55 and older were HIVpositive for 4.5 years or more
without knowing it. Among
those 34 and younger, the
median delay between
infection and diagnosis was
about 2.5 years.
Fully half of people with
undiagnosed HIV infection
in 2015 were living in the
South, the CDC said. States
with the highest rates of
undiagnosed HIV infection
— between 16% and 19% —
included Nevada, Arizona,
Texas, Michigan, Iowa,
Indiana, North Dakota and
Wisconsin. New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Vermont and
South Dakota and Idaho
had the lowest rates, between 5% and 10%.
Overall, the three-year
gap between infection and
diagnosis actually represents progress. In 2011 — the
last time the CDC took such
measures — half of Americans newly diagnosed with
HIV had been infected for
3.6 years or more.
That suggests that public health campaigns
started by the CDC, including the “Testing Makes Us
Stronger” push rolled out in
11 cities, have made inroads.
Two CDC campaigns,
launched in 2007 and 2011,
set out to encourage testing
and early HIV care on the
part of African Americans
and Latinos, and particularly among men who have
sex with men.
Such public health efforts have increased rates of
testing among many groups
at high risk. Among men
who have sex with men, 71%
told surveyors they had
been tested in the last year,
as did 58% of people who
inject drugs. Only 41% of
heterosexual Americans at
increased risk of HIV infection said they had been
tested in the last 12 months.
Taking HIV medicine as
prescribed allows people
with the virus to live a virtually normal lifespan, generally without health compli-
POLITICS WATCH
Children’s health program at risk
SARAH D. WIRE
WASHINGTON — Unless Congress comes to an
agreement fast, federal
funding for a program that
provides health insurance
to 2 million California children and pregnant women
will run out around the end
of the year.
After that, California
could be on the hook for
hundreds of millions of
dollars because the state is
required to offer the insurance even if the federal
funds don’t show up.
Despite decades of bipartisan support, Congress
didn’t renew its authorization to spend money on the
Children’s Healthcare Insurance Program, which
provides coverage for about
9 million poor children and
pregnant women nationwide, before it expired at the
end of September. Since
then, states have relied on
their reserves, or unspent
money from previous years,
as short-term fixes.
California gets about
$2.7 billion a year in federal
money for the program,
which the state says will
likely run out in late December or early January.
Gov. Jerry Brown and
state lawmakers put aside
nearly $400 million in extra
funding for the program in
the current state budget as
a backstop for potential
federal cuts. But if the program isn’t renewed, there
could still be an estimated
$280-million hole to fill in
the budget, and state lawmakers say they don’t know
where they’ll get it.
“Ultimately we would
have to go back and take a
look at a budget and see if
there’s a way that we can
backfill that,” state Assembly Health Committee
Chairman Jim Wood (DHealdsburg) said. “We’re
very concerned.”
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
HOUSE Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leads a news conference in support of the
Children’s Health Insurance Program this month as three young girls look on.
Letting the program
expire has put the children
and women who use it in a
tenuous position, said California Budget and Policy
Center fellow Esi Hutchful.
The nonprofit advocates for
programs that help lowincome Californians.
“[It’s a] program that’s
long been popular, successful and long received bipartisan support. It’s striking
that it’s almost December …
and we’re still in this holding
pattern,” Hutchful said.
The House voted largely
along party lines this month
to authorize five more years
of funding for the insurance
program. The Republican
bill included higher premiums for some Medicare
users and other cuts to
social programs to offset the
program’s costs, provisions
the GOP hasn’t previously
insisted on including.
Republicans said the
provisions would weed out
people who take advantage
of loopholes in the Affordable Care Act or use Medicare even when they can
afford other insurance.
Democrats objected to the
bill because they said it
would would take away
healthcare from some people to pay for other people’s
healthcare.
The House bill is unlikely
to get a vote on the Senate
floor because of the potentially unpopular cuts to
social programs. Senate
leaders haven’t scheduled a
vote on their version of the
measure either, which does
not include cuts to offset the
insurance program’s costs.
Congress is scheduled to
work fewer than a dozen
more days before the end of
the year, and it has a
crowded to-do list that
includes tax reform, funding
disaster relief and keeping
the government open. But
the authorization for the
insurance program funding
could be inserted into one of
those bills.
California Sens. Dianne
Feinstein and Kamala Harris have urged Senate leaders to hurry.
“As days go on without
the program reauthorized,
more and more states will
be faced with difficult
budget decisions and vulnerable children and pregnant women could lose their
coverage,” they wrote in a
letter to Senate leaders last
month.
Though the federal
government and states both
fund the insurance program, each state can tailor
how the program works.
Colorado and Virginia, for
example, can end the program when federal funding
runs out.
But a few years ago,
California rolled its children’s insurance program
into Medi-Cal — the state’s
version of Medicaid —
through the Affordable Care
Act. That meant the federal
government would cover
88% of the cost, but it came
with a caveat: California
cannot freeze enrollment or
end the program for most
families until October 2019,
even if federal funding ends.
If the program’s money
runs out, nearly all of the
recipients would continue to
get insurance through
Medi-Cal, said California
Department of Health Care
Services spokesman Anthony Cava. But the federal
government would pay only
50% of the cost, as it does for
adult Medicaid recipients.
California would have to
make up the difference,
which the independent
California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates would
be $280 million this fiscal
year and up to $600 million
next fiscal year.
When it set aside the
nearly $400 million in backstop funds, the Legislature
assumed Congress might
lower the percentage it pays
this year, not fail to fund the
insurance program entirely,
Hutchful said.
“They were sort of trying
to hedge their bets and give
us sort of a cushion,” Hutchful said. “We still did plan
that [the program] would
be renewed, so we’re at this
awkward space now.”
If Congress doesn’t act,
the governor is considering
adding funding for this
year’s program in next
year’s budget, according to
the California Department
of Finance.
But Wood said there’s
not “pots of money just
sitting around,” and when
the Legislature returns in
January, it’ll have to work on
figuring out where to find
the money in the budget.
State Senate Health
Committee Chairman Ed
Hernandez (D-Azusa) said
Congress declining to fund
the insurance program is
the “worst-case scenario.”
“Covering these children
is probably the most important thing that we have to
do…. It’s a shame,” he said.
“I hope that they reconsider.
I hope they do renew it and
that they fund it at the
current level.”
sarah.wire@latimes.com
cations. Managing one’s
HIV infection with medication also significantly
reduces the likelihood of
transmitting the virus to
sexual partners.
“The benefits are clear,”
said Dr. Jonathan Mermin,
director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS,
Viral Hepatitis, STD, and
TB Prevention. “Prompt
diagnosis is prevention. It is
the first step to protecting
people living with HIV and
their partners.”
The CDC recommends
testing all people between
the age of 13 and 64 for HIV
at least once in their lifetime, and people at higher
risk for HIV — including IV
drug users and sexual partners of infected persons —
at least annually. Healthcare providers may find it
beneficial to test some
sexually active gay and
bisexual men as frequently
as every three to six months.
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald,
the CDC’s director, called
the new statistics “more
encouraging signs that the
tide continues to turn on
our nation’s HIV epidemic.”
HIV is being diagnosed
more quickly, Fitzgerald
said. The number of people
who have the virus under
control is up, and annual
infections are down, she
added.
“While we celebrate our
progress, we pledge to work
together to end this epidemic forever,” she said.
melissa.healy@latimes.com
Lottery results
For Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017
Mega Millions
Mega number is bold
10-17-47-51-61—Mega 5
Jackpot: $132 million
California winners per category:
5 + Mega
5
4 + Mega
4
3 + Mega
3
2 + Mega
1 + Mega
Mega only
No. of
winners
0
0
0
27
105
2,361
2,308
18,688
45,140
Amount
of prize(s)
—
—
—
$684
$200
$10
$9
$3
$2
Winning jackpot ticket(s) sold in other
states: None
For Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017
SuperLotto Plus
Mega number is bold
3-7-26-27-33—Mega 6
Jackpot: $35 million
Powerball
Powerball number is bold
24-26-28-59-63—Powerball 16
Jackpot: $163 million
Fantasy Five: 2-11-16-35-37
Daily Four: 6-3-5-7
Daily Three (midday): 5-9-4
Daily Three (evening): 8-3-8
Daily Derby:
(11) Money Bags
(6) Whirl Win
(12) Lucky Charms
Race time: 1:43.76
Results on the Internet:
www.latimes.com/lottery
General information:
(800) 568-8379
(Results not available at this number)
T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
L AT I ME S . CO M
B3
CITY & STATE
New
owner
guts LA
Weekly
staff
Officer,
suspect
shot in
Santa
Clarita
Man is critically
injured; deputy suffers
lesser neck wound.
By Lauren Raab
By Sarah Parvini
and Irfan Khan
The Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department is investigating a shooting in
Santa Clarita that left a deputy and a suspect injured.
The gunfire occurred
about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in
the 21300 block of Bottletree
Lane in Newhall after officers responded to a report of
assault with a deadly weapon involving two men.
One of the men had approached a woman who was
parking her car and pointed
a gun at her, according to the
Sheriff ’s Department. The
woman grabbed her cellphone to call police, and the
man fled near the pool area
of an apartment complex.
When deputies arrived
and began to search the
area, one of the men shot at
them, according to authorities.
Four deputies were involved in the shooting, authorities said, and one was
shot in the neck.
Resident Tracy Flores
heard the gunshots as she
was watching TV with her
family in her living room.
“It was just scary. You
don’t know where they’re
coming from,” said Flores,
33.
Flores said her husband
looked out the window to
find deputies standing outside with their guns drawn.
He popped his head out the
front door when he heard “a
bunch of police screaming.”
“They said, ‘Get inside —
there’s an officer down,’ ”
Flores recalled.
She grabbed her four
children and hid in the bathroom, she said.
The wounded deputy and
the suspect were taken to a
hospital. The deputy is expected to survive. The 29year-old suspect was listed
in critical condition.
The second suspect was
found in one of the apartments. He was detained and
questioned by investigators,
the Sheriff ’s Department
said, but had not been arrested.
Authorities said a handgun was recovered at the
scene. No other deputies
were injured.
sarah.parvini
@latimes.com
irfan.khan@latimes.com
Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times
GRADUATE students at UCLA take part in a national walkout Wednesday against the House tax bill, which
would make graduate tuition waivers — worth tens of thousands of dollars a year each — subject to taxation.
Students protest tax bill
By taxing graduate
tuition waivers, House
plan could cost them
thousands a year.
By Teresa Watanabe
and Rosanna Xia
Rashad Ahmed left his
high-paying job on Wall
Street for USC, where he’s
using economic research to
help tackle social problems
such as homelessness. At
UCLA, Emily Yen is studying
the environmental justice
movement in Long Beach
and Los Angeles. And at Caltech, Celeste Labedz is using
seismology to understand
glaciers.
But the doctoral students say their work and the
important research of graduate students nationwide
are in jeopardy if changes in
House Republicans’ tax bill
become law. The House version of the tax bill, passed
this month, would repeal a
decades-old provision that
has shielded graduate tuition from taxation, potentially increasing student tax
bills by as much as $10,000 a
year.
On Wednesday, the three
researchers joined thousands of graduate students
at nearly 60 campuses in 33
states to protest the tax bill.
Hannah Khoddam and a
handful of her classmates at
USC began organizing the
walkout this month and
then joined forces with students from six East Coast
colleges to sponsor a national day of action.
Universities often waive
graduation tuition in exchange for students’ work as
teaching assistants and re-
searchers. The House bill
views that tuition as income.
“If my tuition waiver were
to be taxed, it would make
getting this PhD essentially
unaffordable,” Labedz said.
“I would either have to quit
or go into massive debt or go
somewhere else in the world
if I want to get this degree
and make a difference in this
world like I want to.”
The House tax bill would
slash $65 billion in tax benefits for higher education
over 10 years, according to
Steven Bloom of the American Council on Education.
A UC Berkeley analysis
found that if Berkeley’s
$13,793 annual tuition benefit became taxable, the university’s graduate students’
taxes would rise by 61%, or
about $1,400, for a campus
teaching assistant, and 31%,
or about $1,100, for a research
assistant. At MIT, a private
institution that charges
about $49,600 in annual tuition, taxes would more than
triple to $13,577, said the analyst, Vetri Velan, a PhD student in physics.
Velan and fellow student
Kathy Shield created a
calculator to figure out how
the change, if it became law,
would affect students’ taxes.
Bloom said the longtime
provision benefited 145,000
graduate students in 2011-12.
About 60% of them, he said,
were
studying
science,
technology, engineering and
math — areas of critical need
to drive the U.S. economy.
Some of the nation’s
brightest STEM students
protested at Caltech in an
unusual display of campus
political activism. Several
said they feared tax increases would cause a brain
drain of American researchers fleeing to Europe. Asked
how many would consider
going abroad, more than
half of the roughly 70 Caltech
student protesters raised
their hands.
The tax hikes could close
off graduate education to all
but the wealthy, said Emily
Yen, a PhD student in sociology at UCLA, where about
250 graduate students protested Wednesday.
“The UC system has
prized itself on diversity —
its first-generation, low-income students — and this is
just going to reverse all these
gains,” said Yen, president of
the UC Student-Workers
Union (UAW 2865).
Such worries have meant
sleepless nights for Mariel
Bello, a USC doctoral student in clinical psychology
who hopes her research will
improve addiction treatment in low-income communities. The daughter of Filipino immigrants and the
first in her family to attend
college,
Bello
already
stretches her $35,000 graduate student stipend to support her parents and younger brother on top of her research and housing costs.
As she started to do the
math, tears welled up.
“I would have to drop
out,” she said. “If this tax bill
passes, I can’t support anyone, I can’t even support myself.”
According to information
provided by the University of
California, about 23,000 UC
graduate students earned
$250 million in tuition benefits in 2015-16. Students protested at all nine of UC’s
undergraduate campuses
Wednesday.
At USC, more than 100
graduate students and faculty members rallied at the
bronze statue of Tommy
Trojan, chanting “Kill this
bill!” and waving colorful
signs: “Graduate students
study food safety,” “Graduate students design highways.”
USC Provost Michael
Quick said the university
was exploring legal options
to minimize the impact on
the school’s 3,100 PhD students, whose tax bills could
triple or quadruple if the
change went into effect.
Those forced to take out
student loans to cover
higher tax bills would suffer
a double whammy if another
change in the House bill also
made it into law. The bill
would repeal the deduction
for interest on student loans,
which 12 million taxpayers
claimed in 2015.
The Senate has yet to
pass its tax bill. Once it does,
the differences between the
two bills would need to be resolved. The Senate bill does
not contain the changes the
students are protesting.
And students hope to
keep it that way by making
sure senators hear them.
USC doctoral student Marie
Gillespie stood before the
growing crowd on her campus Wednesday and asked
everyone to hold out their
cellphones.
“This is our voice,” she
told them. “Everybody right
now take a photo, snap a
selfie, post it on social media. Call your senators. Protest the tax reform bill. Are
you with me?”
All around her, students
and faculty raised their
phones,
snapped
and
cheered.
teresa.watanabe
@latimes.com
rosanna.xia
@latimes.com
Protester sues UCSD for freeway injury
Woman struck by car
on I-5 alleges failure
by university, others
to contain the protest.
By Morgan Cook
SAN DIEGO — A Compton woman who was struck
by a car on the 5 Freeway last
year during a political
protest that spilled onto the
freeway is suing UC San
Diego, among others, alleging failure to contain the
demonstration and prevent
a dangerous situation.
Maria Ana Carrola Flores, 19, filed the lawsuit this
month in San Diego County
Superior Court against defendants, including the university, the driver of the car
that struck her, the state
and the city of San Diego.
The lawsuit’s allegations include negligence and a dangerous condition on public
property.
A university spokeswoman declined to comment because litigation was ongoing. The city of San Diego
did not respond to requests
for comment.
Flores, then 18, was part
of a protest that started on
the UCSD campus in La
Jolla after Donald Trump
gave his presidential victory
speech in New York in the
early morning hours of Nov.
9, 2016, the San Diego UnionTribune reported at the
time. The protest eventually
moved onto the southbound
5 Freeway north of Nobel
Drive, where a car struck
Flores about 1:40 a.m.
California Highway Patrol officers told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the
driver stopped after the car
struck Flores, and he was
not suspected to be under
the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Flores’ attorney, Jerold
“Gene” Sullivan of Manhattan Beach, said by telephone
Tuesday that his client suffered multiple broken bones
and has permanent disabilities.
He said Flores accepts
some responsibility for her
injuries — but not all of it.
“We think it’s a case of
shared responsibility of the
school, Maria and the driver,
and we’re not saying that
anybody is without fault or
fault-free,” Sullivan said.
“We think other people bear
some responsibility as well.”
Specifically, the lawsuit
alleges that UCSD or the UC
Board of Regents bears
some responsibility for the
protest. The lawsuit says the
school and other defendants
did not contain the protest
and allowed it to spill onto
the freeway, where security
was inadequate to keep protesters safe.
An emergency vehicle
was driving back and forth
across lanes to block traffic
so authorities could shut
down the freeway, the lawsuit said. The car that struck
Flores had been able to get
around
the
emergency
vehicle.
The lawsuit seeks attorneys’ fees, court costs and
unspecified damages, according to proof at trial.
morgan.cook
@sduniontribune.com
Cook writes for the San
Diego Union-Tribune.
KTLA
BYSTAN DE R D I E S I N M AL I BU CH A S E
A high-speed chase through Malibu left a pedestrian dead Wednesday morning after the fleeing car hit the bystander and three vehicles on Pacific Coast
Highway. Three deputies suffered smoke inhalation in the ensuing fire.
LA Weekly’s staff was
gutted Wednesday as Voice
Media Group completed its
sale of the alternative newsweekly to a newly created
company, Semanal Media.
Nine of the 13 members of
the editorial staff lost their
jobs, including all the top
editors and all but one of the
staff writers.
“To have such deep, devastating cuts — it’s beyond
anything we could have ever
fathomed,” said Mara Shalhoup, who until Wednesday
was the editor of LA Weekly.
Publisher Matt Cooperstein
lost his job too, as did some
staffers on the business and
marketing teams, she said.
What will happen next is
unclear.
Shalhoup said the print
edition due out Thursday is
already finished, and her
team had prepared to hand
off additional articles that
are in various states of completion. But if there is to be a
print edition next week or a
steady stream of stories online, any new staffers will
need to figure out a lot of
things very quickly.
“I would find it very hard
to know what to do in the
next few days, given the
amount of institutional
knowledge that’s walking
out the door,” Shalhoup
said.
Brian Calle, who will be
managing LA Weekly’s operations for Semanal, confirmed that the sale closed
Wednesday but declined to
provide any details about
what to expect, saying he
wanted to talk to his staff
first. This month, he spoke
enthusiastically about the
publication and laid out his
hopes to turn it into “the cultural center” of the city.
Semanal investor and
Chief
Executive
David
Welch, a Los Angeles attorney known for representing
members of the cannabis industry, declined to comment.
None of Semanal’s other
financial backers or managers have disclosed their
identities.
Wednesday’s layoffs took
effect immediately. They included managing editor
Drew Tewksbury; Gwynedd
Stuart, the deputy editor for
arts and culture; music editor Andy Hermann; food editor Katherine Spiers; staff
writers Jason McGahan and
Dennis Romero; film critic
April Wolfe and multimedia
designer Garry Santos.
The only editorial staff
members remaining are creative
director
Darrick
Rainey, copy chief Lisa Horowitz, writer Hillel Aron and
listings editor Falling James.
Shalhoup and former
food editor Spiers said no
one from Semanal had
talked to them or requested
information that would ease
a transition.
“I don’t know who’s replacing me or if anyone’s replacing me,” said Spiers,
who was responsible every
week for writing five stories
and working with freelancers to produce another five
stories.
Spiers said she plans to
give a list of freelance stories
in progress to remaining
staffers and hope those stories are either published by
LA Weekly or bought by
other outlets.
Editorial staffers who
were part of the International Assn. of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers
union are receiving severance pay from Voice Media
Group. The company said
Oct. 31 that because Semanal is buying only LA
Weekly’s assets, Semanal
will not be bound by the
union contract.
Voice Media Group announced in January that it
was putting LA Weekly up
for sale. It said at the time
that
the
publication,
founded in 1978, was still
profitable.
lauren.raab@latimes.com
Twitter: @raablauren
B4
THU R S DAY , N OV EM BE R 30, 2017
LAT IMES. C OM
Graduates are
carrying heavy
debt, AG says
Ex-cop
testifies
at Durst
hearing
[Durst, from B1]
location, Struk said, two witnesses were there, but one of
them soon left. The witness
who remained — a woman
who was not identified —
then made a sexual advance,
Struk said.
“I went along,” the detective added.
Asked whether he was
aware at the time that it was
improper to have sexual relations with a witness, Struk
said, “I would agree with
that.”
The detective also testified that he’d spent the night
on the couch at the home of a
friend of Kathleen Durst, after attending a party where
he hoped to gather “some information” about the case.
Asked whether he spent the
night because he had been
drinking, Struk responded,
“I don’t remember.”
Earlier in the hearing,
Deputy Dist. Atty. John
Lewin grilled the detective
about other problems with
the investigation, which he
called
“well-intentioned”
but “incompetent.”
While on the stand, Struk
testified that he had a practice of getting tips from Mary
Hughes, Kathleen’s sister,
and Mary’s friend Geraldine
McInerney, and then following up on the information.
The prosecutor later inquired about whether the
detective had ever asked the
women for concert tickets to
see Neil Diamond or the
Rolling Stones.
He hadn’t asked for the
tickets, Struk said, clarifying
that he did accept Neil Diamond tickets when offered
them by McInerney, who he
said got them for free from
her job. (He said he didn’t recall anything about Rolling
Stones tickets.)
Lewin asked Struk if accepting tickets from a witness in a case he was investigating complied with New
York Police Department
Mark Boster Los Angeles Times
ROBERT DURST is accused of killing his friend Susan Berman to keep her from
telling authorities what she knew about the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s wife.
policy.
“Sitting here today, I wish
I had not done it,” the detective said, adding, however,
that he didn’t think it had
compromised the case.
Pressed on whether he’d disregarded NYPD policy,
Struk said, “It was a mistake
— sure.”
The detective also said
that during the course of his
investigation he’d visited a
laundromat in Ship Bottom,
N.J. — the location of a pay
phone used to make a collect
call to Durst’s father’s company, the Durst Organization, on Feb. 2, 1982, two days
after Kathleen’s disappearance.
Lewin asked the detective if his theory at the time
was that Durst had discarded Kathleen’s body in
Ship Bottom.
“That was certainly one
theory,” the detective responded.
Struk, who said he
worked hard to solve the
case, testified that he’d traveled to Ship Bottom with
Hughes and McInerney in
their car — a move that he
said was approved by his
bosses.
“Isn’t it true that they actually gave you a case of beer
that was in the trunk of the
car?” the prosecutor asked.
“That is totally beyond
my memory,” Struk said,
shaking his head.
The detective, one of several older witnesses who has
been questioned early by attorneys, previously testified
that Durst told authorities
numerous “inconsistencies”
that stoked the detective’s
suspicion years ago.
According to handwritten notes from the detective’s investigation, which a
prosecutor displayed in
court at an earlier hearing,
Durst told detectives that on
the evening of Jan. 31, 1982 —
soon after the real estate tycoon says he saw his wife for
the last time — he went to
have a drink with neighbors
in South Salem, a hamlet in
Westchester County, N.Y,
where the couple spent
some weekends.
But, according to police
records, the neighbors told
authorities
that
Durst
hadn’t been there that night,
but a day earlier.
“Would you agree,” a
prosecutor asked the detective, “that was a big lie you
caught him on?”
Struk responded, “Yes,
sir.”
Earlier this week, a prosecutor displayed a note allegedly retrieved around the
same time from the trash
outside the couple’s South
Salem home. The note
reads: “town dump, bridge,
dig, boat, other, shovel or ?”
Asked if it appeared to be a
list of how to get rid of a body,
the detective said, “It may
be.”
The eccentric millionaire
was arrested March 14, 2015,
at a New Orleans hotel in
connection with Berman’s
slaying. The next day, the finale of a six-part HBO documentary about Durst, “The
Jinx,” aired, including a recording of Durst muttering,
“What the hell did I do?
Killed them all, of course.”
Some interpreted his
comment, captured on a live
microphone, as a confession
to killing Berman and his
wife as well as Morris Black,
a neighbor in Galveston,
Texas.
Durst was charged with
murdering Black but argued
at his 2003 trial that a gun
fired while he was defending
himself during a tussle with
Black.
He admitted dismembering Black’s body and dumping the parts in Galveston
Bay, but jurors acquitted
him of murder.
marisa.gerber
@latimes.com
Twitter: @marisagerber
[College, from B1]
North Carolina.
Speaking on the campus
of San Francisco State University, Becerra noted that
unlike the brick-and-mortar
state school, Ashford University doesn’t have libraries, laboratories or
classrooms. And yet, he said,
it charges students considerably more — about
$60,390, according to the
lawsuit, for an online bachelor’s degree.
Most of its students do
not graduate and those who
do often emerge saddled
with debt and unable to find
employment in the field related to their degree, according to the lawsuit. Becerra
said the median student
loan debt of an Ashford
graduate is $34,000.
Anna Davison, Bridgepoint’s vice president of corporate communications and
investor relations, said the
company will “vigorously defend this case.”
“Bridgepoint’s institutions serve as a model for
how online education can
better the lives of people who
did not, or who were unable
to, pursue more traditional
avenues to degrees,” Davison said in a statement.
California’s lawsuit alleges that Ashford turned its
admissions office into a sales
department with a “boiler
room” culture. It required
employees to hit enrollment
quotas.
To do so, admissions
counselors often either told
applicants that federal financial aid would cover all of
their expenses or promised
them they would receive
more aid than they had a
right to expect.
The university targeted
low-income students, minorities and students who
were the first in their families to go to college, according to the lawsuit. Recruiting veterans was also central
to the university’s strategy.
Students who get tuition as-
sistance from the GI Bill and
other military programs
make up about a quarter of
its enrollment, the Chronicle
said.
According to the lawsuit,
the vast majority of Ashford’s earnings come from
federally subsidized student
loans and grants. As the university grew exponentially —
with its enrollment swelling
to more than 80,000 students
in 2011 — Bridgepoint Education’s revenue climbed. The
company made $968 million
in 2012.
California’s lawsuit also
[Ashford
University] is ‘an
institution that
professed to
provide higher
education but was
making a ton of
money instead.’
— Xavier Becerra,
California attorney general
alleges that Bridgepoint lied
to investors and in its securities filings by inflating its
success preparing its graduates for jobs. The state is
seeking restitution for students and civil penalties, as
well as a permanent injunction barring Ashford from
“similar activities in the future.”
Becerra encouraged former Ashford students and
college students who believe
they may have experienced
similar treatment by other
for-profit universities to file
a complaint with his office at
(800) 952-5225 or oag.ca.gov/
report.
anna.phillips
@latimes.com
Twitter:
@annamphillips
S
L AT I ME S . CO M
Peter Foley EPA/Shutterstock
PRESIDENT TRUMP, with Matt Lauer, has been accused of sexually harassing or assaulting at least 16 wom-
en, yet he chastises other men — often Democrats or perceived enemies — facing the same allegations.
Throwing stones much?
[Abcarian, from B1]
niques are frightfully reminiscent of those employed
by now-disgraced men like
Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose, both of whom have
lost their careers.
At the time, Trump was
contrite: “I said it, I was
wrong and I apologize,” he
said, in a video apology he
released in October 2016.
Now, according to the New
York Times, he has suggested the tape is not authentic.
“Let us make this perfectly clear. The tape is very
real,” said “Access Hollywood” host Natalie Morales.
“Remember his excuse at
the time was ‘locker-room
talk.’ He said every one of
those words.”
This man lives in the
biggest glass house on the
planet and still cannot
refrain from throwing
stones. (But only at Democrats and other perceived
enemies.)
In a pair of tweets, he
rebuked Democratic U.S.
Sen. Al Franken, who has a
demonstrated proclivity for
groping women’s breasts
during photo ops. “The Al
Frankenstien [sic] picture is
really bad, speaks a thousand words,” he wrote. “And
to think that just last week
he was lecturing anyone
who would listen about
sexual harassment and
respect for women.”
Shortly after Lauer’s
firing was announced,
Trump tweeted, “Wow. Matt
Lauer was just fired from
NBC for ‘inappropriate
sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top
executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out
so much Fake News.”
A better question: When
will congressional Republicans find their spines and
take on Trump? When will
they be true to the bedrock
American ideal that no man
is above the law?
And why is our ostentatiously Christian vice president silent? Mike Pence, you
recall, is a man who will not
dine alone with a woman
who isn’t his wife to avoid
accusations of misconduct
or even the appearance of
misconduct. His silence is a
thunderous endorsement of
his boss’ bad behavior.
In this moment of cultural reckoning, women are
finding their voices. They
are being heard and believed. In private and public
companies, abusers are
being called out and fired.
Why is it taking our
elected officials so long to
catch up?
On Tuesday, I sat for five
hours in a California Assembly hearing room in Sacramento while women testified about their exploitation
by powerful men. It was
horrifically clear that our
Capitol’s sexual harassment
policy is tailored to employees who misbehave, not
elected members, who as a
result have been given an
institutional pass on sexual
harassment.
“What everybody here
knows is that we have rapists in this building,” said
Christine Pelosi, chairwoman of the state Democratic
Party Women’s Caucus. “We
have molesters among us.
There are perpetrators,
enforcers and enablers in
this building causing a clear
and present danger to the
public and the people here.
We know who they are. …
People do tell. People do
talk. They just don’t come
forward.”
They do now.
Should we automatically
believe every woman who
dares to accuse a powerful
man? Not necessarily.
The Washington Post
demonstrated perfectly this
week how to ferret out the
tricksters in its takedown of
James O’Keefe, the conservative activist whose 2015
“sting” against Planned
Parenthood fell flat.
O’Keefe sent a woman to
the Post who claimed she’d
been impregnated by Republican Alabama U.S.
Senate candidate Roy
Moore and had an abortion.
It was a lie. The Post was
able to dismantle the claim
while conducting its own
sting on the tricksters, who
apparently were trying to
get reporters both to report
fake news and to reveal a
bias against Moore, who has
been accused of molesting a
14-year-old girl and sexually
assaulting a 16-year-old.
Trump, naturally, has
defended him. (Just as he
defended conservative Bill
O’Reilly, who was fired from
Fox News for sexual harassment.)
So, yes, sometimes women lie.
No matter how desperate
the president is to make
sexual harassment a partisan issue, it is not, and no
one with a conscience
should allow it to be framed
that way. Whether it’s
Franken or his Democratic
colleague Rep. John Conyers, who is being pressured
by Democrats to resign, or
Moore or Trump, the issue
is justice for women.
I happen to think the
novelist Rafael Yglesias
offered an elegant solution
the other day when he
tweeted this suggestion:
“How about this for
bipartisanship: Franken
should resign, Conyers
removed from office, Trump
impeached and Moore go to
jail?”
Works for me. How about
you, Congress?
robin.abcarian
@latimes.com
Harassers need to pay a price
[Skelton, from B1]
tive subcommittee Tuesday:
“Simply by being the victim
of sexual harassment and
sexual assault … a woman
becomes evidence of wrongdoing on the part of her
perpetrator. And the easiest
way to get rid of that evidence is to get rid of the
woman.”
If you’re a legislative
staffer, this can mean being
shuffled off to another job or
even being fired. Perhaps
there’ll be a financial payoff
with the condition of confidentiality.
For a lobbyist, it can
mean being frozen out of the
Capitol. Lopez has not
disclosed her legislatorabuser’s name, she says, for
fear of retaliation and loss of
Capitol connections.
“I know that people will
whisper behind my back,”
the lobbyist told a sexual
harassment subcommittee
of the Assembly Rules Committee. “I know that people
will snicker at me as I walk
by. Women have an instinctive desire to hide what has
happened to us. It’s because
we recognize that if anyone
finds out … our own careers
may be in danger.”
And that’s unfortunate
because the only way to
deter politician-predators is
to publicly expose them and
let the voters know how they
misbehave. Also, if there’s
any settlement at all, force
the perpetrator to pay out of
his personal pocketbook —
not the Legislature’s taxpayer-fed till, or the politician’s special interest-fueled
campaign account.
The subcommittee
hopes to change the Capitol’s rules against sexual
harassment into something
understandable, equitable
and just.
The first third of the
six-hour hearing amounted
Rich Pedroncelli Associated Press
ELOISE GOMEZ REYES asks fellow legislator Ken
Cooley about how harassment claims are handled.
to a clumsy attempt by
Rules Committee officials to
make sense of the current
flexible policy. It was revealed that the Assembly
doesn’t even keep track of
complaints, only investigations.
Legislative leaders also
don’t normally disclose the
names of those being investigated. The Times recently
asked both houses for details, and was told only that
there had been 31 investigations of alleged sexual harassment in the last 10 years
— 15 in the Senate and 16 in
the Assembly. The investigation results were not
provided.
The Times was informed
that there had been 15 personnel settlements resulting in payouts totaling more
than $1 million. But officials
did not disclose how many
of those involved sexual
harassment.
The Legislature has
exempted itself from public
record laws that it has imposed on other government
entities. Clearly, state lawmakers should be as transparent as they require other
public officials to be.
Most of the subcommittee hearing involved a thorough scolding by women
crusading for a safe workplace and attorneys who
handle sexual harassment
cases. Some of the women
were harassment victims
themselves.
It all started in October
with more than 140 women
— legislators, staffers, lobbyists and political consultants of both parties — signing an open letter denouncing the “pervasive” culture
of sexual harassment that
pollutes the state Capitol.
One accused assemblyman, Raul Bocanegra (DPacoima), resigned the day
before the hearing. Another
alleged harasser, Sen. Tony
Mendoza (D-Artesia), was
stripped of a committee
chairmanship by the Senate
leadership.
“What everyone here
knows is that we have rapists in this building. We have
molesters among us,” testified Christine Pelosi, chair
of the California Democratic Party’s Women’s
Caucus and daughter of U.S.
House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fran-
cisco). “There are perpetrators, enforcers and enablers
in this building.”
“Rapists” is a strong
accusation. But amazingly, I
didn’t hear anyone — male
or female — challenging it.
After the hearing, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), the
subcommittee chair, told
me: “The more I think about
it, there needs to be a way
we’re not just investigating
ourselves. It needs to be
done by a quasi-independent body.
“You can’t leave punishment just up to [legislative] leadership. And there
needs to be pre-prescribed
penalties.”
She acknowledged what
most outsiders instinctively
know: Legislators can’t
police themselves. They’re
too dependent on each
other for votes. And politics
gets in the way. Foxes can’t
guard the henhouse.
The Senate previously
announced it will hand off
future sexual harassment
investigations to an independent outfit to be named
later.
Friedman also said the
perpetrators should be
publicly exposed because
“it’s important for the voters
to know.”
Assemblyman Kevin
McCarty (D-Sacramento)
announced he’ll introduce
legislation to require abusers to pony up personally for
settlements.
“Why should taxpayers
be on the hook for sexual
harassment payouts?” he
asked.
They shouldn’t. And the
abusers should be unmasked. Only then will you
see fear in their eyes.
george.skelton
@latimes.com
Twitter: @LATimesSkelton
T HURSDAY , NOVEMB ER 30, 2017
B5
B6
T HU R S DAY , N OV EM BE R 30, 2017
LAT IMES. C OM
Neighbors saw shooter grow more volatile
[Shooter, from B1]
But Poland argues that
sheriff ’s officials ignored
countless warning signs in
the weeks and months leading up to the killings — including the escalating harassment Neal visited on her
late boyfriend, Danny Elliott, 38, and his late mother,
Diana Steele, 68.
Along Bobcat Lane,
where the nights are pitch
black and every voice and
heavy thud carries through
the air, the sounds of commotion at Neal’s residence
came with disturbing regularity, Poland said.
“I can’t tell you how many
times I’d hear them fight and
I’d hear her yell, ‘I didn’t do
anything, stop!’ And then
furniture getting flung, her
screaming,” Poland said.
The Tehama County
Sheriff ’s Office said there’s
no record of complaints between Neal and his wife, although deputies did take a
misdemeanor battery report after he allegedly
punched a woman in the face
near his property in 2016.
After that, Neal began
shouting insults and epithets at Elliott when he’d arrive home in his mother’s
yellow Corvette, Poland
said. Eventually, Neal began
to harass Poland, her
boyfriend’s son and the rest
of the household as well.
The conflict seemed to
reach a head in January,
when Poland and Elliott’s
mother went for a walk.
Neal fired a rifle toward
the pair and splintered a
wooden fence post behind
the women, according to Po-
::
Randall Benton Sacramento Bee
INVESTIGATORS comb through Rancho Tehama Elementary School, where
Kevin Janson Neal opened fire during a stop on his deadly rampage Nov. 14.
land and sheriff ’s reports.
“How are your ladies’
day?” Poland remembered
Neal saying a moment before he hopped a fence and
waved a 10-inch kitchen knife
at them.
Neal told them they were
on private property, and Poland countered they were
not. Neal accused the neighbors of cooking methamphetamine and said the
fumes turned him into “what
he is today,” Poland recalled.
Then he attacked.
“Literally with the snap
of a finger, it was like nothing
but darkness in his eyes. It’s
like it wasn’t him anymore,”
Poland said, her voice cracking with emotion.
He rushed at Poland, but
Steele reached out with her
arm and slowed him down.
Neal and the 68-year-old
woman rolled around on the
ground as Neal pummeled
her face.
At one point, Poland
pulled Neal off of Steele. After he grabbed Poland by the
hair, she twisted around and
he plunged the knife into her
belly.
Neal moved to attack
Steele again when Poland
bellowed, “Kevin! Stop!”
“He literally stopped in
his tracks,” she said.
Everyone was exhausted.
“This fight went on for
15 minutes. Fifteen long
minutes,” Poland said tearfully.
Poland and Steele stumbled home bloody. Neal retreated home and waited for
authorities to show up.
Neal was arrested that
day on suspicion of assault
with a deadly weapon,
among other felonies, and
was jailed. He posted
$160,000 bail and was back
home before Poland was released from the hospital for
her stab wound.
Acting on both a criminal
complaint and a civil harassment restraining order filed
by Poland after the attack, a
judge ordered Neal to turn
over his guns and banned
him from possessing any
others.
In February, court records show that Neal reported handing over a single
pistol. He checked off a box
on a form attesting that he
had no other guns.
But after his release, Neal
stepped up his terror campaign against his neighbors,
Poland recalled.
He set up a camera in the
trees and sat on his porch
with binoculars.
Records of calls to sheriff ’s deputies by both households showed that Neal frequently filmed his neighbors. He accused Elliott of
pointing a gun at him, but
deputies said footage did
not support the claim.
Then there was the incessant gunfire — day or night.
Between November 2016
and this month’s killings, Tehama County sheriff ’s officials said, they responded to
21 complaints in Neal’s
neighborhood.
