Howard Rosenberg


"THE ELVIS MURDERS." The setting is Memphis. Elvis impressionists are being bumped off, and Robbie Golden, a former Elvis himself, is on the case. Whodunnit?


"UP YOURS!" A proctologist's office is where hemorrhoids and homicide collide in this corker of a mystery novel, 381 pages of witty whodunnitry with a touch of Nick and Nora Charles in former Los Angeles Times obit writer Ted Milo and his wife, Liv.

A taste:

"Nearly everyone imagines his own obit, usually in glowing terms that highlight attributes that may be invisible to the untrained eye. Obit writers are no exception. In my day-dreamiest moments, I envisioned my own glorious send-off under a banner headline announcing the tragic demise of journalism's "Poet Laureate of Death." Later, as my scope of activities widened, I added "Master Detective" to my fantasy farewell, although I'd done nothing to earn that title when confronting the inky enigma of Sam Fine.

"Who was this guy?

"The Sammy I knew was not the type to go missing. He was not one to take more than an hour for lunch. He was a cheerful soul in his 60s who lived between the lines. He never ran a risk or red light, making convention and routine his blueprint. He read his newspaper over orange juice, Corn Flakes and decaf each morning, watched the 6 o'clock news at night and turned in at 10:30, regarding Leno and Letterman as unconfirmed rumors. Not tall nor short, loud nor quiet, he was somewhere in between. Mainstream defined his life and his appearance, moderation his lifestyle. Troubles weren't his crown of thorns; he appeared to have no troubles. He had a round face, a pleasant face, a face with no history. He seemed as happy as any man, and happily married. He told a pretty good joke, always laughing at his own punch lines. He was square--as old-fashioned as pay phones and TV rabbit ears--and a square shooter. His idea of a big night out was catching Barry Manilow at the Hollywood Bowl. He was solid and dependable, a metronome of steadiness. He was a pill-counting pharmacist, for chrissakes, as predictable in our little chunk of universe as sunshine.

"So where the hell was he?"


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The frantic blur of today's news media makes it ever difficult to separate fact from opinion and speculation. This book describes how today's media blizard scrambles our perspective and potentially distorts how we operate as a global society. What we have now are media--from 24-hour news to the blogosphere--moving faster than the speed of thought. And the impact is profound, affecting not only those of us on the pavement but also the media themselves and the government leaders we trust to make carefully considered decisions on our behalf.

Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television
Rosenberg’s essays focus largely on television news, accusing it of failing dismally in its shrilly-proclaimed role as a Bethlehem star of enlightenment, its influence continuing to widen in circles that value tabloid over truth. This has happened—not overnight. The crud has been creeping for years. Oh the horror.

Selected Works

A vivid and brawny take on the blur of today's sped-up, revved-up media and the danger they represent. "An awful warning delivered with anecdotal richness and real passion." --The Times of London
A witty and candid account of television’s relentless pursuit of the mundane. “Delectable”
--Publisher's Weekly

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