Lil Tay is not dead, but responsibility at the LAT seems to be

Lil Tay Dead is what the LA Times wrote in a headline

First let me point out I love the LA Times. Working there was a dream come true, literally. I had been obsessed with the fantasy of working there one day and decades after having my first piece published in The Daily Nexus, I got my chance.

I learned a lot there. One of the things Henry Fuhrmann and I talked about a lot regarding digital news was transparency, especially in response to corrections, particularly major ones.
Yesterday there was an LA Times headline that said straight up that a person died. There was no coroner’s report. Their sole source was an Instagram post on the girl’s IG page.
Tay went on TMZ today to admit it wasnt true
Today the social media personality went to TMZ to say the reports of her death were greatly— she said she had been hacked.
Did the LA Times admit later on Wednesday they had jumped the gun in the neverending quest to jump on Google trends in the vacuous world of celebrity news? No.
Instead they pointed to the vague “social media” as the culprits.

“The death of Lil Tay, a young social media star who went viral for her foulmouthed videos, as well as the death of her older brother, was reported Wednesday on social media by an unnamed family member,” a Times writer wrote as the lede of the updated post yesterday.

But that’s incomplete. The death was also reported Wednesday BY THE LA TIMES. And they should not only acknowledge it, but regret their error.

Today there is are new headlines by my favorite paper. The first uses the Gen-Z phrase of “unalive,” which to my knowledge became the way to say “dead” without triggering YouTube bots from hiding the content BUT I COULD BE WRONG.
But quickly that awkward hed was changed to “Report: Lily Tay is alive…” even though her name isn’t Lily and there wasn’t a report. YR GIRL CALLED TMZ. JUST SAY THE FUCKING WORDS.
And admit you’ve been wrong wrong wrong about all of this from the jump and continue to flounder with these half assed updates.

So what is the solution?

Incredibly simple.
Do not report on shit without independently verifying it.
Will the LAT publish stories later? Yes. So what? The paper is behind a paywall. This race for clicks is over. You can either have a paywall or you can have clicks.
Or best of all you can have accurate “news” the first time, or Best of All, responsible journalism along the lines of “Rumors and Reports of Lil Tay’s Death Have Not Been Confirmed By Coroner.” Which was the only news yesterday until the teen called Harvey.
If I seem to have a Lil energy on this it is because major news outlets love to shit on TMZ and its scoops. But Harvey hardly makes mistakes like what is still happening at the LAT. In part because this world is his Wheelhouse, whereas it is not the Times’. But also, he confirms his shit.
How he confirms it may be shady to some in that he famously pays sources, but then he double checks that info too.
What has blown my mind about the LAT’s gossip coverage over the decades is they are so quick to publish, linking to the outside media outlets as their sources.
Calls about this type of matter from the LAT will get returned. SO CALL THEM. Just like any other desk. Rarely have I seen original reporting on the Gossip desk and it hurts me. The LAT has just as much opportunity for scoops and exclusives as anyone else.
But they won’t if they continue this sort of sloppy writing, editing, and lack of transparency and ownership of errors.

every time i take this adhd pill

i wanna write her the most inappropriate email

why her?

who knows?

why anything.

sometimes the body just goes where it shouldnt be

sometimes a body doesnt wanna be where it should.

if Should ran my life id be as boring as those who i lash out at

i lash because i know thats my fate one day

i know i will become fat and happy because running from that world is hopeless

its coming for me.

it’ll get me like it got the others

but imma fight before it does

and think about her for 40 minutes until the pill wears off

and think about how i should just write what i want and tuck it away somewhere

and leave it for the college boys of the future to discover

and say omg really?

this blog rarely lets me in to type so hi!

ive been super busy with so many things: uber, podcasting, and writing for Setlist.FM

here’s the Setlist things I’ve done lately.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Cruel Summer’ Is The Hit That Wouldn’t Die 