Many of them involved
Steele and other neighbors
complaining that Neal was
shooting. Other reports
came from Neal and his wife,
accusing Elliott of yelling at
them, followed by claims
that the Steele home
doubled as a meth lab.
Searches by sheriff ’s deputies and firefighters turned
up nothing of the sort.
Phil Johnston, the Tehama County assistant
sheriff, said that — despite
his and deputies’ belief that
Neal had guns in violation of
a court order — they were
unable to take any action because they never received an
eyewitness account that explicitly put a firearm in
Neal’s hands.
If they had, they could
have sought to rearrest him
and increase his bail or seek
a misdemeanor charge that
he violated a court order, officials said.
In August, Neal’s wife
filed a civil harassment complaint against Elliott, accusing him of threatening them
verbally and with a gun. Elliott would flip them the middle finger when he’d drive by,
but he never threatened
them, Poland said.
But the dispute took a
toll on the couple’s relationship. They began to argue
constantly.
In September, Poland’s
maternal grandfather died.
Poland and Elliott agreed it
was a good time to “take
a break” and see where
they were when she came
back.
But when Poland returned with her mother and
sister in mid-October to see
whether she should stay or
go, the situation wasn’t what
she expected.
Elliott was angry, she
said. He wouldn’t look her in
the eye. He said he didn’t
want to be with her anymore, then punched and
kicked the walls.
Elliott’s mother said
things had gotten worse between Neal and their family
in the month Poland had
been gone.
“We think he was just
pushing her away so that she
wouldn’t be there, because it
was escalating,” said Kathy
Poland, Hailey Poland’s
mother. “If it wasn’t for
Danny, we’d be planning her
funeral right now too.”
joseph.serna
@latimes.com
BuSINESS
C
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 1 7 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
C O M PA N Y T OW N
Energy
sector
backs
off on
climate
Wider
issues
behind
CFPB
battle
Industries that sought
Trump’s regulatory
rollbacks now worry
they may go too far.
Fight over interim
chief is also a chance
to call attention to
GOP effort to weaken
the consumer agency.
By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON — The
energy companies and industry groups that successfully pushed the Trump administration
to
scrap
Obama-era action on climate change have a new
message for the fossil fuel
enthusiasts now calling the
shots: Don’t go too far.
It is not clear the administration is listening.
An intensifying debate
between the climate change
skeptics looking to strike a
death blow to federal greenhouse gas restrictions and a
growing chorus of electricity
and manufacturing companies warning that such a
move would backfire could
ultimately test who has the
most White House clout in
setting energy policy — industry or the ideologues.
The
firms
involved
fought Obama’s rules. But
no rules at all, they worry,
would open them to all manner of legal and financial
risk.
The tension was on display this week in Charleston,
W.Va., where the Environmental Protection Agency
boasted that it was traveling
to “the heart of coal country”
to hear from the public on
the agency’s proposal to
erase the greenhouse gas restrictions and replace them
with new ones or with nothing at all. It was contentious.
And even among administration allies, the message
was far from uniform.
Power companies and
manufacturers want the
previous administration’s
Clean Power Plan replaced
with a watered-down climate policy that gives them
a regulatory road map,
keeps the U.S. at least
slightly in step with the rest
of the world on energy policy
and helps buffer them from
lawsuits threatening to revive the Obama rules.
Influential allies of President Trump are pressuring
the administration against
leaving any rules in place
that restrict greenhouse gas
emissions at power plants.
[See Climate, C4]
By Jim Puzzanghera
Nathan Congleton NBC
MATT LAUER is just the latest celebrity to be fired on allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. The
move has potential implications for NBC, the popular “Today” show and morning television in general.
Firing marks the end
of an era for ‘Today’
Lauer’s ouster could change the face of morning TV
By Stephen Battaglio
In the nearly 66-year history of NBC’s “Today,” the program that invented morning television, all of its stars have
been considered part of an extended family.
Every few years, regardless of whether they were fired
or unceremoniously replaced, the hosts reappear to help
celebrate a show milestone. Even J. Fred Muggs, the
chimp who was removed for biting guests on the program
in the 1950s, was invited back. They were part of the “Today” legacy — a carefully molded, yet intimate, group of
personalities welcomed into the homes of millions of
Americans each morning.
But Matt Lauer may never show up in the program’s
Rockefeller Plaza studio again after the network announced Wednesday that he was fired for inappropriate
sexual behavior, making him the latest TV news star to be
brought down by such allegations.
Lauer’s departure could have far-reaching reverberations — not just for NBC and “Today,” but for morning
television, which has started to see its audience and influence erode after decades of dominance. As audiences become more fragmented and news consumers, especially
younger ones, turn to new technology, personalities
known to viewers on a first-name basis are increasingly
hard to come by.
One veteran news producer who worked with Lauer
predicted his departure would likely cut into the ratings
for “Today” by 10% to 15%. But along with the decline in
viewers, the loss of Lauer means morning TV will be without one of its most recognizable faces.
“He was pivotal to the success of the “Today” show —
an important part of a crown jewel of the NBCUniversal
empire,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief research offi[See ‘Today,’ C3]
cer of the Reputation Insti-
The perils of eliminating net neutrality
MICHAEL HILTZIK
Advocates of
net neutrality, which is
under active
assault by the
conservative
chairman of
the Federal
Communications Commission, have been pointing
to a vivid example of how
abandoning the principle
will allow internet providers
to manipulate their offerings at the expense of consumers.
The example comes from
Portugal, where the rule
change advocated by FCC
Chairman Ajit Pai is in full
cry. It provides an instructive look at how internet
service providers can steer
users to favored websites
and services, including their
own. And it’s a warning
about the consequences of
Pai’s proposal.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images
WITHOUT net neutrality, internet service providers can steer users to favored
websites and services, including their own. Above, protesters rally in L.A.
Net neutrality means
that all websites and services have identical access to
internet users. ISPs such as
cable broadband or wireless
providers can’t block some
sites or services or deliberately slow down their data
as they make their way to
users, and can’t demand
payment to prioritize one
firm’s service over a rival.
Whether you get your
streaming video from Netflix or Amazon Prime, you
should get it at the same
speed and quality. As President Obama explained the
principle in 2014, “No service
should be stuck in a ‘slow
lane’ because it does not pay
a fee.” The FCC, under
Obama-appointed Chairman Tom Wheeler, established those rules in 2015.
Pai is intent on repealing
them.
That brings us to Portugal, whose internet system
was highlighted by Rep. Ro
[See Hiltzik, C4]
WASHINGTON — They
waved signs. They banged
drums. And they chanted
their opposition to Mick
Mulvaney’s appointment as
acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau.
“For six years this agency
has fought for working people and now it is time for us
to fight for the agency,” Sen.
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
said at a rally this week in
front of the bureau’s headquarters. “Are you ready to
fight?”
The crowd of about 50
protesters roared “Yeah!” in
unison.
On the surface, the battle
by consumer advocates and
Democrats against Mulvaney, an outspoken critic of
the bureau, appears just to
be delaying the inevitable.
No matter how the ongoing legal dispute over the
bureau’s interim leadership
turns out, everyone agrees
that President Trump has
the right to nominate a permanent director to head the
Obama-era agency that he
and other Republicans have
sharply criticized. And the
Republican-controlled Senate has shown it’s likely to
confirm that nominee.
But supporters of the bureau’s aggressive consumerprotection approach said
there are important reasons
for the fight: to try to limit
how long Mulvaney serves as
acting director, as well as to
draw public attention to the
relatively new bureau and
what they see as Republican
efforts to weaken it.
“This is not a temporary
thing. This is the future of
the agency,” said Ed
Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest
Research Group. “This is
just kind of the first warning
shot.”
Bureau supporters are
concerned that Mulvaney,
who once called the bureau a
“joke … in a sad, sick kind of
way,” could be acting director for months. Although he
said Trump “is interested in
naming a permanent replacement as quickly as possible,” Mulvaney acknowledged the Senate doesn’t always move quickly.
The law under which
Trump appointed Mulvaney, the Federal Vacancies
Reform Act of 1998, allows
Mulvaney to serve for as long
as 210 days.
What’s more, that restriction is suspended if a nomination is pending in the Senate. And the 210-day clock
starts again if the Senate rejects a nomination.
“A lot can go on during
that period of time,” said
Alan S. Kaplinsky, head of
the consumer financial services group at law firm Bal[See CFPB, C4]
More fallout
for Wells Fargo
U.S. regulators may
issue new sanctions
over the bank’s fees
and policies that
harmed customers. C2
Business Beat ......... C2
Market Roundup .. C4
C2
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
BUSINESS BEAT
L.A. sees tourism
gold in King Tut
By Hugo Martin
Spencer Platt Getty Images
WELLS FARGO said it would repay harmed customers after acknowledging that some auto loan customers
were paying for unneeded insurance and some mortgage borrowers were charged improper rate-lock fees.
More Wells Fargo fallout
Federal regulator may
issue new sanctions
over bank’s fees and
policies that harmed
customers, report says.
By James Rufus Koren
Wells Fargo & Co. may
face new sanctions from a
key federal regulator over
bad practices the bank has
copped to over the last several months, including forcing auto loan customers into
unneeded insurance policies
and charging improper fees
on some mortgage borrowers, according to a news report.
The Wall Street Journal
reported Wednesday that
the Office of the Comptroller
of the Currency, one of the
regulators that last year
fined Wells Fargo for its creation of sham bank accounts, has advised the San
Francisco bank’s board that
it may face a new formal
reprimand for willingly
harming customers and fail-
ing to correct problems in its
mortgage and auto-lending
businesses.
The report, which cited
unnamed sources familiar
with the matter, suggested
the OCC may issue a ceaseand-desist order, a regulatory action that demands a
bank stop certain practices
and take corrective action.
Such orders are sometimes accompanied by big
fines. When federal regulators and the Los Angeles city
attorney’s office reached a
$185-million settlement with
Wells Fargo last year over its
sham-accounts
scandal,
that sum included a $35-million fine required by an OCC
cease-and-desist order.
A spokesman for the
OCC said the agency does
not comment on “supervisory matters pertaining to
specific banks.”
Wells Fargo spokeswoman Catherine Pulley said she
could not comment on any
specific interactions with
the bank’s regulators.
“While there is still work
to be done, Wells Fargo is
dedicated to making things
right, fixing the problems,
and building a better bank,”
Pulley said in a statement.
“We are making critical
changes across our riskmanagement functions and
line-of-business operations
to rebuild the trust of our
customers and team members.”
The potential OCC action focuses on two lines of
business where Wells Fargo
has admitted to bad practices that harmed customers.
In July, the bank said that
an internal investigation
found that about 570,000
auto loan customers may
had been forced to pay for
auto insurance policies they
didn’t need and that some
20,000 may have had their
vehicles repossessed because the added cost of the
unneeded policies pushed
them into default.
The policies in question
are those put in place by
lenders when borrowers
don’t have or can’t prove
they have auto insurance of
their own. However, the
Wells Fargo borrowers either
had their own insurance or
were not properly informed
about the bank-placed policies.
In October, the bank acknowledged that some
mortgage borrowers may
have been pushed to pay interest rate-lock fees that
should have been paid by the
bank. Those fees are owed
when a mortgage application is delayed, and are supposed to be paid by borrowers only if they are responsible for the holdup.
The rate-lock issue was
first reported by ProPublica
and later led to lawsuits and
an investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau.
In both instances, the
bank said it was taking corrective action and would repay harmed customers.
Wells Fargo pledged to
pay $80 million in refunds
and other compensation to
auto loan customers going
back to 2012. Last month, it
said it would offer refunds to
mortgage borrowers who
paid rate-lock fees dating
back to 2013.
james.koren@latimes.com
Twitter: @jrkoren
Bitcoin price surges past $10,000
Tenfold increase this
year fuels debate over
likelihood of a crash.
associated press
The price of bitcoin
surged past $10,000 on
Wednesday, adding to its
tenfold jump in value this
year and fueling a debate as
to whether the virtual currency is gaining mainstream
acceptance or is merely a
bubble waiting to burst.
Shortly after bitcoin reached $10,000, it surged past
$11,000 — and then dropped.
As measured by the website
CoinDesk, the cost of buying
one bitcoin was as low as
$9,300 midday Wednesday. A
price of one bitcoin had been
roughly $1,000 at the beginning of the year.
The vertiginous rise in
the price of bitcoin and other
virtual currencies this year
has divided the financial
community on their merits
and whether — or when —
the value might come crashing back down.
The chief executive of JPMorgan Chase has called
bitcoin a “fraud,” as it is
based only on software code
and is not backed by any
monetary authority.
Other executives, including International Monetary
Fund chief Christine Lagarde, say virtual currencies
should not be dismissed and
could have useful applications, such as a means of
payment in countries with
unstable currencies.
Some countries, such as
China, have tried to stifle
bitcoin exchanges. But in a
move that gave further credibility to the virtual currency, the U.S. exchange operator CME Group said last
Dan Kitwood Getty Images
VIRTUAL currencies like bitcoin have become a hot
investment among speculators, driving up the price.
month that it plans to open a
futures market for the currency before the end of the
year if it can get approval
from regulators.
Bitcoin was created
about a decade ago as an alternative to government-issued currencies. Transactions allow anonymity,
which has made it popular
with people who want to
keep their financial activity,
and their identities, private.
Whereas virtual currencies were initially used primarily as a method of payment, in recent months they
have become a hot investment among speculators.
Daniele Bianchi, an assistant professor of finance
at the Warwick Business
School in England, said the
price increases are due to
rising demand but also to
the fact that the supply of
bitcoins is kept fixed. There
are only 21 million that can
be mined in total.
Bianchi also noted that
trading in bitcoin is becoming more professional and
open to the general public.
He believes virtual currencies are “here to stay” and
expects the price to rise
higher still.
“The increasing demand
pressure from investors and
speculators makes the case
for an even further increase
in bitcoin prices in the near
future,” he said.
Others are far more skeptical.
Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital
in London, said bitcoin is
“following the playbook for a
speculative bubble to the letter.”
A new market enjoys a
boom when professional investors start entering the
market. That’s followed by
euphoria as others rush in to
partake in the gains. Wilson
said that bitcoin could rise
much further, but that when
it comes to the bubble bursting, the question is when,
not if.
“This sort of thing never,
ever lasts,” he said.
How bitcoin works
Bitcoin is a digital cur-
rency that is not tied to a
bank or government and allows users to spend money
anonymously. The coins are
created by users who “mine”
them by lending computing
power to verify other users’
transactions. They receive
bitcoins in exchange. The
coins also can be bought and
sold on exchanges with U.S.
dollars and other currencies.
The value of bitcoins can
swing sharply. This month,
bitcoin’s value plunged 22%
against the dollar in just
three days.
Bitcoins are basically
lines of computer code that
are digitally signed each
time they travel from one
owner to the next. Transactions can be made anonymously, making the currency popular with libertarians as well as tech enthusiasts, speculators — and
criminals.
Transactions and accounts can be traced, but
the account owners aren’t
necessarily known. However, investigators might be
able to track down the owners when bitcoins are converted to regular currency.
Some businesses have
jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon amid a flurry of media coverage. Overstock
.com accepts payments in
bitcoin, for example.
Still, its popularity is low
compared with cash and
cards, and many individuals
and businesses won’t accept
bitcoins for payments.
Bitcoin miners keep the
system honest by pouring
their computing power into
a blockchain, a global running tally of every bitcoin
transaction. The blockchain
prevents rogues from spending the same bitcoin twice,
and the miners are compensated for their efforts with
the occasional bitcoin.
A 10-city tour of artifacts from the tomb of the world’s
most famous boy king is kicking off in Los Angeles, and exhibit sponsors are projecting a multimillion-dollar tourist
spending spree during the show’s 10-month stint.
“King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh,” an exhibition of artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun, is
scheduled to open March 24 at the California Science
Center, adjacent to the USC campus.
The interest in displays of King Tut objects has rivaled
performances by big musical acts or sporting events. A
similar exhibit generated $168 million in economic impact
when it came to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
for five months in 2005, drawing nearly 1 million visitors.
Another exhibit of King Tut’s relics at Philadelphia’s
Franklin Institute in 2007 drew 1.3 million visitors and
sparked $127 million in spending.
The new exhibit’s sponsors are projecting that tourists
who come to town for the show will spend between
$109 million and $272 million. Total economic impact
could reach as high as $352 million, including an estimated 1,045 jobs that could be created or supported by
the exhibit, according to a study by Emsi, a economic
analysis firm.
“We agree that King Tut will be a significant draw for
prospective visitors to Los Angeles, especially given that
we are the first destination on its global tour,” said Don
Skeoch, chief marketing officer for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
The original 1978 L.A. visit of King Tut items, a 55-artifact exhibit called “Treasures of Tutankhamun,” put
LACMA on the cultural map in a big way as it mounted
one of the first museum mega-shows.
In all, 1.25 million Angelenos were willing to stand in
long lines for timed entry spots during the four-month exhibit. Museum membership doubled that year.
The upcoming exhibit, presented by the Egyptian
Ministry of Antiquities to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, will include more
than 150 artifacts. The collection, the largest ever displayed outside Egypt, will be shown until early January
2019 before moving to Europe.
hugo.martin@latimes.com
Home prices rise
6.5%; sales up 3.6%
By Andrew Khouri
Southern California home prices rose 6.5% in October
from a year earlier, while sales jumped 3.6%, according to a
new report out Wednesday from researcher CoreLogic.
The sales increase comes despite a shortage of listings
on the market and underscores the strong demand for
housing as employers add jobs in the region.
Home prices have been rising each month on a yearover-year basis for more than five years. In addition to an
improving economy, historically low mortgage rates have
supercharged the market and allowed borrowers to pay
more for a house as long as they can scrape together a
hefty down payment.
Last month, the median home price in the six-county
region clocked in at $495,000.
That’s down from a record $505,000 in September,
though it’s not uncommon for prices to dip month to
month. That’s especially true in the fall and winter, when
demand tends to taper off from the busy spring and summer buying seasons.
Andrew LePage, an analyst with CoreLogic, said part
of the decline from September reflects a shift toward
more homes selling in affordable neighborhoods, which
brings down the median — the point where half the homes
sold for more and half for less.
Prices were up across Southern California compared
with a year earlier:
8 Los Angeles County, up 7.6% to $565,000.
8 Orange County, up 5.3% to $690,000.
8 Ventura County, up 2.2% to $547,000.
8 San Bernardino County, up 12.3% to $320,000.
8 Riverside County, up 6.9% to $358,000.
8 San Diego County, up 4.4% to $529,750.
andrew.khouri@latimes.com
Glitch could lead
to pilot shortage
By Hugo Martin
A computer error has allowed too many pilots at
American Airlines to schedule time off during the upcoming Christmas season, creating a potential pilot shortage
for what is expected to be one of the busiest holidays in
years for the airline industry.
The Fort Worth-based carrier said it hopes to avoid
canceling any flights during the holiday period by calling
in reserve pilots and offering other pilots 150% of their salaries to return to the cockpits during the time they have
been approved to be on vacation.
“We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season,” the airline said in a statement.
Airline representatives declined to say how many of
the carrier’s 15,000 pilots were allowed to take time off for
the holiday. But the number was high enough that the
carrier had to quickly adopt several new measures to keep
its holiday flights on schedule.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, an estimated 28.5
million passengers flew on U.S.-based carriers, a 3% increase over the same time in 2016. The airline industry is
bracing for a bigger surge during the Christmas holiday.
The computer that manages payroll and vacation
schedules at American Airlines is separate from the system that manages passenger reservations. Still, industry
experts say the increased complexity of airline computer
systems is to blame for a growing number of glitches that
have recently grounded airplanes and posted ultra-cheap
airfares.
hugo.martin@latimes.com
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
C3
ESPN sheds
about 150
jobs in latest
round of cuts
The layoffs come as
the network, whose
viewership continues
to slide, looks to new
ventures, source says.
By Daniel Miller
Leila Navidi Minneapolis Star Tribune
GARRISON KEILLOR, pictured last year at a rehearsal, says he inadvertently touched a woman’s bare back
as he tried to console her. Allegations of harassment also led to the firing of NPR’s David Sweeney this week.
Radio star Keillor is fired
Former ‘Prairie Home
Companion’ host is
accused of unwanted
touching. NPR news
editor is also ousted.
associated press
Two public radio stalwarts lost their jobs this
week after allegations of
misconduct and sexual harassment: Garrison Keillor,
the former host of “A Prairie
Home Companion,” and
David Sweeney, National
Public Radio’s chief news editor.
Keillor said Wednesday
that Minnesota Public Radio fired him over “a story
that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR
heard.”
He told the Minneapolis
Star Tribune he had put his
hand on a woman’s bare
back when trying to console
her.
“I meant to pat her back
… and her shirt was open
and my hand went up it
about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized,” Keillor
told the newspaper in an
email. “I sent her an email of
apology later, and she
replied that she had forgiven
me and not to think about
it.”
Minnesota Public Radio
confirmed it had terminated
contracts with Keillor after
receiving
an
allegation
against him last month of
“inappropriate behavior.” It
said the allegation stemmed
from Keillor’s conduct when
he was producing and hosting his long-running radio
variety show.
Minnesota Public Radio
said it knew of no other allegations but had retained a
law firm that continues to investigate.
The name of “A Prairie
Home Companion” will be
changed, Minnesota Public
Radio said. It also said it
would end distribution of
“The Writer’s Almanac,”
Keillor’s daily reading of a
poem and telling of literary
events, and end rebroadcasts of “The Best of A
Prairie Home Companion”
hosted by Keillor.
Keillor retired as host of
“A Prairie Home Companion” in 2016, after four decades. He hand-picked his
successor — mandolinist
Chris Thile — and continued
to work with the radio network on other projects.
Thile tweeted Wednesday that he was “in shock”
over Keillor’s firing. He said
he knew nothing about the
allegation, adding: “I trust
that the proper steps are being taken.” Sue Scott, a longtime voice actor on the show,
said she had witnessed no
evidence of inappropriate
behavior by Keillor.
Separately, NPR reported
Tuesday
that
Sweeney had stepped down
from his role as chief news
editor following accusations
by at least three current and
former NPR journalists. His
departure came after NPR
conducted a formal internal
review into his conduct.
An NPR spokeswoman
confirmed that Sweeney no
longer worked for the organization. “We take all reports very seriously,” she
said. “NPR will not comment
about specific complaints or
personnel matters.”
The Washington, D.C.based news agency reported
that the complaints against
Sweeney were filed after
Mike Oreskes — NPR’s top
news executive — was forced
to resign Nov. 1 over sexual
misconduct allegations.
The accusations against
Sweeney include an unwanted kiss and an attempted kiss, as well as unwanted attention and gifts
to a subordinate, according
to the NPR report.
Times staff writer David Ng
contributed to this report.
ESPN is laying off about
150 employees, including
people who work in studio
production, digital content
and technology, the sports
channel said Wednesday.
The cuts, which are the
latest sign of the financial
pressures the Bristol, Conn.based operation faces, follow a round of layoffs in April
that included the departure
of about 100 employees,
among them several on-air
personalities.
The paring back of staff
at ESPN, a unit of Burbankbased Walt Disney Co.,
comes as the sports outlet
has been struggling to adapt
to changes in consumers’
television viewing behavior.
For years, Disney has
counted on having ESPN
and other premium channels distributed to nearly all
pay-TV homes, but cordcutting has eaten into revenue generated by that business.
In 2010, ESPN, long a Disney profit center, was available in nearly 100 million
homes in the country, but it
is now in about 87 million, according to Nielsen data.
“We will continue to invest in ways which will best
position us to serve the modern sports fan and support
the success of our business,”
John Skipper, president of
ESPN, said in a statement
posted to its website.
The latest cuts are due in
part to changes in workforce
needs as ESPN reallocates
some resources for new ventures, including a forthcom-
ing streaming service, according to a person familiar
with the matter at ESPN
who was not authorized to
comment publicly.
The Times reported on
the current round of layoffs
earlier this month.
ESPN, which has about
8,000 employees, also laid off
about 300 people in late 2015,
while opting to not renew
the high-priced contracts of
some star talent, including
Colin Cowherd, who later
went to Fox Sports.
Earlier this year, Disney
announced a standalone
ESPN streaming service,
ESPN Plus, that is aimed at
helping the company capture younger viewers who
have turned away from traditional pay-TV options.
Disney is planning to launch
the service in spring 2018 (a
similar service for films and
TV shows is set to follow in
2019).
“We’re going into that
business because we believe
that our direct-to-consumer
opportunities, given the
technology that’s out there,
are significant and given the
fact that we’ve got these
great brands and franchises,” Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said during
a November conference call
with analysts to discuss the
company’s fiscal fourthquarter earnings.
Disney’s media networks
unit — whose crown jewel is
ESPN — had a tough fourth
quarter, reporting segment
operating income of $1.48 billion, a drop of 12% from a
year earlier. Its operating income declined on a yearover-year basis for the sixth
quarter in a row.
daniel.miller
@latimes.com
Twitter:
@DanielNMiller
Times staff writer Stephen
Battlaglio contributed to
this report.
Changing the face of morning TV news NASA
[‘Today,’ from C1]
tute in Boston. “His demeanor and his general disposition clearly was palatable across the gender
spectrum. He also has journalistic credibility.”
The prominence of the
broadcast television news
anchor has ebbed in recent
years with the retirement of
longtime standard-bearers
such as Dan Rather and
Tom Brokaw, the death of
Peter Jennings, the demotion of Brian Williams — and
the rise of cable news networks CNN, MSNBC and
Fox News.
Morning anchor jobs
have become higher-profile
than their evening news
counterparts, as they are
major profit centers for their
companies that can set the
agenda for the rest of the day
even in the age of the internet.
One reason Lauer stayed
at “Today” for so long is that
the morning anchor job has
maintained its high profile
while broadcast TV ratings
have faded. Even as the audience for “Today” has declined in recent years, with
4.2 million viewers in the
2016-17 season, compared
with 4.6 million for ABC’s
“Good Morning America”
and 3.56 million for “CBS
This Morning,” Lauer was
still the best-known — and
one of the most liked — personalities in all of television.
Lauer, who had been with
the show for 23 years, also
wielded tremendous power
at “Today” as he became its
biggest star after Katie
Couric departed in 2006. His
influence over the program
grew in recent years to the
point that no male successor
has emerged on the program. It’s likely that co-anchor Savannah Guthrie will
be paired with Hoda Kotb in
at least the short term.
His popularity in the
show’s storied history was rivaled only by that of founding host Dave Garroway;
its first female star, Barbara
Walters; and Couric.
Lauer’s outsized power
to reuse
SpaceX
booster
By Samantha Masunaga
Stuart Ramson Associated Press
FORMER “TODAY” hosts Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel, left, join Katie Couric and Matt Lauer in 2002 for
the show’s 50th anniversary. Lauer is unlikely to ever return after his firing on sexual misconduct allegations.
was not necessarily healthy
for the show, according to
Michael Socolow, a media
historian and associate professor at the University of
Maine. It may have even allowed the harassment allegations that have been
raised against him to fester.
“The
$20-million-plus
network television news anchor is done,” Socolow said.
“The Matt Lauer issue is a
corporate
management
problem. And with Lauer
gone, so will be the kind of
control over personnel and
broadcasts that set up these
problems.”
Since Meredith Vieira left
the program in 2011, “Today”
has lost about 1 million viewers and relinquished its 16consecutive-year streak of
success in the ratings to
ABC’s
“Good
Morning
America” in 2012. But NBC
News has re-upped Lauer’s
contract twice since then,
fearing his departure would
lead to further erosion. Now
the division will learn
whether that is the case.
Neal Shapiro, a former
president of NBC News, believes “Today” can weather
the change even though
Lauer loomed large over the
franchise in recent years.
“I don’t think it’s the end
of an era — morning shows
are ensembles and people
come and go,” Shapiro said.
“I’m sure it will be a challenging time for ‘Today’ going
forward. But people’s relationships
with
those
shows are not just with a single anchor. They are often
with a whole network. They
are long-running shows for a
reason because of the time
period they are in and the
substance they have.”
The “Today” audience
who watched Lauer’s steady
rise to stardom developed a
strong connection to him
over time. He wasn’t an
overnight sensation, but
persevered for years before
he became the highest-paid
anchor in television, earning
in excess of $20 million annually in recent years.
Lauer spent the first 10
years of his broadcasting career as a journeyman host in
local TV, and was ready to
quit and take a job as a treecutter in 1992. His luck
turned after he received a
call from an executive at
WNBC in New York who of-
fered him a job reading the
early-morning news on the
local station. Lauer soon
found himself filling in as the
newsreader on “Today,” and
by 1994 he had the job full
time.
Lauer became a co-anchor alongside Couric in
1997, and their on-air interactions, in which they would
playfully zing each other like
siblings, made them an immediate sensation.
As a team, Lauer, Couric,
news reader Ann Curry and
weather anchor Al Roker became the morning TV equivalent of the Beatles, attracting excited crowds outside
the street-level studio in the
concrete canyon of Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan.
“Today”
became
so
popular that it enabled NBC
to expand the morning franchise into the 9 a.m. hour in
2000, and to 10 a.m. in 2008
with other hosts.
Over
time,
Lauer
emerged as the star of the
program. Morning show
producers say he was better
than any other male host at
alternating between serious,
hard-news interviews and
the soft features and stunts
required by morning TV.
“I think of Matt as the
James Bond of the broadcast,” Curry said in a 2011 interview. “He is so good at
everything.”
But Lauer had some
bumps along the road, starting with Curry. A beloved
“Today” cast member, Curry
did not succeed when promoted to be Lauer’s co-anchor in 2011. Their lack of onair rapport was apparent
and ratings dropped. Curry
was ultimately pulled from
the co-anchor chair, and
many female fans blamed
Lauer, saying he had a condescending attitude toward
her and hastened her exit.
Lauer also faced criticism last year for his handling of a town hall forum between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and
Donald Trump in which he
cut off Clinton repeatedly,
but allowed a false claim by
Trump to go unchallenged.
stephen.battaglio
Twitter: @latimes.com
Times staff writer Meg
James contributed to this
report.
NASA will rely on a previously used SpaceX Falcon 9
first-stage booster next
week to carry supplies to the
International Space Station, marking a first for the
agency.
The booster first flew in
June on a mission to deliver
supplies to the space station. After separating from
the second stage, the booster returned to Earth for a
landing at SpaceX’s landing
pad at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station in Florida.
NASA officials discussed
the decision at a meeting
Wednesday of the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations
Committee at Kennedy
Space Center in Florida.
NASA said in a statement that it participated in
a “broad range of SpaceX
data assessments and inspections” concerning the
use of a previously launched
first stage. Booster reuse for
future NASA missions will
be considered on a “case-bycase basis,” the agency said.
NASA had said that it
wanted to review results before signing off on a used
first-stage rocket for a space
station resupply mission.
Though this is the first time
the agency will utilize a used
SpaceX booster, NASA has
used a refurbished Dragon
cargo capsule to haul supplies to the space station.
The cargo resupply mission is set to launch no earlier than Dec. 8 from Cape Canaveral.
samantha.masunaga
@latimes.com
C4
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
Consumer
bureau fight
heats up
[CFPB, from C1]
lard Spahr. “The agency can
continue on the same trajectory it’s been on or it can be
completely changed as Mulvaney seems to want to do.
That’s why I think this battle
is an important one.”
Mulvaney said that he
brings a “new attitude” to
the bureau and that the way
it interprets and enforces
consumer protection laws
will be “dramatically different” from under the previous
director, Richard Cordray,
who was picked by President
Obama.
“Anybody who thinks
that a Trump administration CFPB will be the same
as an Obama administration CFPB is simply being
naive,” Mulvaney told reporters this week.
Although there could be
a legal cloud over any actions that Mulvaney takes as
acting director, he still could
heavily influence how the
bureau operates. He could
stop investigations, end ongoing litigation against financial firms and change
regulatory
guidance,
Kaplinsky said.
Democrats and consumer advocates are trying
to pressure Trump to nominate a permanent choice
who would face Senate hearings and a confirmation vote
— a process that could make
it difficult to install an
avowed opponent of the bureau such as Mulvaney.
“Are the Republicans
willing to stand next to
someone who says they
want to run this agency for
the benefit of Wall Street?”
Warren told reporters after
Tuesday’s rally. “I don’t
think they want to do that.”
Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National
Consumer Law Center, said
the fight against Mulvaney is
designed to prevent Trump
“from doing an end-run”
around the process for installing a director.
She and other consumer
advocates have backed Leandra English, the bureau’s
deputy director, to be the
agency’s acting chief. English says she is the rightful
interim director under a provision of the 2010 DoddFrank act that created the
bureau.
The Justice Department
said that the 1998 vacancies
law supersedes that and allows Trump to install Mulvaney.
A federal judge on Tuesday sided with the Trump
administration and rejected
English’s request for a temporary restraining order to
prevent Mulvaney from taking office.
English’s attorney indicated the legal fight wasn’t
over and that he may seek an
injunction.
Bureau supporters also
have another reason for
wanting to get a permanent
director in place. The president can fire the director
only for cause. They would
like a Trump-appointed director’s five-year term to begin so that if a Democrat
wins the White House in 2020
it would expire earlier in the
new president’s term.
That could be a reason
for Republicans to stall on a
permanent director. But
there’s a risk in that, said
Brian Knight, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason
University.
If Republicans lose control of the Senate in 2018, it
could prevent them from
confirming a permanent director, he said.
“You want to get your
own person permanently in
there so you have that fiveyear term,” Knight said of
Republicans.
Saunders said she’s less
worried about starting the
Mark Wilson Getty Images
“FOR SIX YEARS this agency has fought for working people and now it is time for us to fight for the agency,”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said at a rally this week at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
clock on the next permanent
director than about getting
Mulvaney out of the acting
role.
“It’s a concern to prolong
the period in which an enemy of consumer protection
could be at the helm of the
consumer watchdog, espe-
cially if it’s somebody who
doesn’t have to go through
the hearing and confirmation process,” she said.
As they protest Mulvaney, consumer advocates
also believe that the highprofile controversy shines a
spotlight on the bureau,
which will boost public support for it.
“Airing this debate works
in favor of the CFPB’s many
existing supporters because
the more people know about
an agency that fights Wall
Street, the more they like it,”
said Carter Dougherty, a
spokesman for Americans
for Financial Reform, a coalition of groups advocating
tougher oversight of the financial system.
jim.puzzanghera
@latimes.com
Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera
Industry seeks new climate laws
[Climate, from C1]
One of the star speakers in
Charleston was coal magnate Robert Murray, a major
supporter of the president
who demanded a repeal of
the Clean Power Plan “in its
entirety,” and laid out how
the feds should go about
ending all greenhouse gas
emission regulation.
“We respectfully remind
the U.S. EPA that much
more needs to be done to follow through on promises
relative to coal-fired generation, coal production and
coal mining jobs,” he said.
The comments were delivered as a longtime lobbyist for Murray’s company,
Andrew Wheeler, is on a path
to confirmation as the EPA’s
deputy administrator, the
second-most-powerful post
at the agency. Wheeler’s history of working for climate
change deniers was a point
of contention at his hearings, as was Murray’s role in
guiding Trump’s thinking
on climate policy.
Murray is joined by several other activists close to
the administration — some
have worked inside it — in
urging repeal of the EPA’s
“endangerment
finding,”
which obligates the agency
to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air
Act. The finding has already
been upheld several times in
court, including against a
challenge by Scott Pruitt
when he was attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt is
now Trump’s EPA administrator.
Yet the endangerment
finding remains the target of
climate change skeptics who
have the ear of the White
House, such as those at the
Cato Institute, the Heartland Institute and the Koch
brothers-backed American
Energy Alliance and Competitive Enterprise Institute.
At this week’s hearing, industry groups cautioned
against following those
skeptics’ advice. Michael
Burger, executive director of
the Sabin Center for Climate
Change Law at Columbia
University, said the companies that fought the Clean
Power Plan have reason to
be anxious about the
prospect of nothing taking
its place.
“They are seeing a perceived opportunity to weaken regulations slip away,”
Burger said in an email. “Repeal without replacement
will almost certainly fail in
court.” He said the Supreme
Court has already affirmed
that the EPA is required to
regulate greenhouse gases
from power plants.
Richard Revesz, director
of the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, warns
that repeal without replacement “could open the floodgates for litigation” and expose power companies that
were to be regulated under
the Clean Power Plan to “significant and highly uncertain liabilities.”
The Electric Reliability
Coordinating Council, a coalition that includes some of
the country’s biggest utilities and fossil fuel companies, encouraged the EPA at
this week’s hearing to replace the Clean Power Plan
with new rules. Scott Segal,
the group’s director, said
new, less stringent rules “can
provide regulatory certainty, diminish frivolous litigation, and can aid in planning.”
After pillorying the Clean
Power Plan in its testimony,
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also signaled it wants
new emissions rules in place,
calling for “a more reason-
able path forward that protects American jobs and the
economy while fostering
continued environmental
progress.” The National
Assn. of Manufacturers,
which bitterly fought the
Obama plan, wants it replaced with something new.
The positioning reflects
legal challenges confronting
corporate America on global
warming, and also the political realities. Climate action
remains popular among customers and many corporate
executives. The rest of the
world is moving ahead with
it, and a future administration is very likely to put back
in place aggressive emissions rules. Companies are
trying to plan for all of that.
“A repeal without replacement creates uncertainty even if it’s a shortterm help,” said Eli Lehrer,
president of R Street, a conservative think tank and opponent of the Clean Power
Plan. “Nobody — not stockholders, not managers, not
major customers — likes uncertainty when it comes to
something as vital as electrical power.”
evan.halper@latimes.com
Twitter: @evanhalper
MARKET ROUNDUP
Tech stocks’ slide More fees, less choice for web users
offsets bank gains
associated press
A steep slide in big
technology firms pulled the
major U.S. stock indexes
mostly lower Wednesday,
offsetting strength in banks
and healthcare and erasing
some of the gains the market
made a day earlier.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq
composite, which is the bestperforming index this year,
had its biggest single-day
drop since August as investors cashed in some of
their winnings and bid up
shares in healthcare firms
and retailers. Bond yields
rose after a strong report on
U.S. economic growth.
The Dow Jones industrial
average rose a bit, notching a
record high for the second
straight day, while the
Standard & Poor’s 500 index
slipped less than 1 point.
“People are rotating
away from what’s worked so
well and buying some of the
laggards,” said Bob Doll,
chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.
Tech firms gave up some
of their recent gains as the
sector posted its biggest loss
in more than five months.
Even so, the sector remains
the biggest riser this year,
with a gain of 35.7%.
Amazon slid 2.7% to
$1,161.27. Facebook dropped
4% to $175.13. Alphabet declined 2.4% to $1,037.38. Several chipmakers also fell. Micron Technology dropped
8.7% to $43.74.
The market got another
batch of encouraging economic news. The Commerce
Department estimated that
the U.S. economy grew at an
annual pace of 3.3% in July
through September. That
would be the fastest rate in
three years. The new estimate helped lift bond yields.
