Saturday, January 18, 2003

letters, we get letters

mr. helpful's entire email fisking our post about bush's disingenuousness about the demonstrators in dc:


here is the full text of my comments to your comments...i decided to take on every link you posted but there is a limit of 2500 characters in your comment section and this is you go....


after considering your rejection, i hereby reject your rejection.

simply put you have a view of our country in which free speech is supposedly stifled in the manner of past world totalitarian regimes. you have what you consider to be examples of this. ok..fair can believe what you want..

to save space i will use just the first link you posted as the best example of what i am talking about.

according to the story, there were roughly 100 protesters of which 17 were arrested. if the arrests were, as you say, because the government doesnt like dissenting speech then why werent ALL the protesters arrested? Why only 17?. I will tell you why...the story then goes on to say that 17 of the protesters laid down on the sidewalk thereby blocking traffic which then led to THREATS of arrest if they didnt move. when they didnt move THEN AND ONLY THEN were they arrested ergo they WANTED to be arrested. They could have avoided arrest simply by getting up and moving back and forth...still chanting their anti war
slogans to their little heart's delight.

Do you honestly suggest that rises to the standard which your comment suggests...that being these people were arrested simply for opening their mouths?

Forget it...I aint gonna worry about saving are the other links...

Your next link is about the two old people and gay guy arrested in Tampa. The account is strictly from their point of view but hey..take heart...they are suing so if there is any justice in the world they will win, eh?

The next link is about the "free speech zone" arrests. Forgive me for asking but are you suggesting that authorities dont have the right to control a crowd as they see fit? There is nothing that says anyone has the RIGHT to get right up next to their target and wave their signs. In addition this article is FULL of hyperbole...poor little sobbing Carla Jiminez...most likely she will be scarred for life for....sheesh...

The next link is about Ohio State graduates "supposedly" being threatened with arrest and expulsion if they turned their back on Bush during a speech. Did you actually read this article Skippy? The article even admits that the "arrest and expulsion" threat didnt come from an official of the university or the police was supposedly heard by a couple of people and then spread like fire. In any event, the article even admits no one who turned their backs were arrested
except...there is a first person account from some dumbass who claims he was escorted out because he did turn his back. Of course his account is totally unsubstantiated and is full of hyperbole about nazi tactics blah blah blah and how he would have sued except he was tired and didnt want to push the issue. Wow...big words for a big man, eh? I guess the government is on notice now...treat this guy the same way next time and he IS gonna sue...sheesh...what an idiot he is.

The next link is supposedly about an arrest of a protest organizer in Milwaukee however that link takes you to a previous story about the two old folks and the gay guy in Tampa so I dont know about that situation.

Finally you link to a story about Texas protesters being arrested. Again..let me say that you should take heart because these guys have sued too so if there is any "justice" in the world they will win..right? Of course in previous "totalitarian regimes" nobody could sue anyone so I guess we are still about a zillion miles from that point matter what you and avedon say about it, eh?

Finally let me say I dont like the idea of some of these people being arrested and then the charges being dropped. Frankly it sounds like a misuse of the courts to keep someone from temporarily disrupting a public area. I dont, however, think it rises anywhere near to the standard youve created that such arrests are examples of how we now have a dictator in office and how all the rest of us need to quake in our boots for fear of being arrested.

In kinds sounds vitriolic to me....

"Helping Desperate People Help Themselves...One Post At A Time"

Thursday, January 16, 2003

free event about how poor you are

we received this email from fairness & accuracy in reporting, announcing some upcoming media events in new york, and we thought we'd share it with you:

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism


FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) presents

The Underreported Impact of Welfare "Reform"

a talk by Kathy Leichter, director of "A Day's Work, A Day's Pay," & Matt Pacenza, staff writer, City Limits

Friday, January 24, 6:30 PM
Housing Works Used Book Café
126 Crosby St (between Prince and Houston), New York
Free and Open to the Public

Mainstream media cheered for welfare reform in 1996, and were quick to declare success when the number of people on welfare started dropping. Behind those numbers, however, is a day-to-day reality in which millions of Americans continue to struggle with poverty, and now do so with less government assistance. Today, one in three American families with young children can’t afford basic necessities like food, housing, health care and child care, according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute. Yet for the most part, their stories-- and the stories of those in even greater need-- are absent from the mainstream media. One study of local TV news by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, for instance, found that out of 7,423 stories in 2002, just 13 were about welfare and poverty.

Please join FAIR for a discussion with two independent media-makers of how they've approached welfare issues, and of what aspects of the story the mainstream press is missing.

*Kathy Leichter co-produced and directed the documentary "A Day's Work, A Day's Pay," and is co-founder of Mint Leaf Productions, an independent film and TV production company. She has worked in documentary film and video for fourteen years.

Matt Pacenza covers welfare and housing at City Limits, an urban affairs newsmagazine. In 2001, he won several national journalism prizes for his series investigating New York City's property tax policies.

*You can hear an interview with Kathy Leichter on FAIR's radio show, CounterSpin, as part of our special two-part series "Poverty and the Press"