Inclusive Pluralistic USC Conference Takes Fight To Fascistic Bush Regime
If only I'd known the eats and drinks would be so good at USC Thursday afternoon (5/1/03), I would've brought a date and told her, "Lunch is on me. Have anything you want!"
I should not make funnies however at this dark time in our nation's history when the forces of fascism, as represented by Attorney General John Ashcroft, are taking over the land. I didn't realize it until now but we are living in a time akin to Germany 1935.
Don't think I'm being paranoid because I am on a heavy paranoia-fighting psychotropic cocktail that mixes Lithium (combats bi-polar disorder), Viagra (for dysfunction), Clonazepam (anti-anxiety) and Guanfacine (anti-ADD). This keeps me sedate, clothed, pacified and with a generally warm fuzzy feeling towards all.
What I hate is those times when in my drug-induced daze, I mix up my medication, and arrive at synagogue after popping my Viagra, or go on a hot date after popping my sleep-inducing anti-ADD drug.
I'm still seeking the right balance. Anything untoward in this story is the fault of my psychiatrist.
I sit in the corner most of the afternoon, saying nary a word, eating and drinking as much free grub as possible, and drooling on my notepad between naps.
I see this chick in full Muslim regalia and I want to hug her and tell her how welcome she is in our country and that she should bring all her Muslim relatives and friends to live with us. Unfortunately, my ancient Jewish Orthodoxy prevents that physical contact.
Today's conference is filled with angry Arab-Muslim journalists itching for Jihad against the dark Jewish forces controlling the US media and government. Normally this would make me feel uncomfortable, but the drugs I'm on take care of those incorrect emotions.
I think diversity is our strength. I yearn for the day when Hillary Clinton is our president, people of color are no longer oppressed, and abortion is free to all who demand it. Not to mention reparations paid to African-Americans and open borders for all the poor people of the world.
I think the answer to terrorism is hugs.
It warms my heart to see the LA Press Club sponsoring more events where many, if not most, of the speakers, have a cold spot for the Jewish state. We don't do enough to warn people about the Zionist conspiracy and thank God we have Arab-Muslim activists and leftist professors to educate us.
I walk in at 1PM and am overjoyed to see a wonderful diversity of people - black, yellow, brown and white.
I learn that the LA Press Club computers crashed and they lost all their information.
I collect packets of information - chiefly articles warning about the loss of freedoms under President Bush. I pick up two brochures from the Muslim American Alliance. One endorses former US Representative Pau Findley who wrote the bestseller: They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby.
I wander into the Club room and check out the eats. Hmm, delicious big cookies that would cost $2 each at a restaurant.
I had a huge breakfast at 10AM of chocolate-peanut butter Haagen Daz icecream, two pieces of toast with peanut butter and tomato and a huge helping of cottage cheese.
Over the course of the afternoon, I have two M&M cookies and one Macadamia nut cookie. I have a plate of delicious strawberries, pineapple and watermelon. I have three cups of mint tea and one lemon-lime soda.
My medication causes water-retention so I feel like I'm about to explode. It's a good thing I'm so at peace with myself and the world.
Today's conference is partially the brain child of former LA Times Op/Ed editor Bob Seger, a lumbering Annenberg professor with glasses who talks a lot about "social justice." He spent 20-years with the Times before getting canned after 9/11. How come Annenberg is such a repository of ex-LA Times staffers? I suppose it's because Annenberg wants the best.
Former LA Times editor Michael "Staples Center" Parks is also thanked.
I sit behind prestigious San Francisco Chronicle investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld who specializes in exposing corporate and governmental malfeasance like silicone implants (now shown to be harmless).
In the January 12, 2003 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Seth wrote an article titled: "How Ali Mubarak was deported to Pakistan without proof of ties to terrorism."
On 6/9/02, Seth wrote "Reagen, Hoover and the UC Red Scare: Secret FBI files show how the bureau's covert campaign to disrupt the Free Speech Movement and topple UC President Clark Kerr helped launch the political career of an actor named Ronald Reagen."
Evil white men. Is there any other kind? I feel ashamed of my skin, my beliefs, my political party and my government. I learn today that after 9/11, law enforcement cracked down on illegal aliens, banishing many from the country without a trial for breaking the law. I hear heartbreaking stories about broken families, internment without trial, and interrogation of innocent people who just happened to be here without papers and with phony social security cards.
Today's conference is sponsored by the USC Institute for Study of Justice and Journalism, the LA Press Club, and New California Media.
There's a large New California Media (ethnic news club) banner across the front that reads "connecting the new majorities."
I think the browing of California is great, and I can't wait until this state returns to Mexican sovereignty.
The first panel discusses how the news media can better tell the stories of those who are being oppressed by Bush/Ashcroft. Pakhistani Samina Faheem, wearing traditional garb and speaking with a thick accent, begins: "My fellow Americans..." She's the national coordinator for the American Muslim Alliance and seems like a sweet person. I'd like her for a neighbor.