The yield on the 10-year
Treasury rose to 2.38% from
2.34%. Meanwhile, the National Assn. of Realtors said
its pending home sales index
surged 3.5% last month.
Banks and other financial stocks posted solid
gains, getting a boost from
rising bond yields. Citizens
Financial Group shares
climbed 4.9% to $40.67.
UnitedHealth
Group
rose 3.1% to $222.88; it was
the biggest riser in the Dow.
Autodesk was the biggest
decliner in the S&P 500,
tumbling 15.9% to $109.34.
The design software company slumped after saying it
would eliminate 1,150 jobs. It
had a disappointing quarter
and gave a weak forecast.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
rose 5.6% to $301.99 after saying it’s looking for a new chief
executive.
Benchmark U.S. crude
fell 69 cents to $57.30 a barrel.
Brent crude fell 50 cents to
$63.11 a barrel. Wholesale
gasoline fell 4 cents to $1.73 a
gallon. Heating oil fell 3
cents to $1.92 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5 cents to $3.18
per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell $12.80, or 1%, to
$1,282.10 an ounce. Silver
dropped 37 cents, or 2.2%, to
$16.46 an ounce. Copper slid
3 cents to $3.04 a pound.
The dollar rose to 111.82
yen from 111.55 yen. The euro
rose to $1.1863 from $1.1837.
[Hiltzik, from C1]
Khanna (D-Fremont) in an
Oct. 26 tweet that promptly
went viral.
Khanna’s tweet displayed the mobile internet
service offerings from the
Portuguese telecommunications company MEO.
After paying a fee for basic
service, subscribers can add
any of five further options
for about $6 per month,
allowing an additional 10GB
data allotment for the apps
within the options: a “messaging” tier, which covers
such services as instant
messaging, Apple FaceTime, and Skype; “social,”
with liberal access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
Snapchat, and so on; “video” (youTube, Netflix,
etc.); “email and cloud”
(Gmail, Apple’s iCloud);
or “music” (Spotify, Pandora).
In Britain, the internet
service provider Vodaphone
charges about $33 a month
for basic service but offers
several “passes” allowing
unlimited video or music
streaming, social media
usage, or chat, at additional
tariffs of up to $9.30 per
month.
These arrangements are
allowed under provisions
giving national regulators
some flexibility. These regulators can open loopholes
permitting “zero-rating,”
through which ISPs can
exclude certain services
from data caps. That’s
what the Portuguese and
British ISPs essentially are
doing.
The potential for abuse is
obvious: The system gives
ISPs the ability to set terms
for any service’s inclusion in
one of these special tiers. EU
regulators have said they’ll
be on the lookout for arrangements that disadvantage consumers, but will
look at them on a case-bycase basis.
As it happens, that’s
precisely the loophole that
has existed in the U.S. market under the FCC’s
vaunted net neutrality rule
of 2015. At that time, the
commission also said it
would review zero-rating
and other such arrangements on a case-by-case
basis, but only after ISPs
implemented them.
How has that worked?
Lousily.
In early January, the
FCC staff, in one of its last
published reports before
President Trump appointed
Pai as chairman, concluded
that zero-rating deals offered to broadband customers by AT&T and Verizon
violate net neutrality principles. The deals “present
significant risks to consumers and competition … because of network operators’
potentially unreasonable
discrimination in favor of
their own affiliates,” the
staff reported.
“Absent effective oversight, these practices will
become more widespread in
the future,” the staff added.
This was hardly a novel
perception. Consumer
advocates had howled in
dismay when the FCC left
the loophole open in 2015.
“Zero-rating is pernicious;
it’s dangerous; it’s malignant...,” argued telecommunications expert Susan
Crawford of Harvard. “We
should outlaw it. Immediately. Unless it’s stopped, it’s
not going to go away.”
The arrangements that
offended the FCC staff were
AT&T’s “sponsored data”
and Verizon’s “FreeBee
Data 360.” AT&T, according
to the FCC staff, gives content providers the ability —
for a fee — to offer programming to its subscribers
without its counting toward
the subscribers’ monthly
data usage limits. The problem is that AT&T offers this
service to programmers at
terms worse than those it
gives DirecTV, which it
owns. As a result, the deal is
likely to “obstruct competition for video programming
services” by making DirecTV seem cheaper than such
rivals as Netflix, Amazon
Prime or Hulu.
Verizon pulled the same
stunt to favor its own go90
video service, the FCC staff
found. Because Verizon’s
service was just rolling out,
this wasn’t as much of a
concern to the staff as
AT&T’s favoring DirecTV.
But “there is the same potential for discriminatory
conduct in favor of affiliated
services.”
The staff didn’t mention
another pernicious effect of
zero-rating: It seriously
disadvantages start-up
services that need an open
internet to grow into serious
competitors to incumbent
content providers. Whatever fees AT&T and Verizon
charge for zero-rating certain services, established
companies such as Netflix,
Amazon and Google-owned
YouTube almost certainly
can and will pay them. But
fledgling services very likely
will find themselves outside
the club.
Plainly, whatever regulatory actions the Obama-era
FCC might have taken in
response to the staff study
are off the table under Pai.
But the danger is even
greater under a deregulatory environment in which
content providers are permitted to affiliate with content distributors. It’s true
that the Trump administration has moved to block
the merger of AT&T and
Time Warner, which would
unite one of the nation’s
largest ISPs with one of its
most significant content
providers. But there are
indications that Trump’s
Justice Department has
taken that step for personal
reasons, rather than as a
reflection of sound antitrust
principles — Trump doesn’t
like the coverage he receives
from Time Warner-owned
CNN. Those considerations
could undermine the department’s case in court.
The FCC staff ’s findings
indicated that net neutrality needed tighter, not
looser, regulation. Under
Pai’s proposals, which will
be voted on and probably
approved by the majorityRepublican FCC on Dec. 14,
the potential for narrowing
of consumer options by
ISPs will only grow. You’ll be
paying more for your broadband, and your choices will
be left up to your ISP. Is this
the internet you’ve grown
accustomed to? Not in the
least.
Keep up to date with
Michael Hiltzik. Follow
@hiltzikm on Twitter, see
his Facebook page, or email
michael.hiltzik@latimes
.com.
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
WST
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
C5
C6
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2017
LOS ANGELES TIMES
D
SPORTS
D
NCAA
letting
Melton
down
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 1 7 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / S P O R T S
G OLDEN STATE 127, LAKERS 123 (OT)
CLOSE TO THE BEST
Lakers hang in there
with the Warriors
almost all the way.
Ingram scores 32.
DYLAN HERNANDEZ
By Tania Ganguli
The NCAA
cares about
De’Anthony
Melton and
others like
him. Or so it
says on its
website.
Visit
NCAA.org
and you can read extensively about how the organization is “dedicated to the
well-being and the lifelong
success of college athletes.”
Click on a link of the
website’s home page and
you will be directed to another page with the headline, “opportunity,” the word
in bright yellow and each
letter capitalized. Right
below, it reads, “It’s what
everyone wants — and what
college sports provide. More
than 1,100 member schools
are united around one goal:
creating opportunities for
college athletes.”
The declaration would
be comical if not for the
consequences of its hypocrisy, which have ensnared a
talented 19-year-old in a
Kafkaesque bureaucratic
nightmare related to a
federal bribery case involving USC associate head
basketball coach Tony
Bland.
Melton isn’t suspended,
but he hasn’t played in any
of No. 14 USC’s five games.
The promising sophomore
guard isn’t accused of any
wrongdoing, but he has
missed almost as many
games as the trio of admitted shoplifters at UCLA.
The NCAA’s inflexibility
has placed Melton in a position that no American
should be in: He is guilty
until proved innocent.
[See Hernandez, D3]
Those who were surprised by Wednesday night’s
game between the Lakers
and Golden State Warriors,
by how tough the Lakers
played their big brothers up
north, did not heed history.
The Lakers lost to the
most talented team in the
NBA 127-123 in overtime.
Since Steve Kerr became the
Warriors coach in 2014, his
superlative teams have lost
one game at Staples Center
every year. To keep that
streak alive, the Lakers will
have to do it next time the
Warriors visit.
“I mean, shoot, they’re
the Warriors,” Lakers guard
Jordan Clarkson said. “You
aren’t playing hard you’re
gonna get blown out. We’re
trying to compete, we’re trying to win. When they come
in here, they get the best of
us. … When the defending
[See Lakers, D4]
Bruins
finally
play
together
Ball has
shot to
make it
BILL PLASCHKE
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
GOLDEN STATE’S Stephen Curry doesn’t seem to have any problem dealing with the defense of Lonzo
Ball during the first half. Curry finished with 28 points, while Ball had 15 points and 10 assists.
They show too much
individualism in the
first half, then start
working as a team.
PAC-12 FOOTBALL
CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 10 USC VS. NO. 12 STANFORD | LEVI’S
STADIUM, SANTA CLARA | FRIDAY, 5 P.M. | ESPN
UCLA 75
CS BAKERSFIELD 66
USC hopes it’s
not a Love affair
By Ben Bolch
UCLA coach Steve Alford
sounded this week as if he
was describing a game for
preschoolers when he talked
about the young Bruins
learning the difference between “good shot, bad shot.”
The Bruins resembled a
bunch of stubborn 4-yearolds in the first half Wednesday night, recognizing only
the latter.
UCLA’s offense featured
mostly one-on-one play,
with dribble penetration
and pull-up jumpers galore
but little ball movement
against a defense that applied continual pressure. Alford checked with assistant
coaches during the second
media timeout and was informed the team did not
have its first assist, something it would not log for
nearly 111⁄2 minutes.
The
Bruins
finally
learned to share in the second half of a 75-66 victory
over Cal State Bakersfield at
Pauley Pavilion.
Aaron Holiday threw a
lob over the top of the defense to Gyorgy Goloman for
a dunk. Kris Wilkes flung an
inbounds pass to Holiday for
[See UCLA, D3]
The first
time it happened, it
was the final
seconds of
the first half,
the Lakers’
Lonzo Ball
grabbed the
ball near the
three-point line, and the
Staples Center crowd
screamed.
“Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!’’
He didn’t shoot. It was as
if he couldn’t bring himself
to shoot. He passed, and the
Lakers never got off a shot.
The second time it happened, it was near the midway point of the third quarter, Ball found himself with
an open three-pointer and
the fans ringing in his ears.
“Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!’’
Again, he didn’t shoot.
He looked tentative. He
[See Plaschke, D5]
As Trojans prepare for
Stanford’s running
back, the memory of
McCaffrey lingers.
By Zach Helfand
Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times
JARED GOFF CAN HEAR from coach Sean McVay in his helmet until 15
seconds remain on the play clock. “He’s great on the headset,” Goff said of McVay.
Coach gets into Goff’s head
Communication with
McVay helps the
Rams’ quarterback
develop quickly.
By Gary Klein
The progression was picture-perfect, and it resulted
in a touchdown.
On a second-and-goal
play against the New Orle-
ans Saints, Rams quarterback Jared Goff caught the
snap in the shotgun formation, dropped back and
quickly surveyed the coverage.
He looked to his far right
and saw that receiver
Cooper Kupp was covered.
He turned his head slightly
and pump-faked to tight end
Gerald Everett.
And then — in a move
usually made by a seasoned
veteran — he pointed at re-
ceiver Josh Reynolds in the
middle of the end zone and
directed him to keep moving
left.
Goff fired a pass and the
diving Reynolds caught it for
his first touchdown.
In a victory that improved the Rams’ record to
8-3, that play showed Goff ’s
development.
“That’s a great representation of a mature quarterback,” McVay said Wednes[See Rams, D2]
Bryce Love stood, smiling slightly, in a throng of
Stanford supporters last
weekend after the Cardinal
defeated Notre Dame and,
thanks to a Washington
State loss that same evening, advanced to the Pac-12
Conference championship
game.
The mood was celebratory. It recalled a moment
two season ago when Christian McCaffrey was interviewed after the Rose Bowl
and a nearby Stanford fan
with a beaded necklace and
a
hand-in-the-cookie-jar
grin became an internet
meme by chanting over and
over “Heis-man! Heis-man!”
The fans behind Love recognized the symmetry. They
too started chanting “Heisman! Heis-man!”
There was a lot of symmetry, in fact. Even the sideline
reporter was the same — ESPN’s Maria Taylor. Both
players involved were outstanding Stanford running
backs. Both were, at one
time, in the running for the
Heisman Trophy. One ruined USC’s hopes at a Pac-12 title two years ago.
USC’s most important
task this Friday is preventing this one from doing it too.
USC players and coaches
have praised Stanford’s
turnaround this season from
a September game when
USC ran all over the Cardinal 42-24.
USC coach Clay Helton
has credited part of Stanford’s improvement to the
new starting quarterback,
K.J. Costello.
But USC also knows that
defeating Stanford still
means slowing down Love,
McCaffrey’s understudy last
season who has rushed for
[See USC, D2]
D2
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
CHARGERS REPORT
PRO CALENDAR
THU.
30
FRI.
1
SAT.
2
SUN.
3
MON.
4
at Arizona
1:15
Channel 11
RAMS
CLEVELAND
1
Channel 2
CHARGERS
at Denver
6
SpecSN
HOUSTON
6:30
SpecSN,
NBA TV
at Dallas
11 a.m.
Prime
at
Minnesota
4
Prime
LAKERS
UTAH
7:30
Prime
CLIPPERS
KINGS
at
at St. Louis
Washington
5
4
FSW
FSW
at Chicago
4
FSW
at
at Nashville
Columbus
5
4
Prime
Prime
DUCKS
Shade denotes home game
TODAY ON THE AIR
TIME
EVENT
BOXING
5 p.m.
Lamont Roach Jr. vs. Rey Perez
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
3 p.m.
Women, North Carolina State at Rutgers
3:30 p.m. Texas Tech vs. Seton Hall
4 p.m.
Notre Dame at Michigan State
4 p.m.
Women, Ohio State at Duke
4 p.m.
North Dakota State at Mississippi State
4:30 p.m. Women, Louisiana State at Texas Tech
5 p.m.
Women, Louisville at Indiana
6 p.m.
Missouri at Central Florida
6 p.m.
Temple vs. South Carolina
6 p.m.
Women, Kansas State at Missouri
8 p.m.
San Diego State at San Diego
GOLF
9:30 a.m. PGA, Hero World Challenge
6:30 p.m. European PGA, Australian Championship
10:30
European PGA, Mauritius Open
p.m.
HOCKEY
4 p.m.
Kings at Washington
HORSE RACING
Noon
Trackside Live, including Los Alamitos
PRO BASKETBALL
4 p.m.
G League, Northern Arizona at Greensboro
4:30 p.m. Philadelphia at Boston
7 p.m.
Milwaukee at Portland
7:30 p.m. Utah at Clippers
PRO FOOTBALL
5:15 p.m. Washington at Dallas
SOCCER
10:15 a.m.
12:15 a.m.
5 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
ON THE AIR
TV: ESPND
TV: Big Ten
TV: FS1
TV: ESPN
TV: ESPN2
TV: SEC
TV: Prime
TV: Big Ten
TV: ESPN2
TV: ESPNU
TV: SEC
TV: FS West
TV: Golf
TV: Golf
TV: Golf
TV: FS West
R: 790
TV: TVG
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TV: NBA
TV: NBA
TV: Prime R: 570,
1330
TV: 4, NFL, UNVSO
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TV: ESPN, ESPND
R: 1220
Spain, Espanyol vs. Tenerife
Spain, Valencia vs. Zaragoza
Mexico, Morelia vs. Monterrey
MLS, Houston at Seattle
Tonight’s NFL game
WASHINGTON (5-6) AT
DALLAS (5-6)
TV: Ch. 4, NFL Network, 5:15 p.m. PST
Line: Redskins by 2.
Over/under: 451⁄2.
Sam Farmer’s pick: The Cowboys have lost three in a row and
have been outscored 74-6 in the second half of those games.
Dak Prescott is pressing, Dez Bryant can’t get open and the
season is kaput. Redskins 27, Cowboys 20.
Tragedy strikes Hayward family
Playing catch-up
By Mike DiGiovanna
Tragedy struck Casey
Hayward’s family for the second straight year when Jecaives Hayward, younger
brother of the Chargers’ AllPro cornerback, was killed in
an automobile accident late
Monday on Interstate 75 in
Macon, Ga.
Hayward — whose mother,
Tish, died in July 2016 after
battling breast cancer — left
the team Tuesday to return to
Georgia. Cornerback Trevor
Williams said Hayward had
said he planned to return Friday and play in Sunday’s
game against the Cleveland
Browns.
But the Chargers aren’t
banking on the return of Hayward, a lockdown defender
who has three interceptions in
the last two games and is the
highest-graded cornerback in
the NFL, according to Pro
Football Focus.
“I told him he needs to go
home and be with his family,”
coach Anthony Lynn said. “If
Casey makes it back and
plays, that’s great. If he
doesn’t, then we certainly
understand. … Sometimes
you get home and things
change. He may have more on
his plate than he thought. I
told him to take care of things
at home, and we’ll take care of
this.”
According to a Bibb
County Sheriff’s news release,
Jecaives Hayward, 27, was a
passenger in a car that struck
a tractor trailer in the emergency lane Monday at 11:46
p.m.
He died after being ejected
from the vehicle and struck by
cars. Driver Raymond Cox,
29, and passenger Oker
Michael Ainsworth Associated Press
CASEY HAYWARD is away from the Chargers after
learning of his brother’s death in a car accident.
Smith, 32, were hospitalized
and are in stable condition.
Williams spoke to Casey
Hayward on Tuesday and
said, “It seemed like he was in
positive spirits. He’s handling
it well. I wouldn’t have been
able to do the same thing.
Prayers out to him.”
Lynn said if Hayward does
not return, Michael Davis
would start at cornerback
with rookie Desmond King
remaining in the slot in nickel
packages.
Rivers lets it rip
The careers of the two
quarterbacks who will be forever linked by the 2004 draftday trade that sent Philip
Rivers to the Chargers and
Eli Manning to the New York
Giants diverged dramatically
this week.
Rivers was selected AFC
offensive player of the week after completing 27 of 33 passes
for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the Chargers’
Thanksgiving Day win at Dallas, one of the best games of
his 14-year career.
Manning, who forced the
trade by refusing to play for
the Chargers, was benched by
coach Ben McAdoo in favor
of Geno Smith, which will
end Manning’s streak of 210
consecutive regular-season
starts since 2004.
The move did not sit well
with Rivers, who has started
187 regular-season games in a
row.
“I honestly thought it was
pathetic, really,” Rivers said
Wednesday. “He’s been out
there 210 straight games, with
no telling how many bumps
and bruises and injuries for
his team. He won two Super
Bowl MVPs.
“And with the respect he’s
had in the locker room over
the years — really, the respect
he’s gained throughout the
league — I feel like he’s earned
the opportunity to finish off
these last five weeks.”
Cleveland Browns receiver
Josh Gordon, 26, will return
Sunday after sitting out the
last three years for violations
of the league’s substanceabuse policy, providing an interesting challenge for the
Chargers defensive staff.
How do you prepare for an
electrifying receiver who led
the NFL with 1,646 yards receiving and caught nine
touchdown passes in 2013 but
hasn’t played in an NFL game
since Dec. 21, 2014?
“The last time he played he
was an All-Pro, so we know
he’s a heck of a receiver,” Lynn
said. “He’s still young, so his
skill set probably hasn’t diminished much. He’s one of
the better run-after-catch receivers in the NFL. They’ll
probably try to get him the
ball short and he’ll try to run
long with it.”
Etc.
The Chargers signed former Browns kicker Travis
Coons to the practice squad
as insurance in case Nick Novak, who couldn’t finish last
Thursday’s game because of a
lower-back injury, can’t kick
Sunday. Coons, an Alta Loma
High graduate who kicked at
Washington, made 28 of 32
field-goal attempts, including
all 21 from 20-39 yards, and 22
of 24 extra points for Cleveland in 2015. … Receiver Mike
Williams remained sidelined
by a knee injury and appears
doubtful for Sunday. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget
(toe) did not practice, and Novak and center Spencer Pulley (knee) were limited.
mike.digiovanna@latimes.com
Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna
McVay is a quarterback whisperer
[Ram, from D1]
day.
Goff had help.
The Rams had lined up
quickly. Just as Goff appeared
ready to begin a snap count,
he paused, looked to the sideline and then called an audible. It came from McVay and
was delivered through the
earpiece in Goff’s helmet.
NFL rules allow coaches to
talk to one offensive player
and one defensive player between plays until 15 seconds
remain on the play clock.
And McVay, the Rams’
play-caller, has maximized
that time with Goff.
“He’s great on the headset,” Goff said.
Sometimes, Goff said, McVay utilizes all of the allotted
time. Others he uses only five
or 10 seconds.
McVay said he communicates with Goff the same way
he did with quarterbacks Kirk
Cousins and Colt McCoy with
the Washington Redskins,
and that various tempos of
the offense dictate how much
time he spends communicating with Goff.
He dismissed reports that
intimated he was solely responsible for Goff’s success at
the line of scrimmage.
“To say that I’m in his ear
the whole time, that wouldn’t
be the case,” McVay said.
Said Goff: “There’s plenty
of times where it gets below 15
and we have to ad-lib a little
bit.”
Whatever the case, it’s
working.
After struggling in seven
starts last season under former coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Rob
Boras, Goff is flourishing.
He has passed for 2,964
yards and 18 touchdowns with
five interceptions. He is completing 62% of his passes going
into Sunday’s road game
against the Arizona Cardinals.
“We talk about it all the
time,” McVay said, “the
quarterbacks being an extension of the coaching staff.
“And that’s certainly what
Jared has become.”
McVay’s scheme and playcalling have fast-tracked
Goff’s development.
Goff also has benefited
from improved offensive line
play, Cardinals coach Bruce
Arians said.
“Last year he hardly had a
chance to stand in there and
throw it,” Arians said during a
teleconference. “But the running game and then his
pocket presence — he knows
exactly where he’s going with
the football, and he’s got that
great arm and if you let him sit
still in that pocket he’s going
to kill you.”
McVay’s communication
with Goff at the line of scrimmage was not unusual, Arians
said.
“It’s not the first time it’s
been done, that’s for sure,” he
said. “When you have a young
quarterback in a new system
it helps tremendously.
“You wish you could talk to
him all the way to five seconds.”
The last time Goff faced
the Cardinals he completed 22
of 37 passes for 235 yards and a
touchdown with one interception in a 33-0 rout at London.
He has remained efficient,
passing for more than 300
yards three times in the last
four games.
Goff ’s touchdown pass
last week to Reynolds, McVay
said, was an example of Goff
turning a poor play call by the
coach into a success.
“That was all him,” McVay
said. “That’s good players
making a bad play call look
very good right there.”
Etc.
Reynolds and cornerback
Kayvon Webster did not practice because of ankle issues.
Tight end Tyler Higbee (illness) and receiver Robert
Woods (shoulder) also sat
out. Cornerback Nickell
Robey-Coleman (thigh) and
running backs Malcolm
Brown (knee) and Lance
Dunbar (knee) were limited.
… As part of the NFL’s “My
Cause, My Cleats” campaign,
many Rams players will wear
personalized footwear dedicated to their personal
causes.
gary.klein@latimes.com
Twitter @latimesklein
Trojans will try to avoid being upstaged by former understudy
[USC, from D1]
1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns
this season despite an ankle
injury that has hampered him
the last five games and sidelined him for one.
And the Trojans remain
haunted by McCaffrey’s performance against them in the
2015 title game.
“I remember being in this
game two years ago and being
matched up man to man on
Christian on a third down in
the third quarter with the
lead,” Helton said. “And then
all of a sudden he takes it a
long way.”
McCaffrey turned USC’s
lead into a Stanford runaway
victory. He scored as a rusher
and a receiver. He also threw
for a touchdown ... and rushed
for 207 yards ... and caught
passes for 105 yards. The lesson has lingered.
“We got embarrassed,”
safety Chris Hawkins said.
“And I think everybody on our
defense knows that. We almost handed one person the
Heisman Trophy that day.
They probably should’ve gave
it to him that day after the
game.”
Love, Hawkins said, is
similarly patient and opportunistic. Hawkins said Love is
McCaffrey’s equal as a rusher.
(Though perhaps not as an
all-around threat — “We
called him the white Reggie
Bush,” Hawkins said of McCaffrey.)
But USC knows that it is
capable of keeping Love contained. In USC’s first meeting
with Stanford this season,
Love was his usual excellent
self. He rushed 17 times for 160
yards and a touchdown. But
75 of those yards came on one
Marcio Jose Sanchez Associated Press
STANFORD’S BRYCE LOVE , going against Wash-
ington’s Connor O’Brien, has 16 rushing touchdowns.
run in the first quarter. On his
other 16 touches, USC’s defense held him to more human-levels of production: 5.3
yards per carry.
Unlike in past seasons,
when Stanford pounded USC
into exhaustion by the fourth
quarter,
defensive
end
Rasheem Green said it was
Stanford’s offensive line that
looked ragged late.
“We just started to suck
the air out of them,” lineback-
er Cameron Smith said at the
time.
This time, Love will be
playing with a sprained ankle
that caused him to miss the
Oct. 20 game against Oregon
State. He reinjured it Nov. 11
against Washington and
again Nov. 18 against California.
After the game last week
against Notre Dame, he was
asked whether he thought
about sitting out with the
Pac-12 championship game
potentially looming.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
Even with the injury, Love
has been among the best running backs in the nation. He
has rushed for more than 100
yards in every game this season except one.
But his production has declined significantly. Before
the injury, he averaged 10.3
yards per carry. After it, he has
averaged 5.8.
Smith noted this week
that Stanford has improved
significantly around Love. An
improving passing game
makes selling out to stop Love
a more costly proposition.
“Our receivers have made
plays, our tight ends have
made plays, our quarterback
has been playing well, which
takes a lot of the pressure off
of the offensive line so they
can’t just stack the box and
leave everyone one on one,”
coach David Shaw said.
But Hawkins said that
doesn’t portend a repeat of
the 2015 championship game.
USC, he said, is “so much
better” from two years ago
too.
zach.helfand@latimes.com
Twitter: @zhelfand
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
D3
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
TOP 25 ROUNDUP
Miami beats Minnesota to stay unbeaten
associated press
Dewan Huell scored 23
points in 27 minutes and
Bruce Brown Jr. added 16
points and nine rebounds to
help No. 10 Miami beat No. 12
Minnesota 86-81 on Wednesday night in Minneapolis as
part of the Big Ten/ACC
Challenge.
The Hurricanes (6-0)
shot 56% from the field after
halftime and had 17 points
off Minnesota turnovers.
Amir Coffey scored 23 points
for the Gophers (7-1).
No. 1 Duke 91, at Indiana
81: Marvin Bagley III had 23
points and 10 rebounds, and
the Blue Devils used a late
17-4 run to beat the Hoosiers
(4-3) in their first true road
game of the season. Robert
Johnson scored 17 points for
Indiana.
at No. 4 Villanova 90,
Penn 62: Jalen Brunson had
17 points for the Wildcats
(7-0) in a game played at
Jake Nevin Field House, a
bandbox gym on Villanova’s
campus that seats 2,220. It
was the first game at the
Wildcats’ former home since
Jan. 4, 1986. Villanova is
playing most of its home
games this season at Wells
Fargo Center while its regular on-campus arena gets a
makeover.
at No. 13 North Carolina
86, Michigan 71: Luke Maye
scored 27 points and the Tar
Heels (6-1) shot 55% to beat
the Wolverines (6-2) in the
Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
North Carolina closed the
first half on a 17-5 run, then
opened the second half with
a 17-2 run.
at No. 23 Texas Christian
87, Belmont 76: Vladimir
Brodziansky
scored
22
points and the Horned
Frogs (7-0), who won the
NIT championship last season, extended the nation’s
longest winning streak to 12
games. The Bruins (4-4) got
17 points from Dylan
Windler.
Top 25 scores
No. 1 Duke
Indiana
91
81
No. 4 Villanova
Pennsylvania
90
62
No. 10 Miami
No. 12 Minnesota
86
81
No. 13 North Carolina
Michigan
86
71
No. 15 Gonzaga
Incarnate Word
103
68
No. 23 Texas Christian 87
Belmont
76
No. 24 Alabama
Louisiana Tech
77
74
Hannah Foslien Getty Images
AMIR COFFEY, right, of Minnesota is fouled by
Ebuka Izundu of Miami in the first half.
USC’s Melton is caught in
hypocrisy of the NCAA
Reed Saxon Associated Press
AARON HOLIDAY of UCLA tries to pick up a loose ball next to Shon Briggs of
Cal State Bakersfield in the first half at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins won 75-66.
Teamwork pays off for Bruins
[UCLA, from D1]
a layup. Goloman found a cutting Wilkes for a layup.
UCLA exceeded the five
assists it had in the first half in
the first 71⁄2 minutes of the second half, allowing the Bruins
(6-1) to pull away during a
game that was in doubt at
halftime.
“When the ball movement
picked up,” center Thomas
Welsh said, “we got good shots
for everybody.”
Holiday had 16 points and
six assists. UCLA collected 10
assists in the second half and
won with relative ease despite
making only two of 17 (11.8%)
three-point shots overall.
Alford said he was most
pleased with how the team
continued to defend without
being distracted by its shooting struggles.
“I think three weeks ago we
lose this game because so
much of what our defense was
about was how we were doing
offensively,” Alford said. “And
tonight, as bad as we were offensively at times, our defense
was consistently pretty good
and that’s a positive, that’s
growth on the defensive end.”
The Bruins eventually
tightened up the perimeter
defense that had allowed Bakersfield (4-4) to make six of 11
three-point shots in the first
half; the Roadrunners made
only four of 22 shots from behind the arc in the second half.
Welsh finished with 13
points and 10 rebounds, and
point guard Jaylen Hands
had seven points and four
assists in his return from the
sprained left foot that sidelined him Sunday against UC
Irvine. Hands came off the
bench and played only 24 minutes because he was still
rounding back into playing
shape.
Alford appeared to sense
the team had seized the momentum despite holding only
a 29-27 halftime lead when he
walked off the court clapping
his hands as he headed
toward the locker room.
Hands had just found Holiday cutting toward the basket for a layup before the Bruins forced a shot-clock violation in what might have been
their best offensive and defensive sequence of the half.
Prince Ali provided the
highlight of the early going
when he eluded a defender
with a behind-the-back dribble in the backcourt before
stutter-stepping near the
free-throw line and going in
for a finger-roll layup.
But the play was indicative
of a first half in which there
was far more individualism
than team play.
“We forced a little bit too
many times because they
were up in us,” Wilkes said of
the Bakersfield defense, “so
they just made us go to the
rack more, shoot more contested stuff.”
Guard Jarkel Joiner had 20
points for the Roadrunners,
who made only 29.9% of their
shots.
It was the seventh consecutive game the Bruins
played without freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and
Cody Riley, who remain suspended indefinitely for their
acknowledged role in shoplifting from a mall in China
this month.
UCLA continued to shoot
poorly at the free-throw line,
making 19 of 28 (67.9%) attempts. That was only slightly
better than the 64.6% the Bruins had shot entering the
game.
“We still got that freethrow situation that we’ve got
going on,” Alford said.
They made some progress
when it comes to sharing the
round orange ball.
UP NEXT
VS. DETROIT MERCY
When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
Where: Pauley Pavilion
On the air: TV: Pac-12 Network; Radio: 1150
Update: The name on the
visitors’ jerseys could make
longtime Bruins fans shudder
considering Detroit Mercy upset fifth-seeded UCLA in the
first round of the 1999 NCAA
tournament in the teams’ last
meeting. These Titans (4-3)
are coming off a 91-82 loss to
Fort Wayne.
ben.bolch@latimes.com
SOUTHLAND
MEN
at Arizona 91, Long Beach State 56: Allonzo Trier scored 15
points, Deandre Ayton added 13 and the Wildcats (4-3)
ended a losing streak at three that had knocked them out of
the Top 25. Bryan Alberts had 12 points for the 49ers (3-5),
who struggled with Arizona’s size and athleticism.
Southern Utah 88, at Pepperdine 82: Jamal Aytes scored 22
points and the Thunderbirds (3-3) made 15 of 30 three-point
shots. Kameron Edwards had 25 points and a career-high 16
rebounds for the Waves (2-5), who missed half of their 26 free
throws.
at UC Irvine 112, Whittier 65: Evan Leonard and Tommy
Rutherford scored 16 points each and the Anteaters (4-5)
used a 20-0 run in the second half to rout the Division III
Poets (1-4). Irvine shot 62%.
MEN TONIGHT
Pacific at UC Riverside ..................................................................... 7
UCLA 75, CS BAKERSFIELD 66
CAL ST. BAKERSFIELD
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Aly ...................13 2-4 1-2 0-1 0 5 5
Holden..............28 4-13 0-0 2-3 4 1 10
Joiner ...............32 6-13 4-4 2-4 0 2 20
Wrapp ..............27 0-1 0-0 2-6 3 5 0
Briggs...............25 1-8 5-6 2-6 2 1 7
Durham ............31 5-17 1-2 0-3 1 1 15
Ndoye...............18 0-2 2-2 1-2 0 5 2
Davis................11 1-5 3-4 2-4 0 2 5
Lee ..................10 1-2 0-0 1-4 0 1 2
McCall................3 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Suber .................2 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Totals
20-67 16-20 13-35 11 25 66
Shooting: Field goals, 29.9%; free throws, 80.0%
Three-point goals: 10-33 (Joiner 4-8, Durham 4-14,
Holden 2-6, Briggs 0-1, Lee 0-1, Wrapp 0-1, Davis 0-2).
Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 10 (12 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 10 (Durham 3, Wrapp 3,
Briggs, Holden, Joiner, Ndoye). Steals: 6 (Wrapp 3,
Holden 2, Durham). Technical Fouls: None.
UCLA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Goloman...........25 5-8 0-0 1-6 1 3 10
Welsh ...............29 4-7 4-5 3-10 0 4 13
Ali....................25 2-5 2-3 0-3 2 1 6
Holiday .............35 7-13 2-4 1-7 6 4 16
Wilkes ..............26 4-11 3-6 3-7 2 4 11
Hands ..............24 0-5 7-8 0-4 4 0 7
Olesinski ...........22 3-4 1-2 2-4 0 1 8
Smith ...............14 2-6 0-0 1-1 0 2 4
Totals
27-59 19-28 11-42 15 19 75
Shooting: Field goals, 45.8%; free throws, 67.9%
Three-point goals: 2-17 (Welsh 1-1, Olesinski 1-2,
Goloman 0-1, Ali 0-2, Hands 0-2, Smith 0-2, Wilkes
0-2, Holiday 0-5). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers:
14 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Wilkes 2, Goloman,
Olesinski). Turnovers: 14 (Holiday 4, Hands 3, Ali 2,
Wilkes 2, Goloman, Olesinski, Welsh). Steals: 5 (Holiday
2, Ali, Hands, Welsh). Technical Fouls: None.
Cal St. Bakersfield
27 39— 66
UCLA
29 46— 75
A—5,973 (13,800).
[Hernandez from D1]
So much for the importance of his “lifelong success”
or “creating opportunities”
for him. The NCAA seems
more interested in policing
than any of that.
Now, a talented young
man is in his limbo as the
institutions theoretically
responsible for helping him
develop into a productive
member of society have been
paralyzed by caution: the
NCAA and, to a lesser degree,
USC.
“Everybody is worried
about covering their own butt
and nobody cares about the
athlete,” said Melton’s exasperated attorney, Vicki I.
Podberesky.
What was already a headscratching situation became
even more so this week, when
Times reporter Nathan
Fenno reviewed security
camera footage that contradicted the FBI’s account of an
August meeting involving
would-be sports agent Christian Dawkins, financial
advisor Munish Sood, Melton
family friend Dave Elliott and
an undercover FBI agent.
The criminal complaint
said the undercover agent
provided Dawkins with an
envelope containing $5,000
that was passed on to Elliott
at Brand’s direction, with the
payment designed to entice
Melton to retain Dawkins and
Sood when he reached the
NBA. Such a payment would
violate NCAA rules.
But that wasn’t what
transpired on the video. The
footage instead showed
Dawkins receiving the envelope from the undercover
agent but departing from the
hotel without giving it to
Elliott and stuffing it in a
vehicle driven by Sood.
Podberesky said Elliott
told her he didn’t take any
money. The attorney also said
that Melton has been cleared
of any wrongdoing by the U.S.
Attorney’s Office for the
Southern District of New
York, which is prosecuting
the case, and that representatives for USC and the NCAA
have reviewed the abovementioned security camera
footage. Melton has provided
bank and phone records. But
that book on Melton remains
open.
“How much is enough?”
Podberesky said. “They got
beyond a reasonable doubt.”
And they will have trouble
obtaining any more. Podberesky said the NCAA’s legal
counsel told her the U.S.
Attorney’s office instructed
the NCAA to not look into the
matter because it didn’t want
the NCAA to interfere with
the FBI’s investigation. USC
is also on hold.
“USC continues to work
vigorously gathering information to resolve De’Anthony
Melton’s potential eligibility
issue,” the school said in a
statement. “De’Anthony has
been cooperative throughout
the process. USC is diligently
seeking similar cooperation
from others in order to determine whether any NCAA
rules were violated.”
The statement went on to
say that even though USC
wanted Melton to return, the
university was obligated to
protect the entire athletic
program.
“Participation in competition by an ineligible studentathlete could lead to forfeiture of games and other
NCAA penalties,” the university said.
In other words, USC won’t
play Melton until it concludes
an investigation slowed down
by uncooperative subjects or
receives assurances from the
NCAA that Melton’s participation won’t result in forfeits
if improprieties are uncovered later. And it doesn’t
sound as if the NCAA will
make such assurances without conducting its own investigation, something the
government instructed it not
to do.
So Melton is waiting on
USC, which is waiting on the
NCAA, which is waiting on
the U.S. Attorney’s Office,
which still doesn’t have a trial
date for Bland, Dawkins or
any of the six others who were
indicted by a grand jury in
connection to the case.
“It could be years,” Podberesky said.
And the clock is ticking on
Melton, as it does for all athletes.
Last year, the 6-foot-4
guard helped shut down
Lonzo Ball in an upset of
then-No. 8 UCLA. Melton was
invited to USA Basketball’s
under-19 training camp over
the summer. He was one of
the 20 players named to the
watch list for the Jerry West
Award, which recognizes the
top shooting guard in the
nation.
This is an important stage
of development for Melton,
who could blossom into a
future first-round draft pick
or never be drafted if he fails
to improve his game.
“He’s the person that loses
out the most, has the most to
lose and contributes the most
to the school’s economic
success,” Podberesky said.
The Trojans are three
weeks into their season.
Enough is enough.
It’s time for the NCAA to
apply common sense to what
is obviously a complicated
situation. Grant USC the
assurances it wants. If Melton
is found to have violated any
rules, declare him ineligible
then.
