Did you hear Dr. Fauci today, telling a Senate hearing that it’s not a question of when we get a vaccine but “if” we can develop one at all, and then, even if we do, how effective it will or won’t be? Anybody else hear any of that? Apparently not NBC Nightly News, where they are still reporting about the rush to find what sounds like the inevitable discovery of a magic bullet that will save us all, regardless of anything Dr. Fauci, might say. Beyond that, there appears to be an absolute panic over how the drug companies will be able to deliver the millions upon millions of doses that will be needed. How to deliver the fantasy vaccine and not whether there will actually be a vaccine, is where NBC News placed the emphasis.
A little context would be nice, since nobody has yet developed a totally effective vaccine for the common seasonal flu and the truth appears to be that a vaccine that’s effective against Covid-19 might never be developed.
Anybody else remember the Hong Kong Flu in 1969, which left an estimated 100,000 Americans dead and killed an estimated one-million people worldwide? To one degree or another, it feels kinda like we’ve been here before, and not all that long ago. Shouldn’t that give us a roadmap to follow? Isn’t that kind of what the White House came up with, with its original plan to reopen America? A plan Donald Trump, has now abandoned?
Did anybody else hear Dr. Fauci’s educated and informed opinion that the current death count of about 80,000 is probably too low?
It would appear that uniformity will be a key to reopening the country without additional outbreaks of the kind that happened in New York and New Orleans. Why has Donald Trump abandoned that?
Just as the latest flu update news was settling in I learned that Smithfield Foods of Smithfield, VA, the world’s largest pork producer, is now wholly owned by the Chinese, who are shipping the processed pork to…..wait for it now….China! Meanwhile, we experience a shortage of pork products here in the U.S., where Americans get sick from Covid-19 while processing the pork.
Why are we not hearing about this on the nightly news? The Chinese own a significant link in our food supply chain, but it’s not being reported. Wonder what else they own?
I feel like I’m living (sequestered) in an alternate reality-based universe. Somebody needs to follow the pork. I admit that this may have been reported out and I just missed it, but with the country’s food supply at risk, it seems as though someone in the government should have turned this into a much bigger issue much earlier.
Maybe it took a pandemic to point out how thoroughly disjointed we’ve become. That we are at least partially owned by foreign entities and that for them it’s no longer about America for Americans, it’s about the ebb and flow of rivers of capital running through international markets with average Americans left with no choice but to depend upon Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to keep an eye on things and that for his part, Trump, has abandoned the best medical and scientific advice available.
Gotta get this down in writing before the devastation of the daily news-stream once again causes my brain to put up a wall to all incoming information as part of the intellectual prophylaxis that’s become a part of my new normal.
John McCain and Al Franken, were our nation’s political saving grace. One is now dead and the other was kicked to the curb. Republicans should be flogged for their rejection of McCain and their resulting dive into Fascism and Democrats, for what they did to Franken, cutting off their overly-PC collective nose to spite their overly-PC collective face.
These are things to consider, as the nation approaches 50,000 dead from the Cronavirus. A bug that might have been at least partially stopped, saving thousands of lives, had safety mechanisms put in place by the Bush and Obama Administrations been left where they were instead of being defunded by Donald J. Trump and his fascist friends with their crash and burn philosophy of non-governance. That is to say, the Bannon process, whereby you disassemble government, for, of and by the people, by defunding government, for, of and by the people, leaving the door wide open for corporate raiders and other fascist vultures to swoop in, compromising, cornering and coercing nearly everything in sight.
If you don’t want to pay taxes to support a federal or state government, then don’t complain when those same governments can doing nothing for you in a time of crisis. Which is precisely where we are.
How much of the $2.2-trillion bailout went to the very wealthy, who are in no need of a bailout, while Trump and his minions insist upon no oversight of the bailout process? According to Politico, the package contained “a $500 billion bailout fund for big businesses and a $170 billion tax break for real estate investors like the president. ”
In a very real sense, the tragedy of Covid-19 is a friend to the fascist greedheads who care only for themselves, led by a narcissist in the Oval Office who is now recommending that his medical advisors look into the possibility of injecting household disinfectant as a possible treatment for the virus while he, with his typical Roy Cohen-type diversionary nonsense, blames immigrants and Iran.
