#14 – Uncovering the Corruption: Investigating USC’s Scandals with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Paul Pringle

Today I interview Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Pringle about his book “Bad City.” Join us as we delve into Pringle’s investigative reporting on a series of scandals at the University of Southern California (USC), including the shocking abuse of patients by a campus gynecologist and a medical school dean providing drugs to young, vulnerable people. Pringle shares his experiences covering these scandals, including the institutional problems and culture of cover-ups he encountered at USC and within local authorities. He also discusses the changes in the LA Times after being sold to the Tribune company and how he and his colleagues had to work secretly to continue their investigation. Don’t miss this eye-opening look at corruption in Los Angeles with one of the most respected journalists of our time.

Books Discussed:

“Bad City” by Paul Pringle.

Transcript:

Blaine DeSantis: Hi everybody, this is Blaine Desats and I welcome you once again to another episode of Books and Looks, wow, things are going well here and we are reading a storm. I’ll tell you what, I had a very productive month and that’s gonna translate into great books I’m gonna be talking about and great authors who are gonna be coming in for interviews.

Wow. I’m gonna tell you what, it is exciting here and as I always say, please share, please share with your friends, your relatives. Tell people about it. The other night I was with, uh, some people and the one lady said to me, she said, Blaine, every book I read is something you recommend. And there hasn’t been a bad one yet.

No, that’s correct. I call it, you know, real books for real people. That’s right. Well, I try to read the best I can and give you the books that you’re gonna really enjoy. And I’m going to get away today from reviewing a book because I want to go and talk about a book that I’ve spoken of before and we have the author on today.

The author’s name is Paul Pringle. His book is called “Bad City.” Now I mentioned that before, but I’m gonna ask you to really pay attention to this book. This book is a eye-opening book about the corruption that still goes on out in Los Angeles. Paul Pringle has won three Pulitzer Prizes. Are you kidding me?

Three. Just to get nominated is something. But this man has actually won and here this book, “Bad City” is what’s come out of this investigation. Now you say, I can’t find “Bad City.” Go to my website, viewsonbooks.com. Type in the word bad city. Okay. And you’ll go right there. You’ll see my review and you will also, you, you’ll also find a link.

You can go and you can buy the book. It’s pretty simple stuff, but it’s a book that I think everybody should read because it is an eye-opener about the abuse that went on at the University of Southern California. That’s USC. And USC had a couple bad actors, to be honest with you. One who was the actual head of their Keck School of Medicine who was giving methamphetamines, providing it to, to young girls.

Yeah. Who passed out, almost died from this stuff, and he refused to call in ambulances. This man was, this man was a bad man. Okay. He had a, he got minors? Yeah, minors. He got on meth he was giving them. And this went on and on and on and it was found out. And, uh, Paul starts writing and collecting information about this and the people at the newspaper… were they in the pocket of USC? I don’t know. But they didn’t wanna, they didn’t like talking about it too much. They tried to kill the story, but it’s a school that I never realized how much went on at the University of Southern California. They had the Reggie Bush scandal back in 2011. They had the Pat Hayden scandal.

They had varsity blues. They had this one with the Keck School of Medicines, uh, director. They had one with a gynecologist at the school who was abusing female patients for 20, 30 years and they knew about it and did nothing about it. Folks, it is LA Noir, but it’s real. It is not good, but it’s something you wanna read because it is an eye-opener, and I’m very happy that Paul agreed to come on here and talk about this book. You know, not every day can we get Pulitzer Prize winning authors on, and, and I’m so thrilled to have him on. So, without further ado, let’s go straight to my interview with Paul Pringle. And as I said, friends, today we are very, very fortunate to have with us Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, uh, Paul Pringle, who’s gonna talk about his book, Bad City, which is a real eye-opener for all of us.

Paul, welcome aboard.

Paul Pringle: Thanks for having me.

Blaine DeSantis: Paul, we really appreciate this and, uh, wow. I haven’t a chance to talk to anybody who’s been nominated for an award such as this. So it’s a real thrill for me and, uh, be Before we get into the book, uh, could you get a little, some background about yourself? Where are you from? Where’d you go to school?