By doing that, the NCAA
can finally live up to its stated
mission.
dylan.hernandez@latimes.com
Twitter: @dylanohernandez
D4
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
NBA
LAKERS REPORT
STANDINGS
Standings have been arranged to reflect how the teams will be determined for the playoffs. Teams are ranked 1-15 by record. Division
standing no longer has any bearing on the rankings. The top eight
teams in each conference make the playoffs, and the top-seeded
team would play the eighth-seeded team, the seventh team would
play the second, etc. Head-to-head competition is the first of several
tiebreakers, followed by conference record. (Western Conference divisions: S-Southwest; P-Pacific; N-Northwest; Eastern Conference
divisions: A-Atlantic; C-Central; S-Southeast).
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Team
1. Houston
2. Golden State
3. San Antonio
4. Portland
5. Minnesota
6. Denver
7. New Orleans
8. Utah
W L PCT
17 4 .810
16 6 .727
14 7 .667
13 8 .619
13 9 .591
11 9 .550
11 10 .524
10 11 .476
9. CLIPPERS
10. Oklahoma City
11. LAKERS
12. Memphis
13. Phoenix
14. Sacramento
15. Dallas
8
8
8
7
8
6
5
11
12
13
13
15
15
17
.421
.400
.381
.350
.348
.286
.227
GB L10
9-1
11⁄2 7-3
3
7-3
4
7-3
41⁄2 6-4
51⁄2 6-4
6
5-5
7
5-5
Rk.
S1
P1
S2
N1
N2
N3
S3
N4
1
11⁄2
2
21⁄2
3
4
51⁄2
3-7
4-6
3-7
1-9
4-6
3-7
3-7
P2
N5
P3
S4
P4
P5
S5
GB L10
8-2
3
7-3
31⁄2 9-1
4
7-3
5
6-4
6
7-3
61⁄2 6-4
61⁄2 5-5
61⁄2 5-5
Rk.
A1
C1
C2
A2
A3
C3
C4
A4
S1
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Team
1. Boston
2. Detroit
3. Cleveland
4. Toronto
5. Philadelphia
6. Indiana
7. Milwaukee
8. New York
8. Washington
W L PCT
18 4 .818
14 6 .700
14 7 .667
13 7 .650
12 8 .600
12 10 .545
10 9 .526
11 10 .524
11 10 .524
10. Miami
11. Orlando
12. Charlotte
13. Brooklyn
14. Atlanta
15. Chicago
10
9
8
8
4
3
11
13
12
13
16
16
.476
.409
.400
.381
.200
.158
1
21⁄2
21⁄2
3
61⁄2
7
5-5
1-9
3-7
4-6
2-8
1-9
Kuzma sits out with back spasms
By Tania Ganguli
Lakers rookie forward Kyle
Kuzma missed Wednesday’s game
against the Golden State Warriors
because of back spasms.
Kuzma participated in the
shootaround, but his back tightened up toward the end of pregame
warmups. The Lakers planned to
reevaluate him Thursday morning
and see if any additional tests were
necessary.
Kuzma started 11 games for the
Lakers while Larry Nance Jr. recovered from a broken hand. When
Nance returned Monday against
the Clippers, Kuzma returned to his
previous role of coming off the
bench.
The rookie has been the Lakers’
leading scorer, averaging 16.7
points.
The Warriors played at full
strength, a game after lacking both
Steph Curry, who they said had a
wrist injury, and Kevin Durant, who
they said had a sprained ankle.
Without Curry and Durant, the champion Warriors welcomed him
Warriors lost to the Sacramento and his shooting ability. He was averaging 6.7 points in 13.3 minutes beKings on Monday.
fore Wednesday’s game.
Swaggy back at Staples
“From what I’ve watched, he’s
Most likely it was a joke when still finding his way up there,” WalNick Young’s teammates said he’d ton said. “It’s a very different way of
probably take 20 shots Wednesday basketball, I think, than what Nick’s
used to. But the way that he shoots
night against the Lakers.
It was definitely a joke when Lak- the ball — he obviously had a huge
ers coach Luke Walton said Young opening night for them, and he’s
has been terrible and he hoped War- had some other games, some big
riors coach Steve Kerr played him a scoring nights, he’s had some
games he doesn’t play. But I think
lot so the Lakers could kill him.
Young made his return to Sta- he’s just, you know — he’s figuring
ples Center as a visitor Wednesday, out the way that they get it done up
there still.”
a rotation player for the Warriors.
Walton said the Lakers miss the
“It’s been great,” Young said.
“These guys welcomed me in. The joy with which Young played. He
atmosphere was totally different. was the Lakers’ starting shooting
It’s not so much pressure on you be- guard for much of last season and
cause they already won a champ- even became the Lakers’ best perimeter defender.
ionship. They got great players.”
And even though Young and the
Young declined his player option
for the 2017-18 season this summer. Lakers were ready to move on from
Rather than continue to be part of each other, he still has positive assothe Lakers’ rebuild, he wanted to ciations with the team.
“L.A. is home,” Young said. “I’ve
play for a team further along on
their growth curve. The defending always got love for L.A. But I think
TODAY’S GAMES
Favorite
at CLIPPERS
at Boston
Cleveland
at Denver
at Portland
Line
OFF
OFF
7
11
3
Underdog
Utah
Philadelphia
at Atlanta
Chicago
Milwaukee
Time
7:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
6 p.m.
7 p.m.
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
THE WARRIORS’ Kevin Durant jumps over Larry
Nance Jr. during the first half at Staples Center.
76ers’ Simmons
shows he can hack it
PHILADELPHIA 118
WASHINGTON 113
Ben Simmons scored 31 points,
grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds
and overcame Washington’s hacking strategy, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 118-113 victory over
the visiting Wizards on Wednesday
night.
Joel Embiid had 25 points and 14
rebounds, and Dario Saric added
24 points to help the 76ers improve
to 12-8.
Washington nearly overcame a
22-point deficit in the fourth quarter and spent the final five minutes
intentionally fouling Simmons,
who entered the game shooting
56.6% from the line. He stayed true
to form, making 15 of 29.
at San Antonio 104, Memphis 95:
LaMarcus Aldridge set his Spurs
high with 41 points and San Antonio spoiled J.B. Bickerstaff ’s debut
as Grizzlies coach, handing them
their ninth straight loss. Aldridge
scored 17 of San Antonio’s first 19
points.
at Detroit 131, Phoenix 107: Reggie
Jackson scored 23 points and the
Pistons set a season high for points
in their third consecutive victory.
Detroit improved to 7-1 against the
Western Conference.
at Orlando 121, Oklahoma City
108: Aaron Gordon had 40 points
and 15 rebounds to help the Magic
end a nine-game losing streak.
Russell Westbrook made five
three-pointers and scored 20 of his
37 points in the fourth quarter for
the Thunder, who lost for the fifth
time in six games and dropped
their seventh straight on the road.
at New York 115, Miami 86: Enes
Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Knicks won easily
despite losing Kristaps Porzingis
to a sprained right ankle after 21⁄2
minutes.
at Toronto 126, Charlotte 113: Kyle
Lowry scored a season-high 36
points, DeMar DeRozan had 30
and the Raptors improved to 7-1 at
home. Lowry set a career-high by
making eight three-pointers.
at Houston 118, Indiana 97: James
Harden had 29 points, 10 assists
and eight rebounds for the Rockets.
Minnesota 120, at New Orleans
102: Andrew Wiggins scored 28
points to help the Timberwolves
beat the Pelicans in a game that
saw New Orleans forward Anthony
Davis ejected for the first time in
his six-year career.
Brooklyn 109, at Dallas 104: DeMarre Carroll scored 15 of his 22
points in the third quarter for the
Nets.
Golden State 127, at Lakers 123
(OT)
— associated press
Ingram has first
30-point game
[Lakers, from D1]
champs come in here, you’re
definitely trying to get that
win.”
Warriors point guard
Stephen Curry scored 13
points in overtime, including back-to-back threepointers to begin the extra
period. After making a free
throw with 10 seconds left to
give the Warriors a twopoint lead, he missed the
second, but the Warriors
chased down the rebound.
Curry then made two more
free throws with 6.5 seconds
left to make it a four-point
lead.
Curry finished with 28
points. Brandon Ingram led
all scorers with 32 points,
his first 30-point game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21),
Clarkson (21) and Julius
Randle (20) also had at
least 20 points for the Lakers. Warriors forward Kevin
Durant scored 29 points,
Klay Thompson added 20
and
Draymond
Green
scored 15 points with 11 rebounds.
Lakers point guard
Lonzo Ball scored 15 points
with 10 assists.
“I love the way our guys
competed defensively,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.
“We set a challenge to them
that let’s be aggressive, but
be smart. We set a challenge
to our players tonight and I
thought they did a great job
of responding to that.”
The Warriors get every
team’s best effort, their
most energetic showing.
Perhaps that explained
why, after a 20-point first
quarter that the Lakers began by shooting just 33.8%,
and by allowing the Warriors to make 62% of their
shots, they reversed the
course of the game. In the
second quarter, the Lakers
made 70.6% of their shots, a
season high for a quarter,
and held the Warriors to 20
points, a season low for an
opponent in a quarter.
Perhaps the desire to
knock off the league’s most
talented team factored into
Ball’s performance, though
he’d never admit it.
During one series of
plays that spanned a little
more than a minute, Ball
made two three-pointers,
made a layup after driving
past Curry and then dived
so hard for a loose ball that a
gash opened at the edge of
his left eyebrow and blood
trickled down his face. Lakers trainer Marco Nunez
quickly patched the cut.
Ball got three stitches after
WARRIORS 127, LAKERS 123, OT
LAKERS
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Ingram.............44 12-21 6-7 0-5 3 5 32
Nance Jr. .........22 0-2 0-0 0-4 5 0 0
Lopez ..............16 2-5 2-3 0-1 1 1 6
Ball.................43 5-12 2-2 1-2 10 2 15
Caldwell-Pope...41 7-18 5-6 2-7 0 3 21
Clarkson ..........35 9-19 1-1 3-6 8 3 21
Randle ............31 9-13 2-4 1-4 2 4 20
Hart ................12 2-3 2-2 0-3 0 2 6
Brewer.............12 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 0
Bogut................5 1-1 0-0 0-2 1 0 2
Totals
47-95 20-25 7-34 30 23 123
Shooting: Field goals, 49.5%; free throws, 80.0%
Three-point goals: 9-24 (Ball 3-7, Ingram 2-2,
Clarkson 2-4, Caldwell-Pope 2-8, Brewer 0-1, Lopez
0-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 17 (12 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 5 (Ingram 2, Lopez, Nance Jr., Randle).
Turnovers: 17 (Ingram 7, Ball 2, Caldwell-Pope 2, Lopez
2, Brewer, Clarkson, Hart, Randle). Steals: 12 (Nance
Jr. 4, Ingram 3, Brewer 2, Ball, Caldwell-Pope, Lopez).
Golden State
LAKERS
30 20 34 25
20 34 30 25
18— 127
14— 123
A—18,997. T—2:32. O—Malloy, Cutler, Tiven
the game.
With 3:01 left in the game,
Caldwell-Pope took a pass
from Clarkson and went in
for a layup to put the Lakers
up 104-102. Thompson tied
the score 52 seconds later
with two free throws. With
1:33 left, Green gave the
Warriors a two-point lead,
and then Randle answered.
Caldwell-Pope scored
shortly thereafter and
made the ensuing free
throw to give the Lakers a
three-point lead with less
than a minute to go, but Durant drained a three-pointer on the next possession
with
Staples
Center
pitched.
The Lakers got the ball
back with 5.3 seconds left
and Walton took a timeout
to call a play that gave Ingram the Lakers’ final shot.
Ingram drove to the basket
but couldn’t make his contested layup and the game
went to overtime.
The regular season isn’t
the primary concern for the
Warriors. This is a team that
has played in the NBA Finals for three straight years,
winning two titles.
Along the way, some
teams can cause problems.
The Lakers did the last
three seasons, and they did
again Wednesday night, until the Warriors had enough.
tania.ganguli@latimes.com
tania.ganguli@latimes.com
Twitter: @taniaganguli
Correspondent Alex Vejar
contributed to this report.
Rockets 118, Pacers 97
INDIANA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anunoby.........19 0-1 0-0 1-3 0 0 0
Ibaka .............29 4-12 0-0 2-8 1 0 8
Valanciunas ....22 6-12 0-0 6-7 0 5 12
DeRozan.........35 14-22 2-3 1-4 6 3 30
Lowry.............36 12-18 4-4 1-5 6 4 36
VanVleet .........18 3-6 0-1 0-1 9 2 8
Siakam ..........18 2-4 0-0 0-6 1 2 4
Poeltl .............17 4-5 0-1 0-0 0 4 8
Miles .............17 3-8 0-0 0-0 1 0 7
Powell ............17 3-7 2-2 0-4 0 0 10
Nogueira ..........8 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 3 3
Totals
52-98 8-11 11-39 24 23 126
Shooting: Field goals, 53.1%; free throws, 72.7%
Three-point goals: 14-32 (Lowry 8-11, VanVleet
2-2, Powell 2-5, Nogueira 1-1, Miles 1-6, Siakam 0-1,
Valanciunas 0-1, DeRozan 0-2, Ibaka 0-3). Team Rebounds: 10. Team Turnovers: 9 (11 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 2 (Ibaka, Siakam). Turnovers: 9 (Lowry 3,
Ibaka 2, Anunoby, DeRozan, Powell, Valanciunas).
Steals: 6 (Anunoby, Ibaka, Lowry, Miles, Nogueira,
Poeltl). Technical Fouls: None.
Charlotte
25 27 33 28— 113
Toronto
32 39 22 33— 126
A—19,800. T—2:09. O—Eric Dalen, Marc Davis,
Aaron Smith
GOLDEN STATE
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Durant.............42 12-25 2-4 0-7 5 4 29
Green..............38 5-10 4-6 4-11 9 2 15
Pachulia ..........14 5-5 1-1 2-6 2 2 11
Curry...............39 9-20 7-8 0-5 7 4 28
Thompson........38 6-12 4-4 0-3 2 1 20
Iguodala ..........34 1-4 0-0 2-6 3 2 2
Young..............13 3-5 2-3 1-2 0 0 9
Looney ............12 1-6 0-0 2-4 0 0 2
Bell.................12 3-4 0-0 1-4 0 1 6
Livingston ..........9 2-2 1-2 0-1 0 2 5
McCaw ..............8 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 0
Totals
47-94 21-28 12-49 30 19 127
Shooting: Field goals, 50.0%; free throws, 75.0%
Three-point goals: 12-30 (Thompson 4-8, Durant
3-7, Curry 3-9, Young 1-2, Green 1-3, Iguodala 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 13. Team Turnovers: 22 (19 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 4 (Bell, Durant, Iguodala, Looney).
Turnovers: 22 (Durant 6, Curry 5, Green 4, Bell 3, Livingston 2, Pachulia, Young). Steals: 10 (Green 4, Bell
2, Durant, Livingston, Looney, Pachulia).
In the three games after his
21-point performance against the
Denver Nuggets, Lakers center
Brook Lopez struggled offensively.
Lopez scored 13 points combined in
those games, making six of 24 shots,
and didn’t grab an offensive rebound.
“We talked about it not, you
know, him being one of our leaders
on this team and being one of the
vets, you know, not letting it affect
his body language,” Walton said.
“He’s acknowledged that, and it’s
something that I think, since we
pointed it out, will be, he’ll be fine.
He’ll get better at that too.”
CHARLOTTE
TORONTO
RESULTS
Lopez struggling
Raptors 126, Hornets 113
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Kidd-Gilchrist...27 4-8 4-5 0-1 1 1 12
Williams .........20 2-4 0-0 1-3 0 0 5
Howard ..........30 8-12 6-8 2-10 3 1 22
Batum............32 3-9 3-3 0-1 5 1 10
Carter-Williams 32 1-10 7-7 2-6 5 3 9
Lamb .............28 7-13 2-2 0-3 3 4 18
Kaminsky........27 7-13 2-2 1-7 2 2 18
Zeller .............15 0-1 6-8 1-2 3 2 6
Monk .............15 3-6 0-0 0-2 4 2 9
Bacon..............5 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Graham............1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
O’Bryant III .......1 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 4
Totals
37-79 30-35 7-36 26 17 113
Shooting: Field goals, 46.8%; free throws, 85.7%
Three-point goals: 9-19 (Monk 3-4, Kaminsky 2-4,
Lamb 2-4, Williams 1-2, Batum 1-3, Carter-Williams
0-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 12 (15
PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Lamb, Monk). Turnovers: 12
(Carter-Williams 5, Batum 3, Zeller 2, Howard, Lamb).
Steals: 6 (Williams 3, Batum, Howard, Lamb). Technical Fouls: None.
S2
S3
S4
A5
S5
C5
they were just going in a totally different direction.”
The fans showed him less love.
Young was booed upon checking
into the game.
Knicks 115, Heat 86
MIAMI
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Richardson .....30 5-14 1-2 0-3 1 3 13
Winslow..........16 2-5 1-2 2-5 3 0 5
Adebayo .........30 4-5 1-2 1-5 0 3 9
Dragic ............23 3-12 0-0 1-2 3 1 6
Waiters...........29 3-10 3-6 1-1 8 2 10
T.Johnson........29 5-11 2-2 0-1 3 1 13
Ellington .........27 1-7 0-0 1-1 0 0 3
Olynyk ............25 6-11 3-3 1-5 2 5 18
J.Johnson........18 3-7 1-3 2-4 1 5 9
Mickey .............5 0-1 0-0 0-4 0 0 0
Walton Jr. .........4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
32-84 12-20 9-31 21 20 86
Shooting: Field goals, 38.1%; free throws, 60.0%
Three-point goals: 10-38 (Olynyk 3-4, J.Johnson
2-4, Richardson 2-8, Waiters 1-4, T.Johnson 1-6,
Ellington 1-7, Walton Jr. 0-1, Winslow 0-1, Dragic 0-3).
Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 15 (21 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 4 (Olynyk, Richardson, T.Johnson,
Waiters). Turnovers: 15 (Olynyk 4, J.Johnson 2, Richardson 2, T.Johnson 2, Winslow 2, Adebayo, Mickey,
Waiters). Steals: 13 (Richardson 3, Adebayo 2, Ellington 2, T.Johnson 2, J.Johnson, Waiters, Walton Jr.,
Winslow). Technical Fouls: coach Erik Spoelstra, 1:12
second.
NEW YORK
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Hardaway Jr.....29 5-11 1-2 0-0 2 3 12
Porzingis...........2 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 4
Kanter............25 7-9 8-9 6-14 1 2 22
Jack...............23 1-3 0-0 0-3 7 2 2
Lee................28 5-9 5-5 0-5 2 0 17
McDermott......29 6-7 0-1 0-2 1 2 12
Sessions.........24 3-9 2-2 0-0 6 1 8
Thomas ..........21 1-2 5-6 0-4 2 2 8
Beasley ..........18 3-7 0-0 2-7 0 2 6
O’Quinn..........13 4-4 1-1 0-7 1 4 9
Baker...............8 1-1 0-0 0-2 3 1 2
Hernangomez ....8 4-5 0-0 0-8 1 1 8
Dotson.............5 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 0 5
Totals
44-73 22-26 8-52 26 20 115
Shooting: Field goals, 60.3%; free throws, 84.6%
Three-point goals: 5-13 (Lee 2-2, Dotson 1-1,
Thomas 1-2, Hardaway Jr. 1-4, Jack 0-1, Sessions 0-1,
Beasley 0-2). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 20
(18 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Hernangomez 2, Beasley,
Lee, McDermott). Turnovers: 20 (Beasley 4, O’Quinn
3, Hardaway Jr. 2, Hernangomez 2, Sessions 2, Baker,
Jack, Kanter, Lee, McDermott, Porzingis, Thomas).
Steals: 10 (Lee 3, Baker 2, Hardaway Jr., Jack, Kanter,
O’Quinn, Sessions). Technical Fouls: None.
Miami
22 22 20 22— 86
New York
33 32 23 27— 115
A—17,693. T—2:07. O—Jacyn Goble, Rodney Mott,
David Guthrie
Pistons 131, Suns 107
PHOENIX
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P
Bogdanovic .....31 6-12 0-0 0-1 0 2
T.Young...........31 11-15 0-0 2-4 2 1
Turner.............31 6-14 3-3 0-10 1 2
Collison..........32 2-8 0-0 3-6 5 4
Oladipo ..........34 8-20 2-2 0-3 5 1
Joseph ...........25 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 1
Stephenson ....24 5-8 0-0 0-4 4 2
Sabonis..........19 2-4 0-0 1-7 0 4
J.Young.............4 2-4 1-1 0-0 0 0
Leaf.................2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0
Wilkins.............2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals
42-88 6-6 6-36 18 17
T
15
23
15
5
19
0
11
4
5
0
0
97
Shooting: Field goals, 47.7%; free throws, 0.0%
Three-point goals: 7-28 (Bogdanovic 3-8,
Stephenson 1-2, T.Young 1-2, Collison 1-3, Oladipo
1-8, Joseph 0-1, J.Young 0-1, Turner 0-3). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 14 (20 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 7 (Turner 4, Oladipo 2, Sabonis). Turnovers: 14
(Turner 4, Collison 2, J.Young 2, Oladipo 2, T.Young 2,
Bogdanovic, Sabonis). Steals: 9 (Oladipo 5, Joseph
2, Bogdanovic, Collison). Technical Fouls: coach Pacers (Defensive three second), 7:02 fourth.
HOUSTON
DETROIT
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anderson........31 6-11 2-2 2-9 2 1 19
Ariza ..............26 5-7 0-0 1-2 1 1 14
Capela ...........28 10-15 2-2 4-13 1 2 22
Harden...........35 8-22 9-9 2-8 10 2 29
Paul...............29 5-8 1-2 1-6 7 0 13
Gordon...........26 4-10 1-4 0-1 3 2 10
Mbah a Moute.25 2-6 0-0 0-4 1 0 4
Tucker ............20 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 6
Nene..............10 0-2 1-2 0-4 1 0 1
Weber ..............2 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 0
Black ...............2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Brown ..............2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
42-86 16-21 10-49 26 10 118
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Harris.............26 8-14 2-3 0-7 1 1 20
Johnson..........21 2-4 0-0 0-3 0 0 4
Drummond .....27 5-8 3-3 2-7 7 2 13
Bradley...........28 9-12 0-0 0-0 1 3 20
R.Jackson .......21 9-13 3-4 0-1 5 3 23
Kennard .........26 4-8 2-2 0-2 6 3 12
Smith.............20 6-10 2-3 0-3 6 0 14
Galloway.........19 3-8 0-0 0-4 1 2 9
Tolliver............15 2-5 0-0 0-5 0 1 6
Moreland........14 1-2 2-2 2-6 3 3 4
Bullock.............5 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Marjanovic ........5 1-2 2-4 1-1 0 4 4
Ellenson ...........5 1-2 0-0 0-4 1 0 2
Totals
51-89 16-21 5-44 31 22 131
Shooting: Field goals, 57.3%; free throws, 76.2%
Three-point goals: 13-28 (Galloway 3-7, Kennard
2-2, Bradley 2-3, R.Jackson 2-4, Tolliver 2-4, Harris
2-6, Bullock 0-1, Ellenson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6.
Team Turnovers: 19 (22 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Moreland 2, Drummond, Galloway, Smith, Tolliver). Turnovers: 19 (R.Jackson 4, Drummond 2, Johnson 2,
Kennard 2, Tolliver 2, Bradley, Bullock, Ellenson, Galloway, Marjanovic, Moreland, Smith). Steals: 11 (Johnson 3, Bradley 2, Kennard 2, R.Jackson 2, Drummond, Tolliver). Technical Fouls: coach Pistons (Defensive three second), 5:29 second.
Phoenix
19 22 29 37— 107
Detroit
36 33 35 27— 131
Shooting: Field goals, 48.8%; free throws,
76.2%
Three-point goals: 18-40 (Anderson 5-9, Ariza 4-5,
Harden 4-12, Paul 2-3, Tucker 2-3, Gordon 1-4, Black
0-1, Brown 0-1, Mbah a Moute 0-2). Team Rebounds:
8. Team Turnovers: 16 (20 PTS). Blocked Shots: 0.
Turnovers: 16 (Ariza 4, Anderson 3, Gordon 3, Capela
2, Tucker 2, Harden, Paul). Steals: 9 (Ariza 3, Capela
2, Gordon, Harden, Nene, Weber). Technical Fouls:
None.
Indiana
Houston
27 22 22
22 32 35
26— 97
29— 118
A—16,760. T—1:56. O—Courtney Kirkland, Michael
Smith, Pat Fraher
A—18,096. T—2:07. O—Ben Taylor, Scott Twardoski, Ron Garretson
76ers 118, Wizards 113
WASHINGTON
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Morris ............16 3-9 0-0 0-2 0 3 7
Porter Jr..........25 3-14 2-2 1-4 2 2 8
Gortat ............20 3-7 0-2 0-2 1 2 6
Beal...............22 6-12 5-5 0-4 1 6 21
Frazier............19 2-4 0-0 1-3 3 2 4
Satoransky......28 4-7 4-4 0-2 8 5 12
Oubre Jr..........28 7-15 7-7 2-7 4 6 22
Meeks............26 5-11 8-9 1-4 1 5 21
Mahinmi.........25 2-3 4-6 0-2 1 4 8
McCullough.....17 1-6 2-2 1-4 1 5 4
Scott ...............8 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 2 0
Totals
36-89 32-37 7-35 22 42 113
Shooting: Field goals, 40.4%; free throws,
86.5%
Three-point goals: 9-22 (Beal 4-5, Meeks 3-6,
Morris 1-3, Oubre Jr. 1-3, Frazier 0-1, McCullough 0-2,
Porter Jr. 0-2). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers:
12 (14 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Gortat, McCullough,
Oubre Jr., Scott). Turnovers: 12 (Frazier 3, Oubre Jr. 3,
Porter Jr. 2, Mahinmi, Meeks, Morris, Scott). Steals: 8
(Porter Jr. 3, Mahinmi 2, Beal, Meeks, Oubre Jr.). Technical Fouls: None.
PHILADELPHIA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Covington .......33 4-12 0-0 5-12 1 4 9
Saric..............32 8-12 7-7 2-8 2 2 24
Embiid ...........32 6-15 13-18 7-14 4 6 25
Redick............30 4-12 0-0 0-0 4 4 8
Simmons ........40 8-16 15-29 5-18 4 3 31
Bayless ..........25 4-7 6-8 1-1 4 0 14
Lwawu-Cbrrt ....15 1-4 0-0 0-3 1 3 3
McConnell ......15 2-2 0-0 0-2 1 4 4
Johnson..........13 0-1 0-2 1-6 2 1 0
Totals
37-81 41-64 21-64 23 27 118
Shooting: Field goals, 45.7%; free throws,
64.1%
Three-point goals: 3-18 (Luwawu-Cabarrot 1-3,
Saric 1-3, Covington 1-5, Bayless 0-1, Simmons 0-1,
Redick 0-5). Team Rebounds: 15. Team Turnovers: 17
(17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 8 (Embiid 4, Simmons 2,
Johnson, Redick). Turnovers: 17 (Simmons 6, Covington 3, Embiid 3, Bayless, Luwawu-Cabarrot, McConnell, Redick, Saric). Steals: 6 (Covington 2, Simmons 2, Embiid, Saric). Technical Fouls: Embiid, 3:45
fourth
Washington
18 22 25 48— 113
Philadelphia
28 30 26 34— 118
A—20,492. T—2:35. O—Mitchell Ervin, Bill
Spooner, Matt Boland
Magic 121, Thunder 108
OKLAHOMA CITY
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Chriss ............22 2-6 5-6 1-4 1 5 10
Warren ...........22 2-6 3-4 1-2 0 0 7
Monroe ..........25 7-10 0-0 2-7 5 1 14
Booker ...........27 7-8 6-6 0-4 0 3 22
Ulis................22 4-8 4-4 0-2 4 2 13
J.Jackson ........31 9-19 2-4 3-7 1 2 20
Dudley ...........21 1-4 0-0 1-2 3 2 3
Bender ...........17 1-4 0-0 0-2 2 3 3
Len................16 2-7 0-0 0-3 1 0 4
Daniels...........15 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 3
James ............15 3-8 2-4 0-4 4 0 8
Chandler ..........0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
39-84 22-28 8-37 21 19 107
Shooting: Field goals, 46.4%; free throws, 78.6%
Three-point goals: 7-22 (Booker 2-3, Daniels 1-2,
Ulis 1-2, Dudley 1-3, Bender 1-4, Chriss 1-4, James
0-1, Warren 0-1, J.Jackson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 7.
Team Turnovers: 19 (24 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4
(Chriss, James, Len, Warren). Turnovers: 19 (Booker 7,
Monroe 3, J.Jackson 2, James 2, Ulis 2, Bender, Daniels, Warren). Steals: 12 (J.Jackson 3, Chriss 2, Monroe 2, Bender, Booker, Dudley, James, Ulis). Technical
Fouls: Chriss, 4:48 first.
Nets 109, Mavericks 104
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anthony..........34 5-16 3-3 0-7 2 2 16
George ...........40 7-17 6-7 1-5 5 2 22
Adams ...........28 3-10 0-2 7-8 0 4 6
Roberson........30 5-8 1-2 6-9 1 1 11
Westbrook.......37 11-23 8-12 4-11 5 3 37
Grant .............20 4-6 1-2 0-1 2 0 9
Ferguson ........19 0-3 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
Felton ............16 2-9 1-2 1-4 2 1 5
Patterson..........7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Johnson ...........6 1-4 0-0 1-1 0 3 2
Collison............0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
38-96 20-30 21-48 17 20 108
Shooting: Field goals, 39.6%; free throws, 66.7%
Three-point goals: 12-32 (Westbrook 7-10, Anthony 3-9, George 2-6, Felton 0-1, Ferguson 0-2,
Grant 0-2, Roberson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 14. Team
Turnovers: 13 (16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Grant 2,
Adams, Anthony, Roberson). Turnovers: 13 (Westbrook 7, George 2, Roberson 2, Anthony, Felton).
Steals: 8 (Westbrook 5, Adams, George, Grant). Technical Fouls: coach Thunder (Defensive three second),
4:22 third.
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Booker ...........28 8-13 0-2 3-10 2 3 16
Carroll............33 7-14 4-5 4-7 1 2 22
Zeller .............21 4-6 1-3 2-7 4 2 9
Dinwiddie .......32 6-15 5-8 2-3 6 5 19
J.Harris...........30 4-9 2-3 0-4 2 2 11
LeVert ............27 5-13 1-2 1-6 5 2 13
Acy................20 1-3 1-2 0-5 1 1 4
Kilpatrick ........17 1-6 0-0 0-3 2 2 3
Allen..............16 3-4 0-0 1-6 0 0 6
Whitehead ......11 3-7 0-0 1-1 2 2 6
Totals
42-90 14-25 14-52 25 21 109
Shooting: Field goals, 46.7%; free throws, 56.0%
Three-point goals: 11-29 (Carroll 4-7, LeVert 2-3,
Dinwiddie 2-6, Acy 1-3, Kilpatrick 1-3, J.Harris 1-5,
Booker 0-1, Whitehead 0-1). Team Rebounds: 10.
Team Turnovers: 14 (11 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Dinwiddie). Turnovers: 14 (Booker 3, Zeller 3, Carroll 2,
Kilpatrick 2, Whitehead 2, Acy, Dinwiddie). Steals: 5
(Zeller 2, Acy, Allen, LeVert). Technical Fouls: Acy, 2:53
third
ORLANDO
DALLAS
BROOKLYN
Timberwolves 120, Pelicans 102
MINNESOTA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Gibson ...........37 4-7 2-2 2-10 4 1 10
Wiggins ..........36 10-18 5-5 2-8 5 1 28
Towns.............20 4-7 2-2 2-10 3 5 11
Butler.............32 8-12 2-2 0-4 3 0 19
T.Jones ...........41 6-9 2-3 1-4 6 1 16
Dieng.............36 8-13 2-2 2-6 5 4 19
Crawford.........25 5-11 2-3 1-1 3 0 12
Brooks .............7 2-4 0-0 0-1 1 2 5
Georges-Hunt ....0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
47-81 17-19 10-44 30 14 120
Shooting: Field goals, 58.0%; free throws, 89.5%
Three-point goals: 9-23 (Wiggins 3-6, T.Jones 2-3,
Butler 1-2, Towns 1-2, Brooks 1-3, Dieng 1-4, Crawford
0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 17 (19 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 1 (Wiggins). Turnovers: 17 (Towns 6,
Butler 2, Dieng 2, Gibson 2, Wiggins 2, Brooks, Crawford, T.Jones). Steals: 10 (Dieng 4, T.Jones 4, Butler,
Gibson). Technical Fouls: coach Timberwolves (Defensive three second), 00:48 second.
NEW ORLEANS
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Davis .............17 7-13 3-3 1-5 0 2 17
Moore ............26 2-8 1-1 1-2 1 1 5
Cousins ..........39 7-15 2-3 3-10 6 2 17
Holiday...........38 10-20 2-2 1-1 5 2 27
Rondo............26 1-3 0-0 0-1 7 3 3
Nelson ...........26 3-4 0-0 0-1 3 1 7
Miller .............25 4-10 0-0 0-0 1 2 12
Cunningham....17 2-4 0-0 0-4 0 1 5
Allen..............15 2-6 2-2 2-3 2 1 7
Diallo...............3 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Clark................2 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2
Totals
39-84 10-11 8-28 27 17 102
Shooting: Field goals, 46.4%; free throws, 90.9%
Three-point goals: 14-35 (Holiday 5-11, Miller 4-7,
Allen 1-2, Cunningham 1-2, Nelson 1-2, Rondo 1-2,
Cousins 1-6, Moore 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Team
Turnovers: 16 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Cousins,
Holiday). Turnovers: 16 (Cousins 4, Holiday 3, Rondo
3, Allen 2, Davis 2, Miller, Nelson). Steals: 8 (Holiday
2, Nelson 2, Cousins, Miller, Moore, Rondo). Technical Fouls: Davis, 4:26 second
Minnesota
28 34 31 27— 120
New Orleans
29 20 27 26— 102
A—15,555. T—2:01. O—Ken Mauer, Scott Wall,
Brent Barnaky
Spurs 104, Grizzlies 95
MEMPHIS
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
J.Green...........28 4-9 0-0 2-8 2 2 9
McLemore.......27 3-10 2-2 1-3 1 3 10
M.Gasol..........35 4-11 2-2 1-6 7 2 10
Brooks ...........33 3-6 0-0 1-2 2 2 8
Evans.............30 9-17 1-2 0-3 5 2 22
Harrison .........24 5-9 1-2 1-6 2 1 13
Ennis III..........23 4-6 6-6 3-5 1 2 15
Martin ............19 2-7 2-2 1-2 1 3 6
Davis .............12 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 1 0
Simmons..........5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2
Totals
35-77 14-16 11-37 21 19 95
Shooting: Field goals, 45.5%; free throws, 87.5%
Three-point goals: 11-22 (Evans 3-6, Brooks 2-3,
Harrison 2-3, McLemore 2-5, Ennis III 1-2, J.Green
1-2, Martin 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers:
17 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Davis). Turnovers: 17
(Evans 4, Brooks 3, Ennis III 3, J.Green 2, M.Gasol 2,
Harrison, Martin, McLemore). Steals: 4 (Ennis III 2,
J.Green, McLemore). Technical Fouls: J.Green, 5:55
first
SAN ANTONIO
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Gordon...........43 13-23 8-11 0-15 4 1 40
Simmons ........33 2-3 2-3 0-0 2 5 6
Vucevic...........30 7-13 1-2 0-7 7 3 15
Fournier..........32 5-12 3-3 0-1 3 3 16
Payton............30 8-10 3-5 0-5 6 4 19
Augustin .........17 4-5 1-2 1-1 3 1 11
Biyombo .........17 4-5 0-0 1-4 1 2 8
Afflalo ............16 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0
Ross ..............13 2-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 6
Hezonja............4 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 0 0
Totals
45-76 18-26 2-37 28 22 121
Shooting: Field goals, 59.2%; free throws, 69.2%
Three-point goals: 13-30 (Gordon 6-12, Fournier
3-8, Augustin 2-2, Ross 2-3, Afflalo 0-1, Vucevic 0-4).
Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 13 (17 PTS).
Blocked Shots: 7 (Ross 2, Afflalo, Biyombo, Fournier,
Gordon, Payton). Turnovers: 13 (Biyombo 3, Fournier
3, Payton 2, Simmons 2, Afflalo, Gordon, Ross).
Steals: 9 (Gordon 4, Payton 4, Augustin). Technical
Fouls: None.
Oklahoma City
25 32 23 28— 108
Orlando
31 28 28 34— 121
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Barnes ...........36 5-10 7-8 0-8 6 1 17
Kleber ............22 7-11 0-0 3-7 0 5 16
Nowitzki..........26 4-9 0-0 0-7 1 2 10
Matthews........36 3-8 0-0 0-3 2 2 8
Smith Jr. .........25 3-11 4-4 0-2 3 1 10
D.Harris ..........22 5-8 0-1 0-2 3 6 11
Barea.............21 4-12 0-0 0-3 6 2 9
Ferrell ............21 2-7 4-4 2-5 1 2 8
Powell ............20 6-8 1-2 2-7 3 1 14
Mejri................6 0-0 1-2 0-0 1 1 1
Totals
39-84 17-21 7-44 26 23 104
Shooting: Field goals, 46.4%; free throws, 81.0%
Three-point goals: 9-27 (Kleber 2-4, Nowitzki 2-4,
Matthews 2-5, D.Harris 1-2, Powell 1-2, Barea 1-6,
Barnes 0-1, Smith Jr. 0-1, Ferrell 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: 11 (13 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 3 (Ferrell, Kleber, Powell). Turnovers: 11 (Barea
2, D.Harris 2, Powell 2, Smith Jr. 2, Barnes, Kleber,
Matthews). Steals: 5 (Barnes 2, D.Harris 2, Powell).
Technical Fouls: None.
Brooklyn
21 27 32 29— 109
Dallas
27 20 29 28— 104
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Aldridge..........36 17-24 4-4 2-6 1 2 41
Anderson........29 4-7 2-3 1-4 2 0 10
P.Gasol ...........28 2-6 0-0 1-6 1 1 4
D.Green..........27 2-4 0-0 0-4 2 2 5
Parker ............17 4-7 2-2 0-2 5 2 10
Mills ..............26 2-7 7-7 0-3 5 0 13
Ginobili ..........23 2-5 0-0 0-1 4 4 4
Gay................22 2-8 3-3 1-5 1 3 7
Forbes............17 2-6 1-3 0-1 1 0 7
Murray .............4 1-1 1-2 0-0 0 1 3
Paul.................4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Bertans ............0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
38-75 20-24 5-32 22 17 104
Shooting: Field goals, 50.7%; free throws, 83.3%
Three-point goals: 8-20 (Aldridge 3-3, Mills 2-4,
Forbes 2-5, D.Green 1-3, Ginobili 0-1, Gay 0-4). Team
Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers: 9 (17 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 5 (Gay 2, Aldridge, D.Green, P.Gasol). Turnovers: 9 (Ginobili 2, Mills 2, Aldridge, Anderson,
D.Green, Gay, Parker). Steals: 9 (Anderson 4, P.Gasol
2, D.Green, Gay, Mills). Technical Fouls: coach Spurs
(Defensive three second), 00:11 first.
