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LOS ANGELES Saturday, July 4th 2015 9:24

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Inside Media: The This Just In Nonsense

POLITICS - When I was a daily news reporter, politicians, campaign managers, public officials and others would occasionally ask me whether they could review their quotes or even read my story before publication.

I refused with two exceptions. One was if I was writing about a complicated subject beyond my knowledge, such as pollution or medicine. Then, I would read back only the portion of the story dealing with the scientific issue. The second was if I was using handwritten notes and had not recorded the speech or interview. If something was unclear to me, I would call back for clarification. That seemed fair.

Doing more would amount to pre-publication censorship. So I was surprised to read Jeremy Peters’ story in The New York Times on Monday, which said that reporters from some of the nation’s biggest media organizations regularly agree to such censorship.

He revealed how politicians and their advisers “are routinely demanding that reporters allow them final editing power over any published quotations.” Such approval is now routine in the White House and President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago. Those interviewing Gov. Mitt Romney’s five sons must submit their quotes to the press office for approval. “And,” Peters wrote, “Romney advisors almost always require that reporters ask them for the green light on anything from a conversation that they would like to include in an article.”

He said organizations such as The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Reuters have agreed to these restrictions.

Submitting to such censorship is another sign of how the Internet and cable TV news have changed the business of reporting on politics, as well as other areas such as sports and business.

There is a great hunger for trivial news and the reporters must feed it. In political campaigns, the reporters compete intensely for stories with so-called inside information about tactics. What’s Obama going to say in Ohio? Is he going to apologize to Romney? When and where is Romney going to announce his vice presidential choice? Who’s up in the campaign hierarchy and who’s down?

In answering such questions, the campaign staff is more than likely to lie, obfuscate or use language that is bland and uninformative. And if the staff member is to be quoted, apparently, censorship is imposed.

When I was in the political campaign coverage business, I listened to such people patiently. I knew the campaign people were spinning me. Although I had good relations with most of them, I knew they weren’t sharing for the sake of friendship, but because I worked for the Los Angeles Times. I’d take what they told me as the beginning of reporting on a story. I’d need more information and on-the-record interviews before I wrote anything. If they wanted to talk off the record, that was OK with me.

But my colleagues and I didn’t like using anonymous quotes, nor were our editors happy if we did so.

And when we quoted people, we certainly didn’t run their quotes by them for pre-publication approval or revision.

I know things have changed. I could see that when I returned to the campaign trail for Truthdig in 2008 after a dozen years away. The reporters were under more pressure, having to produce daily stories as well as filing for websites. Since then, the need to provide material for Twitter has added to their work, as has the intensified competition to be first on the Web. News—or non-news—flashes through websites and cable networks minute by minute. If a reporter is first with a quote from an assistant campaign director—no matter how meaningless—the rest of the pack must match it. Bosses count the number of hits attained by reporters and stories.

This atmosphere has given the campaigns great power to reward and punish reporters. Presumably a journalist who refuses to submit to censorship will be deprived of even the crumbs doled out by the campaign crew. Reporters, by The New York Times account, have become prisoners of their sources.

Dean Baquet, The New York Times managing editor and one of my bosses when he was at the Los Angeles Times, told reporter Peters that “We don’t like the practice. We encourage our reporters to push back. Unfortunately, the practice is becoming increasingly common and maybe we should push back harder.”

Oddly, reporters seem to have forgotten there are plenty of sources of information. Policy websites, expert opinions and sophisticated statistical analyses abound on the Internet. As for interviews, there are many knowledgeable people in any given area who don’t mind being quoted.

When it comes to censorship by some political hack, all a reporter has to do is just say no.

(Bill Boyarsky is a journalist and blogs at truthdig.com where this column first appeared. Visit truthdig.org for other prominent writers like Robert Scheer, Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges.)
–cw








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 58
Pub: July 20, 2012


 

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