This is beyond stupid, it’s nuts. It no longer matters whether Trump actually understands what he’s doing or whether he is, as the Russians like to say, a “useful idiot.” Either way, the damage has been done. Anybody who isn’t awake enough to understand this yet has got to be in an intellectual coma. Why is anybody out there still supporting this Republican Party? Is it because their only news source is a single cable channel serving as Donald Trump’s private pipeline of belligerent blather? Or is it because the party is represented almost entirely by white men? Is that it? Fear born from racism with a healthy dose of sexism? What else can it be? These Republicans have given up on nearly every conservative economic principle ever conceived, so it can’t be that.
Kudos, to MSNBC, for bringing Al Franken back as a guest commentator. Intellectually vibrant free-thinkers like Franken, are part of the solution as we approach 50,000 deaths.
Currently, there are 49,963 and counting, adding to what will surely be the legacy of Donald J. Trump. The idiot man-child who slipped through an electoral college which failed the nation miserably, to support our enemies, betray our allies and generally just muck things up.
I haven’t written anything in a while. The situation with the Trump Administration had become so repetitive, so obvious, so pathetic, so malignant, that I had determined the best course of action would be to stop writing and simply wait it out until November, hoping enough Americans would be awake and informed to the point of saving the country with a Democratic sweep. Today, that changed, with something that sent chills through the very core of my being.
It wasn’t Trump’s needless idiotic attack, sending in a drone to blast an Iranian general in a car at a civilian airport without a declaration of war, or Iran’s measured response to the idiotic attack, getting their country off the hook without starting a world war while Donald Trump appeared determined to do all he could to get a new war going. No, it was neither of those things. It’s the way those events are now being reported.
They are not reporting the Iranian general was assassinated or even killed, which is what happened. I turned on both CNN and MSNBC this morning to hear that the general had in fact been “taken out.” That’s what they’re now saying, “taken out,” much like any of us would take out the trash. Except in this case, they took out human beings.
What’s happening here is pure “Newspeak,” right out of Orwell’s “1984.” Alleged newswriters are using words to make the fact that our military, under orders from Donald Trump, blew a couple of human beings to bits just outside a civilian airport more palatable. They are using less descriptive phraseology to remove the sharp edge from sanctioned murder. In doing so, they are falling into the Orwellian trap of controlling language to limit freedom of thought. In doing so, they are inadvertently doing P-R for the Trump Administration.
If assassination is too harsh, then they could simply say the general was killed in a drone attack. That’s what happened and it avoids the slippery slope of getting into Newspeak with language that would be more fitting for De Niro in a mob movie.
This isn’t a movie, it’s reality. A journalist’s job is to find out what the hell is really going on and then report that out with as much objectivity and clarity as possible. Engaging in Newspeak, is an arrow to the very heart of that credo, threatening our existence as a free people by limiting our freedom of thought.
I won’t get into giving people what they need as opposed to what they want. That train left the station so many years ago that there is probably no calling it back. That said, this flirtation with Newspeak is something different. Something far more subtle and potentially far more dangerous. An infection that arrives in the night and spreads ever so slowly through our consciousness, unrecognizable, even while it robs us of our ability to identify the true nature of current events.
The networks and other news organizations need to focus more on income inequality, campaign finance reform, Russian influence in the U.K. and America, and how and whether the U.S. Supreme Court can be cleansed of political influence. Perhaps fixing the first three problems will automatically lead to a solution of the fourth?
Donald J. Trump has 65.2-million followers on Twitter. So, whatever idea might pop into his head, no matter how crazed, he can immediately blast it out to all 65.2-million of his minions. That, is political power. It is also frightening, because it is totally unfiltered.
Not long ago, in a time before cellphones, there were the newspapers and three major over-the-air broadcasting networks controlling most of the flow of information in America. For the most part, they had professional news organizations staffed with journalists who took their craft seriously, taking care to uphold the public trust with a standard for quality journalism, while serving as a filter for their readers, listeners and viewers, ensuring a degree of accuracy and truthfulness in what Americans read and heard. The worst thing these journalists could do, and they knew it, would be to betray the public trust and lose their credibility. And so, they took their work seriously.