Memphis
21 28 24 22— 95
San Antonio
28 30 21 25— 104
A—17,797. T—2:16. O—Tyler Ford, Gediminas Petraitis, Sean Wright
A—19,327. T—2:15. O—John Goble, Eric Lewis,
Lauren Holtkamp
A—18,013. T—2:04. O—James Capers, C.J. Washington, Derrick Collins
S
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
Ducks
find a
way out
of hole
Gibson makes 37
saves to help
Anaheim end losing
streak at four games.
DUCKS 3, ST. LOUIS 2
associated press
ST. LOUIS — Ducks
goalie John Gibson has been
pulled from a hockey game
before. So he knew exactly
how to react after a rough
outing: No panic, no worries.
“It’s going to happen to
everybody. It’s part of the
game,” Gibson said after
making 37 saves in the
Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the
St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
Antoine Vermette had
two goals and Kevin Roy also
scored for the Ducks, who
jumped out to a 3-0 lead and
held on to end a losing streak
at four games.
Gibson, who was pulled
after giving up four goals on
22 shots in a 7-3 loss at Chicago on Monday, calmly refocused and came out with
one of his best efforts of the
season to improve to 8-9-1.
“We need him and we
wanted to come out and play
well in front of him,” Vermette said. “Tonight, he
stood up big for us.”
Gibson stopped the first
36 shots he faced before giving up two goals to Kyle
Brodziak in the final 3 minutes 48 seconds.
Brodziak scored with 17
seconds left to bring the
Blues within one.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle knew his veteran goalie
would respond well.
“When you get thumped
like we did the other night in
Chicago, you look for a response,” Carlyle said. “[Gibson] gave us A-quality goaltending.”
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
D5
NHL STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Pacific
Vegas
KINGS
San Jose
Calgary
DUCKS
Vancouver
Edmonton
Arizona
Central
St. Louis
Winnipeg
Nashville
Dallas
Chicago
Colorado
Minnesota
W
15
14
13
13
11
11
10
6
W
17
15
15
13
12
12
11
L
7
8
8
10
10
10
13
17
L
7
6
6
10
9
9
10
OL
1
3
2
1
4
4
2
4
OL
1
3
3
1
3
2
3
Pts
31
31
28
27
26
26
22
16
Pts
35
33
33
27
27
26
25
GF
81
73
61
70
68
68
67
66
GF
86
80
76
70
76
76
72
GA
69
57
51
76
75
73
81
98
GA
66
64
68
69
63
73
74
Note: Overtime or shootout losses worth one point.
Metropolitan
Columbus
NY Islanders
New Jersey
Washington
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers
Carolina
Philadelphia
Atlantic
Tampa Bay
Toronto
Boston
Detroit
Montreal
Ottawa
Florida
Buffalo
W
16
15
14
14
13
13
10
8
W
17
16
11
10
11
8
10
6
L
8
7
6
10
10
10
8
10
L
6
9
8
10
12
9
12
15
OL
1
2
4
1
3
2
5
7
OL
2
1
4
5
3
6
2
4
Pts
33
32
32
29
29
28
25
23
Pts
36
33
26
25
25
22
22
16
GF
72
89
78
74
74
82
68
70
GF
90
92
63
70
62
68
72
55
GA
60
76
74
75
90
77
70
78
GA
65
78
68
74
82
76
83
85
RESULTS
DUCKS 3
AT ST. LOUIS 2
AT BOSTON 3
TAMPA BAY 2
AT MONTREAL 2
OTTAWA 1
AT COLORADO 3
WINNIPEG 2 (OT)
Antoine Vermette scored twice, John Gibson made 37
saves and the Ducks ended a skid at four games.
Charlie McAvoy and Riley Nash scored first-period goals,
and the Bruins hung on for the victory.
Canadiens’ Carey Price, who has given up two goals in
100 shots since returning from an injury, made 25 saves.
Nathan MacKinnon scored a power-play goal 59 seconds
into overtime.
Mark J. Terrill Associated Press
FORWARD Adrian Kempe got off to a fast start this season, just like the Kings
did, but he had only one goal in 13 games before scoring Tuesday in Detroit.
Kempe gets to share
idol moments on ice
Gaborik was the
favorite player of the
young forward
growing up in Sweden.
For complete NHL summaries, go to latimes.com/sports/scores
TODAY’S GAMES
KINGS at Washington, 4 p.m.
Vancouver at Nashville, 5 p.m.
Dallas at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.
Arizona at Calgary, 6 p.m.
Montreal at Detroit, 4:30 p.m.
Vegas at Minnesota, 5 p.m.
Toronto at Edmonton, 6 p.m.
Jake Allen finished with
27 saves for the Blues, who
had won four of their previous five.
Vermette ended an 11game scoreless drought with
his first multigoal game
since Nov. 25, 2015.
“It’s nice, but at the end of
the day you just want to
win,” Vermette said. “We’ll
take it. It came at a good
time tonight.”
Vermette deflected in a
shot off his right glove 4:17
into the game.
Roy and Vermette each
had power-play goals in a
span of 2:28 early in the second period for a 3-0 cushion.
The Ducks were playing
without several key offensive
players, including leading
scorer Rickard Rakell, who
missed his third straight
game with an upper-body injury.
“We’re facing a strange
situation with a lot of adversity,” Vermette said. “We’re
taking a lot of pride as a
group and trying to battle
through it.”
Gibson’s biggest save
came midway through the
second period when he
stopped Jaden Schwartz on
a breakaway.
The Blues had won their
last four home games
against the Ducks but
looked flat throughout most
of the contest.
“A game like tonight, penalty kill could have found a
way to win a game for us,”
said Brodziak, who is on the
penalty-killing unit. “Instead, we found a way to lose
a game.”
By Curtis Zupke
DUCKS 3, BLUES 2
DUCKS ....................................1
St. Louis ..................................0
2
0
0 — 3
2 — 2
FIRST PERIOD: 1. DUCKS, Vermette 4 (Beauchemin,
Roy),
4:17.
Penalties—Vermette,
DUCKS,
(interference), 7:09. Edmundson, STL, (roughing),
11:00. Vermette, DUCKS, (cross-checking), 14:02.
Berglund, STL, (tripping), 19:44.
SECOND PERIOD: 2. DUCKS, Roy 2 (Fowler, Silfverberg), 0:33 (pp). 3. DUCKS, Vermette 5 (Wagner,
Bieksa), 3:01 (pp). Penalties—Berglund, STL,
(interference), 1:55. Perry, DUCKS, (tripping), 13:17.
Sobotka, STL, major (high-sticking), 15:19.
THIRD PERIOD: 4. StL, Brodziak 4 (Edmundson,
Jaskin), 16:12. 5. StL, Brodziak 5 (Parayko, Sobotka),
19:43. Penalties—Schenn, STL, (delay of game), 3:25.
Fowler, DUCKS, (slashing), 13:25.
SHOTS ON GOAL: DUCKS 10-13-7—30. StL 12-1611—39. Power-play conversions—DUCKS 2 of 6. StL 0 of
4.
GOALIES: DUCKS, Gibson 8-9-1 (39 shots-37
saves). StL, Allen 13-6-1 (30-27). Att—16,760
(19,150). T—2:35.
WASHINGTON — Back
when Marian Gaborik was
regularly pouring in 40 goals
a season as if he was tossing
pennies into a fountain, a
teenage Adrian Kempe became a fan.
Kempe singled out Gaborik as his favorite player
because of his afterburner
skating ability that separated him from defenders.
So it was with genuine
amusement and self-deprecating humor that Gaborik
broke into a grin Wednesday
when told that he was Kempe’s hockey role model.
“That’s the first time I
hear that story,” Gaborik
said. “He’s got such a good
talent. He looks good out
there. He’s got great style.
He reminds me a lot of [Hall
of Fame forward Mike]
Modano there — his [No.9]
jersey flapping around.
Hopefully we can keep it going.”
That story surely makes
Gaborik feel older than his
35 years. But his coincidental grouping with Kempe, 21,
along with Trevor Lewis,
could give the Kings a
unique third line because of
their speed. Driving center
ice has been Kempe’s trademark, and Gaborik also
brings fresh legs after a seven-month hiatus to recover
from a knee injury.
“He’s a really fast player
and a good goal scorer,”
Kempe said. “I think that
would be good for me and
I’ve just got to try to keep my
speed in the middle and try
to feed him pucks outside.”
Kings
coach
John
Stevens indicated the line is
only for the short term, but
he likes the dynamic, especially with Lewis as a utility
forward who can play with
anyone. They produced a
goal Tuesday against Detroit when Kempe grabbed
Gaborik’s shot off the
boards and converted into
an open net. Stevens also
likes the effect a veteran like
Gaborik can have on Kempe.
“I think in Gabby’s case,
he’s just a really good person,” Stevens said. “He interacts as well with the
young guys as he does with
the old guys, and I think his
personality is very conducive to a guy like Adrian
feeling comfortable there.”
Kempe’s output has mirrored the Kings’ good and
bad streaks. He scored six
goals in the first 10 games,
then one goal in the ensuing
13 games before Tuesday.
Kempe still feels good about
his game, but he acknowledged the unbalanced ledger.
In the meantime, he appreciates his time with Gaborik. Kempe and his
brother, Mario — a forward
in the Arizona Coyotes’ system — didn’t always stay up
late to watch NHL games in
Sweden, but they both admired Gaborik.
“Both me and my brother
looked up to him,” Kempe
said. “It’s kind of exciting.”
TONIGHT
AT WASHINGTON
When: 4 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: FS West;
Radio: 790.
Update: Center Torrey
Mitchell remained in Detroit
to get his immigration
paperwork completed and
was expected to join the
Kings on Thursday, a team
official said. … The Capitals’
Alex Ovechkin was named
third star of last week following his 20th career hat trick.
He led the NHL with 18 goals
through
Tuesday
and
stands at 217 career powerplay goals, tied with Jaromir
Jagr for the most among active players.
curtis.zupke@latimes.com
Twitter: @curtiszupke
Finally,
Ball gets
his shots
to drop
Rivers accepts
being on hot seat
[Plaschke, from D1]
looked lost. He passed the
ball and the place echoed
with groans.
The third time it happened … actually, no, there
was no third time.
Lonzo Ball finally listened. He finally felt it. He
suddenly found it.
In the middle of his mosthyped matchup of a hypefilled early season Wednesday night, the Lakers celebrated rookie finally lived
up to that hype in the middle of a 127-123 overtime loss
to the Golden State Warriors.
Moments after passing
that ball in the third quarter, Ball got it back, and this
time, funny motion and all,
he shot it. Swish.
Soon thereafter, after
running back down court
accompanied by a knowing
nod from coach Luke Walton, Ball threw up another
trey attempt. Swish.
Twenty seconds later,
Ball blew off a three-pointer
and just drove past the
Warriors defense for a layup,
eight points in a minute,
and he wasn’t done yet.
On the Warriors’ ensuing
possession, he went to the
floor to tie up the loose ball
with Stephen Curry and
wound up cutting his left eye
like a boxer. Returning to
the floor wearing a bandage
over the eye, he hit one more
three-pointer to finish his
barrage of a quarter.
The Lakers lost, and the
still-smallish Ball wore
down in an overtime period
dominated by Curry, but the
point had been made.
The ability is there. The
fortitude is there. The confidence is coming. The shot
needs to be completely
remodeled this summer, but
he’s only 20 and chances are,
he’s going to eventually
figure this out.
Will he be a transformative superstar? Maybe not.
Will he even be the player to
By Broderick Turner
He says criticism is
part of the job as
coach — not that he’s
paying attention to it.
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
LONZO BALL passes over Stephen Curry during first-half action at Staples
Center. Curry outscored Ball by 13 points, but the rookie had his moments.
lead the Lakers into the
next era? Right now, Brandon Ingram, who scored a
career-high 32 points
Wednesday, looks like that
player.
But can Ball be a star on
this team and entertain this
town? Absolutely.
He didn’t ultimately win
the battle with Curry — they
frequently guarded each
other — but he didn’t get
blown out either.
Ball’s line: 15 points, 10
assists, two rebounds, two
turnovers.
Curry’s line: 28 points,
seven assists, five rebounds,
five turnovers.
Ball was invisible early,
but he battled. Ball seemed
tentative until that third
period, but he fought
through it. Ball was sort of
everything that he’s been in
this season’s first 20 games
— sometimes baffled, sometimes brilliant, but ultimately hopeful.
“I was just out there
playing, man,” said Ball.
“Had good looks tonight,
not thinking about it, just
let it go.”
On nights like these,
folks should remember to
stop listening to his blowhard father LaVar. Don’t
blame Lonzo for ramblings
like those of last spring,
when LaVar said of his son,
“He’s better than Steph
Curry to me.’’ Stop believing
that his basketball ability
has any relation to his reality show of a life.
If you look at Lonzo Ball
strictly like a 20-year-old
rookie who played only one
year of college and is learning under the most pressure
of any professional rookie in
Los Angeles sports history,
the view is pretty good.
On Wednesday night,
everyone saw it.
“I thought Lonzo played
great,’’ said Walton afterward. “I thought Lonzo was
really good in being aggressive individually but still
within the concept off how
we want to play the game of
basketball.’’
It turns out, Walton set
him up for it.
“He’s been shooting the
lights out in practice,’’ said
Walton. “I told him before
the game, you’re going to be
one of the best point guards
in this league. Embrace this
challenge, if it’s open and in
rhythm … and he’s got a
bounce to it … let it fly.”
Walton stressed that,
while Ball is not supposed to
be a big-time scorer, the
Lakers want him to keep
searching for that long-lost
shot, and need for him to
find it.
“When he saw that one go
in, it built that confidence
for him,” Walton said.
“Those are shots we want
him taking, we need him
taking. I was happy for him.”
Entering the game, Ball
had been struggling so
much that feelings about
him from NBA veterans had
morphed from irritation to
sympathy. Even the Warriors found themselves defending him in the wake of
all the pressure heaped
upon him by his father.
Earlier this week, Curry
said, “I think he loves to play
basketball, so he’ll be able to
fight through all that and
have a great career. I hope
you don’t judge me off my
first 20 games in the
league.’’
The Warriors’ Kevin
Durant added, getting his
age wrong, “He’s 19? That’s
what any 19-year-old would
go through in the pros. It’s
just a matter of him being in
L.A, where the eyes and
scrutiny are on him. He’s
playing like he should play
as far as, learning the game
and adjusting on the fly.’’
Lonzo Ball did exactly
that on a revelatory
Wednesday night. He might
not be ready for Hollywood
yet, but the kid stays in the
picture.
bill.plaschke@latimes.com
On the day Clippers
guard Austin Rivers admittedly hoped that his team’s
new misfortunes weren’t
caused by the so-called Clippers Curse coming back to
haunt them, coach Doc Rivers was answering questions
about his future and that of
the franchise.
It was enough for Doc to
have to talk Wednesday at
practice about losing Blake
Griffin for perhaps up to two
months with a sprained medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee.
But Rivers also had to address the direction he and
the organization want to
head during these turbulent
times.
“Yeah, that is very difficult, yeah,” Rivers admitted.
Rivers has been the target of the vitriol on internet
message boards, many suggesting he should be fired for
the Clippers’ 8-11 record.
Never mind that Patrick
Beverley
(season-ending
right knee surgery), Milos
Teodosic (plantar fascia injury to left foot) and Danilo
Gallinari (strained left
glute) are out.
Even though there has
been no indication whatsoever that Clippers owner
Steve Ballmer is looking to
make a change, Rivers
knows how this works.
“When you take the job as
the coach, you’re going to be
a target,” Rivers said. “Players get hurt and you start
losing, it’s the coach’s fault.
I’ve been on this rodeo a long
time. So, I know what I can
do. I believe in the guys here.
It is what it is. There’s not
much I can do about it,
though. That’s this day and
time. It’s different than it
was 15 years ago. I think you
would admit to that.
“So now people want to
place blame right away. And,
blame me, blame whatever.
It’s the way it’s going to work
anyway. So who cares? That
doesn’t bother me at all. I
don’t read it anyway.”
What about those saying
the Clippers and their front
office should start tanking
and rebuild through the
draft?
What about those saying
the Clippers’ executive
should trade DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams for
draft picks?
“Well, the day I start answering the internet people
is the day I’m an internet
person,” Rivers said. “And
that’s not going to happen. I
don’t listen to all that stuff.
We’re going to do what’s best
for the franchise, always.
And that’s what we’re going
to keep doing.”
The shorthanded Clippers will play their first game
without Griffin Thursday
night against the Utah Jazz
at Staples Center.
Griffin became the fourth
starter sidelined this season.
“Man, at this point, this
team has been well-equipped to handle something like
this,” Austin Rivers said.
“Everybody keeps taking
about this Clippers Curse. I
hope that’s not true. It is
what it is, though. We can’t
do nothing about it.
“At the end of the day,
we’ve just got to try to build
and try to hold down the
ship until Blake gets back.
Obviously they are saying
six to eight weeks. We still
feel like we can win games.
You have to feel that way or
else we’re going to get
pounded. We have to go out
here and take it game by
game, keep winning these
games.”
TONIGHT
VS. UTAH
When: 7:30.
On the air: TV: Prime
Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.
Update: The Clippers, who
have a three-game winning
streak, have won 19 of their
last 21 regular-season games
against the Jazz. Utah has
won three straight games
and four of five.
broderick.turner@latimes.com
Twitter: @BA_Turner
D6
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
THE DAY IN SPORTS
Tulare tailback
is Kelly’s first
UCLA recruit
NFL STANDINGS
NATIONAL CONFERENCE
West
RAMS
Seattle
Arizona
San Francisco
North
Minnesota
Detroit
Green Bay
Chicago
South
New Orleans
Carolina
Atlanta
Tampa Bay
East
Philadelphia
Dallas
Washington
N.Y. Giants
staff and wire reports
New UCLA football coach Chip Kelly landed his
first pledge from a recruit when Kazmeir Allen, a
record-setting tailback from Tulare Union High,
tweeted that he was committed to the Bruins.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Allen, known for quick
bursts of speed, has scored 70 touchdowns this season, breaking the California record of 64 set by Tyler
Ebell of Ventura High in 2000.
Allen has 60 rushing touchdowns, nine receiving
touchdowns and one touchdown on a kickoff return
with at least one game left to play.
UCLA was not included among the list of six finalists Allen had tweeted out last week, though he
included the disclaimer “Subject to change.”
Recruits can sign binding letters of intent during the
new early signing period that begins Dec. 20.
UCLA senior associate athletic director Josh
Rebholz tweeted that the school had sold nearly 500
new season-ticket packages and received “several
major donations” since UCLA announced the hiring
of Kelly on Saturday.
— Ben Bolch
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images
NO. 1,199 IN THE WORLD
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
sat out practice Wednesday with what the team said
was an Achilles tendon injury.
Brady has started all 11 games this season for New
England. He also has yet to miss a game because of
an injury since 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opening game.
Brady missed one practice last week before the
Patriots’ win over Miami with the same injury.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara admitted
there had to be a better way to inform quarterback
Eli Manning this week that his playing time was being cut after 210 consecutive starts. But he was at a
loss to know what it was.
Mara said he met with Manning in his office
Wednesday morning and they had an emotional
talk, adding that Manning was not happy with the
decision but understood it.
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman
cleared the concussion protocol after missing two
games and could return for Sunday’s game against
the Minnesota Vikings. ... Dolphins quarterback Jay
Cutler was released from the concussion protocol,
took part in practice and will start Sunday against
the Denver Broncos.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Eric Reid said he
left the Players Coalition because founder Malcolm
Jenkins excluded Colin Kaepernick from meetings
and asked players if they would stop protesting the
national anthem if the NFL made a charitable donation to causes they support.
Jozy Altidore scored in the 60th minute and Toronto FC advanced to the MLS Cup final for the second straight year with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew in Toronto.
Toronto will host the Seattle Sounders or Houston Dynamo in the Dec. 9 MLS Cup final.
Pct. PF PA
.727 329 206
.636 266 212
.455 203 278
.091 187 284
Pct. PF PA
.818 271 195
.545 294 264
.455 232 261
.273 177 252
Pct. PF PA
.727 322 222
.727 248 207
.636 265 230
.364 223 262
Pct. PF PA
.909 351 191
.455 248 270
.455 258 276
.182 172 267
SOUTHLAND
UCLA 75, Cal St. Bakersfield 66
Arizona 91, Long Beach St. 56
S. Utah 88, Pepperdine 82
UC Irvine 112, Whittier 65
WEST
Gonzaga 103, Incarnate Word 68
Nevada 98, Illinois St. 68
Stanford 70, Montana 54
UC Davis 56, N. Colorado 51
EAST
Albany (N.Y.) 75, Colgate 69
Binghamton 85, Delaware St. 64
Boston U. 70, New Hampshire 69
Buffalo 106, Niagara 87
Drexel 68, Lafayette 67
E. Tenn. St. 82, Fordham 77
George Washington 73, Morgan St. 66
Lehigh 85, Princeton 76
Providence 88, Rider 84
Quinnipiac 68, Massachusetts 66
Sacred Heart 87, Mass. Lowell 80
St. Joseph’s 83, Bucknell 70
St. Bonaventure 75, Siena 55
St. Francis (Pa.) 100, American U. 89
St. Peter’s 77, Fairleigh Dickinson 53
Stony Brook 101, Shawnee State 58
Connecticut 77, Columbia 73, OT
Villanova 90, Penn 62
Yale 84, Bryant 67
SOUTH
Alabama 77, Louisiana Tech 74
Fla. International 79, Florida National 61
Florida Gulf Coast 115, Webber International 61
George Mason 76, James Madison 72
Georgia St. 63, Alabama A&M 53
Hampton 117, Mid-Atlantic Christian 54
Kent St. 79, Norfolk St. 70
LSU 84, Tenn. Martin 60
N.C. State 85, Penn St. 78
North Carolina 86, Michigan 71
North Florida 84, E. Michigan 81, OT
Northwestern St. 67, Lyon College 56
South Alabama 69, Southern Miss. 58
Southern U. 92, Wiley 69
Tennessee 84, Mercer 60
Tennessee Tech 86, Lipscomb 80
Brown 82, Holy Cross 78
Bucknell 64, Binghamton 59
Columbia 68, Boston College 60
Delaware 53, St. Bonaventure 52
Fordham 54, Manhattan 48
Georgetown 77, Fla. International 56
La Salle 66, Penn 59
Lehigh 75, Mount St. Mary’s 71
New Hampshire 64, Colby-Sawyer 40
Oakland 83, Canisius 48
Providence 55, Yale 51
Robert Morris 84, Youngstown St. 52
Siena 73, Colgate 70
Temple 69, St. Joseph’s 66
Villanova 62, Princeton 59
Wisconsin 58, Pittsburgh 57
SOUTH
Auburn 67, La. Monroe 41
Austin Peay 97, Ark. Pine Bluff 61
E. Tenn. St. 96, Murray St. 68
George Mason 82, Md.-Eastern Shore 68
IUPUI 80, Memphis 57
Mississippi 65, Middle Tenn. 56
North Carolina 88, Minnesota 83
Savannah St. 71, Georgia Southern 67
Tulane 70, McNeese St. 66
UNC-Wilmington 83, VCU 67
William & Mary 78, Richmond 64
MIDWEST
Ball St. 87, Butler 75
Kansas 63, Mo. Kansas City 48
N. Illinois 76, Bradley 52
Notre Dame 83, Michigan 63
Vanderbilt 74, St. Louis 69
Wichita St. 72, Missouri St. 58
Xavier 62, Fort Wayne 50
SOUTHWEST
Arkansas 79, Abilene Christian 65
North Texas 47, SMU 40
Oral Roberts 53, Tulsa 41
Texas A&M CC 71, Rio Grande 41
Texas Southern 77, Sam Houston St. 58
Massachusetts 64, Incarnate Word 45
ROCKIES
Colorado 108, N. Dakota St. 59
Colorado Christian 68, Air Force 66
Montana St. 50, Wyoming 46
Tulane 81, Alcorn St. 65
Vermont 71, Richmond 65
William & Mary 114, Marshall 104
Winthrop 93, Furman 74
MIDWEST
Auburn 73, Dayton 60
Bowling Green 85, San Jose St. 79
Clemson 79, Ohio St. 65
Cleveland St. 75, Arkansas St. 72
Duke 91, Indiana 81
Indiana St. 74, Air Force 64
Kansas St. 77, Oral Roberts 68
Marquette 95, Chicago St. 69
Miami 86, Minnesota 81
Miami (Ohio) 123, Midway 40
Milwaukee 75, N. Illinois 62
N. Iowa 77, Nevada Las Vegas 68, OT
Nebraska 71, Boston College 62
Nebraska-Omaha 75, Drake 73
Robert Morris 81, Youngstown St. 74
S. Illinois 86, SIU-Edwardsville 59
SOUTHWEST
Houston 75, New Orleans 66
Oklahoma St. 79, Austin Peay 63
TCU 87, Belmont 76
Texas 82, Florida A&M 58
Texas Arlington 69, Rice 49
ROCKIES
BYU 85, Utah Valley 58
Denver 88, Wyoming 78
Montana St. 98, Bethesda 61
New Mexico 78, Evansville 59
WOMEN
AP TOP 25
No. 3 Notre Dame 83, No. 22 Michigan 63
No. 6 Mississippi St. 94, La. Lafayette 37
No. 14 Florida St. 84, Iowa 93
No. 15 Maryland 60, Virginia 59
No. 16 Stanford 86, San Francisco 66
No. 18 Texas A&M 82, Rice 76
No. 25 Villanova 62, Princeton 55
SOUTHLAND
San Diego St. 77, San Diego 76
EAST
Army 71, Dartmouth 56
Boston U. 78, Bryant 61
W L
6 5
5 6
5 6
3 8
W L
9 2
6 5
5 6
0 11
W L
7 4
7 4
4 7
3 8
W L
9 2
6 5
4 7
4 7
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
Pct. PF PA
.545 272 236
.455 249 202
.455 225 261
.273 197 280
Pct. PF PA
.818 258 193
.545 236 187
.455 199 215
.000 166 289
Pct. PF PA
.636 242 269
.636 269 168
.364 283 285
.273 195 300
Pct. PF PA
.818 325 220
.545 224 260
.364 228 257
.364 174 289
Today’s Game
Washington at Dallas, 5:15 p.m.
THE ODDS
vers’ new head coach. ... Herm Edwards is in line to
become Arizona State’s next football coach, pending approval of the university president, the AssociCOLLEGE BASKETBALL
ated Press reported.
Brady sits out with injury
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
T
0
0
0
0
AMERICAN CONFERENCE
West
Kansas City
CHARGERS
Oakland
Denver
North
Pittsburgh
Baltimore
Cincinnati
Cleveland
South
Tennessee
Jacksonville
Houston
Indianapolis
East
New England
Buffalo
N.Y. Jets
Miami
That’s Tiger Woods, whose ranking has plummeted as he has
Washington’s co-offensive coordinator Jonathan battled injuries. He played Wednesday in the pro-am of the World
Smith has been hired by Oregon State to be the Bea- Hero Challenge, which begins Thursday in the Bahamas.
ETC.
W L
8 3
7 4
5 6
1 10
W L
9 2
6 5
5 6
3 8
W L
8 3
8 3
7 4
4 7
W L
10 1
5 6
5 6
2 9
College Football
Friday
Favorite
USC
Saturday
Favorite
at Georgia St.
at Appala. St.
Ga. Southern
Troy
at New Mex.St.
at Fla. Atlantic
at Central Fla.
Toledo
Auburn
at Boise St.
Clemson
Ohio St.
at Fla. Internat.
at Florida St.
Oklahoma
Line (O/U)
4 (59)
Underdog
Stanford
Line (O/U)
Underdog
6 (46)
Idaho
1
15 (59 ⁄2)
La. Lafayette
1
1
2 ⁄2 (52 ⁄2) at Coast. Caro.
1 (60)
at Arkansas St.
91⁄2 (54)
S. Alabama
1
North Texas
11 (73 ⁄2)
7 (82)
Memphis
1
1
Akron
21 ⁄2 (57 ⁄2)
1
2 ⁄2 (48)
Georgia
8 (50)
Fresno St
91⁄2 (461⁄2)
Miami
61⁄2 (52)
Wisconsin
1 (551⁄2)
Massachusetts
261⁄2 (641⁄2)
La. Monroe
7 (631⁄2)
TCU
Pro Football
Today
Favorite
Line (O/U)
Underdog
at Dallas
Washington
2 (451⁄2)
Sunday
Favorite
Line (O/U)
Underdog
at CHARGERS 131⁄2 (421⁄2)
Cleveland
RAMS
7 (45)
at Arizona
Detroit
at Baltimore
21⁄2 (43)
at Chicago
3 (401⁄2)
San Francisco
at Atlanta
3 (471⁄2)
Minnesota
New England
9 (481⁄2)
at Buffalo
at Miami
Denver
11⁄2 (38)
at Tennessee
61⁄2 (43)
Houston
at Jacksonville
91⁄2 (41)
Indianapolis
at Green Bay
Tampa Bay
11⁄2 (44)
Kansas City
3 (44)
at N.Y. Jets
at New Orleans 41⁄2 (48)
Carolina
at Oakland
9 (411⁄2)
N.Y. Giants
Philadelphia
6 (47)
at Seattle
Monday
Favorite
Line (O/U)
Underdog
Pittsburgh
51⁄2 (43)
at Cincinnati
Updates at Pregame.com
—Associated Press
TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL
Oakland—Agreed to terms with outfielder
Jake Smolinski on a one-year contract.
PRO FOOTBALL
Arizona—Signed running back Bronson Hill
from the practice squad, and running back Darius Victor to the practice squad.
Chicago—Claimed
linebacker
Lamarr
Houston off waivers from Houston.
Detroit—Released linebacker Thurston
Armbrister from the practice squad; signed defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga to the practice
squad.
Green Bay—Signed linebacker Ahmad
Thomas to the practice squad.
Houston—Put offensive tackle Chris Clark and
fullback Ben Heeney on injured reserve; waived
linebacker Lamarr Houston; announced that
linebacker Brian Cushing had been granted a
roster exemption after he had been reinstated
from the reserve/suspended list; signed linebackers LaTroy Lewis and Gimel President and
guard Chad Slade from the practice squad;
signed quarterback Taylor Heinicke, tight end
Ryan Malleck and wide receiver DeAndrew White
to the practice squad.
N.Y. Giants—Put cornerback Janoris Jenkins
on injured reserve; signed defensive tackle Khyri
Thornton.
Oakland—Signed wide receiver Isaac
Whitney; signed wide receiver Tevaun Smith to
the practice squad.
San Francisco—Put offensive lineman Erik
Magnuson and running back Raheem Mostert on
injured reserve; released defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu from the practice squad; signed
offensive lineman Tim Barnes to a one-year contract; signed running back Jeremy McNichols
from the practice squad and linebacker Boseko
Lokombo and cornerback Channing Stribling to
the practice squad.
Tampa Bay—Put offensive tackle Demar Dotson and center Ali Marpet on injured reserve;
signed cornerback Deji Olatoye; signed tight end
Alan Cross, defensive end Patrick O'Connor and
wide receiver Bobo Wilson from the practice
squad.
HOCKEY
Arizona—Called up defenseman Andrew
Campbell from Tucson (AHL).
Calgary—Put forward Kris Versteeg on injured
reserve, retroactive to Nov. 25; called up forward
Garnet Hathaway from Stockton (AHL).
Vegas—Signed defenseman Brayden McNabb
to a four-year extension.
Washington—Sent defenseman Aaron Ness
to Hershey (AHL).
SOCCER
Atlanta United—Signed defenseman Greg
Garza to a multiyear contract.
Colorado—Hired Anthony Hudson as coach.
D.C. United—Exercised its options on midfielders Luciano Acosta and Nick DeLeon, defenders Taylor Kemp, Kofi Opare and Jalen Robinson, and goalkeeper Travis Worra.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
East Carolina—Announced the resignation of
coach Jeff Lebo; promoted assistant coach
Michael Perry to coach.
Providence—Announced that forward Emmitt
Holt had taken a leave of absense.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Mississippi State—Hired Joe Moorhead as
coach.
SOCCER
INTERNATIONAL
ENGLAND
Premier League
Chelsea 1, Swansea 0
Bournemouth 1, Burnley 2
Arsenal 5, Huddersfield 0
Man City 2, Southampton 1
Stoke 0, Liverpool 3
Everton 4, West Ham 0
FRANCE
Ligue 1
Nantes 1, Monaco 0
Angers 1, Rennes 2
Metz 0, Marseille 3
Toulouse 1, Nice 2
Guingamp 0, Montpellier 0
Lyon 1, Lille 2
PSG 2, Troyes 0
PRO SOCCER
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Conference Championships
Eastern
First leg
Toronto 0, Columbus 0
Second leg
Toronto 1, Columbus 0, Toronto advances to final.
Western Conference
First leg
Seattle 2, Houston 0
Second leg
Today: Houston at Seattle, 7:30 p.m.
LOS ALAMITOS ENTRIES
1st day of a 12-day thoroughbred meet.
1001 FIRST RACE (2 p.m.). 51⁄2 furlongs. Starter
allowance. 3-year-olds and up. Purse $15,000.
PR
(9068)
9070
8132
5040
8168
....
Horse (PP)
Pray Hard,5
It’s Just Bob,2
Hot Perfection,1
Vodka Texted You,4
Proudtobesicilian,6
Uptown Street,3
Jockey,Wt
E Roman,X119
B Pena,124
T Baze,122
E Orozco,124
B Boulanger,122
J Sanchez,122
Odds
6-5
2-1
4-1
6-1
10-1
20-1
1002 SECOND RACE. 6 furlongs. Claiming. 3-year-olds
and up. Claiming prices $32,000-$28,000. Purse
$30,000.
Carlos Beltran interviewed to become manager
of the New York Yankees, four weeks after the
final game of his 20-year major league career.
PR
3265
8131
8131
(8131)
9020
9020
Horse (PP)
Well Measured,4
Los Borrachos,6
Logan’s Moon,1
Best Two Minutes,3
New Karma,2
Chief of Staff,5
Jockey,Wt
T Baze,122
E Maldonado,122
E Roman,X117
R Bejarano,124
T Conner,122
S Elliott,122
Odds
2-1
5-2
3-1
7-2
8-1
15-1
The Toronto Blue Jays plan to honor the late Roy
Halladay in a ceremony before their season opener
against the Yankees on March 29, 2018.
1003 THIRD RACE. 51⁄2 furlongs. Maiden claiming.
2-year-olds. Claiming prices $50,000-$40,000. State
bred. Purse $21,000.
PR
9013
8151
8136
9013
9013
....
....
....
....
9013
Horse (PP)
Luke’s On Fire,3
Lipster,8
Catability,4
Time for Cioppino,5
Big Bad Gary,9
Papa Caballero,7
Retts Glory,6
Autismonefortyfive,10
Chiquilin,1
Heat Things Up,2
Jockey,Wt
Odds
J Talamo,122
9-5
E Maldonado,118
5-2
Mt Garcia,122
5-1
K Frey,118
8-1
B Boulanger,122
10-1
S Elliott,122
10-1
E Roman,X113
10-1
J Sanchez,122
20-1
E Hernandez,122
20-1
S Risenhoover,122 20-1
1004 FOURTH RACE. 1 mile. Claiming. 3-year-olds and
up. Claiming prices $12,500-$10,500. Purse $16,000.
PR
9046
9046
9046
1062
8168
9004
9004
8065
Horse (PP)
Go Ghetto,4
Gotta Get Lucky,5
Midnight Harbor,2
Proud of Our Kids,3
Cammy’s Music,6
My Golden One,8
Pick One,7
Picture Tube,1
Jockey,Wt
S Arias,124
S Elliott,124
J Ochoa,121
E Roman,X117
R Fuentes,XX110
A Quinonez,124
J Allen,122
R Higgins,XXX114
Odds
2-1
5-2
4-1
5-1
8-1
12-1
15-1
15-1
1005 FIFTH RACE. 5 furlongs. Claiming. 3-year-olds and
up. Claiming price $8,000. Purse $14,000.
PR
7040
(7040)
5004
4265
8098
5065
7070
9104
Horse (PP)
Cat From Iraq,1
Bargaining,6
Dramatic Angel,8
Carulli,4
Our Nation,7
Shining Hope,2
Wow Its Hot,3
Julia’s Summer,5
Jockey,Wt
J Sanchez,124
B Pena,124
V Bednar,124
M Ramirez,124
R Fuentes,XX117
K Frey,124
M Arana,122
R Higgins,XXX114
Odds
5-2
3-1
4-1
5-1
6-1
8-1
15-1
30-1
1006 SIXTH RACE. 51⁄2 furlongs. Maiden special weight.
2-year-olds. Purse $40,000.
PR
....
....
8142
....
7081
....
....
....
....
8005
9063
Horse (PP)
Vision,10
Optic,1
Alternate Rhythm,8
Gem of a Guy,7
Jonny Be Bueno,9
Shanghai Billy,4
Soltero,6
Goodwillambassador,2
Grand Air,5
Salsa King,3
Also Eligible
Kanthaka,11
Jockey,Wt
M Smith,122
K Desormeaux,122
T Baze,122
E Roman,X117
K Frey,122
R Bejarano,122
D Van Dyke,122
E Maldonado,122
T Pereira,122
B Boulanger,122
Odds
5-2
7-2
9-2
6-1
8-1
8-1
8-1
12-1
20-1
30-1
E Maldonado,122
3-1
1007 SEVENTH RACE. 51⁄2 furlongs. Claiming. Fillies and
mares. 3-year-olds and up. Claiming price $6,250.
Purse $12,000.
PR
9089
6110
7099
9084
8159
8137
8137
7017
....
7065
Horse (PP)
Irish and Lucky,6
Sallyana,2
Forthe Lovof Patty,8
I’m No Patsy,5
Sassy Rose,1
Smil’n From Above,9
Cheese,7
Blooming Hannah,4
Kuuipo,3
Torre Italiana,10
Jockey,Wt
E Hernandez,124
K Frey,124
V Bednar,122
S Arias,124
S Risenhoover,122
B Pena,124
E Garcia,124
B Boulanger,124
M Arana,124
E Payeras,XXX114
Odds
5-2
3-1
9-2
8-1
8-1
8-1
12-1
15-1
15-1
20-1
1008 EIGHTH RACE. 1 mile. Claiming. 3-year-olds and
up. Claiming prices $8,000-$7,000. Purse $14,000.
