Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Did ZZ Top Give Cheap Sunglasses to Macedonian Prime Minister?

Our friend Bob Merlis just sent an e-mail with an irresistible subject line.

ZZ Top to Prime Minister of Republic of Macedonia: “We came to throw a great party and make lots of noise..."

That's not something you read everyday. At least I don't.

Find the whole story in

ZZ Top, by the way, is the only major group with the same lineup for the last forty years.

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp!)

Photo: Credit


Real E-mails From Pledge Central

The Fall Member Drive is almost over. Have we heard from you yet?

Please give now!

----- Original Message -----
From: Patterson, Stephanie
To: KPCC Staff
Sent: Wed Oct 21 20:20:41 2009
Subject: Countdown to 10,000 Members

THIS IS IT! Just one more day – the last of our on-air fundraising until next year! – and we’re within striking distance of our overall goal. Let's bring it on home - for us and for our faithful members!

Every drive has a different feel. This one has been an exhilarating and enjoyable hike with good friends, and we've just got one last hill to climb. Can't wait to celebrate with all of you when we reach the top.

Stephanie Patterson,
Director of Annual Giving
89.3 KPCC, 89.1 KUOR and 90.3 KPCV
Southern California Public Radio

----- Reply -----
From: Rabe, John
Sent: Wed 10/21/2009 10:27 PM
To: KPCC Staff
Subject: Re: Countdown to 10,000 Members


KCSN Cuts Classical Music Announcing Staff

KCSN eliminated its classical music announcing staff at the end of last month -- in the words of one blogger, going “JACK-FM for the post-geriatric set” -- and pretty much, nobody in the media’s noticed. As far as I can tell, not the LA Times, not LA Observed, not KPCC.

On the station’s website, there’s an oblique reference to “critical cuts in state funding to Cal State Northridge,” and the “loss of live personal commentary and announcements.” (Ouch. Passive voice. We listeners also become the “listener base.”)

For more details, I e-mailed Karen Kearns, the station’s interim GM, and she responded right away:


In response to dramatic cuts in state funding to Cal State Northridge, KCSN-FM is automating its classical music programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in an effort to reduce costs. Three part time radio announcers were let go. “We regret having to take these actions, but we are left with little choice,” said Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. “Every part of the university has had to reduce costs and the radio station is no exception.”


Blame paper as well as GOP officials for Jewish stereotype op-ed

Sunday in the Orangeburg, S.C., Times and Democrat newspaper, two local Republican Party officials wrote an op-ed in which they said, “There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves.”

The authors, Edwin O. Merwin Jr., and James S. Ulmer Jr., were immediately attacked, and have both apologized unequivocally for blithely using one of the most vile and pervasive Jewish stereotypes.

What’s more shocking to me than the fact that the local GOP chairs didn’t know their little anecdote would be offensive is that the T&D printed it. People and politicians believe and say all sorts of stupid, vile things; but it's a newspaper's specific job to carefully consider what it prints.