The strangest part in my interview with Huell Howser this week was learning that the Transportation Corridor Authority tried to get his special on San Onofre State Beach delayed. I knew the TCA hated ol' Huell for his opposition to extending the 241 Toll Road through San Onofre State Park, further testimony that the TCA is the county's most-evil organization since the only people possible who'd rag on Huell are Nazis and Satanl, but to actually, actively try to fuck with Huell's scheduling? Not that we didn't believe Huell, but his claim was so outrageous that my jefe asked me to call the TCA to see what they had to say about it.
TCA spokeshole Jennifer Seaton said they tried to rat out Huell to KCET-TV Channel 28 because they wanted to get "their side of the story," a strange position given Huell does specials on California treasures, not bloody freeways (at least, if they're not historic in some way). Seaton claimed they knew the San Onofre episode was going to be a "one-sided look at the issue." When I asked her how the TCA could have any idea about the content of an episode that hadn't even screened, Seaton responded by saying there was a "summary available" on Huell's website.
Problem is, the summary gives no clue whatsoever about the show's content.
For readers, here's the summary:
San Onofre State Beach in San Diego County covers some 2100 acres and has five miles of beach, including Trestles – one of the most famous and truly iconic surf spots in the world! Park Supt. Rich Rozzelle showed Huell a spectacular section of the park that most people don’t know exists. Turns out the park goes four miles inland, contains several archeological sites, is the home of seven threatened or endangered species and protects significant portions of San Mateo Creek, which is one of the last relatively unspoiled watersheds in Southern California. San Onofre State Beach is now the focus of a huge controversy! Tune in to find out all about it.
"Huge controversy"--how is Huell showing his hand here?
But Seaton didn't stop there. She then said that the episode was problematic because Huell didn't disclose that he's an advisory board member of the California State Parks Foundation, which opposes the 241 extension. Yeah, as if that matters. As if viewers and the public already didn't know that Huell is a staunch defender and celebrator of all California state parks. This is the biggest non-controversy since Barack Obama's terrorist bump.
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It amazes me that the TCA tried to pick a fight with Huell, who's too much of a Southern gentleman to demand satisfaction. As I said earlier this year:
"Saying Huell Howser is an alarmist when it comes to California state parks is like saying Vin Scully overreacts during Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts, that John Wooden cheers too much whenever the UCLA Bruins play at Pauley. Lance: You don't question Huell when it comes to California treasures; you shut up, learn, and hope you can ever have an ATOM of the respect Howser commands amongst Californians."
To conclude, here's Huell's special on San Onofre--and screw the TCA: