This Is Why I Don’t Talk To “Reporters”

Every once in awhile I get a personal email by some reporter or “film maker” that wants me to go in front of their cameras for a soundbite. Or a punchline as the case may be. Neh pollos, not interested. I don’t want your camera to steal what’s left of my soul. Besides, I’ve got less important things to do.

And then sometimes we get requests sent to LA Eastside regarding questions, comments, or to participate in this or that. You wouldn’t believe how many requests of these sorts this lil’ site gets, to cover some event, to mention some product. I usually send it to the intended author or forward it to our internal email list, see if anyone is interested in helping out. But this video up above is the reason I tend to NOT want to help reporters in their search for content.

Check out this documentary by Kyle Wegner, a short video clip that aims to deal with the false “debate” regarding the location of the Eastside. Its not very enlightening but I don’t think I’m the intended consumer for this sort of stuff. Nevermind the content, here’s why this video sucks:

1. LA Eastside didn’t “refuse” to participate. There’s a difference between refusal and a lack of interest. Nor did it help that you gave us about a week notice for your “tight shooting schedule”. Come on now, some of us have to work. Besides, ever since youtube the opportunity to be in front of a video camera is just not that tempting. BTW, did Patt Morrison also refuse to participate?

2. The email they attribute to LA Eastside is from me, EL CHAVO!, and nobody else. If you take a look over there on your right you’ll see a list of our contributors to this group blog.

3. Uhh, yeah, thanks for using my initial personal email to you as the group position for this site. Without asking. Why am I not surprised? For the record, here’s the rest of it in context.

On 9/26/09, EL CHAVO! wrote:
> I think I might be able to get one or two of our authors to contribute, but
> I have to admit I'm very wary of your intentions. I'm not sure who you are
> or what your aim is. Would you care to send us a bit more info?
> The only person that thinks the definition of the Eastside is a "touchy and
> heated topic" is Jesus Sanchez, and that's because he knows he is wrong. But
> he doesn't care. The term has had a meaning for way longer than when all the
> newbies started to move into areas closer to downtown, escaping their
> parents suburbs I assume. But just because they try to rename an area to fit
> the perspective of their geographical base, doesn't mean the term is up for
> grabs.
> If you send me some honest info about your intentions, then I will make an
> honest attempt at getting some of our authors to participate.
> Saludos, EL CHAVO!

4. Do some fucking legwork. We aren’t the only people upset at this casual dismissal of our place on the map, just the most easily google-able. You could have at the very least searched through our published posts for some proper quotes to use.

5. You use at least 3 of our photos, my email, and the video that I shot of Dewey, and you still can’t even put a link to our site? That’s messed up.

This is why I don’t talk to “reporters”.

21 thoughts on “This Is Why I Don’t Talk To “Reporters”

  1. What’s up CHAVO,

    You know I’m usually down for you, bro. But I would like to say a few things:

    -You have a good story to tell. And folks are just trying to put that out into the community. What’s inherently wrong with that? Sure, you don’t have to do it. But it shouldn’t be knocked either.

    “ou wouldn’t believe how many requests of these sorts this lil’ site gets, to cover some event, to mention some product.”
    -well, of course, Chavo. This web site is popular and, as such, some people might argue it has a role to play in the community. Some of your writers are community organizers. This is where a group of folks come and get their information. The MSM isn’t covering what this blog can. And people want to read it. No surprise there.

    I really wouldn’t go far as calling Kyle’s video a “documentary.” Indeed, it takes more than 2 minutes and terrible photos for a project to be a documentary. You’re right, Chavo, it isn’t particularly enlightening.

    But despite this, Jesus from the Eastsider took a few minutes from his daily reporting schedule to speak to him. I guess even those who have work made time for his tight schedule. Why? Well, the conversation about what is the Eastside more than just a geographical debate, it’s a philosophical one. It grapples even its own residents. People, and many of your readers, are interested.

    “Besides, ever since youtube the opportunity to be in front of a video camera is just not that tempting”

    Please correct me, but laeastside is a huge fan of youtube videos, including those of a professional wrestling variety, no?

    I love this blog and I even subscribe via rss. Let’s just chill the hell out and not get out of hand. I didn’t think the video blogger was personally attacking the site.



  2. On the youtube description the video is called a “Documentary”.

    That dude Jesus gets a lot of face time on that video. God damn I just noticed it was posted in November.

    Chavo technically I don’t think the person who contacted you was a reporter. Open your eyes it was www-theeastsiderla-com fucking with you.

  3. Steve,
    I don’t think the guy was attacking the site at all, I’m just pissed at his underhandedness. It doesn’t help either that I only found out about this video yesterday cuz someone sent me the link, the guy didn’t even have the courtesy to let me know it was up since November. I think I phrased the youtube comment wrong, I meant that since its now available we can all put ourselves in front of a camera, there’s no need to wait for others.

