Los Angles is ground zero for the $7 billion dollar billboard industry, an industry some critics call more powerful than the NRA. Despite a 2002 ban on new billboards, the city council has continuously carved out exceptions to that ordinance, allowing for thousands of billboards to blanket the city. In the first part of our two-month investigation, correspondent Vince Gonzales looks at the politics, and at what some call the sweetheart deals, that have brought billboards to virtually every neighborhood in the city.
Plus, it's been a century and a half since the era of California history known as the Gold Rush began. We're all familiar with the image of the old prospector, diligently sifting through pans of dirt looking to strike it rich. Turns out those days are far from over. Judy Muller tells us you can still find prospectors in the streams and hills, although he probably has a GPS, a hydraulic pump and a sport utility vehicle to get him there.
And, Sam Hall Kaplan, the former design critic for The Los Angeles Times and an Emmy-award winning former reporter for Fox News, praises billboards and says it is time for the certain parts of the city to sparkle with the brilliant, blinking conceits that will mark L.A. as the creative capital of the world.