OC Register Lose Columnists David Whiting & Frank Mickadeit, No One Cares

David Whiting OCR bootlicker-thumb-220x213.jpg
Illustration by Patrick O'Conner
Whiting the Bootlicker
If you want to know how relevant large sections of the Orange County Register remain to good journalism in Southern California, one need look no further than last month, when the paper's two marquee columnists, Frank Mickadeit and David Whiting, announced they were leaving their posts--Mickadeit, to become a full-time lawyer, Whiting to restart as an editor.

And Orange County responded with a giant...yawn. Good, because that's the best farewell those two hacks deserved.

Whiting's column was always a meandering mess, but it reached its lowest points whenever he'd sprout a hard-on for any guy with a badge, which was far too many times to recount here. He was merely carrying the torch for long-departed Register columnist Gordon Dillow, who never met a boot he didn't want to tongue slather. The best thing that can be said about Whiting? Moxley nailed it when we named him to our 2012 Scariest People issue--"Whiting's lisp is somewhat sexy."

A far more sad--but telling--tale is what happened to Mickadeit. He started a decade ago in the middle of the Haidl gang-rape trial, attempting to become the Herb Caen of OC. And he succeeded...in telling the stories of the rich and mighty and white, with a couple of bones thrown over the years to everyone else. The man became full of himself (just ask the people who had him as a return guest to speak to their civic groups...), and became irrelevant over the years to everyone except GOP leaders. How irrelevant? Someone had to remind me that Mickadeit was leaving, so little do I bother with the Reg nowadays after its epic fail of a paywall--so I didn't read his farewell column until earlier this week.

Reading Mickadeit meant peering into a psychological profile of someone who desperately wanted to be accepted by the lords of Orange County and become one--what proper columnist boasts of smoking cigars with politicos, or going rummaging with longtime GOP head Tom Fuentes, a pedo-priest apologist of a man that Mickadeit creepily adored? Over the years, this aspirational bullshit became more and more apparent, so much so that when Mickadeit inexplicably announced he was pursuing a law degree a couple of years back, the Weekly's news team all surmised that it must be so that he could get a cushy gig with a law firm somewhere.

And guess what was Mickadeit's reason for leaving the Reg? He's getting a cushy gig with a law firm.

Thumbnail image for MickadeitF.jpg
Mickadeit: Likes high-priced suits

How telling of Mickadeit's sense of self that he took space in his final column--an otherwise touching letter of gratitude to his geriatric audience--to take a swipe at me. In it, he wrote "After awhile I felt I was repeating myself and had lost some edge. Certain of my friends whose opinion I respect and some whose I don't (Hey, Gustavo!) said the same thing."

What did I ever do? I can't remember, but I do remember Mickadeit once left a sniveling voice mail after I ripped him apart for something. But I hadn't written about him for at least a year. Nevertheless, his animus toward me was so bad that when I greeted him at the Fullerton Library late last year when I was about to introduce novelist Hector Tobar, it looked as if Mickadeit had choked on a Gulfstream cigar. But, seriously, Frank: I'm touched that you would give me a shout-out in your farewell--and I thought I was petty!

Good bye, David and Frank: OC won't miss ya except for dirty cops and bigwig dipshits who relied on ustedes for valentines and now must look toward Matt Cunningham for solace....

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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28 comments
sexybackdoc2014
sexybackdoc2014

OCweekly has some good talent with Moxley and Coker and occasionally Gustavo writes some good stuff...But Trash like this Blog is unacceptable. Another Blog by Gustavo about Yvette Cabrera being let go by the OCR was equally as biased...If You google that Blog,read the Comments made to Gustavo... they were truthful and to the point and seemed to unnerve Gustavo....I can't help but ask,Were You drunk when you wrote this ? its pathetic

RocketJ
RocketJ topcommenter

Huzzah!

Highway39
Highway39

I hang out around here because I think that Moxley and (most of the time) Coker are the only two competent journalists left in the OC, but this gabacho and former fan is getting really tired of the @GustavoArellano show. This juvenile, unnecessary piece coupled with that silly cover several weeks back that was nothing more than a one page commentary are more than enough proof to document that the OCW is being held hostage by an editor with an enormous, out of control ego. Take a vacation, Gus. When you return, I hope it's with the intelligent judgement that you used to demonstrate in these pages on a daily basis.

bamend
bamend

I had the misfortune of stumbling upon this drivel that passes for a blog while searching for an OCR article.  While I did not find the columns by Frank M or David W consistently entertaining or full of information that  I thought I needed, at least they wrote like professionals  They did not, to my knowledge, stoop to the sophomoric personal crticisms oozing from this blog. 

erikamtorres
erikamtorres

Wow, you really got your payback! Like the maturity of a sixth grader...

