Thursday, December 19, 2013

Two Studs

Little Bear Park, the kiddie park where the
Rizzo gang told Vives & Gottlieb to meet them.
I've resisted following up on the City of Bell crimes til now, but the trial of assistant city manager Angela Spaccia -- guilty -- and the plea by slimeball Robert Rizzo of no contest to 69 counts has resurfaced this "huge little story." So, while the big EM08 dawgs (continue to) sip cognac on yachts and laugh at the little peeps, at least these medium gangsters are getting bracelets. 

Here's a pretty good talk with Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb. What I appreciated was how they detail that from deciphering contracts to interviewing to forensic accounting to making simple requests that can stretch for days if not weeks... this is long, painstaking work that only investigative journalism can do. They remind me of my television hero, Columbo; persistent, a focus on detail and a poker pro's nose for horseshit when they smell it.

More, their talk underscores why media is so crucial to freedom. Rather, a media that values sunlight, can figure out the dollars and has the balls to stand up to power.

Back on the ground, reporters Vives and Gottlieb deserve some kind of medal. An unlikely pair, Gottlieb is the grizzled vet, having bounced round honing his skills, while Vives shouldn't even be in his position if we listened to some. As a kid he was an undocumented immigrant (Guatemala). That he's here, standing with a Pulitzer in hand speaks well for our country.

These guys are studs, and really make me proud. Sometimes our country works pretty well.
(Doesn't Gottlieb have a passing resemblance to Bob Odenkirk? Don't know who Odenkirk is? Better call Saul....)