Consequently, when CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite returned from Vietnam and told America that the Vietnam War had us mired in a stalemate, that the war was unwinnable and that a negotiated settlement was needed, the nation listened. Polls indicated Cronkite to be the most trusted man in America. There were calls for him to run for public office. Journalists were held in high esteem.
There were lapses of course, like “Yellow Journalism” during Hearst’s battle with Joe Pulitzer, but for the most part it worked pretty well. For the most part, America was protected by her journalistic filter. Then came cable, satellite news and the internet, and all bets were off.
And now here we are, with no filter to protect us and a highly questionable personality in the Oval Office with his finger not just on the nuclear trigger but on his massive Twitter feed as well. I’m not sure which might turn out to be more threatening to the country, or what we should do about it going forward. Clearly, what technology has given us may be more than our Democratic Constitutional Republic can handle. In a very real sense, it may be a clear and present danger.
With three mass shootings in the U.S. in less than a week, two of them happening within the past 24 hours taking 29 lives, with all of that happening, what does it say about us that we are out going to ballgames or otherwise pretending that everything is okay?
What the hell have we become with our white supremacist president who refuses to condemn white supremacist terrorists running around with assault weapons gunning down innocent people while our Congress is away on a month-long vacation?
Anxiety is caused by uncertainty and an inability to do anything about it, and it’s only getting worse. We have got to stop pretending everything is just fine. It most definitely is not. No more so than when the Nazis were separating families and putting them in “camps.”
Think “it can’t happen here?” It already is. We have been putting children in cages. It’s being done in our names, so we have been doing it. And now “we” will do nothing once again as our fellow citizens continue to be slaughtered in public places with weapons of war that should not be readily available to the general public.
I was going to watch the O’s game today. Now, I don’t think so. I just don’t feel like it. With “251-mass-shootings in the U.S. in 216 days” our country is turning into a model for murder incorporated. Don’t feel much like watching a game.
British intelligence says there is no “increased threat” from Iran. Nevertheless, the Trump Administration has a carrier task-force backed up by heavy bombers headed for the Persian Gulf and is reportedly considering sending in more than 100-thousand troops. Trump has also ordered the evacuation of all non-essential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in nearby Iraq.
The Republicans haven’t wagged the dog this hard since the W. Bush Administration was finding yellow cake in Niger and aluminum centrifuge tubes all over Iraq.
How many times are we going to fall for this same ploy? How many times are we going to let the Republicans take the country to war to win an election? How many times have you speculated that we would have been better off leaving Saddam in place, which would have meant no ISIS? Was Saddam that much worse than Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has imprisoned journalists, judges, and pretty much anybody who opposes his regime while he continues his war against our allies the Kurds?
It’s easy to forget that Saddam had our implicit support when he went to war with Iran, and that he would still be holding the Iranians in check had the Untied States not demonized him before invading his sovereign nation in the name of regime change. Sure, Saddam was a nasty guy, but preventing the formation of ISIS and holding Iran in check while eliminating the need for a massive deployment of U.S. troops is no small matter.
What George W. Bush said about “democratizing” all the of Middle East popped into my head the other day. One wonders how many in the current administration continue to believe that’s a good idea? How many there are who think that leaving our troops permanently scattered across the Middle East and North Africa at the U.S. taxpayers expense is a viable option? Presidential adviser John Bolton, is a known supporter of regime change in Iran. In simple terms, Bolton thinks it would be a good idea to invade another sovereign nation to overthrow another sitting government.
We never used to even contemplate doing that kind of thing unless a nation-state or other entity presented a clear and present danger to us or threatened a country with whom we had a mutual defense agreement. It just wasn’t what America did. We were better than that. Apparently that ended with Vietnam, another country we invaded based upon an apparent lie. More than 58,000 Americans died in that one. Sadly, documents and tapes in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library prove that Johnson had both the South and the North Vietnamese ready to sign a peace treaty, but that the deal died when Richard Nixon’s campaign convinced the South Vietnamese that it would be to their advantage to keep the war going until after Nixon was elected. It would be years later before a disgusted American public became so disenchanted with the unending war that they took to the streets and demanded that the military-industrial complex disengage.
