why its important to keep it real

sandy koufax, center, the legendary dodger pitching ace wanted

to do something nice for joe torre’s, right, non profit in 2010

so he took the stage to be interviewed by

the notorious tj simers, left.

notorious because tj would tell it like he saw it

and he usually saw things through

bitter-colored glasses.

tj’s biggest fans would say they aren’t bitter, they’re


theyd argue the world sugar coats everything, especially journalists, particularly sports journos because they can’t burn bridges because they have to work with these teams every day, year after year.

i enjoyed reading tj because i wanted to see who pissed him off now

koufax gets his ass kissed by everyone. clearly he wanted to be interviewed live by someone who wasn’t going to kiss his ass.

and thats the lesson i learned from tj, indirectly

if you are known as the person who makes you fucking earn that A

then sometimes the best in the world will want to come to you

and only you.

so keep on keeping it real.

(which was your job in the first place)

photo by Dodger Blue World

when i was i school they made us read robinson crusoe

it starts off with Robinson Crusoe’s dad telling him to always take the middle path

meaning dont do the craziest most dangerous thing

and dont be so boring and conservative that you miss everything

and i always thought, well thats all fine and good

but aint nobody begging to hear the story of Robinson Crusoe Sr.

tell us about this kid.

tell us about his adventures and how he escaped sure death and shipwrecks,

show us how he outsmarted pirates, wolves

and cannibals.

tell us about the time he saved people.

i grew up loving outsiders because as the only black kid in town, i was the biggest outsider ever.

i had a huge afro and the energy of three suns.

where was i gonna hide?

so i loved mike royko, harry caray and this morning kid show host ray rayner who made bad crafts and needed little pockets to hold the notes about the announcements he was to read.

it’s really too bad that nothing in the busblog is true because

can you imagine if in here i told the real tales of what ive seen

and done

living in hollywood

these last 19 years

east of western?

if anything it was that struggle between

trying to take the middle road

but fighting back the robinson crusoe.

i didn’t move to watch everybody else live lives worth writing down.

in fact, please direct me to the cannibals and wolves,

i have questions.

so many questions.

try not to suck

a few times a year i speak to college journalists.

who knows why.

recently i Zoomed into a high school journalism class.

i said, look, im just a guy who lives in a van by the river, but i know this — so much of the world, so much of your competition are horrible at what they do.

they’re not into it. they only do it for the money. they dont study. they dont practice. they dont live and breathe it.

you will find yourself in jobs you dont care about. do me this favor. if you find yourself doing journalism half assedly, you either quit or write me

my email address is tony at tony pierce dot com.

and i will help you find another gig because there are so few journalism jobs out there these days that it’s so not cool for people to be taking up a slot that could be given to someone who really loves it. who reads newspapers, who reads books, who figures out how to get stories read, who figures out how to write and produce in interesting ways.

so if you are hating waking up in the morning to go to work i will help you get the job you really want.

this class sent me the best care package today. they gave me a shirt, a keychain and a postcard from their idyllic town. it made me think, wow, what did i say to them? cuz who knows when youre getting through to teens. theyre harder to read than girlfriends.

but now that i see this tshirt on theo epstein (pictured), one that i have but dont wear much because it never fit me well, i can just boil it down for them next time – try not to suck.

time goes so quickly.

i moved to california 36 years ago. it seems like yesterday. literally.

yes ive done shitloads and all of that, but i seriously remember clearly that first summer in santa monica. i was obsessed with learning everything i could about LA. everything seemed to ring a bell. every major street or town was something i had heard on TV or movies or read somewhere.

id go to a gas station and think, oh this is near UCLA, i wonder if Kareem ever pumped gas here?

little would i have guessed that one day i would launch a blog with him.

a blog that did not suck.

and the best part about that and other memories that i have about giving 100% — any time someone asks me about them, a smile comes to my face.

and a million funny stories.

do what you love and you’ll never stop smiling.

well i replugged

i had to. i was watching TV on Saturday Night. 11pm news.

when you’re not distracted by your phone and laptop you actually watch things. its crazy.

the nice lady on TV said “a radio reporter was arrested tonight in Compton…”

LA is huge but it’s also teeny tiny. I totally expected to see Claudia Peschiutta being escorted to the pokey because, like, me, she is not afraid to tell Authorities when they are wrong wrong wrong and let’s count the ways they are wrong.

the last person i thought id see on my screen was Josie Huang.

