@THE GUSS REPORT-From the desert to the ocean, to all of Southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is driving 24 million people across the region nuts with unscientific cogitations on the recent local pandemic spike.
I am beginning to think public disdain for, and distrust of, the tightly wrapped and often-mocked Garcetti may have played a role in that spike as people increasingly tune him out and go about living their lives as reasonably and safely as possible, as evidenced by my recent unauthorized haircut and unmasked sidewalk sushi and Sapporo beer.
That’s an unscientific but highly probable cogitation of my own.
In recent days, Garcetti repeatedly zapped us with his 2-watt verbal taser that we are experiencing a COVID-19 spike. . .but it’s still an orange alert. . .maybe a red alert. . .but not yet a red alert. . .and maybe not at all. Businesses may remain open. . .but only some of them. . .and these are the rules. . .for some of Los Angeles. No banners to let people know you’re open for business. Okay, banners are allowed. No wait, they’re not allowed, but there won’t be a fine.
That’s the type of thing that recently led Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to declare Garcetti “a neurotic megalomaniac.” His insistence that we “follow the science” while inflicting insufferably random rules based on zero scientific evidence like allowing Angelenos to walk on the wet sand of our beaches but not take a snooze on the dry sand, even at a safe social distance.
There are 24 million people in Southern California. Ten million of them are in LA County. Of those, Garcetti only represents the four million in the City of Los Angeles. There’s only so much buffoonery that people will accept from Garcetti before tuning him out, especially those who he does not represent.
It also makes me wonder how Garcetti became the default televised spokesperson broadcasting to multiple Southern California counties, of which he only represents 16% of the people. Is he the best we’ve got?
Maybe it’s time for a change of messenger since there is a spike in COVID-19 cases despite all of Garcetti’s press briefings, during which he garrulously professes his love for us while lecturing about safe social distancing and the importance of facemasks, while regularly posing for staged photographs, often among throngs of jam-packed people without wearing one himself, literally violating his own safe social distancing message.
This is a man who tries hard to create the image of Kennedy-era leadership rather than someone who provides it. Consequently, he comes across as Villaraigosa 2.0, where image is all that matters, and substance is a stranger.
Garcetti is driving us nuts with color-coded lunacy which may or may not apply to eating out. . .or getting a haircut. . .or getting the dog a haircut. . .or trying to work off some of the boredom-induced pounds at the gym.
Southern California has no legitimate local medical professional keeping us updated on what we can safely do, what we cannot, why and for how long. We lack selfless, calm local government leadership when we need it most.
We have only ourselves to blame for that.
This is what is meant by the phrase we get the government we deserve.
(Daniel Guss, MBA, is nominated for a 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Political Commentary, and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and the Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment sections and Sunday Magazine, among other publishers. Follow him on Twitter @TheGussReport. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.