|President Nixon (left) and City Attorney Trutanich (right)|
Would you buy a used car from either of them?
It failed, and if there's one thing Trutanich cannot handle, it's failure. So to avoid further humiliation, Trutanich ordered his deputies to drop the charges against the student protesters.
"I am not a thug" Trutanich told Maddaus who seemed to be the first reporter not to be "Nuched" - that's the word that best describes the rather facile way Trutanich seeks to win over those who don't readily drink his own particular brand of Koolaide. First, he arranges to meet you in unassuming surroundings - Ciro's is a perfect setting. It shows he's a 'man of the people' and of humble and ordinary tastes (If you're a fundraiser, you'll meet at the Jonathan Club, but for a reporter it's Ciro's).
Then there will be a few anecdotal stories about his allegedly humble origins. One such story was how he was so broke raising a family that he could not afford to buy a new battery for his car. Every morning he had to push the car to get it rolling before jumping in, sticking it in gear, starting the engine and driving off to work at the DA's Office. The story is designed to sell the image of a man of humble origins; a regular guy. Trutanich seems to have stopped using the car story after a family member blurted out that the car in question was a Porsche 911 Carrera.
Next up is a teary-eyed, choked-speech line like "I love my job and I'm humbled by the responsibility the voters have given me," and/or "I'm just trying to do the right thing," to justify his latest jack-boot style policy; like reneging on his agreement that the City Controller had the power to audit City departments, or turning his back on the medical marijuana community who were fooled into supporting him before he knifed them in the back, or, threatening to arrest Council Member Jan Perry and AEG boss Tim Leiweke over billboards at LA Live, or throwing a businessman in jail on a Friday night on $1M bail for a misdemeanor, or the straw that broke the camel's back; threatening student protesters with a year in jail.
As the victim of the "Nuch" desperately tries to turn the meeting back to the topic at hand, Trutanich will then ramble on and on, jumping from topic to topic - it's a strategy known as "distract and disarm," and is skillfully delivered so that the victim either forgets the question he wanted to ask, or is so bamboozled by the incoherent off-topic drivel that he just gives up.
Finally, Trutanich delivers the coupe de grace; the male bonding thing. You'll get grabbed with a bear hug as he slaps your back. It's just like a scene from the Godfather when Michael Corleone hugs his brother Fredo, tells him "Fredo you're my brother and I love you" before having Fredo shot in the back of the head and unceremoniously dumped into Lake Tahoe. While Trutanich has you in that embrace, the hand that slaps your back is feeling for the soft spot to plunge the knife. As he tells you "We'll be friends for life" his eyes are as cold as shark's and almost as lethal. He smiles, says "I love you man," because you've been "Nuched."
It seemed to have worked with LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, who was won over for a while after being "Nuched" at a cigar store first, and then invited to be a guinea pig test driver to see the effects of marijuana while driving a police car on a private track. "How can you not like a guy who asks you to get high and drive a police car?" joked Lopez, but Lopez very quickly got himself "un-Nuched" when Lopez balked at a year in jail for the student protesters.
Another previously "Nuched" victim was KABC talk radio host Peter Tilden. Tilden was "Nuched" when he, too, was invited to spliff-up, get high, and drive a cop car with Lopez. Like Lopez, Tilden quickly got "un-Nuched" during a recent interview with Trutanich over the student protesters.
So kuddos to LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus for resisting the "Nuch" and reporting on the reality of life in the warped world of Carmen Trutanich. Oh, and Gene, why don't you give Trutanich's "buddy" District Attorney Steve Cooley a call and find out if they really are still buddies like Trutanich says? Apparently the pair haven't spoken since December 15, 2010. It could be that Steve Cooley also got himself "un-Nuched."