But there was Josie, screaming to the fuzz who she worked for, that she was a journalist and how this was wrong.

Shockingly on the LA Sheriff Dept’s Twitter account was a three-part tweet that claimed she “admitted” she didn’t have the “proper” press credentials AND that she had no ID.

Josie? one of the most prepared and organized reporters you’ll ever cross paths with?

we are to believe that Josie drove all the way down to compton to go to a hospital where two deputies are recovering from gunshots to the head and she didn’t bring a press pass or her work ID?

technically, there is no requirement for a press credential to practice journalism. Many in the press simply have business cards but even that is not required to be protected by the first amendment the same way you don’t need a document to speak.

press passes are typically offered to make things easier for law enforcement or other officials to determine who is press in tense situations where yelling and pointing aren’t always easy to do. or in this case its shown to hospital staff to help prove why you are there. unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee entry or access but it doesn’t hurt.

but on the sidewalk, a public sidewalk, the minute Josie identified herself to the deputies they should have respected her in the exact same way law enforcement wants to be respected when they identify themselves in situations.

secondly, she had her ID flapping from her neck, laminated, and visible, so fuck your fucking bullshit tweet. delete it.

i hate lies so much that i created this blog.

and on this blog i wrote “nothing in here is true” that way if i wanted to lie, i could and no one could say they were tricked.

the irony is on many posts the only lie is “nothing in here is true”

the Law, however should always be trusted. and their tweets should be Gospel. video proves that all three of these tweets are false.

on a day where two deputies were shot in the head at point blank range the public should be united in trying to find the shooter. instead, due to these lies and the way Josie was treated, the emotions are more complicated than they should be and respect for the LA sheriff’s dept is not 100%.

that is fucked. and it’s nobody’s fault other than the department, which currently doesn’t have the greatest track record.

is there a solution? there’s always a solution.

here a former journalist should be in charge of that twitter account. they should be paid $150k and there should be zero rush to put out information. especially if it is in regards to someone, like a journalist, who has video of the arrest and the events leading up to it, and if there are, oh I dont know, tv cameras showing reverse angles and such.

because this will only make the department look worse when the truth comes out.

but heres the problem.

we currently live in a country where the President of the United States has convinced a healthy chunk of the populace that the press is not to be trusted. also ironic since he has lied to the nation over 20,000 times from petty topics like crowd size of his inauguration to deadly things like how the coronavirus is spread.

therefore something eye opening happened when on twitter word spread of Josie’s arrest:

the majority of the public didn’t believe her.

despite the videos, despite the ACLU, journalism unions, journalism orgs, her workplace, other journalists who were there, asswipes like me… sooooo many people on twitter said nonsense like “that’ll teach her for getting in the way of deputies.” “she wanted to be The story, well she got what she wanted.”

it blew me away. which is hard to do because i have been on Twitter for a little while now.

but it taught me an incredibly important lesson.

for some idealistic reason i have always believed that if so much popular opinion is against me on Twitter, there’s something i could have done better, different, more clear that would have prevented so much negativity.

but here Josie did nothing wrong. there were multiple camera angles. things were clear. hell, we could even see the deputies trying to smash her camera to destroy the evidence that they had illegally manhandled her and interfered with HER job, not the other way around.

and yet the public saw this gold dress as a red one.

it did not help that the Sheriff Dept shit in the punchbowl with its tweets. despite the fact that this is a department who just recently was exposed for incredibly bad behavior. there are members of the public who will always take the side of the law over the press even if the video is right in front of them and there are jerks like me who will confront them on twitter telling them that they are wrong wrong wrong.

plugging back in for a day taught me just another reason why i should unplug for a week.

my beloved social channels are infested with pollution that in many ways is man made.

and its good to rehab for a while and get that gunk out of your system before diving headfirst back into it for the rest of this year.

woah i havent blogged all week?

well it was a crazy week

and as life goes, what you may think is weird in your personal or professional relationships can suddenly turn into small potatoes when shit goes afoul in the USA and then your own city.

this was the week that a young man was killed in Minnesota and it was filmed.

his murderer: a cop.

it took forever for the cop to get fired which pissed off a bunch of people, and then it took a while for his three partners to get canned. but only the one cop ended up getting arrested, and that took a bunch.

so add to the mix the fact that most of the USA is locked down, watching things over and over on the internet and TV, and added to that people don’t have to go to work in the morning. Also people are nervous and mad and scared about their jobs. 40 million americans are unemployed.