"America is no longer the place where we say give us your tired, your poor... No group since 9/11 has lost civil liberties like Muslim Americans."
The room is filled with lots of funny-looking diverse people in weird garb speaking in strange tongues. I love it!
Karen Ocamb, on the board of the LA Press Club, sits next to Seger. At the last Press Club panel on alternative newspapers, she said there were not enough homosexuals in the alternative press and there were two closeted ones on the LA Examiner prototype. When I emailed her to name them, she did not reply.
Ocamb is a hefty sharp bulldog lesbian. I'd hate to have her investigating me. She's a pro at opening up access to public documents.
Gabriel Lerner, editor of State and National news for La Opinion, speaks. It's nice to have dispassionate analysis.
Lerner warns that since 9/11, we've been "criminalizing latinos,
linking them with terrorism and anti-Americanism." Lerner speaks
in a whisper but his hatred of American authority is palpable. He has
a thick Argentinian accent. He's pale with curly hair. He's doing all
he can to fight Ashcroft and to tell of the sufferings of his people.
Patrick McDonnell from the Los Angeles Times is a welcome respite from the hysteria. He says the reporter's main job is to report and dig out all the facts and just because a story is sad does not mean it is newsworthy. It may be sad that a law-breaking immigrant is deported but it is not necessarily news.
The conference is moderated by shaved-head Kyle McKinnon, managing editor of KCRW’s "Which Way L.A." and Public Radio International’s "To the Point." He keeps the discussion moving.
Second panel is about Laws and Policies. Francisco Arcaute, a latino and spokesman with the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, dismisses "sad sack stories."
Karen Ocamb later labels the statement racist. I press her why. She says the use of the term was dismissive and dehumanizing. Lerner says it's "a code word."
We're lucky to have intellectual gnostics like Lerner around to decode the secret meanings of words for us dumbies.
Los Angeles FBI agent Mathew McLaughlin criticizes New York Times reporter Eric Richtblau. He says he is a good writer but bad with his facts. McLaughlin praises Los Angeles Times reporter Rick Kerkorian as a bulldog with his facts.
The most beautiful person of the day appears on the third panel - attorney Ban Al-Wardi. She's totally hot. She serves on the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Her good looks, tasteful makeup and outfit, and girlish voice increased my sensitivity to the suffering of her people.
I wish Jewish women were as hot as Al-Wardi. I'd really like to sit down with her and discuss the joint sovereignty of Jerusalem.
If I had a harem of Arab hotties, and 101 Arabian nights, I'd be much more enthusiastic about Muslims. I blame the secular Jewish media for desexualizing the traditional Muslim woman.
Al-Wardi, what a great name, I think I'll name my daughter that. She wears a blue blouse and a dark pantsuit. She has a feminine figure and a clear pretty face. Her hair is pulled back and flows below her shoulders.
Most attorneys I know dress really well. Why can't female journalists look as good? Why can't they all take as much care with their appearance as Emmanuelle Richard?
Ban has a girly voice and a pretty smile. I'll serve on her jury any day.
The biggest shortcoming of today's conference is an appalling wall of silence about the rights and sensitivities of the sodomite and transgendered.
Phillipino Momar Visaya spoke about the plight of Phillipinos in the USA during this punitive age. He is not as hot looking as Ban so I didn't listen as hard.
Attorney Kelli Sager is a doll. She wears a sharp red jacket and a short black skirt, several inches above the knee. Hubabubba, shul was never like this! While gazing at her, I triple my powers of concentration.
She has a feminine smile and style and I think more women should be like her. There's no reason you can't be submissive as you move into middle-age.
During a break, I chat up Bob Seger about the LA Times' boring editorials. He talks about the lack of "social justice" reporting in the California section.
A tall Arab-American journalist with a large protruding stomach has been yearning to speak out all day about the sinister, presumably Jewish, forces controlling the American media. He gives a long rambling speech in a thick accent at the beginning of Karen Ocamb's "Access to Information" workshop. He says the ethnic media needs to pull together to get its causes out.
Jewish law professor Laurie Levenson is smaller than she looks in pictures. She's friendly with the Arab activists in the room.
A rabid Arab man named Roberta keeps talking about the Arab cause.
Audrey Simpson, a tall slim blonde American citizen correspondent for German TV, becomes agitated as she denounces the American Press for not taking Patriot Act II seriously. She must not read Matt Welch or Instapundit.
Simpson says there's an "atmosphere of fear" in the media about discussing such matters. Presumably Ashcroft will have journalists murdered if they report the wrong things. "Selling of war is sexier than selling of peace movements."
Audrey's German TV crew have experienced anti-German sentiments and persecution as they've courageously pursued the stories the America media ignore. Her German TV crew were attacked by secret service agents at the Oscars and told to move away because they were German. "Germans should get out of here," they were told.
I wish Hitler were in charge. He'd restore order. Why don't people fear the Hun like they used to?
Simpson's made three reports on Patriot Act II and she's working on a 45-minute documentary.
Her voice breaks and she seems to verge on hysteria. American media won't talk to her about why they won't cover the Patriot Act.