Uh, things like that.

Paul Pringle: Yeah, I was, I’m actually originally from Pennsylvania, but we moved out to Southern California when I was in first or second grade. Uh, I went to school at the Cal State system. I went to graduate school at Penn State. I’ve been at the LA Times for 21 year, 22 years. Um, before that I worked, uh, as a bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News in LA and before that for the San Diego papers.

Um, so yeah, I’ve been around for a while.

Blaine DeSantis: You have, I didn’t realize you were a fellow Pennsylvanian as I am. Wow. Great. I’m from, uh, Redding, which is, uh, hour outside of Philadelphia.

Paul Pringle: I was born in Hazleton and then moved to Kingston and Wilbury.

Blaine DeSantis: Well, we’re almost neighbors then. What the heck? Geez. I’ll tell you. But tell me, you, you got into journalism, you went to Penn State Journalism School. Was there a a, a person or a reason you got into journalism?

Paul Pringle: Yeah, I was sort of, I always liked to write and I also was very much into current events when I was in school. So I originally planned to go to law school and get into the, you know, the public sector that way. But then my, you know, my love for writing just steered me into journalism. It, to me, it was the perfect marriage where I could be involved in the news, but also write.

Blaine DeSantis: Did, did you always want to get back to Los Angeles?

Paul Pringle: Yes, definitely. I think LA’s a great news town. You know, of course can’t beat the weather except for recently with all this rain that nobody expected. But yeah, it’s uh, it’s just a wonderful place to be a journal.

Blaine DeSantis: And listen, I’ve, uh, been a big follower of, uh, one of your compatriots at the Times. Uh, Steve Lopez. I used to follow him at the, when he wrote for Philadelphia Papers, and I, I read his columns and I, I think he enjoys being out in LA also.

Paul Pringle: He does. Yeah, he’s a friend of mine. He’s a great columnist. Great writer.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah. Yeah. So anyway. Well, that’s, that’s interesting. Well, now you’ve been nominated for a few Pulitzer Prizes. You won some, you know, well, how does that happen? I mean, do you get, do, do you send in a story and say “I think this is pretty good,” and then people read it? Or do you have a, is there a process to get you nominated for such an award?

Paul Pringle: Well, the paper nominates, um, us, you know, and in, in each case I was part of a team, the ones that we won. There were three winning teams, including the more recent one, which was about the USC stories. Um, so yeah, the paper decides what to enter each year, and if you’re real lucky you, you win.

Blaine DeSantis: Well, you, you’ve been, you’re not just lucky. You’re good Paul. Very good. Cuz I’ve been following your stuff. Since I’ve read the book, I’ve been going back looking at some of your stuff you’re doing on the, the, the LA fire department, I think, and or, and, uh, some other stories you’ve been talking about and reading and, and I’m really enjoying it.

And, uh, you know, there’s a lot going on out there always. And, uh, so, but that gets me asking a question. When you’re an investigative journalist, do, do you have like a, a daily, uh, column you have to write? Or do they give you a leeway to do what you wanna.

Paul Pringle: We’re given lots of leeway to do investigative pieces. You have to get it right, you have to be thorough, of course, and it often takes quite a lot of time. For most of my career, I was not an investigator journalist. I was a general assignment writer and, and a bureau chief.

But as the newspaper industry shrank, I saw the need, the growing need for investigative journalism at the newspapers that continue to have the resources to put into it. So I gradually drifted into investigations.

Blaine DeSantis: It helps that you were a general, uh, writer because you, you made a lot of contacts in that time.

Paul Pringle: Yeah. And you, and you cover so many subjects, so you, you know, you’ll learn a, you’ll learn a little about a lot. And, uh, that does help when you get into investigations.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah. Wow, that’s fascinating. So just briefly, what were your other Pulitzer uh, awards?

Paul Pringle: I was part of the team that won, um, I wanna say in 2004, don’t hold me to the date for coverage, breaking news was the category for coverage of the wildfires that year, and then I was part of the team that investigated corruption in the city of Bell. That was 2011, I believe. That was for the public service award.