then sprinkle onto that the fact that white women are still calling the cops on black men for being black, and the POTUS has zero leadership abilities, and the rich are somehow getting richer from funds that are supposed to go to small businesses

and you have a slow burning fuse

and then a powder keg.





people stealing stuff not just in the hood any more, that’s so 20th century, now they have gone to beverly hills, and melrose, and today was santa monica.

nordstom at the grove was hit.

gucci on rodeo drive.

big five in santa monica.

everything must go.

now theres fires across the street from the white house.

on friday trump was rushed down to an underground bunker.

shit’s so crazy and so wild that i have zero story ideas.

and whats worse is i have three stories in the can that if i had worked faster and pushed harder would already be out there but now if they go out this week they’ll probably seem stale.

cuz theyre based on COVID, which is still a thing, but the Riots are the new thing

racism, police brutality, the national guard

the deadly disease is def not the main thing any more.

which is a lesson i knew a long long time ago: publish your stuff ASAP because you never know what world changing event will happen tomorrow.

here’s what i wrote for Los Angeleno in April

Pretty sure this is the most productive I’ve ever been as a reporter. Even with LAist I didn’t produce these many original pieces in one month.

Of note: interviews with American Apparel founder Dov Charney about what his new company, Los Angeles Apparel is doing to help curb the pandemic, a visit to a Walmart in the Valley as it gets new pallets of toilet paper and paper towels, features on a radio journalist from KNX and an outgoing Pulitzer winner from the LA Times, an interview with an ICU doc in Palm Springs who uses the controversial cocktail to try to save lives of coronavirus patients, a feature on smokeless weed with several fascinating people, and a bunch of news wrap-ups all about the terrible virus that changed everything.

And I took some cool pictures.

Coronavirus: Fountains of Wayne Co-founder Dies; Covered California Extension

Dov Charney’s New Passion: Face Masks

Coronavirus: 1M Global Cases; Furloughs Hit Disney

Coronavirus: Richard Simmons Returns; News Viewership Up

T.P. Hits the Shelves — ‘This is Like War Rationing’

Know Your Journalist: KNX’s Claudia Peschiutta

Coronavirus: County Extends Stay-at-Home Order; Supplies Stolen at Naval Medical Center

Is the Billboard magazine cover for sale or are they just haters?

Why do magazines – especially Billboard – hate Lil Nas X so much?

Is the story of a gay, 20 year-old rapper with a country song that has set the record for being on Billboard’s Hot 100 the longest in history (18 weeks) not compelling enough to put on its own cover?

Is it because he’s probably a one-hit wonder? Isn’t that the case for most hits? That didn’t stop them from giving PSY the Elvis treatment when he was just #2 on the same chart.

Billboard dragged its feet and only put Daddy Yankee in its cover after his run of 16 weeks… but they finally conceded on their year end mop-up issue. Will Nas X have to wait until December?

But seriously, why no love for the kid who bought the beat for the year’s monster jam for $30 and roped in Miley Cyrus’s dad and later a K-Pop boybander to keep the party going? Are they hating the player or the game?

He literally hit the high score on their bullshit scoreboard and they stubbornly refuse to give him his well earned props. Why?

It makes me wonder if the cover is for sale. Has his label, Columbia, refused to pay – rightfully? Is that how Billboard works? Is that the obvious conclusion? Are they forever embarrassed for manually removing the song from the Country chart in March? Did he not handle that with enough class?

Which raises the question: exactly how many weeks must a brother have his song atop the Billboard Hot 100 until Billboard places him on the cover? How many millions of views must his video get? Is 254 million not enough?

Billboard isn’t alone. Last week Rolling Stone had the chance to do the right thing by putting the Southern rapper on its cover as part of its New Artist issue but instead chose the teen spirit, Billie Eilish, who is def worthy of praise — but as Babe Ruth said when a reporter asked him in 1930 how he felt about having a larger salary than President Hoover, the Bambino quipped, “I had a better year.”

Nas X is having the Best Year Ever and yet Rolling Stone didn’t even put his name on the cover of this month’s issue.