MTV’s Best Gift May Have Been MTV Unplugged

Setlist History: Prince Begins 21 Sold Out Nights in London’s O2

Setlist History: White Stripes’ Last Full Concert

Artists We’d Love To See Touring Right Now

Adele’s Best Cover Songs We Hope She Brings Back to Vegas

Setlist History: Billy Joel Rocks Russia

Sinéad O’Connor Dies at 56, Music World Mourns

Lollapalooza ’91: Where Are They Playing Now

Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” Dropped This Week in 1987 

Setlist History: Bob Dylan Booed For Playing Electric

Setlist History: Kiss’ First Show Without Peter Criss

Setlist History: Pat Benatar Debuts “Hell is for Children” in NYC

Harry Styles Ends Two-Year Love Tour Emotionally In Italy

Setlist History: The Police Kick Off of the Synchronicity Tour 

It’s been an absolute joy to do these, and i am learning tons about these shows while doing the research.

ok gotta go drive for 8 hours byeeee

the portal is open

for some reason this blog wont let me blog and its frustrating but here it is 254am and i noticed this window that had been hanging for ever suddenly opened and here you are. hi.

let me see if this saves.

whattay know it saved. ok. so i have a new job that keeps me up all night, for good reasons.

it’s writing for Setlist.fm which apparently everyone i talk with about, loves.

i love being able to not just write about music every day but concerts. new ones old ones. and its great to work with Bree again.

its a lot of writing but its more about the research. a lot of finding things, listening, watching, reading. then writing.

the podcast hit its 100th episode on the fourth of july. then we decided to take the rest of the month off because those first two years was a sprint, baby, whew. so its nice to have a little break as i figure out the routine of setlist.

with that said, tomorrow i interview a former tv and movie writer who is now a therapist.

we had this huge tweet go viral last weekend and he dmed me right before it happened saying he loves the show and wanted to be on. because he did it before the viral tweet makes me believe him more.

the tweet was this one where an actor talks tough to a studio chief. because the actor deleted the original which was on his IG, ours was the one everyone retweeted. 8 million views.

but the best part, 1,100 new followers. maybe 1,200 who knows. a lot. we’re at 2,600 now. and the best part about that is they’re all real.

ok i need to finish this ed sheeran thing and watch dude wheres my car.

freedom

Picked him up at the airport. He had his iphone ear buds in but he kept talking to me as we got out of LAX to his apartment in WeHo.

He was a screenwriter and novelist who asked me if I ever considered writing about driving rideshare.

As a matter of fact, I said…

He was very encouraging and I admitted I was stuck in the middle of the worst Catch-22.

“Any story I really want to tell is so juicy or has so much detail that I am afraid I will expose the passenger even if I change the name and the places and everything,” I said.

“The heart of the story will be about THAT person, that real human being who might be horrified if they saw what they told me in confidence end up on the page, or worse in a kickass Netflix series where each of these stories gets put to life with a different celebrity driver each week talking to a new celebrity passenger, acting out the tales I have written down.”

He took out the ear buds and said, “wait, I thought you had lived in LA for a while. I thought you had been in the business.”

I have, I said, questioning my answer.

“No no, this isn’t journalism,” he continued, “where if you see a building on fire and you write about it, it gets published in the paper the next day. The odds of you writing a story that gets bought AND produced is minimal.”

He went on.

“Most stories don’t get deals. And most deals don’t get made. It doesn’t matter who you are or what the topic is. Right now in the shelves all around Hollywood is another Hollywood’s worth of unproduced screenplays.”

My stories will never make it to Netflix?

Your stories will never make it to Netflix.

Then I am free.

You are. Write it down. All of it.

I floored it.

$6.43 tip.

feeling pissed, might delete later

ive been angry for a full day because of KPCC laying off 22 of its staffers right after the LAT laid off 70+

The Times, what can you do, it’s a losing proposition and it takes a 7x billionaire to fund the thing and at some point he may realize he likes having 7x more than 6x plus a newspaper and give up

But KPCC – which has not earned the right to the name LAist due to its archives not being complete nor its style or attitude being AWOL, and then they pull this, which is not an LAist thing, it’s a KPCC thing.

What is this? Of the 22 are their two main digital writers Jessica and Mike. Jessica first started writing for LAist way back when I was the boss. SIXTEEN years ago. She’s written for Playboy, the WaPo, etc and this year has more bylines than anyone.

Gone.

And Mike has been at KPCC for FIFTEEN years and writes about the fun things like Comicon and Movies and TV shows that actually get the pageviews that dry news cannot get. Another thing that cannot get hits is covering the same things the LAT covers, which they cannot wean themselves from.