PR
9004
9085
9004
9004
9046
7076
9046
7082
7096
Horse (PP)
Harrovian,5
Bow and Arrow,1
Alpha Uno,8
I Crushed It,6
Lucky Patrick,2
Big Bad Batman,9
Summer Buddha,3
Do Some Magic,7
Mr. Araiza,4
Jockey,Wt
T Baze,119
B Pena,119
S Arias,119
T Conner,119
G Franco,121
S Iniguez,119
A Quinonez,119
F Martinez,121
E Payeras,XXX109
Odds
5-2
3-1
7-2
4-1
5-1
20-1
20-1
30-1
30-1
E
CALENDAR
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 1 7 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / C A L E N D A R
SUNDANCE FILM
FESTIVAL
Lineup
reflects
society,
culture
in flux
The 2018 program is
in line with a moment
of upheaval for the
industry and beyond.
By Mark Olsen
In film circles these days
it’s hard to separate what’s
going on in the real world
from what’s happening on
screen. Socially relevant
topics such as diversity and
abuse of power are fueling
filmmakers and factoring in
selections by major film festivals.
So issues of inclusion, diversity and abuse of power
run through the Sundance
Film Festival’s choices for its
2018 feature films programs,
announced on Wednesday.
All told, 110 feature films have
been selected for the festival,
which runs Jan. 18-28 in Park
City, Utah.
Among the films chosen
for the high-profile Premieres section are Brad Anderson’s “Beirut” starring
Jon Hamm and Rosamund
Pike; Ben Lewin’s “The
Catcher Was a Spy” featuring Paul Rudd; Joshua
Marston’s “Come Sunday”
starring Chiwetel Ejiofor;
David Zellner and Nathan
Zellner’s “Damsel” with
Robert Pattinson; and Gus
Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He
Won’t Get Far on Foot.”
Also among the premieres is Jesse Peretz’s
“Juliet, Naked” starring
Rose Byrne and Claire McCarthy’s “Ophelia” with Daisy Ridley. “Winter’s Bone”
filmmaker Debra Granik
returns to the festival with
what is billed as the “Untitled Debra Granik Project.”
The festival’s director of
programming Trevor Groth
pointed out this week that
many of the titles in the U.S.
Dramatic Competition feature complicated, rich female lead performances,
with Maggie Gyllenhaal in
“The Kindergarten Teacher,” Chloë Sevigny in
“Lizzie,”
Chloë
Grace
Moretz in “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” Andrea Riseborough in “Nancy,” Laura Dern in “The
Tale” and Carey Mulligan in
“Wildlife.”
A number of other competition titles include male
African American performers in the lead such as Jason
Mitchell in “Tyrel,” Lakeith
Stanfield in “Sorry to Bother
You,” Kelvin Harrison Jr.
and Jeffrey Wright in “Monster,” John David Washington in “Monsters and Men,”
and Daveed Diggs in “Blindspotting.” In “Burden,” Gar[See Sundance, E2]
Michael Nagle
KEEPING it light — and very New York (check out that skyline) — are “Mrs. Maisel’s” Alex Borstein, left, and Rachel Brosnahan.
Fast-talking charm
Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein add pluck and moxie
to Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
By Meredith Blake
NEW YORK — Rachel Brosnahan and Alex
Borstein, stars of the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” are posing for photos on a
window sill overlooking Midtown Manhattan as
a swarm of stone-faced handlers looks on.
In an effort to lighten the mood, Brosnahan,
who plays a housewife-turned-comedian in the
series, tells a joke — but, as she warns preemptively, it’s a British joke.
“Why did the lobster blush?” she asks. “Because the sea weed.”
The punchline is met with silence, then a few
delayed groans of realization. But Borstein is
baffled: “I don’t get it at all.”
Luckily, the jokes land more successfully in
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which premiered
Wednesday and hails from Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, the husband-andwife team behind the hit “Gilmore Girls” and its
recent Netflix revival. To fans of Sherman-Palladino’s screwball banter, the fast-talking ladies
of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will be happily
familiar, even if the period setting is new.
Brosnahan plays Miriam “Midge” Maisel, an
immaculately coiffed Jewish mother of two living
in a rambling Upper West Side apartment in
1958. She is, as Sherman-Palladino puts it, “the
queen of her six blocks.”
Nicole Rivelli
BROSNAHAN plays housewife-turned-
comedian Midge Maisel in the series.
Then, Midge’s idyllic domestic bubble is suddenly burst when her husband leaves her for his
secretary, and she discovers an untapped gift for
stand-up comedy. Susie Myerson (Borstein), a
gruff bartender at the fabled Gaslight Cafe in
Greenwich Village, spots her potential and becomes her mentor and manager.
The series follows the quick-witted Midge’s
unlikely journey as a trailblazing female comedian and her even more unlikely friendship with
Susie, a potty-mouthed bohemian who eats
baked beans for dinner and dresses like Marlon
Brando from “The Wild One.” Sherman-Palladino wanted the comedy to have a strong, female-buddy element. With her stars, she’s
clearly found her Mary and Rhoda.
The writer-director also feels liberated by her
move to streaming platforms — first Netflix and
now Amazon, which has already ordered a second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” “I’m
always going to write certain kinds of women,”
she says by phone from her Brooklyn home, “and
those are just impossible shows on a broadcast
network.”
During their interview, the actresses — who
both grew up in the Chicago suburb of Highland
Park — demonstrate a sisterly camaraderie.
One a comedy veteran, the other an ingenue on
the rise, they gush ecstatically about their Shake
Shack burgers in between more substantive ex[See ‘Mrs. Maisel,’ E5]
THEATER REVIEW
Despite stellar cast, it’s space junk
Amy Schumer and
Keegan-Michael Key
can’t make Steve
Martin’s play shine.
CHARLES McNULTY
THEATER CRITIC
Directors
roundtable
Filmmakers discuss
how they use movies
to fight hatred and
violence. The Envelope
Sci-fi thriller a
rich exploration
Netflix’s German
import “Dark” lives
up to its name in
drawing out chills. E8
Comics ................... E6-7
TV grid ...................... E8
NEW YORK — A fascinating experiment is underway on Broadway. A substandard comedy that received, let’s just say, mixed
reviews out of town has been
recast with fashionably hip
actors in a new production
testing whether contemporary star power can override
feeble playwriting.
When Steve Martin’s
“Meteor Shower” had its
world premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe last year in a
co-production with Connecticut’s Long Wharf Theatre, I remembered being almost in disbelief that a work
this half-baked was being
produced not just by one but
by two venerable nonprofit
theaters. Martin’s celebrity
[See ‘Meteor,’ E4]
Matthew Murphy
KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY, left, Jeremy Shamos, Amy Schumer and Laura Benanti star in “Meteor Shower.”
E2
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
Sundance program reflects transition
[Sundance, from E1]
rett Hedlund plays a KKK
member who has a change in
his beliefs after being taken
in by an African American
pastor played by Forest
Whitaker.
The documentary category features profiles of a
number of notable Americans, including Jane Fonda
(“Jane Fonda in Five Acts”),
Gloria
Allred
(“Seeing
Allred”), Joan Jett (“Bad
Reputation”), Fred Rogers
(“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”), Hal Ashby (“Hal”),
Robin Williams (“Robin
Williams: Come Inside My
Mind”) and Ruth Bader
Ginsburg (“RBG.”)
The Documentary Premieres section also includes
Amy Adrion’s “Half the Picture” on gender equality in
Hollywood and the ongoing
struggles of female filmmakers within the industry.
“We’ve
been
talking
about how independent film
is progressing so quickly,”
said festival director John
Cooper, noting changes both
in technology and content.
“There is a certain kind of
awareness and acceptance
and almost a demand for
stories from alternative
points of view in America.
And that feels like an asset to
us.”
As the nation’s flagship
independent film festival,
Sundance once again finds
itself at the center of multiple crossroads all at once.
Last year’s grand prize winner, “I Don’t Feel at Home in
This World Anymore,” was
the first to belong to a
streaming service, appearing on Netflix less than a
month after the festival. The
2017 edition of the festival
also saw the world premieres
of films dealing with racism
and sexism such as “The Big
Sick,” “Call Me by Your
Name,” “Mudbound” and
“Get Out” — all players in
this year’s film awards season.
The presidential inauguration coincided with last
year’s event as well, bringing
an added resolve and air of
shared purpose and commitment among attendees.
This year the festival will
happen amid the evolving
revelations of sexual harass-
Sife Eddine El Amine Sundance Institute
“BEIRUT,” part of Sundance’s Premieres section, stars Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm, center, and Dean Norris.
Dusan Martincek Sundance Institute
Tina Rowden Sundance Institute
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR preaches in “Come Sunday”
THE HIGH-PROFILE Premieres slate includes Ben
by Joshua Marston, a Sundance Premieres pick.
Lewin’s “The Catcher Was a Spy,” with Paul Rudd.
ment and abuse within the
entertainment industry.
Cooper said the festival is
still exploring ways to address the issue, including a
code of conduct that had
long applied to staff and volunteers being expanded to
include the whole festival
population. “I feel a responsibility to have community
around this,” Cooper said.
Reed Morano recently
screen,” Morano said this
week from Dublin, where she
is already in production on
another feature.
If the festival’s organizers
have found themselves unexpectedly responding to
cultural shifts, filmmakers
too have seen their work take
on new and expanded meaning in the face of the current
political environment.
In “The Miseducation of
won an Emmy for directing
on Hulu’s series “The Handmaid’s Tale” and now the
second feature film she has
directed will be her first to
play at Sundance — “I Think
We’re Alone Now” starring
Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, appearing in the U.S.
Dramatic Competition.
“Ultimately I think my
heart lies with cinema and
seeing something on a big
Cameron Post,” director and
co-screenwriter
Desiree
Akhavan and her producer
and co-screenwriter Cecilia
Frugiuele adapted the novel
by Emily Danforth, a story of
teenage gay conversion therapy.
“It felt so relevant to both
of us in a lot of ways. It covered a lot of subject matter
we wanted to discuss,” Akhavan said. “The election hap-
pened while we were shooting. I remember I kept having
the same conversation, ‘Is
this film relevant, will anybody care?’ And it became
disturbingly relevant as we
made it.”
The 10 films in the Next
section will continue as a
home to some of the festival’s
most offbeat and exciting
discoveries. This year’s selections include “The Wolfpack”
director Crystal Moselle’s
“Skate Kitchen,” Josephine
Decker’s “Madeline’s Madeline” starring Molly Parker
and Miranda July, Jim Hosking’s “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn” starring
Aubrey Plaza, Aneesh Chaganty’s “Search” with John
Cho and Bridey Elliott’s
“Clara’s Ghost” starring
the writer-director alongside
her parents, Chris and Paula
Elliott, and sister Abby Elliott.
Writer-director
Qasim
Basir set out to make a light
romance and what he ended
up with is “A Boy, a Girl, a
Dream,” a romantic drama
set on the night of the 2016
presidential election playing
in the Next section. The film
stars Omari Hardwick and
Meagan Good with a small
role for “black-ish” creator
Kenya Barris.
“We were creating a fun
love story, then the election
happened,” Basir said from
Los Angeles this week. “And
then it hit me so deeply. I just
really have such a strong
feeling about what’s happening in this country right now.
So I just called my producer
and said, ‘What if it’s set
on election night?’ So then
my attempt at making a light
love story became something serious and intense
again.”
That mix of cultural relevance and emotional resonance looks to be the signature feature of the upcoming
festival.
“In truth, in the independent film world, you’re
still looking for excellence in
the biggest terms,” said festival director Cooper. “Boldness, importance to the cultural landscape. And then it
just happens naturally.”
mark.olsen@latimes.com
Twitter: @IndieFocus
QUICK TAKES
Disney casts new Mulan
Disney has enlisted a Chinese actress to star in the title
role of its live-action version of “Mulan.”
Liu Yifei, who also goes by Crystal Liu, will play the
legendary Chinese warrior in the 2019 epic, Walt Disney
Studios announced Wednesday.
Well known in China as a model and singer, the
30-year-old Yifei has appeared in “The Forbidden Kingdom”
and “Outcast.” The studio searched for a year to find the
right Mulan and considered nearly 1,000 candidates.
Niki Caro, who directed “Whale Rider” and “North
Country,” will helm the project, Disney said, and Jason
Reed, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner will produce.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” producer Bill Kong will
be executive producer.
— Nardine Saad
Marvel’s editor
used pen name
Delp belongings
go up for auction
It turns out new Marvel
editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski
has a hidden past: He used
to write for Marvel Comics
under the name Akira
Yoshida.
“I stopped writing under
the
pseudonym
Akira
Yoshida after about a year. It
wasn’t transparent, but it
taught me a lot about writing, communication and
pressure,” Cebulski told
Bleeding Cool.
Cebulski wrote using the
name Yoshida partly because of Marvel policy at
that time preventing staff
from writing or drawing in
Marvel titles (for extra pay).
— Tracy Brown
Fans of the rock band
Boston can get more than a
feeling at an upcoming auction. They can get their
hands on the personal belongings of late lead singer
Brad Delp.
Delp’s concert grand piano, an electric guitar, silver
glitter platform stage shoes
and even his New Hampshire driver’s license are
among the items for sale by
Boston-based RR Auction
starting Dec. 7.
The belongings are from
the personal collection of
Delp’s wife, Micki Delp, and
their two children. Delp
killed himself in 2007.
Keillor’s firing
shocks Thile
The musician who took
over hosting “A Prairie
Home Companion” when
Garrison Keillor retired last
year says he’s “in shock” after Keillor was fired for alleged improper behavior.
Chris Thile was Keillor’s
handpicked successor as
host of the popular radio
show. Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Wednesday it
had terminated contracts
with Keillor.
Thile later tweeted that
he knew nothing about the
accusation. The mandolinist says he trusts “that the
proper steps are being taken.” MPR says an outside
law firm is investigating.
— associated press
— associated press
Nothing rotten
about this ‘Lady’
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, “Lady Bird,” has
broken a Rotten Tomatoes
record: It has accumulated
the longest run of positive
reviews ever recorded by the
movie website.
As of Tuesday morning,
the film found itself at 170
fresh reviews and counting,
with an overall rating of 8.9
out of 10 from critics and no
“rotten” reviews.
Before
“Lady
Bird”
earned its 164th consecutive
positive review Monday, the
Rotten Tomatoes title was
held by 1999’s “Toy Story 2.”
— Christie D’Zurilla
King Tut’s tomb
takes to the road
Artifacts from King Tut’s
tomb are going on tour next
year to mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of
the Egyptian pharaoh’s resting place.
The California Science
Center says the exhibit,
“King Tut: Treasures of the
Golden Pharaoh,” will go on
view at the Los Angeles museum in March for 10 months
before heading to Europe in
2019 as part of a 10-city international tour.
— associated press
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
E3
POP & HISS
latimes.com/pophiss
5 NIGHTS
OUT
A curated calendar of live
music not to be missed
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
MONDAY
Downtown Boys
The Echoplex
1154 Glendale Blvd.
$10.50, 8:30 p.m.
Valerie June
The Regent
448 S. Main St.
$22.50, 8 p.m.
Dag Nasty
The Echo
1822 Sunset Blvd.
$17.50
Steve Weisberg &
Orchestra feat. Mia Doi
Todd, Petra Haden, more
Zebulon
$20, 8 p.m.
Naomi Punk,
Gun Outfit, more
Resident
428 S. Hewitt
$12, 8 p.m.
GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
Chesney enjoys
first solo nod
By Sarah Rodman
Given that he routinely
fills stadiums and has notched 30 No. 1 hits, it’s a pleasant
surprise for Kenny Chesney
to still be experiencing firsts
in his 20-plus-year career.
Tuesday morning he celebrated his first solo Grammy
nomination: best country album for “Cosmic Hallelujah.”
“To me, the Grammys
represent the best of what all
music is,” Chesney exclusively told The Times. “It’s
everyone who makes music ...
coming together as one big
family — and really considering the best of the year.”
The Tennessee native has
five previous nominations,
including nods for duets with
Pink (2016’s “Setting the
World on Fire”) and Grace
Potter (“You and Tequila”
from 2011). But all were either
in the duo/group or collaboration categories, so this solo
recognition was particularly
meaningful.
That the album also took
risks both creatively and
promotionally makes the
nomination
that
much
sweeter for the 49-year-old
singer-songwriter.
While
“Cosmic Hallelujah” features
its share of good-time party
fare, Chesney says, “’[W]e
also invested in a larger dialogue about our world. Right
now, it seems like that mattered more than a lot of people realized at the time.”
“We defied conventional
wisdom every way possible,”
said Chesney of the album,
noting that, among other
moves, the decision was
made to change the first single to the song “Noise” nine
days before release because
it “felt so topical and urgent.”
That song, a catchy
lament for our informationoverloaded times, hit No. 6
and was followed by two
No. 1s, “Setting the World on
Fire” and “All the Pretty
Girls.”
“This album, I did what I
felt was the right thing to do
for the music. People didn’t
always understand,” said
Chesney, who recently hit
No. 1 on the Billboard 200
with “Live in No Shoes Nation,” a compendium of live
recordings from the last decade.
“But when you can put
songs like ‘Noise’ onto country radio ... and get people to
think about the world
around them, that’s powerful.”
sarah.rodman@latimes.com
M. SHADOWS
fronts Avenged
Sevenfold, finally a
Grammy nominee.
Yasuyoshi Chiba AFP / Getty Images
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
KENNY Chesney at the Stagecoach festival in April.
Listen up to these
revived recordings
By Randall Roberts
Old music doesn’t get
much play during Grammy
season for obvious reasons.
Excepting the centuries-old
composers whose work is
represented in the classical
categories — nothing personal, Gustav Mahler — the
annual honors don’t have
much time for the thriving
world of reissued and undiscovered music.
So we find it worthy to celebrate five resurrected recordings that leaped across
borders and decades to earn
attention now.
Issued by noted archival
company
the
Numero
Group, “Bobo Yeye: Belle
Epoque in Upper Volta”
gathers 1970s music from the
central African country now
known as Burkina Faso.
Mixing jazz, funk, French
“ye-ye” and R&B and fusing
it with rhythms born in Africa, the acts on the three-disc
package include such nearly
lost-to-time bands as Dafra
Star, Echo Del Africa, Volta
Jazz, and Les Imbattables
Léopards. Equally thrilling is
the 120-page book, which features astounding photos of
the era by Sory Sanlé.
Few recordings of the 20th
century have resonated as pianist Glenn Gould’s recorded interpretations of J.S.
Bach’s “The Goldberg Variations.” Then 22, Gould was
propelled to international
fame upon its release.
What many didn’t realize
was how many takes Gould
made on his way to the finished collection. “The Goldberg Variations: The Complete Unreleased Recording
Sessions June 1955” (Sony
Classical) gathers those
takes and illustrates the extent of Gould’s perfectionism. There are more than 300
of them.
“Leonard Bernstein —
the Composer” (Sony Classical) presents the complete
works of the famed conductor-composer on 25 compact
discs, and spans his entire
career. Included are remastered versions of Bernstein’s
long-running
“Bernstein
Conducts Bernstein” series
as well as his masses, symphonies, works for ballet —
and everything else.
That the music on “Sweet
as Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes From the Horn
of Africa” survived is something of a miracle. On the
brink of civil war in the late
1980s, archivists in charge of a
vast collection of Somali music smuggled thousands of
recordings from across the
years to safe harbor in neighboring countries.
According
to
album
notes, the tapes were buried
to withstand airstrikes until
they were relocated to safety
at the Red Sea Foundation in
current-day
Somaliland.
New York imprint Ostinato
digitized a range of those
tapes and selected the most
intriguing for this collection.
The oft-nominated vintage music label Dust-toDigital is known for its dedication to lesser-known corners of global music, and its
focus on a Texas gospel-blues
preacher and singer for
“Washington Phillips and
His Manzarene Dreams”
earned the group its current
nomination.
Unlike most pre-war
blues artists, Phillips didn’t
play the guitar. Rather, he
played a manzarene, a
zither-like instrument with
an unearthly sound. With a
book featuring Grammynominated notes by co-producer Michael Corcoran, the
release illuminates a nearly
forgotten master.
randall.roberts@latimes.com
A new ‘Stage’
for metal band
BY RANDALL ROBERTS >>> Nonbelievers may guffaw, but perhaps Avenged Sevenfold wasn’t
fated to possess a Grammy until the Huntington Beach metal band issued its seventh album — therefore avenging past oversights. ¶ The hard-rock quintet, birthed in 1999, has
been grinding riffs and gathering fans through albums including “Sounding the Seventh
Trumpet,” “City of Evil,” “Nightmare” and “Hail to the King.” But only with its 2016 album
“The Stage” did the band draw the attention of Recording Academy voters. ¶ Maybe it
was the album’s conceptual underpinnings, which address current-day issues involving
progress, religion, technology and the very question of life itself. Or maybe it’s an acknowledgment that Avenged Sevenfold, nearly two decades into its career, is just hitting its
stride. ¶ The band is nominated in the rock song category for the title track from “The
Stage.” ¶ Singer and Avenged Sevenfold co-founder Matt Sanders, who performs as M.
Shadows, spoke with The Times after he learned of the Grammy nod. The following has
been edited for length and clarity.
It was surprising to learn that
Avenged Sevenfold had never
earned a nomination. Congratulations.
Yeah, you know, every year the
nominations have come out, and
we’ve had some pretty big records,
and every year we’ve never gotten
anything. So we kind of wrote it off
as, “We’re probably never going to get
one, and that’s the way it is.” So it
was a nice surprise.
“The Stage” is a concept album.
Can you talk about its underlying
story?
I call it a “conceptual album”
because there’s not really a story
there like Queensryche’s “Operation:
Mindcrime” or the Who’s “Tommy.”
The record really goes to the human
experience — one foot based in scientific things that we’re dealing with
now, like artificial intelligence and
space exploration and where we’re
going as a human race — some of the
big questions that are going to have
to be answered. On the last track, we
had Neil deGrasse Tyson do a monologue that he’d written for it.
How did you introduce “The Stage”
to your fans?
We were getting extremely bored
with the bread-crumb release strategy — put out one song, then two
songs. The way streaming is now,
once the record comes out, people
have been listening to four or five
songs and the whole record’s out
there and there are opinions out
there. And when you’re dealing with
a conceptual record like this, we
Jason DeCrow Associated Press
THE BAND — Zacky Vengeance, left, Johnny Christ, Shadows and
Synyster Gates — gathers on MTV’s “Total Request Live” in 2006.
really wanted people to hear the
whole thing.
So one day we dropped the video
for “The Stage,” which is the song
that’s nominated, and then two
weeks later, just out of the blue, we
played a show on top of Capitol
Records and the record came out.
But it was a tough sell for the rock
fans. They didn’t really know what to
think of it, and we don’t really have
the social media presence of a Beyoncé, with 90 million followers. But
the tour did extremely well, and now
we’ve got a Grammy nod for it. So
you take the good with the bad. We’re
really happy about it — today.
Does the nomination feel like a
validation?
It’s coming at a good time for us. I
think when we were younger, all
these things were, like — we don’t
care about the awards, we were just
kind of out there.
And I think some perspective on
our career and perspective on how
these things work, we’re just really
grateful at this point in our lives to be
able to get the nod and show up. And
it’s rock song, so it’s a televised
award, and we’re really grateful for
that.
And to be in there with Foo Fighters and Metallica and all those
bands, we’re just excited. We’re going
against some Goliaths, but it’s not
about the win. We’re just really
happy to be recognized.
randall.roberts@latimes.com
Twitter: @LilEdit
E4
T H U R S DAY , N OV E M B E R 30 , 2 017
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
Stars
can’t
help
play
[‘Meteor,’ from E1]
goes a long way, I said to myself on the drive back to L.A.,
never suspecting that Broadway producers and top-tier
talents from the worlds of
comedy and theater would
also be seduced by this bill of
goods.
The play, which had its official opening Wednesday at
the Booth Theatre, is now
under the direction of Jerry
Zaks. No one who has seen his
blissful revival of “Hello,
Dolly!” with Bette Midler
could deny his sparkling way
with levity, though the cards
are stacked against him here.
“Meteor Shower” racked
up quite a hefty box-office advance, thanks to the casting
of comedy titans Amy
Schumer
and
KeeganMichael Key. Big names can
sell anything, sight unseen.
No news there. But the other
two cast members, Tony winner Laura Benanti and ace
utility
player
Jeremy
Shamos, suggest that the
producers are aiming for
more than a commercial hit.
Why else would this lucrative
sheet cake get gourmet icing?
I can understand how
Schumer and Key, both of
whom are making their
Broadway debuts, could misjudge a script, especially one
that plays like an elaborate
sketch by a comedy legend
they no doubt revere. But I
was surprised that Benanti
and Shamos weren’t more
discerning.
Their attraction to the
material made more sense
when I saw them gleefully
jesting and joshing with
Schumer and Key. Merry
madcaps with prestigious
Broadway credits, Benanti
and Shamos have no trouble
holding their own with more
experienced clowns.
The laughter is definitely
more raucous on Broadway
than it was in San Diego. The
daffy non-sequiturs are delivered with lunatic aplomb.
Everything is crisper, including the modern Californian
home in Ojai (designed by
Beowulf Boritt to tickle
Broadway theatergoers’ fetish for flashy real estate).
The blasts of Beethoven and
the jaunty celestial displays
between scenes accentuate
the briskness of Zaks’ staging.
But the play is still the
play, which is to say it’s barely
a play at all. “Meteor Shower”
is really a collection of funny
(in both senses of the word)
lines, packaged together with
a few conceptual ideas tossed
about in a manner that can
seem random even if there’s
an all-too-tidy explanation
written into this new version
of the script.
Norm (Shamos), who’s
married to Corky (Schumer),
Matthew Murphy
ACTRESS AMY SCHUMER shook up a “Meteor Shower” audience in New York.
has invited another couple
for the evening to view what
promises to be a spectacular
meteor shower from their Architectural
Digest-ready
home. Norm plays tennis
with Gerald (Key) but
doesn’t really know his wife,
Laura (Benanti), whom
Corky is unnerved to find out
was once a West Coast editor
at Vogue. These well-off combatants are primed for a battle of the lifestyles.
Different versions of the
evening play out, the events
growing more outlandish
with each turn. Competition
about home décor, sex appeal and therapeutic well-being breaks through the surface with a hatchet. Gerald
and Laura, swingers on a
mission, are the predators.
But their prey turns out to
have sharp fangs too.
Cannibalism (a skeleton
in Corky’s closet) is one of
many running gags in a piece
that lurches from savage Edward Albee-esque party
games to “Saturday Night
Live” surrealism. If a character were to wear Martin’s signature headpiece arrow or affect his wild and crazy guy accent, it would hardly seem
out of place. Gerald starts
shooting up drugs with the
casualness of a guy sneaking
a few puffs of a cigarette,
Laura decides that she’s now
from Tierra del Fuego and,
boy, those meteors are getting awfully close to Earth.
The enjoyment of the actors compensates (to a degree) for the deficiencies in
the writing. It’s best to approach “Meteor Shower”
with a Zen-like immersion in
the nutty moment.
Schumer incites happy
tittering the moment she
walks onstage. Corky has a
few lines that would sound
right at home on the actress’
Comedy Central series, “In-
side Amy Schumer.” “You
want a pre-wine?” she asks
Norm, explaining that this is
the “wine before the wine,”
which of course doesn’t
count. Schumer has fun enacting the touchy-feely couples-therapy rituals when
Corky and Norm hurt each
other’s feelings, but her character is more Ethel Mertz
than
Lucy
Ricardo.
Schumer’s bug-eyed reactions gauge the absurdity.
Benanti, whose performance is of a piece with the hilarious impersonation of
Melania Trump she performed on Stephen Colbert’s
talk show, plays Laura as
though she were a telenovela
vixen fired for a lack of subtlety. There’s a fearlessness
to her line of attack that’s invigorating, but all the vamping signifies nothing.
Benanti can’t even take it
seriously: She broke character when Norm, mocking
Gerald’s dithering speech, offers a darn good Porky Pig
impression. Benanti’s uncontrollable laughter incited
Key’s and even induced a fugitive smile from Shamos.
Only Schumer was able to
hold it together in a moment
that might have been more
fun to play than to watch.
Key, who received almost
as much curtain applause
as Schumer, is dressed like a
smug movie director with
a litany of sex scandals
waiting to explode. He’s a
supple physical comedian —
his elongated physique is always poking around for mischief. But Gerald, a nonsensical character, is nothing
more than a composite of
Key’s comic charisma and
Martin’s hit-or-miss outrageousness.
Shamos, the strongest actor in the quartet, replaced
Alan Tudyk, who left the production
for
what
is
euphemistically known as
“creative
differences.”
Shamos’ Norm is the affluent
everyman — a now accepted
Broadway oxymoron — who
can fly off to comic extremes
and return to his nest of normalcy as though nothing out
of the ordinary has happened. Shamos brings a bit of
reality to a comedy that can
sorely use some.
“Meteor Shower” is set in
1993, though not much is
made of the period. Why not
2003 or 2013? Perhaps there’s
a meteorological explanation, but I assumed the chronology reflected just how
long the play has been under
construction. Some works
are better left in the drawer.
Martin is essentially throwing paint on a canvas, hoping
that the figures that accidentally form turn out to have
some import.
The script revisions made
since San Diego clarify that
“Meteor Shower” is intended
to be a zany cautionary tale of
repression. Martin repeats a
Freudian line in case we
doubt the thematic seriousness of his effort: “If you don’t
deal with your subconscious,
it deals with you.”
But the deeper significance of the work may have
to do with the superficiality of
our celebrity culture, which
normalizes
theatergoers
paying top dollar for the privilege of having no artistic experience whatsoever. “Meteor Shower” is a pretext for a
Facebook status update on a
giggly night out when
thought and feeling are held
in abeyance.
Here’s my post: “Another
Broadway night spent with
fellow star-gazers staring
into the empty heavens.”
charles.mcnulty@
latimes.com
Twitter: @charlesmcnulty
WST
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
Nicole Rivelli Amazon
ALEX BORSTEIN , left, plays Susie Myerson to Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge Maisel in the new Amazon series.
On the outside, looking in
[‘Mrs. Maisel,’ from E1]
changes about feminism and
Jewish culture.
“The Marvelous Mrs.
Maisel” is the 26-year-old
Brosnahan’s first major comedic role. Even committed
“House of Cards” fans might
not recognize her from her
Emmy-nominated performance as the ill-fated prostitute Rachel Posner.
“On paper, she was not
necessarily the go-to gal,”
Sherman-Palladino says. “I
only knew her from getting
kidnapped and thrown in the
back of a van and eventually
buried in a ditch. Comedy genius! — what?”
But the actress blew
Sherman-Palladino away in
her audition — despite being
so sick and sweating so profusely that she had to change
her socks halfway through
the session (“I was, like,
starting a new ecosystem in
the room,” jokes Brosnahan.)
“What she really understood more than anybody
else was that the comedy had
to be fueled from a place of
anger,” says Sherman-Palladino, who praises her leading lady as “90% elf.”
In contrast, Borstein, 46,
(“MADtv,” “Family Guy”)
has decades of comedy experience, and she is returning to
the Sherman-Palladino universe, having starred as chef
Sookie St. James in the original pilot for “Gilmore Girls.”
“I’ve been trying to suck
Alex back into my evil vortex
for many, many years,” says
Sherman-Palladino. “I feel
like there’s kind of nothing
she can’t do. Anybody who
tuned into [HBO’s dark comedy ‘Getting On’] saw what a
remarkably understated actress she is.”
Sherman-Palladino created the role of Susie Myerson with Borstein in mind.
Unfortunately, the actress
had relocated to Barcelona
— slightly inconvenient, given that the series would be
filmed in New York. But she
immediately responded to
Bobby Bank GC Images
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO turned to 1950s
stand-up for the new “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
‘The
Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel’
Where: Amazon Prime
When: Any time, starting
Wednesday
Rating: TV-MA (may be
unsuitable for children
under age 17)
Sherman-Palladino with an
irritated,
expletive-laden
text because the project was
simply too good to pass up. “I
really didn’t want to do anything else, but a role for a
woman my age and what I
look like? How could I not do
it?”
The series also represents
a homecoming of sorts for
Sherman-Palladino. Her father, Don Sherman, a come-
dian from the Bronx, used to
regale her with colorful anecdotes from his days in New
York’s early stand-up scene.
“I was living in the San
Fernando Valley — some cruel twist of fate stuck me there,
and I would be hearing about
this place that was all energy
and comedy and intellect and
politics,” Sherman-Palladino
says. “It sounded like Xanadu.”
While Susie and Midge are
entirely fictional, they cross
paths with historical figures
from the era, including comedian Lenny Bruce and activist Jane Jacobs. Both actresses drew from real life in
creating their characters.
Brosnahan looked to female
comics like Phyllis Diller,
Joan Rivers, Jean Carroll and
Moms Mabley, and she
checked out sets at comedy
clubs in New York (though,
no, she hasn’t tried stand-up
herself).
Borstein,
meanwhile,
took inspiration from legendary Hollywood agent Sue
Mengers as well as her own
mother and grandmother,
tough Hungarian immigrants who made their way in
New York. “She’s a pit bull,”
Borstein says of Susie.
The series arrives as a tidal wave of sexual misconduct
allegations circle a number of
men in comedy, including
Louis C.K. and Al Franken, a
senator from Minnesota and
a former star of “Saturday
Night Live.”
As a celebration of pioneering, albeit fictional,
women in show business,
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
feels surprisingly relevant.
“History is told through
the eyes of men about men,”
Brosnahan says. “It’s nice to
be a part of something that in
all these ways should no longer be radical but is.”
Still, Midge makes for a
surprising feminist heroine.
Until her husband announces that he’s leaving her
for his secretary, Midge performs the roles of wife and
mother with cheerful perfectionism, taking her measurements daily and waking up
early every morning to put on
her face — lest her husband
see her looking less than perfect.
“Midge is not a feminist.
She is winning the Model
Woman of This Time award,
and that makes her happy,”
says Brosnahan. Borstein
disagrees: “For 1958, you
would say she was absolutely
an empowered woman who
spoke her mind and ran the
show at home.”
The lively debate continues until Borstein sums it up
in a way no one could dispute:
Midge is plucky, and Susie
has moxie.
“That’s what Season 2 is
called: ‘Plucky and Moxie,’”
Brosnahan quips.
meredith.blake
@latimes.com
Twitter: @MeredithBlake
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COMICS
BRIDGE
By Frank Stewart
“It’s a lost cause,” the
Queen of Diamonds told Alice at the Mad Hatter’s. “My
cousin the Queen of Hearts
will never abide being captured.”
“But Your Majesty knows
that losing a trick can be better than winning one,” Alice
sighed.
“Deal and you’ll see,” the
Queen said. So Alice dealt
and opened one heart. The
Dormouse and the Hatter,
North-South, then bid to
four spades.
Alice carefully led the
queen of hearts, winning.
When dummy hit, Alice saw
that the March Hare, East,
would have to produce a
trick for the defense to have
a chance, but they would
also need two diamonds.
Giving the Queen of Diamonds a nod, Alice shifted to
the queen of diamonds. The
Hatter took dummy’s king,
cashed the A-K of trumps
and started the clubs. The
Hare ruffed the third club to
return a diamond, and Alice
took the nine and ace. Down
one.
Only the queen-of-diamonds shift beats four
spades.
Question: You hold: ♠ A
K 9 3 ♥ 9 ♦ K 7 2 ♣ K J 10 7 4.
You open one club, your
partner bids one spade, you
raise to three spades and he
tries four diamonds. What
do you say?
Answer: Partner’s four
diamonds is an ace-showing
cue bid to invite slam. For
you to cue-bid four hearts or
five diamonds would be defensible, but since this hand
is a minimum for a raise to
three spades, I would sign off
at four spades. If there is a
slam, partner may make another move.
West dealer
N-S vulnerable
NORTH
♠AK93
♥9
♦K72
♣ K J 10 7 4
WEST
EAST
♠7
♠Q64
♥AKQ73
♥ J 10 6 4 2
♦AQ94
♦ 10 6 3
♣852
♣96
SOUTH
♠ J 10 8 5 2
♥85
♦J85
♣AQ3
WEST
NORTH EAST
SOUTH
1♥
Dbl
3♥
3♠
4♥
4♠
All Pass
Opening lead — ♥ Q(!)
2017, Tribune Media
Services
ASK AMY
Photos of dead worry boy
HOROSCOPE
By Holiday Mathis
Aries (March 21-April 19):
What you’re looking for is
out there, but you have to
start asking the right questions to find it.
Taurus (April 20-May
20): Personal disclosures
are, as a rule, unprofessional, and you’re glad about
that. Now if only everyone
else would get the memo.
Gemini (May 21-June 21):
Your conscience will be even
more influential over your
day than usual. Your mind
will hold on to responsibility
until it’s handled.
Cancer (June 22-July 22):
The magic itinerary for maximum happiness isn’t something that you’ll naturally
luck into. It’s a puzzle to
work out.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22):
You’ll be looking at the bottom line and thinking about
how you can get there faster,
with less of a mess, and fewer
involvements along the way.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Though you’ve looked at it
carefully, you can’t see every
angle. Maybe you’ve already
made up your mind, but try
to open it anyway.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23):
You may never get the agreement you want, but the potential for concession, cooperation and getting your
goals met will be high if you
can avoid argument and
conflict altogether.
Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21):
Witnessing a messy drama,
you get the feeling that it
would be wise to limit your
involvement. The trouble is,
you’re already involved.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22Dec. 21): You’re not doing
the work just to earn money.
It includes the need to express yourself, to fill a need
and to contribute to an experience all can be proud of.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.
19): The more you want
something, the harder it is to
ask for it, as though the energy of wanting has a weight to
it that makes the exchange
more cumbersome.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb.
18): The project needs teamwork, which is not something you can get by crushing weak links and dissenters with smart-bomb logic.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March
20): Neediness is a function
of limited choices. If you’re
feeling a little needy, think
bigger.
Today’s birthday (Nov.
30): You’ll make a life defined
by what you do, not by the
world’s reaction. You’ll care
less what people think and
understand about your
work, and you’ll set new
standards for yourself that
have to do with achieving a
brand of success that’s extremely meaningful to you.
Your lucky numbers are: 41,
1, 9, 17 and 22.
Holiday Mathis writes her
column for Creators
Syndicate Inc. The
horoscope should be read
for entertainment.
Dear Amy: My in-laws are
first-generation immigrants
from an Asian country and,
while they are kind people,
some of their traditions
around the holidays tend to
be morbid and difficult to explain to my young son.
They insist on setting
places at the dinner table for
deceased relatives, and
sometimes the place settings have framed photos of
the dead relatives. Last
Thanksgiving, I was weirded
out to be sitting across from
the photo of my mother-inlaw’s dead father.
They also leave out bowls
of fruit and candy for dead
relatives, buy small gifts for
them and decorate the
framed photos with ornaments and garland. My husband said he grew up with
them doing all of this.
Last year, when we tried
to explain to our 6-year-old
who the photos were, he became worried after learning
they were dead people and
for weeks asked nonstop
questions about who they
were and how they died. My
son became scared of the
photos themselves and began having nightmares.