Shout out to the magazines who have given him his rightful props. Leading the pack is Teen Vogue who for the last few years have consistently done the right thing. In June they were the first to give Nas X the cover story treatment. Since then Dazed, Hits, and British GQ have followed suit, but the pithy play has been pathetic to say the least.

i wrote this two years ago, it’s spooky to read it today

november 7, 2016

Shout out to the journalists, particularly those on the trail who covered this insane race and who found themselves surrounded by ignorance, hate, confederate flags, and bombarded with so many lies every day it must have been tough some days to figure out which flaming bag of poop to step on.

Shout out to the journalists who didn’t make it this far. 56 journalists around the globe were killed this year while doing their jobs.

Most people don’t like public speaking, writing essays, doing research, or calling someone they know won’t talk to them. Journalists do all of that every day, on deadline, for far less money than you would guess. They work long hours, holidays, nights, and weekends. They are often split apart from their families and miss recitals and baseball games: all so you can be smarter than your friends.

Oh and also, so they can make the world a better place.

The Wells Fargo Scandal, where it was discovered that the giant bank committed enormous fraud didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Journalism exposed it.

So when Donald Trump supporters suggest stringing up journalists for doing the unthinkable – writing down the things their candidate says into a microphone – think about the other nations who ban, kill, and imprison reporters.

Those are the least-American places in the world… probably because there are fewer journalists around there to shine a light on it.

If you know a journalist or run into one, hug them.

They probably could use it.

when you let people coast, you are selling them out

the job of a coach, a manager, a boss, a friend

is to push.

there are mean ways and nice ways to push.

not everyone responds with negative reinforcement, some people will bloom when they’re told how great they are because some people have never been told how great they are.

or they just need it so badly. you can be that sunlight.

other people have been stroked for so long that they might not know how dull their edge is. those people need prodding, sometimes even shoving.

the great jockey Willie Shoemaker used to talk about “showing the whip”. his theory was any jockey can whip the crap out of a horse on the home stretch, but a wise jockey knows that the whip will only work a few times and then the horse either wont respond or it will slow down as a fuck you.

so what Willie would do is he would show the whip by moving his whip hand really close to the horse’s eye and then giving him a quick snap where he can feel it. then through out the race, any time he wants a little more from the steed he will simply

show the whip and see what happens.

if the horse speeds up, perfect. thats what he wanted. that was the message and the message was received.

when the home stretch happens, old Willie would show the whip and if the horse ignored it he would show again and smack him to remind him what the whip was all about. sometimes he would do it on the other side of the horse after showing it on that eye.

willie won a lot of horse races.

my favorite manager of all time was Billy Martin. he was all whip. he burned out pitching staffs, he burned bridges, he got fired 4 times from the same boss, but he won and won and won

with style. and excitement.

some people forget that part of some jobs is to provide a bit of a show.

ask hunter s thompson. writers have a great opportunity to also be showmen.

anyways because Billy didn’t understand the nuance of showing the whip, his effectiveness was only about 2-3 years and the players would realize oh this guy really isnt gonna punch me in the face, so fuck him, i wanna be traded anyways.

my problem with many so called leaders is they’re just there for the ride. they don’t want to even show the whip. they wanna hang on for dear life and coast.

the horse is not going to win if you just let it coast. which means you’re not going to win and the audience is ripped off from the show they paid good money for.

the coach, the manager, and in some rare instances, the fans, are there to motivate the star to shine its brightest

and often that comes from explosive friction.

if you can’t handle the heat, get used to mediocrity.

some dude tried to diss me because i blog

i wanted to say caucasian, please.

theres something about me that should probably change. i get into internet fights alllll the time.

i cant help it. people say stupid fucking shit and i  am overwhelmed with the desire to let them know that the universe (of which I am a part) heard them and disagree!

but thats when disappointment kicks in. rarely is there an interesting back and forth. it’s always some nonsense that has nothing to do with the original point. it’s always omg youre a liberal or youre living in california or youre

omg a blogger?!?!!

i want to say, no i am the manager of the chicago cubs. i live in a mansion in maui surrounded by orphans and topless hula nurses. im only in california because the cubs have a perfectly good manager. and im trying to find a girl who loves me for me and not my tropical paradise


theres this great story about these kids at a high school who work at at the school newspaper, who got a new principal. so they decided to write a little feature about her, and while they were researching her past they discovered that she had totally lied about her education. one thing led to another and the principal immediately resigned.

how many times have i stressed the importance of teaching kids journalism and how necessary school papers are in college and high school? millions.

not just because the kids will often get to the bottom of things, but because through journalism you learn how to write and argue like an adult.