And then again, more recently, the, the investigative award with my colleagues, Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton on the USC scandal .

Blaine DeSantis: That certainly was a scandal. That’s that that leads us to the book and, uh, bad City. And now Bad City came out of your investigation. Uh, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what the book is all about for people who haven’t had a, a chance to read it.

Paul Pringle: Yeah. It’s about, uh, the, the two major scandals at usc, one of which, In terms of our reporting led to the other. The first was about the medical school dean who was providing drugs to a circle of young, vulnerable people and abusing them himself. That’s where all this started. I got a tip, uh, well, actually the tip came into the newspaper through one of our photographers and it ended up with me and I began my investigation and that led us down this very long road to, um, to expose both of these scandals.

The first one involving the dean and the second one involving the campus gynecologist who we learned had been abusing patients for decades, and the school essentially covered it up. So we got the, we had a very difficult time publishing the first story on these investigations. As I get into in Bad City. We did not have the support of the top editors for many months.

Um, and that was a real problem. But we finally, we finally broke through. We got the story published. We weren’t happy with the initial story that was published, it was watered down at the last minute, unfortunately. But then those editors were removed from the paper and we went on to do more on the dean and then eventually got, uh, Harriet Ryan got the tip on the gynecologist, George Tindell, and that became a whole other scandal.

Blaine DeSantis: It was. I don’t know. I don’t know which one was worse, but that, the one with the gynecologist, which you said 20 years or so.

Paul Pringle: I believe it was 30, closer to 30 years.

Blaine DeSantis: God. And, and they, they knew about it from what, from what you read or reported, wrote. They knew about it.

Paul Pringle: Yes, he was. People complained about him repeatedly and the school did virtually nothing.

Blaine DeSantis: Oh my God. I know that the, uh, I know one lady who, who helped out, uh, In this as background, uh, she lost her job because she she talked about and reported it, and they didn’t like that.

Paul Pringle: Yeah, they said she, she was basically forced out.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah. Unbelievable. Wow. Well, now this, this all came from an incident out in Pasadena, correct?

Paul Pringle: Yes, a young woman overdosed at a hotel in a room that was rented by the dean of the medical school. This was on an afternoon in the middle of the school term. And, um, you know, the, a hotel manager called 9 1 1. The police were called. , they responded. The woman was rushed to the hospital. She did recover, she did survive.

Uh, but the police did nothing even though they found methamphetamine in the dean’s room. Uh, he was there. Um, he actually tried to dissuade the hotel manager from calling 9 1 1 even though the young woman was unconscious. And in the end, the police did nothing. Didn’t even file a report.

Blaine DeSantis: Whatever happened to that manager? Was he, uh, was he able to keep his job or was there a uh, any blow.

Paul Pringle: Yeah, he, uh, well he did this anonymously and he’s now in, you know, he now works someplace, you know, in a, in another capacity, but it was a very courageous thing for him to do.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah. And unbelievable. That’s, uh, and now this had been going on for, was this the first time or had this been going on for a while prior to this incident?

Paul Pringle: With the dean you mean? Yes. He had, he had been, you know, abusing drugs and providing them to these young people for quite some time, for many months before this.

Blaine DeSantis: How long a period of time did this go on then?

Paul Pringle: The investigation that we, um, that we conducted, determined that he was involved with these young people for, I believe, 20 months.

Blaine DeSantis: And this all seemed to happen after his wife wanted to divorce. Was that, did I read that right?

Paul Pringle: No. I mean, we know that she filed for divorce, but then she withdrew the petition.

Blaine DeSantis: I didn’t know that. Okay. Ah, she withdrew it. Wow. I, I just can’t imagine how, uh, he could do this. And then, uh, it was impunity and, and nothing happened. Nobody reported him. Pasadena Police didn’t ha do anything. LA police, no one did anything.

Paul Pringle: No one did anything, and the hotel manager did report what he witnessed this overdose in the dean’s room and the, you know, and the drugs that were found in the room to the, the office of the president at USC and still nothing was done. Now he did. He was removed as Dean about three weeks after the overdose, but there was no indication, certainly no public indication that it was the result of the overdose or any other problems he was having.