Gone.

But the saddest is Taylor who has also been there for 15 years, starting off as an Admin then Reception then Office Manager… recently she was writing, producing and providing voice over coaching and voice overs for podcasts at LAist Studios.

Not long ago she was dying after some rare disease happened onto her as she was delivering her baby and she nearly died. Terminating her knowing how vital she needs her health insurance is so fucking cruel. Like WTF is even happening?

Worse: In 2021, the midst of COVID, companies are going out of business left and right, KPCC rakes in over $40 million for just the second time in its history.

It has money.

And even if it didn’t, the last person you cut is the woman who greeted all of your VIPs, celebrity guests, delivery dudes, and staff every morning for nine years. Literally the face of your fucking station.

I’m angry because of all of the places I’ve worked in my life, and Lord knows there have been a ton, you’d think the cuddly little NPR news outlet in Pasadena would be so damn cold to people who have been there early mornings after early mornings and through that fucking plague and the shift into podcasting

but it clearly is not

and then there’s my baby, LAist

that beautiful sonofabitch.

LAist is having its good name dragged over the weirdass actions of others who’ve never written for LAist.

ive never been hacked before, but how is this any different?

and why would someone buy a thing that has a name that connects with the audience you wanna have but dont give them what you know they love.

Thanks for rescuing our stolen thoroughbred, but why are you feeding it cat food

ive been making prisons for trump

was super unmotivated today driving uber

probably bc i got a happy meal a little too early in the day

then i got a burrito to soothe the uncomfortableness

but that backfired

luckily i was right around my pad and i stopped in twice

the rides were good, good people, but i just wasnt loving it

last guy was a long time record label guy who was seeing a show at the greek

such a good conversation

but when i ended up by my place again i went to the grocery store and all the money i made in the day went to mr vons

kitty litter
bananas
a rotisserie chicken
soups
grape juice
tp
croissants
frozen egg and sausage biscuits
baby sausages
a pound and a half of ground turkey for four bucks

artists rendition of what trump's jail cell should look like

got a new kitty litter robot deal

i cheaped out on the first one, wasted $400 i dont have on the first robot i saw. it leaked pee. it was finicky about when it wanted to work.

i ended up putting an old mattress cover under it to soak up the pee as i waited for an actual robot to arrive at an even steeper price.

but hooking that thing up today. man. this is how it should be!

the cats will prob pee *around* it before going all in, but thats why i have this amazing spin mop

the other great thing i bought this year.

such an interesting few weeks

found an even better mechanic who is even cooler than my already cool dudes but best of all hes a block away from me. i do feel guilty switching over to him tho because i am a loyal man and the father son team have done me really well over the years.

been driving smarter. not longer. it helped that last week was the soon-to-be end at ucla bc they were out in droves. also it helped it was pride weekend. i did better than i had in a long time. also lyft bribed me $480 to do 32 trips over the weekend. because im dumb i didnt see the message until saturday. i had already started an uber bribe so i had to get lucky to pull them both off. i struck luck in westwood. but when i got home last night i was pooped.

my new adhd meds are good, if not mild. got a med student who works at a pharmacy about them and she said they’re basically adderall. i said but isnt there an adderall shortage? she said yes but people dont know that thats what these are. but these are in a shortage too.

my car has a check engine light on it. it mostly drives well but you can tell somethings a little off. i have an appointment on the 13th to get new wires. but i need to remember to tell them that it gets hot in my car. maybe the heater is overdoing it?

im addicted to midjourney it makes me so creative.

even if im not using midjourney

or am i

mwhaahahahahaha

ive been addicted to mid journey

some nights ill just try to make the weirdest things i can

figuring out how creative and deep and dark and random the computer is

then other nights i try to see how pretty it can be 

i am not a minimalist.

i like lots of crazy things happening all at the same time.

and i like things slightly evil

which midjourney excels at.

more precisely, it seems to love any sort of human sadness or horror.

anger, sorrow, mayhem – that AI gets it

it also loves skeletons

skulls

and darkness

i mean i love that so much.

and in so many ways midjourney is an extension of our imagination

but trust me, not even my imagination is that solid.