The Social Media Bridge

Social media is demolishing the layers of barriers between the fans and the famous. In my parents’ generation, if you wanted to contact your favorite celebrity, you joined the fan club, paid the dues and maybe got an autographed picture in the mail months later. When I was a teenager,… More

Where Smart Isn’t Boring

When it turns out that the guy sitting behind you at an event is an astronaut who just came back from outer space you get kind of pumped about the event. The gal beside me was a social worker who counsels soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The fellow in… More

Local News in Earthquake Country

  Ask any reporter – earthquakes are great for the news business. Gut-wrenching visuals accompany heroic and tragic tales about survivors and victims alike, and the aftermath stories can go on for months. Earthquakes are inherently dramatic, demonstrating as they do the pent up power of a planet we ceaselessly… More


At the Lear Center, we’ve long been intrigued by the idea of a museum of entertainment. No, not some place with weathered props and stars in wax, but an online, comprehensive survey of everything that human beings have considered entertaining. Big idea. This museum could give us a much clearer… More

Social Media Spoils Appointment Television

Most Americans learned that the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team beat Russia in real-time when commentator Al Michaels emphatically screamed “Do you believe in miracles?” The victory was arguably the best moment in U.S. Olympic history and people all over the country cheered in unison. If that same epic moment were to happen… More

The Social Media President?

Behind Ashton Kutcher’s and Brittany Spears’ Twitter feeds, President Barack Obama’s is the fourth most popular feed, with more than 3 million followers. Is it any wonder, for a candidate who made social media a pillar of his successful bid for the presidency? It also made his admission last November… More

Thank You, Norman Lear

  It’s just about perfect that the week that LA Gang Tours launches is also the tenth anniversary of the start of theNorman Lear Center. At $65 a head, lunch included, the LA Gang Tours bus trip through South Central is cheaper than Disneyland, and the prospect of seeing real… More

Nightmare as Entertainment

The Hollywood “dream factories” have always utilized themes from dreams and nightmares, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this compelling stream of screen imagery insinuates itself into our own personal dreams and nightmares. So I was riveted by a recent New Yorker piece that provided an overview of… More