Tag Archives: Jay Leno

Gabber Is Out, Mimic Wants In

She was a talker.

And begs to regain her seat.

Kristin Jeannette-Meyers.


Yep, the same Kristin Jeannette-Meyers you’ve met in earlier posts on this blog.

Lance danced all night – not!

The Star caught him on camera.



Jay Leno’s “Dancing Itos” weren’t the only look-a-likes. So, no. That’s wasn’t the real Judge Lance Ito the paparazzi photographed partying hearty.

Info about Anatomy of a Trial at www.anatomyofatrial.com.

An Exclusive Show

It’s for the jury.

A Star Center performance

Jay Leno was there.


Jay Leno invited the sequestered jurors to attend a performance of his “Tonight Show” in Burbank, but when he couldn’t guarantee that none of them would be in shots when cameras swept the the audience, he offered to stage a private performance, complete with the show’s band,  where ever the court chose. It turned out to be at the Sheriff Department’s training facility, called the Los Angeles County Star Center.

I attended show, It felt almost surreal to see Leno and his band leader Kevin Eubanks almost within arms’ reach and watching them put on the same type of performance that I had only, to that point, seen on TV.

Part of my participation in arranging for the performance was to contact Leno’s office to provide information about conditions Judge Ito required before he would allow the show to take place. Instead of talking to some staff member,to my surprise, I was asked to hold for ‘Jay.” Sure enough, Leno came on the line. We talked, not only that time, but later when he called back for clarification about some detail, which I can’t recall, and apparently didn’t note in either my written or my recorded journals.


When “The Tonight Show” Went Private

“Tonight Show” request.

Can jurors watch a taping?

Leno saves the day.


Jay Leno responded to Ito’s request to have jurors attend a taping of his Tonight Show by offering to present a special performance of the show w/o cameras for the jurors to ensure they aren’t accidentally shown on camera.

Leno might have had his flaws, but he was one of the really good guys in my book. Not only did he offer to put on a private show — complete w/several of his band members — for the jury when it became apparent they couldn’t be in the audience when his regular show was taped, I was put through directly to him — instead of having to talk to his ‘people’ — to discuss his offer, and he, personally — not one of his ‘people’ — called me back to confirm the arrangements. His only condition was he wanted no publicity about it. While so many — particularly celebs — were hell bent on being seen and capitalizing on the Simpson trial, Leno just wanted to do a good deed on the quiet. An example of his sense of security in himself, IMO.

Linda Deutsch: Retires from The AP to Write Memoir

Passing the torch.

Changing of the guard.

End of an era.

All of those cliches could be said about the news that Linda Deutsch is hanging it up after a 48-year career with The Associated Press. But none them fit. One reason is because no phrase, label or accolade has been created that could come close to Linda and the stupendous body of work she amassed in her nearly give decades as a court beat/legal affairs reporter at the AP. Another is that cliches are trite and Linda isn’t.

Linda’s prowess as the doyenne of celebrity and notorious trials was well established — starting with the 1970 Charles Manson murder trial — when she became known to me. She was one of the media minions covering the 1992 Rodney King-beating trial, which was my baptism by fire as the greener than green new Los Angeles county courts public information officer.

 One of three photographs of Linda that grace my office — right beside one of me with Jay Leno when I gave him a copy of my book, Anatomy of a Trial. This is an 8-1/2 x 11-inch  collage of some of the more notorious trials she covered, which she sent to me with the inscription, “To Jerrianne–who made it all easier. You’re a great pal. Linda Deutsch.” Another photo is of Linda and me with our friend, famed author, movie producer and TV host Dominick Dunne, who has since passed, at a Las Vegas restaurant following a court proceeding in the Simpson robbery trial, which resulted in a sentence of up to 33 years.

I quickly came to know and respect her professionalism, just-the-facts reportage, and accuracy through that and a host of other cases that paraded through the L.A. courts, not the least of which was the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial.

She not only was a straight-shooter with me and her readers, she worked to keep judges honest, particularly when they closed proceedings to the public.  Her tenacity and passion for freedom of the press and the people’s right to know is reflected in the many mentions of her in Anatomy, such as this one: “She was also frequently the first, and often the only one, to leap to her feet in a courtroom to object when she believed a judge was about to wrongfully close proceedings to the public.”

The few stories I could tell about Linda would barely fill a thimble of her lifetime of experiences in the court/judicial/legal world. I, along with her legions of friends and colleagues, have been urging her for years to write a book.

It looks like she’s about to do that. “I consider it less a retirement than a transition to a new phase of my career — writing a memoir of my life and trials. And who knows what else will follow? In one way or another, I will continue to pursue my twin passions: journalism and justice,” she posted on Facebook.

‘Yay, Linda! I can’t wait to read it. But why couldn’t you wait just two more years and make it an even 50?

Bottom line, though, Linda is irreplaceable. She is among the last of the, not just truly great, but true journalists. Please, won’t someone rise up and again make journalism the watchdog and be the objective eyes and ears the public so desperately needs!


Missing Ito Jokes on “The Tonight Show”

I did a double take when I saw this supposedly Lance Ito-penned opinion piece in the satirical newspaper, The Onion.  http://www.theonion.com/articles/it-sure-has-been-a-while-since-the-tonight-show-di,31267/

True, Jay Leno got a lot of mileage out of Judge Lance Ito jokes back in the 1990s, as did many comedians–and still do once in a while. But the famous–some would say infamous–judge who presided over the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial eschewed interviews and speaking engagements, but during and for years after that trial and was the only major figure associated with it who didn’t write a book or capitalize on it in any way.

