They toss it about freely, those still drawing salaries in print: the word "gadfly." Rick Orlov uses it. Patt Morrison uses it. Marc Cooper used it. Usually, they use it to describe Zuma Dogg. Or sometimes it's (ailing) Brady Westwater. And Walter Moore, who has only sidestepped it by raising $200,000, seems to duck the G-word these days, still doesn't earn anything beyond "Lyndon LaRouche" status from the Mayor's office.
But really, with Council voting 12-zip on nearly everything, and up to ninety percent of the electorate unable to name the date of the next city election, who isn't a political gadfly in Los Angeles?
A Councilmember's media deputy recently told me, "Sorry, the Councilmember doesn't read the Times op-ed page anymore." Does that mean the editor's a gadfly? Everywhere I go in LA, more people know the name Zuma Dogg than the name of any local editor.
I don't use this word to describe the prophets who are so unwelcome in our own chamber. I wish other local scribes would stop as well, and editors would begin to strike it from copy. Everyone seems to want an alternative to City Hall politics; those who do should also lend a little more dignity to those brave enough to stand before us and denounce what we all see.