My husband said if they
are hosting we should not
comment on their traditions
and need to deal with it.
What can I do?
Upset
Dear Upset: Your husband
is wrong on one account: If
his parents are hosting holiday celebrations and they
celebrate by honoring their
native traditions, your husband (their son) is in the
perfect position to comment
on these traditions, explain
them and make them part of
your son’s life.
As parents, you could
help your son a great deal by
explaining to him that these
traditions are really celebrations honoring ancestors.
These are not photos of
dead people — they are photos of people who were very
much alive when the pictures were taken. Don’t focus on how they died but on
how they lived and how remembering them and looking at these pictures helps
the family to celebrate.
Would your son like to
bring along photos of an ancestor to his grandparents’
house? Acculturate him by
making this an OK thing to
think about.
Your perception that this
is “morbid” doesn’t help, but
even so, you should say to
your son, “This isn’t our tradition, but it is grandmother
and grandfather’s, and
when we are with them, we
need to respect it, OK?”
Dear Amy: My daughter
cheated on her fiance. They
have a child together, and
the cheating episode happened last summer.
Now that the father of her
child has taken her back, he
uses sex as a way to keep her
with him.
He says, “Let’s have sex,
so I know if I still want to be
with you or not!” She says
she feels forced to give in.
My daughter gives in
against her will because she
is afraid he will try to get custody of their child. I told her
that is unlikely for a number
of reasons, none of which I
will get into now.
Even though what my
daughter did is wrong and
shameful, I am utterly mortified. I feel helpless as a parent and don’t know what to
tell her to do with this no-win
relationship. I need your
thoughts about this issue.
Helpless
Dear Helpless: If your
daughter is being coerced,
manipulated or feels forced
to have sex, then this is a
form of partner assault, and
she should leave the relationship. I understand that
you feel helpless, but you
should encourage and support her to leave.
Send questions to Amy
Dickinson by email to
askamy@amydickinson
.com.
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TELEVISION REVIEW
Engrossing Netflix show truly is ‘Dark’
ROBERT LLOYD
TELEVISION CRITIC
“Dark,” which begins
streaming Friday on Netflix,
is a beautiful, German-made
minor-key tone poem in the
shape of a puzzle-box sci-fi
mystery television series.
Created by Jantje Friese
(who writes) and Baran bo
Odar (who directs), the series is set in 2019 and 1986, in
and around a smallish German town, surrounded by
fairy tale forest and dominated by the squat concave
cooling towers of a nuclear
plant. Its presence casts a
shadow across the story — if
not across the scene, given
there’s no sun out to make
that happen.
Domestic
audiences
have finally grown more
amenable to the idea in the
age of acquired content; we
understand that “Scandinavian mystery” is its own
genre. Unlike many subtitled series that have been
imported to our televisionshaped shores, “Dark” is an
original production, the first
German-language production for Netflix. Of course, we
have heard German spoken
on our TVs before, with characters allowed an occasional
“Was ist los?” or “Jawohl,
Herr Oberleutnant.” But it
is good to get the full immersion package.
The series has, notably,
‘Dark’
Where: Netflix
When: Anytime, starting
Friday
Rating: TV-MA (may be
unsuitable for children
under age 17)
Stefan Erhard Netf lix
ANDREAS PIETSCHMANN, left, Louis Hofmann in the German-made “Dark.”
several things in common
with its slightly older Netflix
cousin “Stranger Things,”
though the mood is more
Stanley
Kubrick
than
Steven Spielberg, and more
naturalistic than either.
“Dark’s” creators tell their
uncanny story in a straightforward, even stately way,
and do not draw out suspense only in order to pile in
funhouse thrills.
As in “Stranger Things,”
there is a place where one reality abuts another, and a
person or persons who are
attempting to control it,
with science, maybe. (There
are early hints.) There is a
missing child. And there is
the re-created 1980s. But the
wide-ranging viewer may
also be reminded of “Life on
Mars” (the British, not the
American version) or “The
Returned” (the French, not
the American version).
Like the recently revived
“Twin Peaks,” with which
“Dark” also shares some
tonal predilections, it gives
you a lot to keep track of with
three generations of charac-
TV H I G HLI GHTS
SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon (Jim Parsons)
wants to settle an old
grudge after his friends
left him out of an investment that could have had
big profits.8 p.m. CBS
Supernatural With their
search for Jack running
into one roadblock after
another, Sam and Dean
(Jared Padalecki, Jensen
Ackles) reluctantly try to
steal a trunk from the demon Barthamus (guest
star David Cubitt) in exchange for a locater spell.
8 p.m. KTLA
Gotham Sofia (Crystal
Reed) becomes a pawn in
Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie)
effort to reach an accord
with Penguin (Robin Lord
Taylor). 8 p.m. Fox
Young Sheldon Sheldon
(Iain Armitage) wants to
prove his genius to a
school visitor from NASA,
who doesn’t pay much attention to him. Jason
Kravits (“The Practice”)
guest stars. 8:30 p.m. CBS
Project Runway The designers reunite with Tim
Gunn to discuss their experiences and try to get to
the bottom of the cheating
scandal. 9 p.m. Lifetime
Mom Bonnie (Allison Janney) gets a taste of Adam’s
(William Fichtner) life
when an accident puts her
in a wheelchair. 9 p.m.
CBS
Life in Pieces At an anniversary dinner, Heather and
Tim (Betsy Brandt, Dan
Bakkedahl) feel obligated
to finish all 20 courses
their server (guest star
Padma Lakshmi) brings
them. 9:30 p.m. CBS
S.W.A.T. When criminals
posing as a S.W.A.T. team
commit home invasions,
Hondo (Shemar Moore)
begins to suspect the victims have something in
common. Los Angeles
Mayor Eric Garcetti guest
stars. 10 p.m. CBS
The Menendez Murders:
Erik Tells All This new
five-part series retells the
story of the infamous
crime.10 p.m. A&E
The President Show The
45th president of the
United States (Anthony
Atamanuik) and his vice
president (Peter Grosz)
celebrate the holiday. 10
p.m. Comedy Central
Sonja Flemming CBS
AN ACCIDENT puts
Bonnie (Allison Janney)
in a wheelchair in a new
“Mom” on CBS.
SPECIALS
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown sees materialism during the holidays and needs Linus’
help to learn the true
meaning of Christmas, in
the animated holiday special that includes “Charlie
Brown Christmas Tales,”
featuring a vignette for
each “Peanuts” character.
8 p.m. ABC
The Wonderful World of
Disney: Magical Holiday
Celebration Musical acts
include Ciara, Darius
Rucker, Fifth Harmony,
Lea Michele (“The Mayor”), Jason Derulo and
Hanson. 9 p.m. ABC
MOVIES
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
9:45 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.
EPIX
King Arthur and the
Knights of the Round Table (2017) 11:30 a.m. TMC
The LEGO Batman Movie
(2017) 1:50 p.m. HBO
Noah (2014) 5 p.m. FX
TALK SHOWS
CBS This Morning (N) 7
a.m. KCBS
Today Pentatonix. (N) 7
a.m. KNBC
Good Morning America
Margot Robbie; Tory
Johnson. (N) 7 a.m. KABC
Good Day L.A. Performance
from Cavalia; Heavenly
Kime (“Married to Medicine”); chef Cat Cora;
Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes. (N) 7 a.m. KTTV
Live With Kelly and Ryan
Debra Messing; Ben Mendelsohn; Old Dominion
performs. (N) 9 a.m.
KABC
The View Diana Ross. (N) 10
a.m. KABC
The Wendy Williams Show
Kevin Nealon (“Man With
a Plan”). (N) 11 a.m. KTTV
The Talk Seth MacFarlane;
Adrianne Palicki; Jaymes
Vaughan. (N) 1 p.m. KCBS
The Dr. Oz Show Possible
toxic effects of hair treatments. (N) 1 p.m. KTTV
The Doctors Veteran families get a gift; holiday
parties; beauty items;
avoiding holiday weight
gain; Santa. (Part 1 of 2)
(N) 2 p.m. KCBS
Steve Carol Burnett; the
cast of “Married to Medicine.” (N) 2 p.m. KNBC
Dr. Phil British model Chloe
Ayling claims she was abducted. (N) 3 p.m. KCBS
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Chelsea Handler; Sam
Smith performs; “Poker
Princess” Mary Bloom.
(N) 3 p.m. KNBC
The Real Cleo Anthony
(“She’s Gotta Have It”).
(N) 3 p.m. KTTV
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Henry Louis
Gates Jr. (“Finding Your
Roots”). (N) 11 p.m. Comedy Central
Conan Josh Hutcherson;
Daveed Diggs. (N) 11 p.m.
TBS
The Tonight Show: Jimmy
Fallon Kumail Nanjiani;
Kristaps
Porzingis;
Miguel performs. (N) 11:34
p.m. KNBC
The Late Show With
Stephen Colbert Kate
Winslet; Chuck Schumer;
Wolf Alice performs. (N)
11:35 p.m. KCBS
Jimmy Kimmel Live Elizabeth Banks; Matt Smith.
(N) 11:35 p.m. KABC
Late Night With Seth Meyers Allison Williams; Ben
Mendelsohn;
Jacob
Banks performs; Will
Dorsey Jr. performs. (N)
12:36 a.m. KNBC
The Late Late Show With
James Corden Jennifer
Garner; Bryan Cranston.
(N) 12:37 a.m. KCBS
Nightline (N) 12:37 a.m.
KABC
Tavis Smiley Computer scientist Jaron Lanier. (Part
1 of 2) (N) 1 a.m. KOCE
SPORTS
NHL Hockey The Kings visit
the Washington Capitals.
4 p.m. FSN
NBA Basketball The Utah
Jazz visit the Clippers.
7:30 p.m. FS Prime
ters spread across two permeable time periods. Parents with teenagers in the
2019 segment are teenagers
with parents in 1986. In both
eras, perhaps more than
coincidentally, a boy has
gone missing.
Time is the essence of
“Dark”; the creators are not
coy about it. The series begins with an epigram from
Einstein to the effect that
the difference between past
and future is nothing but a
“persistent illusion.” Graffiti
reads “No future,” and a sig-
nificantly displayed book is
titled “A Journey Through
Time.” Scars, which at least
three characters bear, are
said to “sense rain… They
can see into the future.”
More than once we are told
that the question is not
“how” or “where,” but
“when.”
“There are things out
there that our little minds
will never comprehend,”
says one character to another, like Hamlet to Horatio.
“Just because you can’t see
beyond your nose doesn’t
mean there aren’t things going on out there,” says another. And to be sure, there
are.
The atmosphere is close;
Teutonic sorrow abounds.
We understand from the beginning some sort of curse
has descended upon this
place — the story begins
with a suicide, by hanging, in
an artist’s studio. There is
that already missing boy.
Apart from a brief noisy
breakfast among one outwardly happy family --
whose father we know is
cheating on his wife — there
is not much in the way of
comedy.
One feels the creators
might have christened the
series after watching it, for it
is also literally very dark,
much of it set at night, lit by
flashlight, streetlight or
moonlight. Even the daylight scenes are gray and
wet, the interiors often
gloomy. Blues and grays and
greens predominate, with an
occasional contrasting color
struggling against the pallete. The photography, by
Nikolaus Summerer, is
beautifully composed but
feels more witnessed than
manipulated. The camera
stays still, save for when it
needs to sprint.
I have seen only the first
three episodes, and there is
the chance that the payoff
will be unequal to what
comes before, and that you
will finish “Dark” feeling
something like “I watched 10
hours of this German television show and I all I got was
an explanation.” But that is
often the way with payoffs.
The point of a story like
this is where it takes you,
and this does take you somewhere rich and strange. As
familiar as its elements may
be, its pleasures are particular and many.
robert.lloyd@
latimes.com
The Envelope.com
Thursday, November 30, 2017
S
THE ENVELOPE
DIRECTORS |
WRITERS
ARMED
WITH
STORIES
Seven filmmakers
take the helm to,
as Jordan Peele
says, explore ‘a
missing piece of
the conversation.’
STEVE CARELL’S PROCESS: JUST TRY | WHY MAKE ‘MUDBOUND’ NOW? | MARTIN MCDONAGH’S SIGNS
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
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THE ENVELOPE
latimes.com/envelope
WHAT’S INSIDE
THE QUOTE
6
VETERAN ACTOR
6
To play a former military man
in “Last Flag Flying,” Steve
Carell drew from his father.
INTO THE MIRE
The “Mudbound” director and
cast explore the race relations
of the 1940s (and today).
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
10
THE KEY SCENES
What film really had an affect on
you so far this year?
“Did you see ‘The Big Sick’? I ...
loved that movie. I cried like a baby.
Why was that so moving?”
Seven directors detail the
moments that unlock their
characters’ stories.
Today: New York Film Critics Circle winners announced; Critics Choice winners announced; Visual
Effects Society Awards submissions due.
Friday: Costume Designers Guild submissions
close.
Sunday: Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards
winners announced.
Monday: Annie Awards nominations announced;
American Cinema Editors nomination voting
opens.
Wednesday: Art Directors Guild nomination voting
opens.
Dec. 7: AFI Awards nominations announced; Golden Globe nomination voting closes.
Dec. 8: Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild
nomination voting opens; Casting Society of
America submissions due.
Dec. 9: European Film Awards announced.
Dec. 10: Critics Choice Awards; British Independent Film Awards winners announced; SAG nominations voting closes.
Dec. 11: Golden Globe nominations announced;
American Society of Cinematographers nomination voting opens; Casting Society of America
nominations voting opens.
Week of Dec. 11: Image Awards final voting closes.
Dec. 13: SAG nominations announced.
12
20
Angelina Jolie and six fellow
directors gather to discuss
their films’ aims.
Also
BREATHING THE ROLE
8
How Andrew Garfield played a paralyzed man.
THE TALE OF A ‘DISASTER’
16
Screenwriters related to “The Room’s” outsiders.
20
HAUNTING ‘BILLBOARDS’
28
Martin McDonagh imagines the story behind three.
THE GOLD STANDARD
36
Who’s due up among directors and screenwriters.
Photographs by, from top,
Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times;
Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times;
Linda Kallerus STXfilms;
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 17
WEAPONIZING STORY
LOS ANGELES TIMES
— Sam Rockwell,
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
B I G DAT E S
12
THE ENVELOPE
rector Michael Showalter’s dramedy.
S3
ACTOR Sam Rockwell is a big fan of di-
10
THE ENVELOPE
{ This week on latimes.com/envelope }
BUZZMETER
SUPPORTING
ACTRESS
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The Envelope scoured the darkest of theaters to find six of the world’s most highly trained (or maybe that’s opinionated) Oscar pundits, writers and film critics to predict who this
season’s nominees will be in several key categories. Down the road, after the academy announces its choices on Jan. 23, the Buzzmeter team will offer up their predictions on who
the winners will be. Check back here each week as they weigh in on a new category or go online for all their picks at once at latimes.com/buzzmeter. Their predictions will change
after all the contenders have screened, so check back often!
Justin Chang
Los Angeles Times
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Melissa Leo, “Novitiate”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Melissa Leo, “Novitiate”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Five powerhouse performances by
women playing mothers, including one
mother superior.
Look for Laurie Metcalf to add an
Oscar to her Tony and Emmys.
Merie Wallace A24
LAURIE METCALF, with Tracy Letts, is lauded for her “Lady Bird” role.
Tom O’Neil
Gold Derby
Anne Thompson
Indiewire
Nicole Sperling
Vanity Fair
Glenn Whipp
The Envelope
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape
of Water”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Kristin Scott Thomas,
“Darkest Hour”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Kristin Scott Thomas,
“Darkest Hour”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape
of Water”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Awards voters love Laurie Metcalf,
who snagged three Emmys (“Roseanne”) and most recently a Tony Award
(“A Doll’s House, Part 2”).
Mothers dominate this category. Laurie Metcalf will take the win for her
fiercely demanding mom in “Lady
Bird.” Nipping at her heels is Allison
Janney in “I, Tonya.”
It’s been too long since we’ve seen
Metcalf on the big screen, and she’s
heartbreaking in the role of the
tension-filled mother in “Lady Bird.”
Metcalf and Janney have won
countless awards — but never an Oscar.
One of them probably will this year.
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THE ENVELOPE
latimes.com/envelope
THE CONTENDERS
THE DANCE FROM
FUNNY TO DARK
By Hugh Hart
e used to be funny for a living,
but in 2014 Steve Carell got
serious. First, he picked up
an Oscar nomination for portraying a homicidal wrestling
coach in “Foxcatcher.” Then, the 55-yearold actor played tormented Wall Street
hedge fund manager Mark Baum in “The
Big Short.” This fall, Carell continues his
dramatic streak as a grieving father in the
Vietnam vet drama “Last Flag Flying.” And
next year, he’ll appear as Donald Rumsfeld
to Christian Bale’s Dick Cheney for director
Adam McKay.
Folding in his bittersweet clown turn in
this year’s “Battle of the Sexes” as tennis
blowhard Bobby Riggs, Carell has produced a gallery of damaged characters, all
the more impressive given his mid-career
pivot from comedy to drama. What’s his
process for bringing wounded souls to life?
“I don’t even know if I have a process,”
says Carell, speaking by phone from a Beverly Hills hotel. “You try things. Sometimes
they work, and sometimes they don’t. For
me — and I hate to sound too actor-y or
anything — it’s really just about trying to
find some kind of truth for the character.
Some kind of nugget.”
In the case of “Last Flag Flying,” co-starring Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, Carell built his soft-spoken “Doc”
character around the nugget of truth residing in the demeanor and memories of his
own 92-year-old father.
“I did not serve in the military, but my
dad, who’s 92, fought in World War II,” says
Carell. “A lot of ‘Doc’ came out of me talking
to him. I remember going through his
drawer when I was a kid and seeing these
medals, but I didn’t really know what they
meant. Like a lot of guys from that generation, my dad’s pretty stoic, so Doc doesn’t
really talk that much. He does a lot of listening.”
“Last Flag Flying” director Richard
Linklater marveled at Carell’s immersion in
the character. “Some actors try to throw
additives into what they’re doing, but Steve
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was more subtractive. In rehearsals, he’d
say, ‘If I’m really feeling this grief, I don’t
know if Doc would say all this stuff here.’
Steve has the gift that some actors naturally possess, where you can just look at
him and know there’s more behind his eyes
than what he’s showing you. It’s a beautiful
little dance that he pulls off.”
Before delivering his muted “Last Flag
Flying” performance, Carell went to the
other extreme as provocateur Bobby Riggs.
Contrary to popular opinion, Carell says, “I
didn’t see Bobby Riggs as a buffoon. I saw
him as this very smart guy who was good at
emotionally manipulating people. I was 11
years old when I saw the match on TV, and
even then, I knew it was a put-on.”
Studying a “60 Minutes” interview with
Riggs, Carell picked up on cues that less
perceptive performers might have missed.
“Bobby was going on and on as usual,”
he said, “but underneath all that bravado I
felt like there was also this yearning quality,
which I found really interesting.”
Carell first startled moviegoers with his
dramatic prowess when he probed the
creepy recesses of a psychopath in “Foxcatcher.” After all, his comedy credentials
encompassed stage (Chicago’s Second
City), TV (“The Daily Show,” “The Office”)
and movies (“Anchorman: The Legend of
Ron Burgundy,” “The Forty-Year-Old Virgin”). But unlike Jim Carrey, Ray Romano
and others who successfully go “dark” from
time to time, Carell never performed standup and does not consider himself a comedian. He says, “In college I did Shakespeare,
and even at Second City, I would do plays at
theater companies around town. I never
thought of myself as just a comedic actor.”
From Carell’s perspective, tragedy and
comedy, and the spaces in between, all
draw from the same well.
“That guy in ‘The Forty-Year-Old Virgin’
doesn’t know he’s in a comedy,” Carell says.
“Those are real problems he’s got. Comedies are always going to be funnier when
they have some connection to reality, and
the same thing with drama. It’s going to be
more dramatic when it feels more real.”
calendar@latimes.com
STEVE CARELL
says he drew from
his 92-year-old
veteran father’s
demeanor for his
character in “Last
Flag Flying.”
Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times
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‘Humility in others
is something that I
want very much in
myself. ... Robin was
so humble.’
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— A NDREW G ARFIELD, left,
on real-life polio survivor Robin Cavendish,
whom he plays in “Breathe”
Gary Coronado Los Angeles Times
THE CONTENDERS
TO ‘BREATHE’ AGAIN
By Gary Goldstein
A
ndrew Garfield is the kind of
guy who’s as likely to ask
about his interviewer’s life as
he is to chat about himself
and his portrayal of pioneering polio survivor Robin Cavendish in
“Breathe,” which the London-based actor
was in L.A. to talk about. Chalk up this trait
to humility, a quality the warm, thoughtful
Garfield, 34, says “turns him on a lot.”
“Humility in others is something that I
want very much in myself,” said a jet-lagged
yet neatly dressed Garfield over lunch at a
West Hollywood hotel. “I struggle with it especially, I think, being an actor and being in
an environment where you’re constantly
told not to be humble.”
The concept of humility drew Garfield to
playing Cavendish, a British tea broker who
in the late 1950s, at age 28, contracted polio.
Although given just a few months to live,
Cavendish, through force of will, the
strength of devoted wife Diana (Claire Foy)
and the innovative work of inventor friend
Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), survived 36
more years as a “responaut,” someone permanently dependent on a ventilator.
“Robin was so humble, he was just himself,” Garfield said. “He wasn’t in it to be
glorified. He was just in it to enjoy his life, to
create a higher standard of living for himself. He liked to fight for others once he’d
fought for himself.” (Cavendish became one
of the U.K.’s first disability advocates.)
Before his involvement with “Breathe,”
which was directed by actor Andy Serkis,
Garfield had never heard of Cavendish.
This also appealed to him.
“I’m less interested in tooting the horn
for people who already have their horns
tooted,” he said.
Reading the life-affirming script by twotime Oscar nominee William Nicholson
(“Shadowlands,” “Gladiator”) sealed the
deal for the actor: “I just bawled my eyes
out, I found it just so moving; it really spoke
to me in terms of where I was in my life.”
Garfield is no stranger to playing reallife characters. He appeared as Facebook
co-founder Eduardo Saverin in 2010’s “The
Social Network” and as World War II conscientious objector Desmond Doss in last
year’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” for which he
earned his first Oscar nomination.
But portraying a person with a disability
comes with its own responsibility.
“You need to get it all bang on the money,” said Garfield, who spent time with the
disabled to prepare for the part. “The physical circumstances that Robin had to live
through, they have to be lived through.
[It’s] a privilege to attempt to honor that.”
Because Cavendish was paralyzed from
the neck down, Garfield’s performance remains largely stationary, relying mainly on
facial expression and vocal technique: “I never saw the physical aspect as an acting
challenge, I only saw it as a living challenge.
[It was] in the sense of: How did Robin access the world? How did he communicate?
How did he connect with other people?”
Duplicating Cavendish’s voice was “the
trickier part” for Garfield, who had to learn
how to breathe in rhythm with the sound of
his character’s respirator. (An earpiece
helped him stay in tune with the machine.)
“The vocal quality was very specific, and I
only had a recording of Robin when he was
much older, when his voice had become
very degraded,” Garfield said. “So I
thought, OK, I’ll work backwards from that
and give him a little bit more.”
Garfield and Foy spent time with Diana
Cavendish, now 83, to mimic the voices of
the era’s more privileged strata.
“She’s very much a person of that period,” Garfield said. “We got a sense of the
rhythm, the cadence ... and the musicality.”
Garfield chose to wear dentures to
evoke Cavendish’s prominent teeth.
“I’d spent a lot of time looking at pictures and videos, and I just fell in love with
Robin,” the actor said. “Looking in the mirror during makeup tests I thought, ‘I look
like me — I want to look like the man I’m in
love with!’ ” So on went a “horribly uncomfortable” set of false teeth.
“Breathe” producer Jonathan Cavendish, the son of Robin and Diana, said by
email: “Andrew has managed brilliantly to
re-create my father’s voice. Even more miraculous are Andrew’s facial expressions,
which are precisely identical to my father’s.
I know my father would have been astonished that Andrew has captured his spirit
and physicality so perfectly.”
calendar@latimes.com
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Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times
DIRECTOR Dee Rees, center, with her “Mudbound” cast, from left, Garrett Hedlund, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan and Jason Mitchell.
SHOWING
BOTH SIDES
OF A DIVIDE
BY RANDEE DAWN
ew York City — Dee Rees may be a relatively new director, but she’s unafraid to tackle the big stories —
like an adaptation (written with Virgil Williams) of
the award-winning book by Hillary Jordan, “Mudbound.” Telling the story of two families in Mississippi
— one white, one black — during the tumultuous Jim Crow years before and after World War II, it finds love and warmth amid the daily
oppressive horrors of systemic racism. The cast and Rees sat down
with The Envelope to explore how the film’s story of the past is also
the prologue for modern America.
N
‘You can think of the mud as an allegory for race; the muck we’re all stuck in.’
lege.” It’s something that’s taught. A lot of
people teach their kids this racially bigoted mind frame.
Rees: I was born in 1977 and I was still
getting bused to school because Nashville
was still segregated in some ways. When
you don’t acknowledge that legacy, you
don’t have to take responsibility for what
to do next.
When you decided to make this film, did
you speak with your relatives about how
much of this rang true for them? Or was
it not talked about?
Rees: I have my grandmother’s journals to draw on. She talks about her parents picking cotton; she said she was
never going to pick cotton, she was going
to be a stenographer. World War II opened
up opportunities for her she wouldn’t
ordinarily have gotten. But my grandfather — he went to war and his big comeuppance was “you get to be a postal
carrier now.” He didn’t get the GI Bill, the
house. He got “you’re allowed to stick
around.” Despite contributions, he was
kept on the outside.
Morgan: The person who owns the pen
is the one who writes the history — so
we’re glad we’re working with Dee Rees,
because she’s got a pen in her hand!
The title “Mudbound” is the title of Jordan’s book; what other significance does
it convey?
Rees: You can think of the mud as an
allegory for race; the muck we’re all stuck
in. We bring it in, we take it out with us, we
don’t take it off. It’s a fiction we created for
ourselves.
Blige: For me, the mud is the constant
negative energy we’re living in. We’re living
in mud right now, we are mudbound, the
hatred and who our leader is, and all this
… is the mud. There’s nothing clean about
it. But there are pieces of life in there —
the water, that cleanses us. You see how
Florence loves her son, and the relationship between Laura and Florence. This
movie is relevant, right now — because all
of this has really gone down, and the mud
is really where we all go to die.
calendar@latimes.com
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did it cost. The American educational
system has a reductive, simplified view of
history. But things didn’t end with [the
abolishment of] slavery. This period is our
link between our then and our now.
Rob Morgan (Hap): When I was in
Germany — at this convention with 50,000
Germans — I was like the only black person there, and I didn’t come nowhere near
the racial tension I feel just walking in
front of this hotel [in New York City].
Three or four of them told me that in their
school system they’re taught to atone for
the atrocities of their forefathers. America
doesn’t do that.
Carey Mulligan (Laura): I had never
seen a picture of a black man in the Second World War. I knew intellectually [that]
black men were found in the war, but I
don’t think it was part of my understanding. That’s crazy, because the amount of
famous iconic imagery there is from the
war — and I couldn’t think of one. That
was so strange to me.
Mitchell: As a country, we have blood
on our hands and we have to stop overlooking the fact that it’s just “white privi-
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Films about the black experience in
U.S. history seem to bounce between
slavery/Civil War, and the civil rights era.
Why do we skip over this pre- and postWWII era?
Rees: Because it’s still going on. They
want to go straight to the win — and even
then we didn’t “win.” When a certain person says, “Make America great again,” I
think this period is the “again” he’s referring to. And I’m trying to get behind this
mythology of the “greatest generation,”
who we were, what we really did and what
Steve Dietl Netf lix
MARY J. BLIGE, left, and Carey Mulligan star in “Mudbound,” set before and after World War II in Mississippi.
THE ENVELOPE
This is a big sprawling tale with a lot of
characters’ stories. What drew you to it
initially?
Dee Rees (director): I wanted to tell
the story because of the multiplicity of
voices, because I could give it depth and
nuance and make it nuanced and interesting. The risk with this kind of material
is it could be nobody’s story — it could be
schmaltzy and presentational. I knew I
could make it layered.
Jason Mitchell (Ronsel): This is my
story; this is a lot of people’s in the South
story. I’m from New Orleans and I’ve
watched so many guys have to put their
head down and keep their opinions to
themselves and Ronsel was so much more
than that.
Mary J. Blige (Florence): Florence is a
woman that I know and I’m sure everyone
knows. That woman is my grandmother,
she’s my aunt, and I related to that — I
believed I would be able to give something
to that character and make her live.
Garrett Hedlund (Jamie): I’d seen
[Dee’s film] “Pariah” and there’s this scene
where the gal’s on the bus coming back
after the party and she held this shot of
the girl forever, working through her internal dilemma. I thought, if I can work with
a director that lets you explore the mentality and crisis that characters are going
through for an extended period of time,
that’s something I want to be a part of.
Jason Clarke (Henry): It just felt like a
great big huge American film and as a
foreigner [Clarke is Australian] I was
really excited about that. It lacked sentimentality, it didn’t let anybody off the
hook. Playing a nice, kind, gentle white
racist — [laughter in the room] — was also
different.
Rees: A sneering racist.
director of “Mudbound”
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— D EE R EES ,
THE ENVELOPE latimes.com/envelope
DARREN ARONOFSKY
“MOTHER!”
(SEPTEMBER RELEASE)
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures and Protozoa Pictures
“It’s a very strange film because it is
so linear. Normally, when you make most
movies you can move scenes around and
they create other meanings, and you can
do a lot in the edit room. The most important part of the film, and the part I
like the most is the fever dream. Reel five
of this movie is a 25-minute-long sequence of escalating intensity where the
world becomes more of a nightmare.
Every department had to work together
to create this sequence where the world
is escalating and falling apart, yet the
audience hopefully remains grounded
because of Jennifer Lawrence and the
truthfulness of her emotions.”
BEHIND THE SCENE
BY RANDEE DAWN >>> Remember the scene that sticks with you as the film’s credits roll? The one you’re probably able to remember
most readily an hour, a day, a week after seeing a great film? That’s a key scene, and as these awards season directors remind us, what
makes a key scene crackle can be any number of elements — but mostly, they’re the unexpected, emotional events that make the film worth
watching over and over again.
AARON SORKIN | “MOLLY’S GAME” (DEC. 25)
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THE MOMENT IT ALL CLICKED
Netf lix
BONG JOON-HO | “OKJA” (ON NETFLIX)
“The essence of this film is contained in the three scenes where one character
whispers into the ear of another character. Out of these three scenes, the ‘absolute
key scene’ is the third and final moment where Okja whispers into Mija’s ear. It is a
moment where the animal whispers into the little girl’s ear. That, to me, feels like the
‘key’ scene. You’ll understand why after you watch the film!”
“There’s a scene
toward the end
where Molly (Jessica Chastain) and
Larry (Kevin Costner) are on a bench
in Central Park near
the skating rink.
This is a moment all
protagonists are
required to have: a
moment of selfreflection, where
they realize something about themselves they hadn’t
realized before, and
Linda Kallerus STXfilms
that moment is
generally catalyzed by another person. In this case, it’s her father, who has been a
strong force in her life — not always for good. Aside from being beautifully performed by
those actors, you get this moment of release. We don’t see much of Kevin in the movie —
but we feel him because of something that happens in the beginning. So this scene is
not the conclusion of the movie, but of this one story.”
[See Scene, S14]
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MATT REEVES | “WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES” (JULY RELEASE)
“The scene in the last section of the movie where Andy and Woody confront each other.
Caesar [Andy Serkis] has come there to kill the Colonel [Woody Harrelson] and discovers
that the Colonel is starting to devolve. The war of emotions in that scene is epic, for both of
them. The idea of Caesar not letting that [need for revenge] go until he’s confronted with
the fact that the Colonel is succumbing to the virus and is now in the most vulnerable position — and understanding that the Colonel also lost his son in a much darker way. You see
Caesar, who’s so filled with rage. He’s relishing the moment he’s finally going to sate that
revenge and suddenly he sees something he didn’t expect and then everything changes. So
that was a pivotal scene for sure.”
Glen Wilson Sony Pictures
[Scene, from S12]
DAN GILROY | “ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.” (IN THEATERS)
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“There’s a scene where Roman (Denzel Washington), who has spent his life as a civil
rights attorney and activist, is invited to speak to a group of young activists. What
starts out gloriously for him as a kind of reconnecting with his roots [becomes a realization] there’s a generational divide between him and the kids he is speaking to. It’s pivotal, because Roman realizes that his connection to the activism is not as strong as he
thought it was and it’s a contributing theme that leads him on a path to a different
place and pushes him away from some of his beliefs.”
Doane Gregory 20th Century Fox
STEPHEN FREARS
“VICTORIA & ABDUL”
(OCTOBER RELEASE)
“Victoria realizes she’s made a
mistake. It’s all to do with the Indian mutiny; she thought the Indians
were responsible [and blamed Abdul, who is Muslim], and she realizes
she’s made a mistake. And in making that mistake, she is embarrassed. There is always a moment
where you try to get [actress] Judi
Dench in a mess, and she makes a
fool of herself and then she has to
get out of it.”
calendar@latimes.com
Envelope writer Hugh Hart
contributed to this report.
Steve Dietl Netf lix
DEE REES | “MUDBOUND” (IN THEATERS)
latimes.com
/envelope
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Go online to read more key scenes
from Martin McDonagh and others.
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Peter Mountain Focus Features
S15
“There’s a moment where Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) have
this ‘trust fall’ — Ronsel takes Jamie to this place where he likes to think, and asks, ‘Why
are you being so nice to me?’ and Jamie reveals that he was saved by [an African American fighter pilot in World War II], and it’s a moment between these characters where they
see each other differently. They have already had this connection of being soldiers, but in
that moment you can see the regard they have for each other change.”
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SCREENWRITERS
ON WRITING
Scott Neustadter, left, and
Michael
Weber of
“The Disaster
Artist.”
BY SCOTT NEUSTADTER AND MICHAEL WEBER
‘THE DISASTER ARTIST’
INSIDE THE
OUTSIDERS
e’re two kids from the East Coast who grew up obsessed with the movies. We dreamed of “making” them before we had any idea what that
phrase even meant. But Hollywood was a world away and, to us, it
seemed impenetrable. The older we got, the more impenetrable it
became. Intense competition, enormous barriers to entry, you had to
literally “break in,” they told us.
And we soon came to discover that lots of people have this dream — and those people
lived much closer to Los Angeles, they had “connections,” they went to actual honest-toGod film school. It was all very intimidating and discouraging, and if we had any marketable skills to do anything else in the world, we probably would have.
But we got lucky. We wrote a thing, and people liked it. The thing got made and made
well. We were given opportunities, and we ran with them. Our dreams came true.
W
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Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times
Justina Mintz A24
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DAVE FRANCO , left, and James Franco (brothers in real life) in the film.
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rich. We thought this could be equal parts
“Boogie Nights” and “Ed Wood” with a dose
of “Sunset Boulevard” thrown in for good
measure.
When we met with James Franco, Seth
Rogen and their producing partners ... they
saw it the exact same way. The table read
for “The Disaster Artist” had a magic to it.
... James Franco became Tommy Wiseau.
The voice, the mannerisms, the bizarre
grammar and syntax. And it’s true that
James stayed in character as Tommy all
throughout production. By the end of
shooting, none of us could remember what
he actually looked like.
Quick word about our fearless director.
Throw away whatever you think you know
about James Franco unless you’ve been in
the trenches with him. The man is a
dynamo. It was more than just his performance and preparation. His focus is superhuman. His esprit de corps is irresistible. The
best on-set experiences are when everyone
feels safe to take risks. As captain of the
ship, James created that environment. It
[See ‘Disaster,’ S18]
S17
It was unbelievable.
Still, we never forgot that feeling of being
outsiders. Which is why reading “The Disaster Artist” by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
was such a thrilling experience. “Disaster”
is the true story of two friends, Greg and
Tommy Wiseau, who bond over their
shared dream of making it in Hollywood
and then, despite the overwhelming odds
against them, actually go and do it.
The film they bring to life, “The Room,”
is a colossal failure — considered by many
the worst movie ever made. And it’s certainly a weird one. Bissell describes it as a
movie “an alien who has never seen a movie
would make.” But in the almost 15 years
since its release, “The Room” has not only
made a profit, it is now beloved and is regularly screened at midnight shows around
the globe.
We fell in love with this story and the
peculiar friendship at its core. Greg and
Tommy aren’t like most people (and
Tommy, in particular, isn’t like anyone else
on Earth), but the ups and downs of their
relationship felt strangely relatable and
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DREAM
TEAM
S18
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[‘Disaster,’ from S17]
was exhilarating to go to work every day.
Yet it was a strange production too.
There were real cameras and fake cameras, real sets doubling as fake sets, inedible snacks on a prop craft services table
right next to the actual craft services table
with the actual snacks. A 2016 Bryan
Cranston plays 2002 Bryan Cranston at
one point. And like a comedy virus,
Tommy Wiseau’s bizarre vocal quirks
infected the entire set. Everyone was saying “Oh hai” instead of “hello.” Disbelief
was expressed as “mai God!” Laughter was
replaced with Tommy’s eerie, “hau hau
hau” chuckle. It was wild.
All throughout the writing and production of “The Disaster Artist,” we thought
about our younger selves. We were eager to
Justina Mintz A24
JAMES FRANCO stars as the eccentric filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in this scene from “The Disaster Artist.”
be in “the business.” Hoping to make
something people love and remember and
talk about and watch over and over again.
So in that sense, maybe “The Room”
wasn’t such a failure at all. Sure, it opened
on one screen in 2003 and grossed a paltry
$1,800. “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle”
came out the same day and made nearly
$40 million that weekend alone. But when’s
the last time you’ve seen it? Is anyone
quoting that movie today? They’re certainly not making a film about its journey
to the big screen. Tommy and Greg’s
greatest achievement is that they made
something lasting. We still dream of doing
the same.
calendar@latimes.com
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FROM TOP LEFT,
CLOCKWISE,
movie directors
Greta Gerwig,
Jordan Peele,
Sean Baker,
Kathryn Bigelow,
Angelina Jolie,
Darren Aronofsky
and Guillermo
del Toro.
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DIRECTORS ROUNDTABLE
STORIES CAN
HELP US SEE
THE WORLD
Seven directors talk about how they use
storytelling to stand against hatred and violence
By Elena Howe
T
he Envelope gathered seven filmmakers for its annual
Directors Roundtable — with the strongest representation of women to date. The wide-ranging conversation,
led by The Times’ Mark Olsen, included Darren
Aronofsky (“mother!”), Sean Baker (“The Florida Project”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Detroit”), Guillermo del Toro (“The
Shape of Water”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Angelina Jolie
(“First They Killed My Father”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”). The
group found commonalities in their works, the outsider stories, the
power of the parable, the emotional truths. And then there was that
director who called Aronofsky’s “mother!” weird — how’d that go
over? Here’s an excerpt from their conversation, edited for length
and clarity.
