James M. Brooks reportedly said that if his daughter had been the victim of child molestation at the hands of second-grade teacher Jerome Thompson Wilhoit: “I would go down and punch his lights out. I wouldn't call the police. . . . You touch her; you die.” There's just one problem: OC Superior Court Judge Brooks apparently made those comments on Aug. 18 while ordering Wilhoit to stand trial for child molestation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it's up to His Honor to ensure the trial is fair. Brooks had a fool for a client-himself-in defending the remarks: he evidently says he was just trying to show everyone how seriously he takes the allegations. Whew, at least he still calls 'em allegations. DANA DENIED State Attorney General Dan Lungren on Aug. 19 flicked away like a gnat Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's request to reopen the inquiry into alleged voter fraud in the 46th Congressional District race of 1996. Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) had in essence accused District Attorney Mike “Lame Duck Mad Dog” Capizzi of half-assedly pursuing allegations against the Latino-rights organization Hermandad Mexicana Nacional in the heated Loretta Sanchez-Bob Dornan contest. Lungren didn't even respond himself, letting Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary W. Schons inform Rohrabacher-by snail mail, no less! Schons' letter reportedly concluded that Capizzi's office had conducted a thorough probe, aggressively seeking criminal indictments that the OC grand jury ultimately rejected. Why would Lungren, who fell somewhere between the Dornan-Rohrabacher far-Right fringe while serving in Congress during the Reagan era, not pick up the ball for his ideological bud? Clockwork cynically supposes that pissing off Latino voters while running for governor is not exactly a brilliant career move.COX SUCKER Haydee Tillotson, whom Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) beat in the scummy election that brought the former Pillsbury Dough Boy to power in 1995 and again in this year's primary, raised an interesting point in a letter printed in the Times OC on Aug. 23. “That Rohrabacher would engage in such a tantrum [against Capizzi's prosecution of Baugh] even as he assaults Democratic partisans for their wholesale assassination of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr is patently hypocritical,” Tillotson writes. Perhaps there is a cloud of hypocrisy hanging over the OC coast. Christopher Cox, the right-wing congressman whose district is due south of Rohrabacher's, also smelled of the stuff last week. Immediately after President Bill Clinton admitted to doin' the nasty with Junior Miss Monica Lewinsky, Cox (R-Nouveau Riche) suggested that Bubba should foot the legal bill for the sex investigation against him. Had Clinton told the truth months ago, he would have spared taxpayers major funds, Cox figures. Ironically, this is the same Cox who signed a letter urging a House panel to use taxpayer funds to reimburse Dornan for legal fees incurred in his costly, drawn-out, groundless voter-fraud investigation. BUNCHA RUBBISH Clockwork was bumming along Huntington's Main Beach the evening of Aug. 21 in our rainbow Bermuda shorts, skimming the sand with our metal detector, when we came across a most ungodly sight: rows of trash cans with the blue-and-white logos of the Times OC and the Independent newspapers plastered across them. Now, nothing against those pillars of journalism-they're merely two of several company names now adorning seaside garbage pails from San Clemente to the Ventura County line-but, fuckin' A, can't people go anywhere anymore without being subjected to someone trying to get us to think about their product for two seconds? Ain't it enough we rode a county bus that appeared to have been swallowed by a Greg Norman polo shirt to get to the beach? That we'd slathered on a coat of Coppertone as the banner pulled by the plane demanded? That we'd dutifully checked the cap under our Snapple to see if we'd won nothing when ordered by the radio pitchman? Look, if you're gonna turn our beach-our beautiful, pristine, polluted beach-into just another advertising vehicle, for chrissake, pave the dag-gum thing. Offer top dollar for logos covering every square inch. Make schlubs like us pay extra (on top of the outrageous parking; a quarter for 10 minutes? Puh-leez!) for the privilege of contracting skin cancer on top of your canvas o' commerce. And after all you bastards in your corporate suites and gated communities have bled us dry, you can all take a flying . . . uh, hold that thought. A Stern Publishing logo isn't covering a can somewhere, is it?
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.