In fact, the school issued a statement that, basically lying to the public, that he was stepping down merely to take advantage of some opportunity that came up in the private sector.

Blaine DeSantis: And this gentleman, I mean, he was highly, uh, uh, thought of in the, in the academic, uh, world, from what I can remember.

Paul Pringle: Yes. And in his specialty eye surgeries, he was, uh, yeah, he was considered, um, you know, a real star in that, in his profession.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah. Wow. That’s, that’s, that’s amazing that somebody who had, that would, uh, would, would then sink so low. But that, you know, you talking about USC and there were so many scandals back then. You, you touched a couple peripherally. You talked about the Pat Hayden scandal when he was athletic director. You talked about, yeah.

This is right around the time the whole varsity blues was, was hitting and then you had these things, what.. Were you shocked that all this was going on at usc?

Paul Pringle: It was shocking. Yeah. All these scandals, one on top of the other often paralleling each other. And the pattern was cover, you know, that the administration would try to cover them up.

Blaine DeSantis: Uh, do you, and you think that’s was the culture there, that that was we’re just gonna cover up and not try to resolve things?

Paul Pringle: That’s the culture I encountered. Uh, going back to even before then, the, the scandal involving the athletic department with Reggie Bush, if you remember that.

Blaine DeSantis: Yes, yes.

Paul Pringle: When NCAA a uh, sanction. I was part of that. I could never get the university to open up to me. The leadership, it was just, you know, it again, a coverup, just silence and pushing back and not responding to queries and that that continued.

Blaine DeSantis: Now for people who might not be familiar with Los Angeles, This initial incident that would, that got your attention, the overdose was in Pasadena. Now, Pasadena is part of Los Angeles, but not really part of the LA PD, am I correct?

Paul Pringle: It’s its own city. It’s in LA County. It borders Los Angeles, the city of Los Angeles. Um, you know, LA County, you know, we have 88 cities. LA of course, is the largest one.

Blaine DeSantis: Do you ever get jaded by these things? I mean, this just goes on and on.

Paul Pringle: It’s hard not to. Um, you would think that now, you know, in, in 2023, you’re going back to when this all started, which was 2016, that cities like Pasadena, a very sophisticated affluent city would know the people who run the city. That you don’t cover these things up, that you don’t, you know, you don’t break the rules like this when there’s an, a young woman overdosed in a hotel room and a man who’s like 40 years older, uh, is, is in the room with her and there’s methamphetamine in the the room safe. You do something about it. You know, you, you certainly file a report. You don’t just let it disappear, but that’s exactly what happened and it would’ve stayed disappeared if, um, if a, you know, if this tip didn’t come into the LA.

Blaine DeSantis: That’s really something. It is sort of shocking to be honest with you. Again, we talked about the stonewalling at, at USC and not wanting to, you know, cover everything up, but then, then this sort of leaked down into other things. It got into your newspaper.

Paul Pringle: Yes it did. I worked on this story again, try encountering the, as you mentioned, the stone stonewalling by usc, by Pasadena. Um, I finally broke through I, they created this police report retroactively, which is a first in my career. Three months after the incident. They still kept it from me from nearly two months, but I did eventually get my hands on that.

Got my hands on the 9 1 1 recording. Um, and the dean was on that recording, so I had enough to do a story. You know, it wasn’t a complete story, but that’s how we work. When we get something we need to publish, we publish it, and that leads to more stories. I actually specialized in that type of investigation.

You know, sort of a run and gun investigation, and my two immediate editors were delighted with the story that I had. The managing editor signed off on it. The newsroom lawyer signed off on it, page one lawyer, page one editor as well. And at the very last minute, the top editor killed it and tried to dissuade me from pursuing it.

And in response to that, I and my two immediate editors put together a secret reporting team. We added four reporters to this story without the knowledge of the top editors, and we continued to pursue this.