Simpson denounces US media for promoting war feeling six months in advance of the Iraq invasion.
Roberta denounces "racist media putting out racist images. I want to encourage you to do stories on how white people are affected. This is McCarthyism all over again."
There are lots of hot looking Arab women in the room, Baruch HaShem.
In another workshop, an Arab spokesman says we need to do more stories about the Zionist control of the US Congress. Why the blank check to Ariel Sharon's regime?
I wish I had a picture of leftist reporter John (friend of Ocamb's), who had a wonderfully gnomish homeless look. Dressed in sloppy clothes, he sported glasses, goatee, moustache and greasy looking hair. There should be at least one of these types at every journalism conference.
He speaks out about our "oppressive political climate...where [Bill] O'Reilly yells on TV about the LA Times publishing Robert Scheer... It's all having an affect. Who knows what's going on in the benighted parts of the country, like the South, where everyone has to drive around flying two flags."
Gabriel Lerner: "There's a political problem going beyond the media. We are weakening society while strengthening the executive. It reminds me of history [presumably Hitler and Franco and the other proto-Bushes].
Liberal Jew Laurie Levenson: "We need to keep the fire on legislators [about the Patriot Act II]."
Victor Merina, senior fellow for racial Justice at the USC center for Justice and Journalism, takes the podium. He looks like a Mexican gangster, say Pancho Villa, not that there's anything wrong with that. Diversity is good though he'd sure frighten the bejeebers out of me if I met him in a dark alley.
I sit next to leftist professor Niels Frenzen. Munching a sugar cookie, he says the situation is "bleak."
Roberta, fevered Arab, denounces the government's sinister digitizing of information and protection of copyrights. Soon Big Media will own most of the Internet servers and the last bastion of free speech will be squelched.
Journalists fear covering these stories because of government power.
SF Chronicle reporter Seth Rosenfeld gives a summing up speech: "We are witnessing the most profound shift in civil liberties since WWII."
Sandy Close from Pacifica wants us to create inclusive journalism. "We don't like the term ethnic media."
All the talk today is about rights and none of it is about responsibilities, except the media's responsibility to oppose the Bush and Sharon regimes.
Sandy quotes from various polls of non-English speakers in California, which reveal "an blanket of fear." A poll of 1000 non-English speaking immigrants revealed significantly lower levels of support for the Iraq war than among English speakers.
This confirms my sense that there may be some kind of moral clarity that comes with speaking English.
Sandy says the poll was done by Sergio Ben Dixon, the leading Spanish pollster. He found that 81% of latino Americans feared the impact of the Iraq war on the economy versus a 29% finding among English speakers.
"We've lost the ability to know what the country thinks because of English language polling."
All this conference needed was hysterical reporter Alisa-Valdes Rodriguez denouncing the LA Times for genocide against latinos through the use of the term "hispanic."
From the LA Press Club release: "Covering Civil Liberties in Times of Crisis: Have the Rules Changed?"
A Justice and Journalism Forum Thursday, May 1, 2003 1:00-5:30 p.m. USC Davidson Executive Conference Center, Club Room 3415 South Figueroa Street (Corner of Jefferson and Figueroa)
Sponsored by USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism in partnership with New California Media and the Los Angeles Press Club
This Justice and Journalism Forum will bring together journalists, professors, lawyers, community advocates and representatives of government agencies for discussions about civil liberties, storytelling, laws, policies and public access to information in the post-9/11 era.
USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism will use information and perspectives presented at the forum to educate journalists, journalism students and the public about journalistic approaches to coverage of civil liberties, immigration polices and the Patriot Act.
Discussions will focus on the following themes and questions:
STORYTELLING: What are the experiences of those who feel they have been victims of injustice, and how are their stories are being told. What questions do journalists ask, and where do they go for answers? What could journalists do differently, and what difference would that make? What role do community and advocacy organizations play as resources for journalists? Panelists include Samina Faheem, Pakistani National Hotline; Gabriel Lerner, La Opinion; Patrick McDonnell, Los Angeles Times. The workshop discussion leader is Victor Merina, the institute’s Senior Fellow for Racial Justice and Journalism.
LAWS AND POLICIES: What do journalists need to know about post-9/11 laws and policies to provide credible context for a public trying to assess the civil liberties costs of homeland security? What questions aren’t being asked that should be asked, and whose voices are being left out of news coverage? What could journalists do differently, and what difference would that make? Invited panelists include Niels Frenzen, University of Southern California School of Law; Matt McLaughlin, FBI; Tom Saenz, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; John Miller, Los Angeles Police Department. The workshop discussion leader is Sandip Roy of Pacific News Service/New California Media.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION: What does the public need to know to understand threats to the public’s right to know? Why should the public care? What can journalists do to get information when the government denies access to its records? Invited panelists include Momar Visaya, Asian Journal, and attorneys Ban al Wardi, Kelli Sager and Barbara Blinderman. The workshop discussion leader is Karen Ocamb of the Los Angeles Press Club’s "Sunshine"project.