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The mayor and the former chief, sharing air time with bias cuts and belly laughs

I'd deliberately stopped watching the news late Thursday evening after being overwhelmed by the horror out of Ft. Hood and the daylong tsunami of news in general. Sometimes, you've got to switch brain hemispheres.

I thought comedy and fashion would do that for me. So I skipped over to ''Project Runway,'' now with extra added fun in the sighting of L.A. landmarks, inasmuch as this season was shot here.

Lo and behold, there on the Lifetime channel was one landmark I didn't expect to see. Beaming bright in the sunshine, on a hillside above the 405 freeway -- yes, that was indeed the Getty Center, But it was also Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, immaculately suited, with a smile measurable in lumens, welcoming the designers to Los Angeles. Then, boom, faster than you could say ''auf wiedersehen,'' he was gone. As cameos go, though, it was probably more air time than he's used to getting on the six o'clock news..

And then, on Comedy Central, a little more than 90 minutes later, William Bratton, who just left the job of L.A. police chief on Saturday, was in the ejector seat on the "Colbert Report." He was a bit more subdued than we're used to seeing him here, maybe because Colbert only really asked about policing New York, a city Bratton characterized as ''a hellhole'' of broken-window offenders like squeegee pests and turnstile jumpers before he was able to work his police chiefly way on the Big Apple. I'm sorry Colbert didn't ask him anything about L.A.; I already miss Bratton's pungent observations about the sundry scofflaw ''knuckleheads'' and ''loony tunes'' of California.

And then I turned off the television and went to bed. I don't think I could have handled the surprise of seeing Sheriff Lee Baca in a guest spot on the SyFy channel.

-- Patt Morrison


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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