Blaine DeSantis: Yeah, that was fascinating. You had to go outside to talk about it. You couldn’t use certain phones, and you even got a couple people who went to USC who were part of this team, if I’m not mistaken.

Paul Pringle: I, I insisted that two of the people be USC graduates, the, the newsroom has quite a few folks from USC. Um, in fact, my editor at the time taught at USC, you know, in part-time. So yeah, so we continued to pursue this and we had, we, you know, we were lucky enough to get some breakthroughs. We found the young woman whose name wasn’t in any report initially, uh, that led us to these other young people.

So we were able to put together a real blockbuster story. Everybody’s on the record. I ended up getting videos and photos of the dean doing drugs with these young folks. So, I mean, the story now is unkillable, but it still took more than three months to publish and it was just a battle between. , you know, us, the, you know, the reporting and editing team, the seven of us, and the, you know, the mainly the two top editors to get this thing into the paper.

Uh, eventually I went to corporate again, secretly and, and filed a complaint against them for, you know, because of this. And there was an investigation. The story was finally published. It was published in a watered down form to our, you know , we were outraged about that. Again, the reporting and editing team, because the top editors took out nearly all the material about the, the dean providing drugs to others, which was really the worst behavior.

He engaged in the worst thing for USC. Um, but anyway, the story was published. The editors were fired after, you know, once this investigation was completed. And, uh, we now have new leadership, new ownership in the, you know, at the LA Times and things are back to.

Blaine DeSantis: Good. Good. Now, how many people actually lost their jobs, either at the paper or at USC or whatever? Either lost, fired, resigned, wherever you wanna call it. How many people lost it because of this?

Paul Pringle: Well, I would say at, um, at usc, basically the, the top administration, the, you know, the president eventually lost the presidency. Um, the general counsel is gone. It’s hard to, it’s hard to say with certainty what caused the firings, but there was definitely a major shakeup and there’s new leadership at the school now, and there was fairly, it was actually after the second scandal that the president lost his job after the George Tyndall scandal.

Blaine DeSantis: That’s the, that’s the gynecologist.

Paul Pringle: Yes.

Blaine DeSantis: Again, a lot of people lost jobs, be it the, I’m assuming that Tyndall and, uh, I can’t remember his name now, the first one, the, uh, heck School president, uh, Puliafito. Is that what it was?

Paul Pringle: Uh, Puliafito. Yeah, he was, he was fired shortly after the story.

Blaine DeSantis: Do they have any jobs in public education now or are they gone? Do you know?

Paul Pringle: They’re, no, they’re gone. I, I know that Puliafito has tried to get his license, medical license back and after the story ran they, you know, the medical board opened up an investigation and took away his license. The school did fire him, uh, Tyndall again, they handled that in secret. So we found out about him after he had left the university.

They gave him a payout. You know, again, things that should never happen if they happen.

Blaine DeSantis: Right. Yeah. Uh, the, one of the, one of the more fascinating, uh, episodes you relate is when they had a. Like, almost like a, uh, I don’t wanna say an award ceremony, but some big at the very end, uh, ceremony for Puliafito. And nobody really wanted to be there. And, uh, you know, he was outside and they were talking how great he was, but looked like from the reporting, nobody really wanted to be at that, uh, event.

Paul Pringle: Yeah, that was one of the most shocking things. So this, this happened in June, this celebration, you know, thanking him for his years of service out outside, outside the medical school on the lawn. This happened in June. The overdose happened in March, and the new, and the school had known since April that I was looking into this.

So the leadership of the school, you know, the arrogance. Publicly celebrating this guy when, you know, they had to know that there were a problem. And, and we found out later. They did know he had a lot of problems and that the, the, you know, the big news organization in town was investigating him, but somehow they felt confident they could do this and there wouldn’t be any blowback.

Blaine DeSantis: Wow, that’s amazing. Now tell me, LA, home of another huge school, UCLA, do they have similar issues or is this more of a private…

Paul Pringle: They

Blaine DeSantis: They

Paul Pringle: had their own, yeah, they had their own scandal with a campus gynecologist. I think he’s in jail now. That happened after the, um, after this one, I believe.

