Where the sun don’t shine
Who’s the media whore? Some journalists, as Bites has learned in recent years, are susceptible to bribery. None more so than your local TV weatherman. With a crisp $20 bill, one could easily influence how a weatherperson decides to spin the next cold front or heat wave. A moderately priced bottle of California zinfandel could sway a storm-watcher to nudge the forecasted temperature up a notch or two.
Sensing this truth of nature, an online travel company called CheapSeats.com recently decided to offer free three-day vacations to meteorologists in foul-weather places. Among those offered the all-expenses-paid rendezvous with warmer weather is Sacramento’s own Elissa Lynn, chief meteorologist over at KXTV News10—according to the travel company’s press statement.
So, Bites needs to know—before showing up to work in only a Speedo and Hawaiian shirt tomorrow—whether Emmy-winning weatherwoman Lynn is on the take.
Stacy Owen, News10’s news director, said no one at the station had received a formal offer from CheapSeats.com, and even if they had, “we wouldn’t accept anything like that.” She said the offer looks like a simple publicity stunt on the company’s part.
“They’re just trying to attract attention to themselves,” Owen said.
Well, then, that makes Bites the media whore. And we didn’t even get a free plane ticket in exchange for this plug.
Really, really big: Not only is Sacramento’s daily news rag a muckraking, trailblazing, truth-seeking crusader of ink and paper, but it also displays a downright Shakespearean propensity for wordplay.
Last week, The Sacramento Bee dropped a g-bomb into its venerable pages.
Lifestyle writer Lisa Heyamoto, writing about Old Sacramento’s Lomo Argentine Grill, used the word “ginormous” to describe a back-patio seating area.
It’s a slang word high-school cheerleaders and Saturday-morning cartoon characters use when neither enormous nor gigantic will quite do the trick. The editors over on Q Street probably think they’re treading the razor’s edge of hipness by escorting a word like that into the paper. Bites knows the Bee has been trying awfully hard to attract the all-important 18-24 group. But really, this sort of gimmick just leaves Bites confuzzled.
Fight song: There aren’t any good protest songs anymore. Oh, there’s the ubiquitous “Hey hey, ho, ho, [fill in the blank] has got to go,” which is a big reason Bites avoids demonstrations of any sort.
So, Bites was happy to hear about an Ochsian little ditty called “The PG&E song,” or “Write the check and shut up.” It was actually cooked up by Bay Area artist Carol Denney in 2001, around the time PG&E declared bankruptcy. Check out the (very abridged) last verse, which Bites thinks sounds eerily familiar: “Go on and buy up our wires and our lines / We got you right where the sun never shines / You think you owe ’cause we’ve messed with your minds / … and you’ll pay ’til you’re down to your last little dimes / Cause you’re used to it, aren’t you, shut up.” You can hear the whole song at www.caroldenney.com/pgesong.htm.
We’re, um, activists. Yeah, that’s it: Speaking of messing with people’s minds, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors is trying a little political judo on PG&E this week. On Thursday, the board will vote on whether to put the question of annexing the urban parts of Yolo County on the ballot this November. It’s a gutsy move, since PG&E has staked its survival in Yolo on trying to convince Sacramento ratepayers that they have nothing to gain from letting Yolo into the fold.
But Bites was a little perplexed by a Bee story last week, penned by veteran county reporter Robert Davila. The piece referred to Jeff Raimundo as a spokesperson for the Citizens for Responsible and Affordable Energy, a faux citizens group wholly owned by PG&E. Raimundo’s a nice guy and all, but he’s not an activist. He’s a paid political consultant working for PG&E, something the article failed to point out. Bites knows not everyone can have the writing gifts of certain Bee restaurant reviewers, but come on, Bob.