About Michael Sigman

Michael Sigman is a writer/ editor, media consultant and the president of Major Songs, a music publishing company.

Prior to his current activities, Sigman was the president and publisher of LA Weekly, the nation’s largest alternative newsweekly, from 1990-2002. He joined LA Weekly in 1983 as general manager and was named publisher the following year.

Sigman was also the founding publisher of OC Weekly, sister paper to LA Weekly, when it was launched in 1995.

Prior to joining LA Weekly, Sigman was a music journalist, and served as a reporter, then managing editor, then editor-in-chief of Record World Magazine, a leading music industry weekly, from 1971 to 1982.

Michael Sigman graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Philosophy, from Bucknell University in 1971. He currently serves on several Boards, including InsightLA and Society for Singers, and is Chairman of the Board of the Wright Institute, a non-profit psychoanalytic institute which provides inexpensive long-term psychotherapy to the poor.

Why Progressives Should Take Heart

Miles Rapoport

Michael Sigman: Voter suppression is the last refuge of scoundrels, and they are still swinging for the fences. But in the 2012 elections, highly successful efforts were waged to fight back against these efforts, and the pushback was successful.

Villaraigosa and Herbalife: Made for Each Other?

antonio_villaraigosa-350

Michael Sigman: Taking a job at a multi-level marketing firm would be a tacky signpost of any first-tier politician’s professional trajectory. It’s especially unsightly when that politician is Antonio Villaraigosa

Trump ’16? Big Media Digs Deep

donald trump

Michael Sigman: This time around, the joke is on the media who treat news about Trump the way TMZ treats “news” about the Kardashians.

Whose God Bless America Is It, Anyway?

marc anthony

Michael Sigman: Over the past half-century, the right has used “God Bless America” as an all-purpose signifier of the God-given superiority of All-American values over those of the secularists, socialists, anarchists and malcontents of the left.

Facebook Fills a Void?

lonely birthday

Michael Sigman: I found myself looking forward to my Facebook birthday experience with pleasant imaginings that meshed with the sweet anticipation of the vast quantities of sugar I would soon permit myself to ingest.

When I’m 64, Remembering ’64

64 world series

Michael Sigman: The upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the first hosted by the New York Mets since 1964, reminding me that following the All-Star break that same year, my St. Louis Cardinals staged one of the most thrilling comeback stories in baseball history.

If All Else Succeeds, Be Late for Your Own Funeral

talking heads

Michael Sigman: Nowadays, you can’t watch cable news for 10 minutes without hearing a talking head hold forth with a “having said that,” a “game changer” a “double down” or a “walk back.”

What’s Really Behind All Those Village Voice Layoffs

village voice

Michael Sigman: For many old-media types I talked to, there was more resignation than outrage this time around, as though a cherished institution were already gone.

License To Philosophize, Sinatra-Style

frank sinatra

Michael Sigman: We’ll never know the Chairman of the Board’s innermost insights about doing/being, if indeed he had any. What cannot be denied is that his choice of material covers a rich spectrum of emotional leaps and existential twists and turns.

The State of the State (Song) of the Golden State

california state song

Michael Sigman: My next-door neighbor flagged me down recently to enthuse that the California State Song brought back memories of childhood hikes in the Alps. I wondered what in the world she was talking about.

Barry Goldberg: Fifty Years Of ‘Chicago Blues’

howlin wolf

Michael Sigman: The story of American music is often the story of race — and particularly of white boys and girls learning about music from black men and women. The tale of Elvis Presley hanging out in Mississippi juke joints is something like a gospel story in the history of American culture.

NRA Enemies List: With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Guns?

nra george zimmermasn

he NRA enemies list posted here has become a hot media topic as the organization and its executive director Wayne LaPierre leap from self-parody into the realm of the truly demented. The right-wing Murdoch-owned New York Post called LaPierre a “loon” on its front page after one of his rants; the centrist Daily News went with “The Craziest Man On Earth”; and [...]

This New Year’s, Resolve to Give Yourself a Break

obesity

Michael Sigman: For post-postmodern nourishment, I’m keeping David Foster Wallace’s mighty novel Infinite Jest on my night table with the intention of reading at least 10 pages a week. It’s a long haul, but if I keep my resolve, I’ll be done by New Year’s 2015!