He has taken a public stand in rare instances, particularly regarding court-administrative issues. He also has a wicked sense of humor, which he frequently exercised–and probably still does–in private settings.

So The Onion piece wasn’t entirely unbelievable–at first.

The more I read, though, I realized it was just another great Onion spoof, as were the President Obama and Casey  Anthony pieces that ran in weeks that preceded the “Ito commentary”.


Jay & me


Jay Leno gets a signed copy of my book, Anatomy of a Trial.

(I wonder if he’ll read it…  He’s on pages 13,108, 115, and 120.)





From my hands to Jay Leno’s

Yesterday was our “Jay Leno” day. An NBC official I met at Cal State Fullerton’s Comm Week last week after my presentations there arranged for us to attend the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and meet him afterwards so I could give him a copy of “Anatomy of a Trial.” While her connections didn’t get us on the front row, neither were we in the nose-bleed seats. And true to our new friend’s promise, we were escorted to the stage after the show’s taping was finished where we shook Leno’s hand, I gave him my book — signed to him, which included a big ‘Happy Birthday!’ given that yesterday was his birthday.

Imagine that! I gave Leno my book on his birthday. Happy birthday, Jay!


L.A. Doings — Leno, “The Soloist” and More

Getting my book “Anatomy of a Trial” on people’s radar is taking some doing — sort of like walking around the world — one step at a time.

One step out here in Los Angeles got a pleasant boost when an NBC staffer I met after one of my presentations at my alma mater, California State University, Fullerton, on Monday asked if we (hubby’s here with me) planned to go to Jay Leno’s show. We thought that would be fun, we said. She could arrange it, she said. I told her I had sent Leno a signed copy of my book — in which he’s mentioned — a couple of months ago in appreciation for his generousity during the Simpson murder trial. He had performed a private show — monologue, band, the works — for the jurors after learning that we had to scrap the idea of having the jurors, who were sequestered, attend his show in Burbank because his production crew couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t be shown on TV. (California prohibits photographing and televising jurors.)

When the NBC staffer emailed me about the date and time she had arranged for us to attend the show, she said that after the taping we could meet Leno and give him a copy of my book.

The news yesterday that Leno had checked himself into the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well was certainly disturbing enough and we were wishing the best for him. This morning’s news that he’s OK and will be back at work was doubly good. He’s not seriously ill, number one. But it means our visit scheduled for Tuesday (28th) is still on. Tune in. Who knows, a camera sweep of the audience my catch our happy Cheesehead faces!

So the trip so far has included three presentations to university journalism media law classes — about 300 students and a number of faculty, and speaking to half-a-dozen service clubs and a journalism class at UCLA. I’ll do a couple more talks — a USC jounalism class and another service club — and do a radio interview before winging home to South Milwaukee next Thursday.

We’re also taking time for a little fun. In addition to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno next Tuesday, we’re hitting the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA on Sunday. I couldn’t cough up the $1,000 display book fee for “Anatomy” so we’re wearing our “Anatomy” tshirts and taking a supply of “Anatomy” bookmarks to give anyone we strike up a conversation with and attending a panel discussion on the “Packaging Fear: The Art of Persuasion” that includes former Cal State Fullerton jounalism professor, Nancy Snow, who is now on faculty at Syracuse University. It’ll be great to see her again. A friend here is hosting a small book-signing party Sunday evening. We’re hanging out with our son, Chapen, at a shoot of a TV program he’s working on as editor, and going to his kickball game on Monday night.

A highlight, though, was yesterday. We took the subway — yes, Los Angeles has a subway! — from where we’re staying in Hollywood Hills, to the Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown — catty-cornered, in fact, from the County Courthouse where I worked for more than a decade. I watched this fantastic Frank Gehrey creation go up — with its unique stainless steel tulip petal-shaped facades — mystified over where in the world the auditoruim would be located. (Turns out that’s literally a concrete box that was plopped own in the space provided in the middle of the structure.) Despite numerous trips to L.A. after we moved to South Milwaukee seven years ago, I had never toured the WD Concert Hall.

While on our guided tour yesterday, which consisted of four of us — Hib, me, a screenwriter who lives in Palos Verdes and our guide — our guide suddenly whispered, “Oh, do you know who that is?” We were outside in a gardened courtyard viewing a tulip petal-shaped projection and three people were approaching from the opposite direction. We said, no.

“It’s the soloist!” she said. “Nathaniel Ayres. The movie about him opens tomorrow night.”

Next thing we knew, she spoke to the man. She was so smooth, so low key. Then the four of us fell into conversation with him and his two companions, who turned out to be relatives visiting from Ohio. “He wanted to show us his city,” the woman, who was his sister-in-law, said.

The movie, “The Soloist,” is about Ayres, a classically trained musician who, because of mental illness, ended up homeless in Los Angeles where a Los Angeles Times columnist encountered him and began to write about him.

Ayres is no longer homeless. He’s living in an apartment, he said, with a leaky faucet. He told us about meeting Jamie Foxx who plays him in the movie, his reaction when he attended the premier (he wore a blindfold he said, which enabled him to focus on the music and other audio, and, he said, “it absorbed my tears.” Although he didn’t say specifically, it was obvious that the tears were of joy.

So a beneficial trip so far. Most gratifying is the reaction of the journalism students who were assigned “Anatomy of a Trial” as required reading and said it was a fascinating book, and members of service clubs where I’ve spoken who said they wished to program could have been longer.