[Directors, S22]
Photographs by
S21
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
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TALKING SHOP are directors Kathryn Bigelow (“Detroit”), left, Darren Aronofsky (“mother!”) and Angelina Jolie (“First They Killed My Father”).
DIRECT
ACTION
[Directors, from S20]
Mark Olsen: Darren, I’d seen you mention that before shooting “mother!”
you’d shown your actors the Luis Buñuel
film “Exterminating Angel.” What does
that do for you or for your actors when
you’re getting ready to shoot?
Darren Aronofsky: Just probably so
they can see there’s a history of weirdness,
it’s not just me. And that’s what Luis
Buñuel did in that film was to take a huge
social, cultural issue and reduce it to a
single room. And I was trying to think
about how to talk about — the largest
forest fire in the history of Canada happened this summer, the superstorms that
‘I was very humbled ... to be a part of the
filmmaking of someone else’s history
and to really listen to the community.’
— A NGELINA J OLIE , discussing “First They Killed My Father,” about Cambodia
just happened this summer. It’s a very
hard thing to relate because it’s such a
huge magnitude. But everyone remembers the house guest who spilled red wine
on the couch. So that was the breakthrough. I was, like, “Oh, this is our home,
this planet. What if I made it all about a
home and stuck Mother Nature in the
center of it, and sort of let humanity invade?”
Guillermo del Toro: What I share with
Darren is the power of the fable, the parable. I mean, when you make a parable, you
can approach these things. The rest is
symbols that you can harvest from pop
culture or you can harvest from classical
painting, from photography. I consider
myself a very curious sort of magpie that
goes to any form of culture that attracts
me.
Jordan Peele: Unlike Darren, “Get
Out” didn’t start with me having something to say. It really started with me
wanting to entertain, wanting to scare.
And as I explored what that was, the
movie kind of taught me what it was
about. I realized there’s something inside
of me that has been trying to tell myself to
express. So from that point forward, I
knew I wanted to make this a thriller
about race. And it became looking at
movies that have figured out the social
thriller, so, “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Stepford Wives,” the way those movies made
very elegant but fun statements about
gender, that was a signal to me that you
could pull that off with race.
Angelina, where does the storytelling
process on your film start?
Angelina Jolie: It was that I had read
this book years ago. For me, it’s very much
about the country. I was very humbled
every day to be a part of the filmmaking of
someone else’s history and to really listen
to the community. It’s a beautiful thing
about making a foreign film is that you
really are there listening to the language
of, you know, listening to the music of their
language, listening to the way they would
speak, listening to the way — you can only
direct to a certain point because you’re
THE ENVELOPE
latimes.com/envelope
‘I think the more
specific something
is, the more
universal it ends up
becoming.’
[Directors, from S22]
— G RETA G ERWIG ,
discussing “Lady Bird,” about a turbulent
mother-daughter relationship
really trying to be a vessel to allow the
country to speak.
With “Detroit,” the scale of the movie
is so interesting, the way it sort of
zooms back and forth between the really
specific and a larger-scale look at it.
Where is the point of entry on that process?
Kathryn Bigelow: Well, there are
multiple points of entry. I was introduced
to the material right about the time that
the decision not to indict the officer in the
Michael Brown shooting happened. And
so, looking at this material, it was 50 years
ago, then listening to the fact that the
officer was not indicted, and it just kind of
conflated in my mind: Here’s something
that happened 50 years ago and yet it’s so
contemporaneous. And then the film
began to kind of reveal itself as I did a lot
of research and began to dig into the
material.
The last few films you’ve made, the ones
you’ve made in collaboration with writer
Mark Boal, you seem to have this interest in cinema as a form of journalism. Do
you feel like there’s some sort of emotional truth that wouldn’t be told in, say,
a documentary?
Bigelow: Maybe there’s a place where
drama and documentary kind of fuse, and
that’s sort of a place that interests me.
[To Jolie] In a way like your film too, revealing a culture and an environment that
has a pretty heightened degree of authenticity, meaning the documentary but at
the same time, there are composite characters and there are fictional elements.
Also, it becomes very topical and timely,
and that’s where the journalistic aspect
comes in.
Sean, your movies are really rooted in a
sense of place and exploring a specific
subculture. Are you usually drawn to a
location or someone that you’ve met
there?
Sean Baker: It’s really project by project. In the case of “Florida,” it was really
about my co-screenwriter sending me
news articles about the situation happening in the Kissimmee and Orlando area in
Florida. So it stemmed from journalists
having explored this topic — children
living in motels outside of the most magical place on Earth. I like what you said
about the fusion there, that hybrid. And I
think that that’s how I approach it, and
it’s the cinema that I’m really finding the
most fascinating right now and the most
interesting, where that line is blurred
between narrative fiction filmmaking and
documentary-style filmmaking.
It never seems like you’re some outsider
who’s come in. Is it difficult for you to
feel like you’re telling their story correctly?
Guillermo, your film is set in early 1960s
Baltimore, but it has this real fantasy
feel to it. And yet the emotions to it are
so real.
Del Toro: Well, it was ’62 for a reason.
Because it’s about today. The movie’s
about today and about the other and
about the fact that ’62 is the year when
there’s a Madison Avenue fabrication of
America, the postwar affluency, suburban
life, the space race. Everything’s about
the future and abundancy if you’re a cer[See Directors, S24]
LOS ANGELES TIMES
MAKING A POINT is Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), seated between Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), left, and Sean Baker
(“The Florida Project”). Gerwig said she read about the lives of saints while working on her film about a teenage girl.
THE ENVELOPE
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
S23
Photographs by
Greta, at what point in the process did
you realize Sacramento was going to be
so important to the story?
Greta Gerwig: I always knew that I
wanted to make a film that took place in
Sacramento and was about Sacramento
because I think one of the things that
movies do and cinema does better than
almost any other art form is capture
place. I felt like I could shoot it lovingly
and truthfully. And that was exciting to
me. And also, I think the more specific
something is, the more universal it ends
up becoming. So I was interested in telling
a story of a family, and of a girl, and of a
time — we’re getting into the war in Iraq,
and the erosion of the middle class. But
also, this is just her senior year of high
school, and her mother’s having trouble
letting go. And I felt like the more clearly I
could paint that world with what I knew,
the more everyone else would feel like,
“Oh, that’s my story, too,” even though it’s
not.
T H U R S D A Y , N O V E M B E R 3 0 , 2 0 17
Baker: 100%. For the last five films I’ve
been from outside of the group that I’m
focusing on. It has to be done in a respectful and responsible way, and you’re not
being that voice, you’re only amplifying
the voice. You have to spend the time. It’s
pre-production; it’s really just about working with the community, seeing who’s
enthusiastic, who wants to be involved,
and involving everybody.
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DIRECTORS TAKE A LOOK AROUND
[Directors, from S23]
tain race and a certain class. But if you’re
not, things are exactly as bad as they are
right now. And I wanted to talk about
things now, and if you’re going to approach
parable, which is what Darren did, and
what I find very valuable, you don’t want
to root it in now. It’s too direct for me. I like
the idea of being able to have people lower
their guard with the “Once upon a time,”
you know, and then listen. And then emotionally, I try to make it very real and very
specific to me. I felt an urgency to make
almost an ointment against the vulgarity
and the brutality of what we’re living. In
every aspect, the most basic pacts of civility have been broken and destroyed. And I
wanted to see, can I talk about love without sounding disingenuous?
Gerwig: When you guys were talking
about fables and making it more allegorical in that way, even though I don’t know
that necessarily anyone would connect
this to “Lady Bird,” but I read a lot of lives
of the saints when I was working on it.
Even though it was about a teenage girl, I
wanted it to feel like it was connected to
the lives of the saints — like St. Francis, on
the one hand, was this obviously amazing
man who renounced everything and went
to live in nature and experienced love for
the world. But he was also just an annoying 17-year-old who took off all of his
clothes in the town square and was, like, “I
don’t need your money, Dad.” I was just
thinking about him as a teenager and
what that would’ve been.
Darren, one of the challenges for people
as they’ve been encountering “mother!”
is trying to unpack which biblical parable is which. How did you kind of craft
this story that’s set in the modern day
but obviously has relationships to the
Bible?
Aronofsky: Well, the Bible, for me, was
just the structural solution, because I was
trying to think about how to tell the story
of people. I’m a fan of these old stories that
have been told for a very long time. I’m not
really interested in who those stories
belong to or if they really happened. I
think that takes away from their power.
You can use them to talk about life in the
21st century because they have all the
structure that you need for the heroes that
you’re creating. So, for me, that was the
‘I felt an urgency to
make almost an
ointment against
the vulgarity and
the brutality of
what we’re living.’
— G UILLERMO DEL T ORO , left,
director of “The Shape of Water”
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
breakthrough. I had this kind of emotional
story about a marriage falling apart, and
then I had this kind of allegorical idea
about the state of the world from an environmental perspective. But the Bible was,
like, “Oh, that’s a great way to tell the
story of people, first a story with one man,
then one woman, then the first murder,
and then everything goes to hell, and then
we have to throw everyone out, and then
we have to start again with birth.”
Jordan, the idea of the sunken place in
“Get Out” has already entered the lexicon. Like, immediately, we were talking
to people and “Oh, I really went to my
sunken place.” And you sort of know
what that is. Where did that idea come
from?
Peele: You know when you’re going to
sleep and it feels like you’re about to fall,
so you wake up? What if you never woke
up? Where would you fall? And that was
kind of the most harrowing idea to me.
And as I’m writing, it becomes clear that
the sunken place is this metaphor for the
system that is suppressing the freedom of
black people, of many outsiders, many
minorities. There’s lots of different sunken
places. But this one specifically became a
metaphor for the prison-industrial complex, the lack of representation of black
people in film, in genre. The reason Chris
in the film is falling into this place, being
forced to watch this screen, that no matter
how hard he screams at the screen he
can’t get agency across — he’s not represented. And that, to me, was this metaphor for the black horror audience, a very
loyal fan base who comes to these movies,
and we’re the ones that are going to die
first. So the movie, for me, became almost
about representation within the genre,
within itself, in a weird way.
I find “Detroit” and “Get Out” to be
really similar movies. Once “Detroit”
gets into that hallway sequence, it’s so
relentless. Was that level of intensity
important?
Bigelow: I had the survivor accounts,
and I did have some people on the set who
had actually experienced it. So I was very
sensitive to what they had gone through,
and also the memories of the three boys
who were killed. But at the same time,
trying to understand the systemic oppression, you know? How does this happen,
where you’re completely unconscious with
what you’re doing — for instance, the
police officers, who, you know, have come
out of a system where this is somehow
permissible. We were just, like, it couldn’t
have been like that, and we’d turn to a
survivor and they’d be, like, “Yeah, it was
like that, and it was worse.” So it was
interesting, kind of trying to understand
it, trying to re-create it and being horrified
by it at the same time.
Jolie: There’s something that happens
when you’re on a film, especially with
people who have actually survived. And
every single Cambodian crew member was
affected by this war. Many of these children knew their parents went through
this, but they never talked about what
happened. But now they’re going to recreate a scene, and they’re going to see,
and experience, and feel what the parent
went through. We had to be really sensitive
to that because it’s also a country not used
to film. So you can’t say to the people
down the road, we’re just going to blow
these things up and you’re suddenly having the Khmer Rouge come back across
the bridge in full uniform. You have to find
a way to communicate to a country that
doesn’t have a lot of cinema. It was making
sure that we didn’t re-traumatize anyone.
And I’m sure that’s something that you
were all dealing with in many of these
heavier issues. And even though you’re all
there for the same reason, we still had to
do scenes where children were being hurt.
I want to stop every five minutes and bring
in a magician and have a thing.
Peele: It feels like all of these stories are
exploring a missing piece of the conversation, right? The reason these movies
worked and are beautiful and important is
we all feel story is one of, if not the most
important tool, weapon, we have against
hatred and violence.
Bigelow: Especially now. You’re almost
weaponizing storytelling in order to somehow contextualize the unthinkable.
Peele: And story promotes empathy,
right?
Bigelow: Right, exactly, humanizing it.
And also it allows you to agitate for
change.
Del Toro: And we’re in, everybody says,
“post-truth,” we’re in a post-truth time
and all that. But what happens is, the
discourse entrenches on two sides, on a
dichotomy, so fast now.
Baker: So I have to say what you’ve
done with this social thriller of yours is
incredible. Because you’re using genre,
which is the direct pathway to mainstream
audiences. I was seeing your film in a
packed house. You could feel the energy in
the room. But then, the discussion that
you sparked afterward, incredible.
Peele: Thank you. This movie happened because there was a void in the
conversation. “Get Out” was trying to say,
“Look, you know this story is a genre piece,
but you know what’s true here.”
calendar@latimes.com
latimes.com
/roundtables
Conversation in action
Go online to see videos from this gathering of veteran and rising directors. More
roundtables will follow.
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JOHN
BOYEGA
says a key
phone call
helped him
prepare for
“Detroit.”
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THE CONTENDERS
LIVING IN ‘DETROIT’ DARKNESS
Mel Melcon Los Angeles Times
By Gregory Ellwood
T
his past March, after shooting
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”
“Detroit” and “Pacific Rim:
Uprising” almost back-toback-to-back, John Boyega
didn’t immediately jump onto the next studio tentpole that came his way or consider
taking a vacation. Instead, he went back to
his roots to recharge. He starred in a new
incarnation of Georg Büchner ‘s “Woyzeck”
in London’s West End to “just get warmed
up again.”
“Theater is a great opportunity where
you can mix day-to-day work with the training,” Boyega says. “You go back to learning
about your voice, about pitch, about diction. You go back to the basics of what an
actor is, and the basic training for me was
just trying to get both at a time I was really
busy.”
The 25-year-old actor had just five days
off between Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars” installment and Kathryn Bigelow’s historical
drama “Detroit,” which came out in August. At no point during our interview did
Boyega ever roll his eyes, but when asked if
it was hard to transition so quickly between
such starkly different projects his answer
seemed to convey a similar reaction.
“They are so distinct. It’s a no-brainer,
really. Space. Detroit,” Boyega says with a
slight smile. “Some actors make it sound
more complicated than it really is, man.
You have a set project with two different
narratives. The costumes and creative
team are different. They are also distinctly
professional in their own rights, that makes
it an easier transition for you.”
In “Detroit,” Boyega plays the real-life
Melvin Dismukes, a security guard who got
caught up in the infamous Algiers Motel incident that took place during the Detroit
riots of 1967. Dismukes was asked to assist
by Detroit police officers who were investigating what they believed to be shots fired
from the motel at police and National
Guardsmen across the street. Three unarmed black men died in the search.
Bigelow stages the events with an artful
tension, portraying Dismukes as a man
caught in the middle of a dangerous situation he cannot stop or escape from.
Boyega wasn’t able to meet Dismukes,
but they did have a significant phone conversation before filming began. Boyega re-
calls, “We spoke about loads of things, his
childhood, growing up. And then we
started getting into the nitty-gritty of what
actually happened that night.”
The actor came away with a new perspective on the man and his character.
“I think the whole thing was pretty
shocking, what he went through,” Boyega
says. “Especially the backlash after the
whole thing was done and him having to
move out of Detroit for a short amount of
time just to get a breather from all the negativity coming his way. It was sad and unfortunate.”
In his relatively short career, Boyega has
worked with the aforementioned Johnson,
Joe Cornish (“Attack the Block”) and J.J.
Abrams — all celebrated filmmakers in one
aspect or another.
How Bigelow handled her set and her
actors, however, was a completely different
experience and one that Boyega seemed to
relish.
“She’s the only director I’ve worked with
that deals with complete freedom for actors,” Boyega says. “The technical world
doesn’t really have any influence over your
day-to-day acting whatsoever. You just be
and live in the character, and she says the
camera will capture you or follow you. You
just walk on to a set and you live your life
like this character. She just feels you.”
Bigelow would let scenes run for pages
and then keep the camera running even
when the sequence was completed. Boyega
says he never recalls hearing her say “cut,”
and a lot of the time the actors just stopped
because it made sense to. He compares the
experience to that of immersive theater.
The actors performed the scene in the environment, often with little knowledge of
where the cameras were in relation to the
scene itself.
Since “Detroit,” Boyega has spent more
time as a producer for the upcoming “Pacific Rim” sequel, which he also stars in,
than he originally foresaw. That is often the
reality of forming your own production
company to foster new projects. But that’s
OK, because he sounds like he’s constantly
in search of doing the unexpected thing
with his career anyway.
“I ask [my reps] to look at nothing normal,” Boyega says. “Nothing that people
would say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m sure he’d do that
after that.’ ”
calendar@latimes.com
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THE DIRECTORS
SIGNS
FROM
A DARK
PLACE
By Hugh Hart
resh off the success of his first
Broadway hit, British playwright Martin McDonagh got on
a Greyhound bus 20 years ago
headed for Texas on a getting-toknow-America road trip. Looking out the
window somewhere in the Deep South, he
spotted a couple of billboards in the middle
of a field.
“It was this raging, painful message
calling out the cops about a crime,” says
McDonagh, lounging in the screening
room off the lobby of a West Hollywood hotel, dressed all in black, taupe boots with a
frosted head of buzz-cut hair. Now a filmmaker with three movies to his name, his
latest draws on that experience, casting
Frances McDormand as a woman seeking
justice for her daughter, who was raped
and murdered, in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
McDonagh says, “The title came from
the concept and the concept came from
that image, which stayed in my mind for
years: What kind of pain would lead somebody to do that? It takes a lot of guts —
and a lot of anger. Once I decided it was a
mother who put up the billboards, the
character of Mildred just sprang forth and
the story kind of wrote itself,” McDonagh
says and laughs. “I just sat there and listened.”
Born in London to Irish parents, he obsessed over Robert De Niro and Martin
Scorsese films as a 12-year-old, quit school
at 16 and eventually found his voice as a
playwright, authoring "The Beauty Queen
of Leenane" and five other acclaimed stage
works. He became enamored with McDormand through her performances in the
Coen brothers’ “Blood Simple” and the 2011
Broadway tragicomedy “Good People.”
“Frances was the only woman in my
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F
Mel Melcon Los Angeles Times
head because I knew she wouldn’t sentimentalize Mildred or patronize the working-class aspects of her character,” McDonagh says. “I also needed someone who
has dexterity with humor. She knows how
to play it deadpan and let the comedy take
care of itself. Also, Frances has this steely
determination, both as a person and as an
actress.”
While the avenging mother drives the
story, “Three Billboards” gains dimension
through Woody Harrelson’s non-villainous
portrayal of Sheriff Willoughby, shamed by
name in Mildred’s billboard. But the film’s
most surprising character arc comes courtesy of Sam Rockwell as bad cop Dixon.
Homophobic, racist and misogynistic,
Dixon pivots toward some measure of redemption after throwing a local man from
a second-story window. McDonagh says, “I
wanted to show all of the character’s ignorance and hatred, but it was important to
not judge Sam’s character. I wanted to say
there can be room for change and hope if
you look at the humanity rather than the
‘ism.’”
In lesser hands, Dixon might feel unconvincing, but McDonagh had complete
‘It was this raging,
painful message
calling out the cops
about a crime.’
— M ARTIN M C D ONAGH ,
about some signs he saw while traveling in
the Deep South that helped inspire his film
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
confidence in Rockwell. “I think Sam is the
best actor of his generation and that’s why
I keep writing for him,” he says. “I didn’t
worry about Sam making the behavior any
less ugly. It was more about leaving room
for the audience to not hate him completely.”
The movie’s site-specific title notwithstanding, there is no such place as Ebbing.
When McDonagh wrote the script eight
years ago, he invented the name. “I just
liked those two syllables,” he says. Filmmakers found a small town in North Carolina to serve as the fictional setting and
when McDormand showed up on set in
May 2016, she didn’t require much in the
way of actor-whispering from McDonagh
to get into Molotov cocktail-throwing
mode.
“Both Frances and I were determined
to not make Mildred more palatable to an
audience, despite some of her behavior. We
figured male antiheroes are allowed to get
away with that, so why not female ones?”
In a nod to Hollywood’s golden age of
female-driven drama, McDonagh named
McDormand’s character after Joan Crawford’s 1945 movie “Mildred Pierce.” He
says, “The name’s old school, but in some
ways the whole film feels like it could be set
20, 30 years ago.” As timing would have it,
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” hit theaters Nov. 10 amid unprecedented outrage over sexual violence
against women.
“Honestly, this film would have been
the same if we had made it eight years ago
or eight years hence,” McDonough notes.
“But putting out a film right now with a
strong, smart, determined and outraged
woman character in the lead role — that
feels right to me.”
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THE DIRECTORS
A FAMILY DEFINING SUCCESS
By Gregory Ellwood
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S
ometimes the inspiration for a
film isn’t as obvious as it may first
seem. Noah Baumbach’s “The
Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” for example, centers on
two brothers (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller)
and a sister (Elizabeth Marvel) who are
trying to find peace with their highly opinionated and brusque father (Dustin Hoffman). Like much of Baumbach’s work, it
feels semi-autobiographical, but it was actually an idea that he fostered over a decade ago while working on what eventually
became his breakthrough film, “The Squid
and the Whale.”
“It’s not like I thought, ‘Oh, I’m always
going to revisit that initial concept.’ I
wasn’t thinking that consciously,” Baumbach says. “But clearly, for whatever reason, I wasn’t really ready to write it then
and then it sort of resurfaced, but resurfaced also with other things, which is I
guess how this generally happens for me
when I have an idea for a movie.”
Those “other things” started with tackling that period where people often see
themselves as both a parent to your parent as well as their child. And, almost as
important, Baumbach wanted to chronicle the often surreal experience of being in
a hospital that he hadn’t seen on the big
screen. Experiences with medical professionals are a constant, but the filmmaker
still found a perspective rarely explored in
modern media.
“I kind of always thought, the hospital
became kind of a stand-in for the parental
figure,” Baumbach says. “It’s like you want
to believe this place is there to take care of
you and has your best interest in mind,
and what you’re discovering at every turn
is that it has its own logic. It doesn’t revolve around you. I think that’s also a discovery the siblings have about their own
father, too, is that he’s not going to change.
This is the person that they have in their
life.”
Another key theme Baumbach wanted
to explore in the October release was success and how people define what that is.
In the film, Harold Meyerowitz (Hoffman) is introduced as a notable artist of
NOAH
BAUMBACH
got the idea
for “The
Meyerowitz
Stories” while
making “The
Squid and the
Whale.”
Kirk McKoy Los Angeles Times
the ’60s and ’70s who never reached the
heights of some of his peers. Instead, he
spent most of his years as a professor
seemingly exaggerating his accomplishments beyond their true impact. Now retired, is that why he seems embarrassed
that his oldest son Danny (Sandler) spent
most of his life as a stay-at-home dad instead of pursuing a musical career or why
he appears envious that his youngest
child, Matthew (Stiller), reached financial
security all the way across the country in
Los Angeles?
“Families often have their own kind of
arbitrary and somewhat self-serving notions of what a successful life is,” Baumbach says. “In this case, being a success as
an artist is the kind of pinnacle. I felt that
Danny’s character, while he struggled, he
actually couldn’t put himself out there as
an artist, so by Harold’s standards he
squandered his musical talent.”
The idea of pairing Sandler and Stiller
in a movie together sounds like a pitch every producer has made to every studio executive in town for the last two decades, but
it simply had never come to pass until now
for one reason or another. Baumbach was
conveniently speaking about working with
both talents on separate projects when
the idea for all three to collaborate was
broached.
“You know, they’ve known each other a
long time but had actually started to talk
about, ‘Oh, we should do something together,’ ” Baumbach recalls. “And then I
came to Ben and said, ‘What about you
and Adam playing brothers in a movie?’
We all had lunch and had a kind of wideranging conversation about what this
movie might be or could be.”
Baumbach also had the rare feat of
having two accomplished screenwriters in
Oscar winner Emma Thompson, who
plays Harold’s third wife Maureen, and
Stiller on set. Obviously, Sandler has his
share of comedic experience to draw on,
but Baumbach makes it clear there was
absolutely no improv on set. The actors
stuck to the words in his script and they do
so for a reason.
“A lot of it comes from the rhythms of
the dialogue and getting the overlaps at
the right point, and it becomes kind of musical in that way,” Baumbach says. “For
sure, Emma and Ben have a lot of experience now with it in my movies. Of course,
they’re incredibly articulate people and I
feel like [it may have been] an easier fit
maybe than somebody else might be, but
anybody who I cast is sort of in for that experience and it’s somewhat self-correcting
in that way.
“I mean,” he continues, “if somebody’s
not kind of engaged in learning all these
lines, and the rhythm of everything, then
it’s just not the right fit.”
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THEY CAN WRITE,
THEY CAN ACT, BUT
CAN THEY DIRECT?
By Randee Dawn
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“I
t’s not true that I always
wanted to direct,” says
Aaron Sorkin, whom audiences know best for his
balletic verbosity in such
screenplays as “A Few
Good Men” and “The Social Network,” and from the TV series “The
West Wing.” “I’ve never felt that screenwriting was a steppingstone to another job — it
was the job I wanted.”
Yet Sorkin is now a debut helmer with
“Molly’s Game” — a Christmas release starring Jessica Chastain and featuring Idris
Elba and Kevin Costner — despite his admission: “I can’t pick a long lens out of a police lineup. Jumping into the deep end of a
big pool is true on a lot of levels.”
Making that leap into the virtual unknown didn’t stop Sorkin or other Hollywood vets best known for expertise in other
areas of filmmaking. This year, writersturned-first-time-directors include Danny
Strong (“Rebel in the Rye”), Marti Noxon
(“To the Bone”) and Sorkin. Actors too are
changing chairs. Greta Gerwig made her directorial debut with “Lady Bird,” Jordan
Peele with “Get Out,” Andy Serkis with
“Breathe,” and actor Kumail Nanjiani wrote
and starred in “The Big Sick.”
For some, this has been a long-planned
move. Strong says he wanted to direct once
he watched his first screenplay, “Recount,”
being produced in 2008.
“It turned it from a ‘one day I’ll do this’ to
an actual goal,” he says. “I saw [director] Jay
Roach up close making decisions and realized I wanted to be in charge of the company.”
Serkis’ first turn as a director is the upcoming “Jungle Book,” but it’s his second
film, “Breathe,” that hit theaters last
Turns out, Aaron Sorkin,
Andy Serkis and other
multitalented figures in
Hollywood have skills
behind the camera too.
month. For him, wanting to direct “goes all
the way back to before even becoming an actor,” he says, when he studied visual arts in
college and then got bit by the acting bug.
Spending years working on Peter Jackson’s
“Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films was
an “extraordinary film education,” he says.
Being an actor, says Serkis, gave him a
leg up in understanding just how to approach both scenes and actors alike.
“Actors can make great directors,” he
says. “They know what it’s like not to be prescribed to. As a director, it’s your prerogative to shift the performance to shape the
narrative and tone, but the skill is to do that
without in any way fettering what the actors
want to do.”
For Nanjiani, sculpting those scenes on
the page was made easier thanks to his acting experiences.
“As an actor you’re always breaking
down the emotional journey, or arc of the
scene, and how it affects the cast or relationship to the character,” he says.
He was also prepared by producer Judd
Apatow for all the rewrites to perfect the
script: “Each rewrite, even if we got just a little bit better, we knew we were heading in
the right direction.”
Intriguingly, most of the filmmakers
making their transitions did so relatively
unconcerned that their technical knowledge
might be lacking. Most had experience
watching from the sets of films (Sorkin says
he’s “not done working with great directors”
like David Fincher; Strong had Lee Daniels
pulling a few strings at Fox to get him practice directing “Empire” episodes). And most
of them didn’t flinch at the idea of learning
either on the job or after the job, as Dan
Gilroy notes. Gilroy’s second film, “Roman
J. Israel, Esq.” is just entering the awards
season conversation, but his 2014 “Nightcrawler” led him to spend the in-between
years “really educating myself; I studied
lenses and digital versus film for two to
three years.”
Noxon, on the other hand, hesitated before directing her own script. Like Sorkin,
she’d been a showrunner on TV series like
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Private
Practice,” but she says, “There’s a real
machismo in the film business that’s not
conscious — but they tell you in every way
possible that you’re not able to direct. That
you’re not smart enough, or you don’t know
cameras, and as a woman raised in a certain
era, I certainly bought into that.”
Fortunately, she notes, “The miraculous
thing was discovering with ‘To the Bone’
that I didn’t have to know everything, and
just had to surround myself with people who
knew more than I did, and we’d help each
other.”
Which is ultimately what every director
has to do, whether it’s a first or a 40th film —
since, after all, a director’s education never
wraps.
“I know I still need to learn everything,”
says Strong. “It’s endless. I feel like I went to
grad school and got a PhD making the film.
You really are thrown into the deep end —
and it’s just an incredible learning experience.”
calendar@latimes.com
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Anthony Russo For The Times
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latimes.com/envelope
ON WRITING
STEVEN ROGERS >>>‘I, TONYA’
THE OPPOSITE
OF A FEEL-GOOD
CHRISTMAS
STORY
have the most walked dog in Santa Monica. When I feel stuck, I walk Walter. Production executives tend to put creative people into just one slot. Professionally, I
was thought of as the guy who wrote romantic comedies, which were rapidly going
out of style. I felt stuck. Walter was exhausted.
I had just written a Christmas movie called “Love the Coopers,” and I wanted to
write something that was completely different. My niece was over, and we happened to
catch this great documentary that Nanette Burstein did on “30 for 30” about Tonya Harding called “The Price of Gold.”
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I
And it occurred to me — nothing
doesn’t say Christmas like Tonya Harding.
I tracked down a super-nice woman in
Texas who said she was Tonya Harding’s
manager (but she’s not), who Tonya calls
Mom (but she isn’t). She got me in touch
with Tonya, and because I’d written those
romantic comedies, Tonya agreed to meet
with me.
I spent two days interviewing her. After
that, I tracked down Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and, surprisingly, he
agreed to talk with me too. There’s a title
card in “I, Tonya” that says, “Based on
irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true
interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff
Gillooly.” And that’s pretty accurate. Tonya and Jeff remembered almost nothing
the same way.
For their first date, Tonya remembered
that she and Jeff went to see a movie one
afternoon called “Nowhere to Hide” and
that her dad chaperoned. But Jeff recalled
Tonya’s mother accompanying them to a
restaurant for dinner and Tonya’s mother
trying to leave with extra chicken parts in
her purse.
A lot of our movie has to do with truth
and people’s perception of the truth.
Shawn Eckardt, Tonya’s “bodyguard,” told
himself and anyone within earshot that he
had teams of hit men at his disposal and
that he worked frequently for overseas
dictators. It’s crazy and funny, but if you go
a little deeper, I think he said it because he
was closing in on 400 pounds, lived in his
parents’ basement and was lonesome. All
the characters in our movie are telling
themselves what they need to tell themselves in order to be able to live with themselves. They’re trying to control the narrative. And that’s very human.
I wrote the script on spec for free and
felt very protective of it. I’ve been lucky
enough to have movies made, but I often
found them to be watered down versions of
what I wrote. “I, Tonya” has a very specific
tone that I didn’t think would survive the
studio system. It’s funny and violent and
zany and tragic. It’s not just one thing. I
wanted to make it independently and be a
producer so I could finally have a seat at
the table.
I partnered up with Bryan Unkeless,
Tom Ackerley and Margot Robbie. All of us
were fairly new producers, but I didn’t
think twice about that. We all saw the
movie the same way. That’s miraculous.
Craig Gillespie was our unanimous choice
to direct.
I had it in my contract that no one
could rewrite me without my consent. But
I didn’t need it. Everyone had my back.
Writers in Hollywood notoriously feel
mistreated. Dorothy Parker said, “Writers
are the women of Hollywood.” But on this
movie, I couldn’t have been treated more
respectfully. It was actually really moving.
Mel Melcon Los Angeles Times
STEVEN ROGERS takes five with his dog, Walter, who looks happy to be relax-
ing and not going for another walk around Santa Monica in search of inspiration.
I’d been friends with Allison Janney
since we went to acting school at the
Neighborhood Playhouse 150 years ago. I’d
always write parts for her, but she never
got to play them. This time, I attached her
to the role of Tonya’s mother, LaVona,
when I went out with the script. OK, the
fact that she hadn’t exactly read the script
yet or agreed to play it is another story, but
thank God the gamble paid off. She’s
fantastic in the movie.
All the actors are.
We had a small budget. All of us worked
for scale. Somehow we shot 256 scenes in
31 days. I don’t know how many scenes a
day that makes (I don’t use the math side
of my brain. I sleep on that side. And I get
eight hours), but that’s in large part due to
Craig Gillespie and a fantastic crew. And
Margot Robbie. She would sometimes play
four different ages in one day, modulating
her voice slightly four different ways with
different physicality for each age. Come on!
The truth is, no one would have hired a
“romantic comedy writer” to write this
script. I had to gamble on myself and
reinvent myself. And that, like Tonya’s
story, is very American.
Of course, now I’m only offered edgy,
dark comedies instead of romantic comedies, but that’s a different problem. Walter
is resting easy.
calendar@latimes.com
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THE GOLD STANDARD | GLENN WHIPP
BULLISH ON DEL TORO?
‘The Shape of Water’
could be what brings the
myth-making Mexican
director into the Oscar
fold with his friends
Cuarón and Iñárritu.
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A
lfonso Cuarón won the Oscar
for director in 2014 for “Gravity.” Alejandro González
Iñárritu took that prize the
following two years for “Birdman” and “The Revenant.”
Is this the year that Guillermo del Toro
— close friends with Cuarón and Iñárritu
since the ’90s and, like them, one of Mexico’s most acclaimed and successful filmmakers — wins his Oscar?
Del Toro stands as a strong contender
for directing “The Shape of Water,” a
lavish, deeply felt love story involving a
pair of outsiders — a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) and an Amazonian
water creature (frequent Del Toro collaborator Doug Jones).
“The Shape of Water” won the Golden
Lion for best movie at the Venice Film
Festival in September, a sign that it could
be a strong contender for critics groups
prizes in the coming weeks.
It also possesses the kind of deep love
for movies — in this case, Golden Age
musicals, ’50s horror along with big biblical dramas — that Oscar voters seem to
adore.
Del Toro told me recently that for the
first time in a decade, he doesn’t know
what his next project will be. And he feels
liberated.
“Alfonso and Alejandro, they always
said to me that I was wrong thinking
about the next movie while I was prepping
and shooting my current one,” Del Toro
said. “But I didn’t understand it. And I
guess at age 53 you learn something. They
were right. I’m very happy.”
Look for that newfound bliss to continue as Del Toro moves closer to joining his
friends in the circle of Oscar winners.
Here’s an early preview of the races for
director and original and adapted screenplay.
SALLY HAWKINS
stars with Doug
Jones in Guillermo
del Toro’s “The
Shape of Water.”
Kerry Hayes Twentieth Century Fox
DIRECTOR
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
On the cusp: Martin McDonagh, “Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”;
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”; Joe Wright,
“Darkest Hour”; Paul Thomas Anderson,
“Phantom Thread”
In the conversation: Dee Rees, “Mudbound”; Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled”;
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”; Denis
Villeneuve, “Blade Runner 2049”; Patty
Jenkins, “Wonder Woman”; Kathryn Bigelow, “Detroit”
Analysis: Nolan and Del Toro represent
the only locks here. Spielberg, a seventime nominee, would also seem a pretty
good bet to earn his first nomination since
“Lincoln” for “The Post,” an entertaining
drama about the Washington Post publishing the confidential Pentagon Papers
in 1971. With its timely look at gender
fairness and journalists speaking truth to
power, Spielberg’s prestige picture epitomizes the kind of relevant endeavor that
voters love to reward.
I’ve listed five women here. All of them
— Gerwig, Rees, Coppola, Bigelow and
Jenkins — have made films worthy of
consideration, and it seems inconceivable
that the academy will pass over every one
of them.
“Lady Bird” possesses the most potent
mix of critical and commercial support,
which puts first-time director Gerwig at
the front of the queue.
Guadagnino, McDonagh and Peele
are the forces behind three of the year’s
most acclaimed movies, and any one of
them could earn a nomination. Momentum will be a factor here, as academy
members pick up cues from other voting
groups.
I’ll give the slightest of edges to Italian
director Guadagnino as his luminous
coming-of-age love story seems to be
connecting with voters on a palpable
emotional level. (To put it another way:
Bring a handkerchief.)
[See Gold Standard, S38]
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[Gold Standard, from S36]
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
James Ivory, “Call Me by Your Name”
Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams, “Mudbound”
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber,
“The Disaster Artist”
Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled”
On the cusp: Richard Linklater, “Last
Flag Flying”; Brian Selznick, “Wonderstruck”
In the conversation: James Mangold,
Scott Frank and Michael Green, “Logan”;
Hampton Fancher and Michael Green,
“Blade Runner 2049”; John Pollono,
“Stronger”
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Analysis: “Call Me by Your Name” is
probably the only best picture nominee
this year to sport an adapted screenplay,
making the winner of this category a
foregone conclusion. Plus, Ivory, a threetime nominee for directing “The Remains
of the Day,” “Howards End” and “A Room
With a View,” will be a sentimental favorite.
At age 89, he may have written his
finest adaptation with “Call Me,” a remarkable feat given the quality of work
he did with his late life’s partner, Ismail
Merchant.
Seeing Ivory onstage holding his
Oscar will be one of the highlights of this
year’s ceremony.
Nicole Rivelli Lionsgate
RAY ROMANO and Zoe Kazan play father and daughter in “The Big Sick,”
written by fellow actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor,
“The Shape of Water”
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, “The
Big Sick”
On the cusp: Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, “The Post”; Anthony McCarten,
“Darkest Hour”; Paul Thomas Anderson,
“Phantom Thread”; Sean Baker and
Chris Bergoch, “The Florida Project”
In the conversation: Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor, “Downsizing”; Steven
Rogers, “I, Tonya”
Analysis: The academy’s writers branch
will ease the disappointment for several
of the filmmakers who don’t make the cut
for director. This year, this is the more
competitive of the two writing categories,
with the bulk of the likely best picture
nominees coming from this group.
“The Post” is likely to generate plenty
of headlines, and first-time screenwriter
Hannah’s partnership with Oscar winner
Singer (“Spotlight”) is a great story in
itself. But it’s not quite as good as the
narrative behind “The Big Sick,” in which
husband-and-wife team Nanjiani and
Gordon turned their bumpy real-life
courtship into a commercial hit. Comedies don’t often get their due at the Oscars, but the heartfelt “Big Sick” also
examines questions of identity with
insight and complexity. Voters should
reward it.
glenn.whipp@latimes.com; Twitter: @glennwhipp
Sony Pictures Classics
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET and Amira Casar star in “Call Me by Your Name,”
adapted by James Ivory, thrice nominated for directing in the 1980s and 1990s.
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