  4. Is Wegners U-tube piece supposed to be a comedy? I sure got a good laugh out it. The opening banner “Where is the Eastside?” spells it all out de voladas.
    If one has to ask then it becomes immediately evident that the person posing the question is either a non-native of Los Angeles or is one who shares a Euro centric and Superior than thou philosophy pertaining to this neo-manifest destiny, renaming and re-configuring an established part of the LA community.
    Harsh you say?
    Then why does Wegner insinuate in his piece that the “controversy” is relegated to a “debate” involving Jesus Sanchez, Pat Morrison, the LA Eastside blog, and, and, some, some, hey by the way, who really are these nebulous nabobs who dare to claim that the real LA Eastside begins east of La Cienega Blvd.?
    How come we never see them being interviewed? Who the fuck are these knuckle head Smiths? Why didn’t Wegner put a few of these shysters and pretenders in front of a camera? so they can educate and enlighten us heathen’s from the Eastside about how mistaken we all have been, and about where the real LA Eastside is located?
    I would pay to see something like that, especially in front of a live audience from the real Eastside of LA.
    And along those same lines, why didn’t Wegner interview and ask some of the denizens of the real LA Eastside about Silverlake or Hollywood being part of the authentic LA Eastside? I think they would have set his ass straight immediately, and in no uncertain terms.

  5. Wow, as a local, I dont know what to be more insulted by the lack of effort in trying to identify the eastside or the claim that the eastside extends to La Cienega. Even the claim that it extends to western is insulting to the communities of Koreatown, Pico-union, historic Filipino town, chinatown, little tokyo, etc, denying them their own individual identities. But recognizing those communities would then be admitting they are not part of the Eastside, nor are Echo park or Silverlake. But that’s already been said before and there is no point going into that.

    But like Don Quixote said, no effort was made to interview locals of the communities. It sounds like Wegner googled the subject and found the first blogs that matched his subject. I will admit i’ve gone on to and Jesus Sanchez has a fairly good blog, providing information and stories about the community, including stories about Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and HLP. He needlessly involves himself in this debate of where is the eastside, an insult to the community he is from and covers. He has a good blog and should be able to stand on its own without the Eastside name, which brings with it criticism of him and his blog.
    As for wegner he shouldn’t quit his day job.

  6. Chavo,

    True! He should have at least sent a link out of sheer courtesy. And at the very least, this video piece should have contained more voices.

  7. Sticking a stupid fucking sticker on property that isn’t yours is fucking vandalism. Fuck that cause.

  8. “I think they would have set his ass straight immediately, and in no uncertain terms.”

    What would they have said?

  9. At spokker, LOL!!!!!! Ha! ha! ha!

    And what does your name mean? Answer: BS


  10. WWJD?

    Thou shall not lie!

    Senor Sanchez please change your first name. How about Judas or Dirty Sanchez.

  11. As an artist, I liked the soft spoken uni-bomber/serial killer/arsonist/stalker dialogue. It seems soft-core Andy Warhol-esk. The lack of effort at being creative could be a whole new genre. I’d call that art movement “Why Bother?” However, it does appear that some thought was put into the film’s continuity (with its beginning, middle and end logic)—giving it an appearance of desiring artistic respect. I did view it all the way through, perhaps one minute more would have turned me away—so also I sense thoughtful/mindful editing. I don’t know of any time constraints in terms of defining what a ‘true documentary’ is. I would be more concerned with the LAeastside copy right infringements occurring. Didn’t Shepard have to make amends for pillaging all his images from on-line sources–or is the jury still out on that? I give this film 3 tortillas out of a full package—only because it took itself too seriously to be really bad and it didn’t take itself serious enough to be technically and artistically correct. Just because you can push “on” doesn’t mean everyone should.

  12. “Is this the eastside ? It must be because it has the words east.” hahahahahha the only thing the video is missing is, “Luke. I am your father.”

  13. One reason most of us here at LAE don’t always respond and give our time to every project request is because most of us here have regular day jobs and other essential occupations that makes us selective about where we extend ourselves. No one here at LAE makes a penny off of writing for this site. We write here because we love to, not because we have to. On the other hand, Jesus Sanchez can afford to invest his time and energy in projects that involve him and his site because LA Eastsider is a source of income for him.

  14. It goes to show you that even if you’ve got the story wrong, as long as you have the resources to cover it, your voice will be heard over those telling the truth.

  15. Did Kyle do the narration while using a kazoo? I view this entire clip as an attack on ustedes—really, no point, no debate, just continued flashings of the sticker and that picture of the folks with the bandannas. BS!

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