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Kumbaya?

joan baez

Michael Sigman: In the heat of the 2008 presidential race, the popular conservative blog Red State lambasted candidate Barack Obama’s remarks during a Berlin appearance as a “Kumbaya speech” filled with “nothing but platitudes and leftist, and multicultural, rah-rah.”

10 Pundits Who Picked Romney — and Knew Better

ann coulter

Michael Sigman: Karl Rove led a parade of “experts” masquerading as fair-minded analysts whose real agenda was to line their own pockets by feeding the public’s craving for information that confirms their biases.

Who Wants a Bully in the Oval Office?

romney lies

Michael Sigman: Mitt was so amped-up during certain segments of the Hofstra debate, it made me wonder whether the Mormon teetotaler had somehow ingested way too much caffeine.

Polls, Sham Polls, and Linguistics

dick mrris

Michael Sigman: Though scores of Republicans are looking at poll numbers and moving to the sidelines or outright jumping ship, at least two imaginative Romney cheerleader/pundits — Hugh Hewitt and Dick Morris — maintain a different view. They say Romney already is ahead.

Romney Hood vs. Obamaloney: A Bare-Knuckled Brawl for the Ages

obama signing

Michael Sigman: Romney quadrupled down when he told Fox News that “(Obama’s) serving a dish that’s in contradiction to the truth.” Them’s fightin’ words!

Mitt-steps Abroad Stir Nixon Nostalgia (Almost)

richard nixon

Michael Sigman: Romney’s recent foreign foray showed an evasive, jingoistic panderer with a tin ear for diplomacy and, worse, a lack of interest in foreign affairs.

Retirement Golden for the Rich, Ominous for the Rest

golden parachute

Michael Sigman: Most Americans — for whom the phrase “retirement package” is a cruel joke — have watched their net worth collapse while CEO payouts have reached heights far beyond the reach of mortal men.

Unnamed Sources: Clintons Green-Light Chelsea ’32 Presidential Bid

chelsea clinton

ith nearly five months to go, coverage of the 2012 presidential race has devolved into the self-parody of dueling gaffes. Recently, “Obama lost his mojo” Can the return of “Mittster the master gaffester be far behind? In an effort to remain conscious, media analysts spent several days last week deconstructing the nuances of a 2016 presidential bid [...]

Loving or Leaving America: A Brief History

santorum perry

Michael Sigman: The origin of “America Love It or Leave It” is murky. It was popularized by gossip guru and Joseph McCarthy sympathizer Walter Winchell, who, among other abuses of power, helped keep entertainer/activist/national treasure Josephine Baker out of the country we’re all free to love.

Newt’s Victim Card Is a Joker

planet newt

Michael Sigman: Howls from conservatives notwithstanding, the truth is that neither the left nor the media lifted a finger to hand Newt his comeuppance.

For Mitt, Firing People Is the Context

mitt flip flop

Michael Sigman: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” may well become Mitt Romney’s most memorable line, if only because he actually meant it.

‘Tis the Season for GOP Exit Strategies

gop thanksgiving

Michael Sigman: Congressman Ron Paul will pull out of politics entirely. Since his son Rand is also a member of Congress, Ron will become the first politician ever to leave public life so he can spend less time with his family.

In Presidential Politics, Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

willard romney

Michael Sigman: When Willard Romney fibbed about his first name during last week’s Republican debate, chances are his target audience of Fox fans and Tea Partiers were as blissfully ignorant of his white lie as they are about his Big Lies.

Newt’s Nasty Narcissism

newt historian

Michael Sigman: When the Newt boomlet fades, there may yet be a role for Gingrich in public life. Given his obsession with such words as “fundamentally,” “profoundly,” “desperately” and “dramatically,” how about Ambassador of Adverb Abuse?

Cain Case Shines Light on Workplace Sexual Harassment

cain sexual harassment

Michael Sigman: If the credible-sounding charges from Sharon Bialek — a conservative Republican — are to be believed, Herman Cain’s behavior was a bridge way, way too far.

GOP’s Finest in Fierce Battle to Become 2012 Jester-in-Chief

perry clown

Michael Sigman: When Tea Partiers warned the Feds to stay away from their Medicare, little did we know they were foreshadowing the all-out battle now raging among Republicans for the role of Jester-In-Chief.

‘Tis the Season for Poor Political Prognostication

George Will

Michael Sigman: Expert political prognostications may be devoid of useful information, but they can help us resist our own tendencies to act like big shots, prediction-wise.

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