Blaine DeSantis: Just seemed as if USC really has, has had a lot out there, a lot of problems out there.

Paul Pringle: USC seems to have cornered the market on academic scandals. Again in the va, varsity blue scandal. USC had the lion share of, of that scandal in terms of the number of parents and students who were involved. Began going back to, you know, many years ago. Whatever it is now, 15 years ago or so, the N C A A scandal, then the, the Pat Hayden scandal that we , I reported with my colleague Nathan Pheno, these two scandals involving the doctors, you know, uh, it just goes on and on.

Blaine DeSantis: You might as well just camp out there and see what happens every year or so, cuz there’s gonna be another investigation. Tell me a little bit, if you could, about the, the culture change at the LA Times once they got sold to the Tribune company.

Paul Pringle: It was a terrible change, uh, eventually anyway. I mean, initially it seemed to be okay, but in short order, the Tribune company started cutting the staff. Um, that went on, you know, year after year. When I got there, we had, I believe, a lot, 1100 journalists. By the time the Tribune company was done with us, Tribune and later Tronk, we were down to about 450 if that. So it was terrible. And this happened, you know, you know, the, the trouble we had getting the initial story published, that was a result of this bad ownership, which installed bad corporate leadership, which installed bad newsroom leadership. And so we had to get through that.

And, and we have, you know, the paper was sold to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. He has built the paper back up. Um, we have a new editor. Well, he’s been there for a while now, Kevin. And things are back to normal, and they have been for a while.

Blaine DeSantis: Well, I, uh, I basically, uh, look at it or read it every day. I, I get it through my Apple News and I just love going to see what’s going on out in Los Angeles. And I know right now you’re in the midst of that… Uh, if it’s not rain, you gotta teachers walk out today going on also.

Paul Pringle: Yeah, there’s always something happening.

Blaine DeSantis: Oh, always something.

Paul Pringle: I should say though, about another reason, the reason I wrote the book, again, it wasn’t my idea, but an agent approached me. Is, I wanted to make, make it clear to people that this was an institutional problem. Uh, the, these scandals laid bare.

These, the problems with these institutions that are supposed to protect people. And too often they don’t because others didn’t, in my view, fell down on their job here, including the district attorney’s office. Puliafito was never charged with any crime. Uh, the attorney general’s, state Attorney General’s office when they, when they took away his medical license he perjured himself repeatedly in the medical board hearing, and he was never charged with perjury. You know, again, getting back to what Pasadena did and didn’t do. So there was something there just, there just seemed to be something wrong with, um, you know, the institutions in LA and the only way to tell that story is, is in a book, you know, when you have the liberty to get into that kind of detail.

Blaine DeSantis: That’s, that’s true. Now, how long did it take you to write the book.

Paul Pringle: I was given a year and I actually wrote it um, in a shorter period of time because they want, they turned out, they want, turned out the publisher wanted to publish it, you know, sooner. So I think it took me to do the actual manuscript, maybe eight months. Then there’s, of course, then there’s a lot of, you know, legal review and fact checking and all that.

Blaine DeSantis: Are you writing another book? That’s the other question I want to ask you. What’s, what’s going on now in, uh, in Paul Pringle?

Paul Pringle: Nothing for certain yet, but I’m thinking about it. I’m still very busy at the paper. We, if I have a number of investigations under.

Blaine DeSantis: Oh, good, good. I can’t wait to, uh, I can’t wait to see your byline and, uh, and read about this, uh, uh, the things that are going on. But I mean, it’s something which at the end when you say, okay, I’m, I’m done. I don’t wanna do anymore, you have a heck of a career that you can, uh, write about.

Paul Pringle: Oh, well thanks. Had a lot of help from folks.

Blaine DeSantis: No, no doubt. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a team effort. Even though it might just have your name or even two names. It’s a whole team that gets involved in this.

Paul Pringle: And, and the people who come forward, they’re the real heroes here. They’re the ones they put everything on the line. In this case, and in many other investigations I’ve been involved with people come forward only because they want to do the right thing.

