Noah Smith

Multimedia Journalist

Los Angeles, CA



What the U.S. military can and cannot learn from the IDF's Gaza operation - Diplomacy and Defense

An old joke that made the rounds amongst United States military officers involved with doctrine research went, "At first, the Israeli army admired the American army, then the...

The New York Times

Plants That Won't Drain You

Californians who want to replace their water-guzzling lawns can choose plants that thrive in the state's dry climate. Here are some popular options.

The New York Times

CONTRIB Sumner Redstone Trial Could Be Lurid and Spark Power Struggle

Those questions will set the backdrop for the trial, as the court is expected to hear video testimony from Mr. Redstone, as well as from his daughter, doctors and nurses, Ms....

The New York Times

Pharrell Williams Acknowledges Similarity to Gaye Song in 'Blurred Lines' Case

LOS ANGELES - How closely does Robin Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines" resemble a classic by Marvin Gaye? That question is central to a closely watched copyright case here, and on...

The Guardian

PHOTOS Jesse Williams: 'Celebrity culture? I am not going to participate in that'

There is a heatwave making its way through Los Angeles. It's the second week of September yet temperatures remain at 32C (89F). At 8am, most of the city is still asleep or just...

The New York Times

CONTRIB Californians Who Conserved Wonder if State Can Overcome Those Who Didn't

LOS ANGELES - Some Californians are already showering just once a week, with buckets at their feet to catch every errant drop. They are building rainwater tanks in their...

The Guardian

PHOTOS On the hunt for 'moral breaches' with California's foremost drought-shamer

Tony Corcoran patrols the streets of Los Angeles on a bicycle, a lone crusader, his eyes peeled for injustice. He can detect villainy in a stream of water trickling down a...

The New York Times

Restroom Ordinance Is Just One More Sign of a City's Acceptance

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - This city was one of the first in the nation to pass a same-sex marriage law. It was one of the first communities viewed as a haven for gay people: When...

The Guardian

VIDEO California's Surf Warzone: Meet the Warlords Going to Extreme Length to Defend Their Turf

Lunada Bay is a legendary surfing spot at the base of cliffs on the Palos Verdes peninsula, just south of Los Angeles. After clambering down a steep, crumbling path, visitors...

The New York Times

CONTRIB Deaths of Irish Students in Berkeley Balcony Collapse Cast Pall on Program

BERKELEY, Calif. - They come by the thousands - Irish students on work visas, many flocking to the West Coast to work in summer jobs by day and to enjoy the often raucous life...

The New York Times

CONTRIB Uncertainty on Whether Cosby Revelations Could Hurt Him in Court

New revelations about the sexual behavior of Bill Cosby have been greeted as a vindication to many of the women who have accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting them....


Starting Up and Starting Over: LA Tech Day reveals why everyone wants to be in tech

Henry Luc studied landscape architecture at UC Davis and graduated in 2008, just in time for the economic meltdown. Then the drought happened. Then he decided to take a...

The Washington Post

CONTRIB First fatality confirmed as raging wildfires spread across Southern California

VENTURA, Calif. - Firefighters continued to battle blazes across a large swath of Southern California on Saturday, and state officials warned that continued high winds into...

The Washington Post

CONTRIB First fire-related death confirmed as raging wildfires cloaked Southern California in...

OJAI, Calif. - The Golden State kept burning on Friday, with raging wildfires cloaking Southern California in nightmarish flame and towering smoke while authorities reported the...

The New York Times

CONTRIB The Path to Charlie Sheen's H.I.V. Disclosure

It was a secret that had finally become too burdensome to keep. "I'm here to admit that I am in fact H.I.V.-positive," Charlie Sheen told Matt Lauer during the "Today" show on...

The New York Times

CONTRIB Cosby Loses His Bid to Prevent Another Lawsuit

Bill Cosby on Wednesday lost his bid to stop another civil lawsuit against him from going forward, but his deposition in the case will be sealed at least until December.

The New York Times

CONTRIB Sumner Redstone's Medical Records to Stay Private, Judge Rules

The medical records of the media mogul Sumner M. Redstone will remain confidential, but some other court documents, including emails written by his nurses and a letter from Mr....

The Guardian

PHOTOS Katy Perry, the archbishop and the nuns who won't budge from their convent

It was probably the first audition that Katy Perry had to do in a long time - an improvised performance in a former convent to a handful of elderly Catholic nuns who, all things...


Kowabunga! Chosen People also ride waves

Every so often, passersby shoot Shaun Tomson a sideways glance. It's a foggy, Santa Monica weekday morning, and Tomson - about six feet tall with tousled dark hair and a deep...

The New York Times

CONTRIB Power Struggle at Viacom as New Leader Is Named

With the ailing 92-year-old Sumner M. Redstone in his final act as a media titan, the two rivals jousting over the future of his $40 billion entertainment empire repeatedly...