Huell Howser – Redevelopment Whore? Say It Ain’t So.

Every things lookin' good!
Everything's lookin' good! For me.

We read in the LA Times this morning a story about Redevelopment by Jessica Garrison. It was a kind of weird hybrid about State budget raids on Redevelopment agencies and about how the California Redevelopment Association had paid to produce a series of TV shows touting the wonders of redevelopment and hosted by Huell Howser click here for story .

We have always considered Howser something of a menace to culture and intelligent television with his dopey drawl, his inability to ask an insightful question, his perpetual overstatement of the obvious, and his complete disregard for whatever his “guests” happen to be saying. The transfiguration of the mundane into the near metaphysical (hey Louie, you gotta get a picture of this bubblin’ mud hole!) is another annoying part of his tiresome schtick. But on balance he seemed to be fairly innocuous, little kids who didn’t know any better liked him, and we remember with fondness his attempt to save the Long Beach Naval Shipyard facilities.

According to Garrison’s article Howser has now been bought and paid for by the Redevelopment lobby, who undoubtedly saw an opportunity to co-opt a voice for preservation and employ it for themselves. Howser should be ashamed of himself for getting into bed with the same greedy, self-interested thieves who have done inestimable harm to the historic built environment in California. For every historic building it has saved (remuddled, more likely) redevelopment has deployed its bulldozers against a hundred others.

Hey Louie, you gotta get a picture of this!
Hey Louie, you gotta get a picture of this!

Well, Huell has got his thirty pieces of silver. But as the article points out, the State’s raid on Redevelopment coffers may well spell the end for many Redevelopment agencies. Let’s hope so. And let’s make sure to boycott Howser’s puff piece love notes to the CRA.

14 Replies to “Huell Howser – Redevelopment Whore? Say It Ain’t So.”

  1. Howser celebrates some of the state’s interesting, quirky and independent-minded people and businesses and architecture that were created by the entrepreneurial spirit. Yet he supports redevelopment, which crushes and destroys all those things. He is helping government agencies and big developers destroy historic architecture and communities in order to replace them with cookie-cutter garbage. He is a phony.

  2. Howser has done some good stuff. I enjoyed his series on the California Missions, and appreciated the show he did that introduced me to Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in L.A. which carries over 450 different sodas in glass bottles (made with real sugar!), half-forgotten brands of candy from my childhood, and over 500 different beers from around the world. (I’m not receiving a commission for this plug, BTW.)

    Unfortunately, this time Howser has ventured into a political battle and taken a side — the wrong side — meaning he’ll soon discover that the only folks who’ll be sending him warm and fuzzy e-mails about these shows will be those who work for city redevelopment staffs.

  3. For every historic building it has saved (remuddled, more likely) redevelopment has deployed its bulldozers against a hundred others.

    I’ve heard this before as well.
    Like Jack, I’ve enjoyed Howser as well on various projects. I don’t even mind his folksy demeanor. But it is unfortunate he chose to take this side without looking into it more.

  4. There are two personalities on television that you absolutely, positively cannot mess with:
    (1) Ceasar Milan and (2) Huell Howser. Whatever they do now…..will never make-up for all their years of dedication and love for our State. Saving, blowing up the Golden Gate Bridge…Huell can do no wrong.

    For those who haven’t got a clue: You don’t just get on KCET without being an insider to begin with. Huell has been supporting Supervisor John Moorlach for years. Wake up and smell the petunias folks!

    1. Huell can do no wrong? You’re writing this yokel a blank check?

      Sorry Ron and/or Anna (say what’s with the split personality, anyway?) that’s not the way we do things over here.

      We hold Huell accountable for what he says and whom he shills for.

    2. Wait, is this comment from Ron or Anna? I’ve seen some strange personalities on here, but the bipolar thing is new.

      By the way, poeple said the same about OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson. Nobody is immune to bad publicity.

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