2Hacks
2Hacks

Herb Caen just rolled over in his grave with your comment.  “One day if I do go to heaven...I'll look around and say, 'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco.”

Anonymous
Anonymous

Working as a new associate attorney is not a cushy job, despite what many think.  The first 10 years of practicing law is all about billing and assisting senior trial attorneys in their day to day management not to mention to need to market themselves to find new work.

Hopefully Frank will not be disillusioned by a sometimes sad state of affairs in Orange County, California's courts of law and legal community.  Most important, I hope Frank mastered the federal and state statutes involving legal, religious, financial, political and government CONFLICTS OF INTEREST violations. 

beeeeezzzzzlingggg
beeeeezzzzzlingggg

Wait, you actually showed up for the Fullerton Library event? Unlike the Museum of Latin American Art event you blew off at the last minute, the East Los Angeles College commencement address you thought so little of you forgot about it, the UCLA extension memoir writing class you also decided wasn't worth your time -- even after every student in it bought your silly little book? Wow.....


20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Oh sweet baby jesus, I thought Whiting would never leave.

Geoff Henderson
Geoff Henderson

David Whitings work I enjoyed...but I miss having access to local news

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

It's hard to take you seriously when you respond with,"cause they suck". Is your next response going to be,"well my dad is bigger than your dad"?

Paul Rudman
Paul Rudman

I enjoyed David Whiting's Articles!!! & you'll be missed!

Luke Vafiades
Luke Vafiades

I'm guessing it's the conservative editorial slant.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

I think Frank saw the demise of print journalism coming on the horizon and got ready for a new gig. I didn't read a lot of his columns. Human interest stories never really interested to me.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

That cartoon is awesome. The spittle under the tongue is a nice touch. :-D

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

What sucks is there really isn't any food free online news coverage for Orange County. The choices are OCR (not free but in the last few weeks has provided more news for free), OCWeekly (it's fun and interesting  and provides laughs but nobody takes it seriously), the LATimes (yesterday's news tomorrow), The Patch (5% news and 95% advertisements disguised as news), and network TV news web pages (like the LA Times - just a couple old news stories).


Highway39
Highway39

@sexybackdoc2014 @beeeeezzzzzlingggg  @GustavoArellano It makes me so sad to say it, but the drunk thing has occurred to me several times over the last year or so. There is a manic quality that comes out in his writing sometimes, and lets not even discuss the failure to use BASIC spell check procedures. I hope we are both really off-base and wrong. I hope it's just a stress thing, because even though he's become somewhat of a self-absorbed twat who has lost his editorial focus, I will always believe that he is one of the most original voices to EVER blast out from behind the orange curtain. 

rexmiller2012
rexmiller2012

@Highway39 @GustavoArellano  agreed. OC needs an alternative newspaper, but the OCW and its staff have been unable to accurately and effectively report on critical events (e.g. Anna Street Killings, Kelly Thomas, Great Park, etc) yet they spend an inordinate amount of time covering the OCR and LAT.


Gustavo, you're free to build a career off of writing witty anecdotes about Mexicans, but please leave OUR alternative newspaper in the hands of someone who wants to make a difference in the community.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

Yah, everyone knows it should have been "'cause they completely suck".

TowelieLama
TowelieLama

No one takes the OC Weelkly seriously.  However, the Michoacanos article was excellent.  Great job.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@JBinOC And don't forget the amazing investigative reporting of Scott M. Reid and Teri Sforza's great reporting—people we've praised before and whom we'll praise again.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@JBinOC My only issue with that article was that it's SO 1998...but, as I've said before, I've always been a Brad A. Johnson fan.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@GustavoArellano @TowelieLama 

Brad A. Johnson, the Register food critic/french fry connoisseur, is just about the only byline worth reading at that irrelevant rag.  Somehow, I was able to access his column this week for free...it was a really intriguing assessment of the top 10 [and more] steaks in our fair orange acres, plus some good background on USDA beef grades and the current economics of farm-to-restaurant.  


Say what you want about BAJ, but he knows about beef, and can assess and write about it. 


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