Blaine DeSantis: I, I’m gonna tell you what, I, uh, I found your book, uh, under one of the books of the year, uh, columns. I don’t know if it was from the LA paper or the, uh, New York Times. I sort, I think it was from the LA paper. You know, I’m down here in Greenville, South Carolina. We don’t get much of great book stories or book reviews, and so I’m always searching and at this one, the minute I read the, the review. I said, my God, I can’t believe this. I had, I, I’d never heard of this until this happened. And it’s like, I, my word, it just, just, just shocked me. It truly shocked me from page one. Your book is an eye-opener and, uh, I, I, the hat’s off to you for a wonderful, wonderful job of reporting and disclosing everything that was going on out there.

Paul Pringle: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Blaine DeSantis: You’ve You’ve done a great public service and, uh, I’ll tell you, uh, this, this is an eyeopener and uh, again, I don’t wanna take any more of your time. I know it’s getting close to around noon where you’re at. You’re probably hustling here and there to get more stories. So, with that, I just wanna say, Paul, thank you, thank you, thank you so very much for coming on.

Best of luck. I’ll be keeping up every day searching to see stories and what’s going on, and, uh, I hope, I hope you have a wonderful remainder of your career.

Paul Pringle: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate. Thanks for having me again.

Blaine DeSantis: No trouble. Okay, friends, we’ll be back in just a moment. Well, friends, I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as I did and I think I’m gonna have Paul back again to discuss some other, uh, issues with regard to journalism. That’s right. New journalism, old journalism, traditional journalism, social media, the Moree, the ethics of what’s going on out there.

This is stuff that has to be written about, talked about, discussed, and I can’t think of a better person to talk about that than, uh, Paul Pringle. So I’m gonna try to arrange for him to be back on a little bit later on for that. Anyway. What have I been looking at? Well, there’s something I started to look at way back at episode one, which is friendship, but not just friendship per se.

The other night we hosted here at our house, a block party. That’s right, a block party. We had 23 people here in our kitchen. Now, during Covid, we were supposed to have like no more than a five. We had 23. It was a wild, fun time. People were laughing, people were talking. We had nine month old babies. We had 80 year old men.

Most of us were over 60 years of age. But you know what? We got together, and that’s what this is all about, because I’m seeing some of my friends, Randy, especially Randy Brandon down in uh, uh, Georgia, she’s getting together and having parties with her neighbor. Her friends and she’s going places as is her sister, Pam.

They’re going places, they’re seeing things and we have gotten away from that for two, two and a half years. And it’s time to, you know, break these shackles. Time to break the shackles, friends. I mean, it was so much fun. We went, I mean, it seemed like everywhere you, you looked, somebody was talking with somebody else.

People brought potluck meals. We have so much food, it’s out of this world. But it was the fun of getting together. I mean, I talked about potty training yeah, potty training. I talked about going to Italy and being a tourist and traveling over there. We talked to, I talked, I talked about books and we talked about a friend of ours who broke his leg skiing the other year. And we were back and forth. We were having a great time. And it wasn’t just me, the people inside this went on for three, three and a half hours and people had a great time. We all survived Covid. Yep. Some of us had it, but we all survived and now it’s time to thrive. And I say to you, if you haven’t begun to thrive, folks, if you haven’t begun getting together, Start now.

Start trying to get together. If you don’t want to have 23 people in your kitchen, how about four or five? Get together and enjoy it. You know, talk about things. Play a game night. Do something. You know, it’s a lot of fun to get together. I forgot how much fun it was to be together and be with friends and neighborhood.

I’ll tell you, it was a lot of fun and that’s what I’m looking at a good time that I haven’t had in almost three years. That wraps up another week. And so on behalf of views on books.com, where you want to go for that book, bad City and others. And also on behalf of the Greenville Podcast Company, which makes this, uh, a wonderful podcast.

When you hear it, you don’t realize how good Nathaniel does. And oh, everybody there at the podcast company cuz they make this sound absolutely beautiful. And lastly, on behalf of books and looks, this is Blaine DeSantis saying may all your leaves be pages in a book.

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