When did the very idea of peace become unreachable while ongoing war feels like the norm? Something we simply cannot avoid? Do you suppose the profitability of war factors into any of this?
Which do you prefer? Educating our kids and giving the country a national healthcare program, or killing strangers on foreign soil? Why isn’t that even discussed? When did the very concept of peace become not just unfashionable, but un-American?
An “exit strategy” to pull our people out of the Middle-East and North Africa, has been all but forgotten, as has an actual long-term game plan for why we are still there. Also nearly forgotten is the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the need for national healthcare, the overwhelming need for campaign finance reform along with real immigration reform and the role the Russians played in rigging our last election.
War with Iran, might very well ensure our national lapse in memory continues long enough to get Donald Trump re-elected. Until then, the chaos this one man has created continues to provide Republicans with excellent cover to continue putting the self-interest of a relative few above the national interest of the many.
Our real enemies appear to be the Russians, who, our intelligence services tell us, continue plotting ways to rig our next election, and the Saudis, who have never stopped spreading a worldwide campaign of anti-American hatred. All the while, Donald Trump, in his infinite wisdom, is laying the groundwork for another war. The ultimate diversion heading into 2020.
I worked with Bill Knight and Zimmy Zimmerman for ten years and with Bill alone for another five at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. As Bill’s partner for fifteen years I feel a need to say something about his passing. Mostly, I feel a need to tell you about his dedication to the craft. So, here’s a story.
We were headed down the Hollywood Freeway, just south of the 101/134 split, returning to KTLA when a car shot by us on the left followed by a CHP car in hot pursuit. They both jagged to the right in front of us and hit an off-ramp, which, if memory serves, was at Lankershim. I looked at Bill, he looked at me and we both had the same thought. “Let’s go” I said as Bill headed for the ramp. It may be of interest, although possibly not pertinent, that I was, as fate would have it, on the phone with the press-relations guy for the FBI, discussing a story I was working on. So he ended up hearing bits and pieces of the whole thing.
We wound our way down the ramp to find the suspect car stopped at a traffic light with the CHP car directly behind it. The driver’s-side front door of the CHP car was open. The officer was standing next to the suspect car, his weapon drawn and pointed directly at the man seated behind the wheel. Suddenly, what could have been a mundane pursuit ending with a possible evading charge or maybe a speeding ticket had turned into something else.
Moving faster than I’d ever seen him move, Bill flew out the door, popped open the tail-gate and grabbed his camera. Within seconds he was over on a “grassy knoll” just to the left of our truck and about twenty feet behind the cop. A perfect spot to shoot whatever was coming next. It was then that the officer did something I still can’t explain. He stepped out in front of the car, still pointing his weapon at the driver. It was almost as though he was daring the guy to run him down. Which the driver proceeded to do. He moved the car slowly forward toward the cop, who reacted by opening fire. Firing first at the front window, with shots ricocheting back toward me and Bill, and then at the driver’s side window, as the suspect fled. “Shots fired! Shots fired!” I yelled into the phone, while also giving the FBI agent at the other end of the line our location. The cop had emptied his gun, nine shots as I remember, and through it all Bill Knight never moved. He never ducked, he never took cover. He just stood there and kept rolling.
As the cop jumped into his cruiser to pursue the suspect, Knight returned to get behind the wheel and follow the pursuit. It ended in a church parking lot a few blocks away where the suspect, surrounded by CHP and LAPD cars had been taken into custody. There was clearly no time for us to mess around. Bill jumped out, grabbed his camera and ran, leaving me to park the truck.
I pulled into the nearest space and ran over to the parking lot about a half-block away. What I saw wasn’t good. Bill, who was inside the yellow tape trying to shoot the incident, was surrounded by four or five CHP and LAPD cops, who were trying to take his camera away – literally trying to tear it off his shoulder. Bill, was resisting. By the time I got over to the scene, they had Bill in handcuffs and slammed face down on the hood of an LAPD cruiser.
A CHP officer, a young buffed-out cop, who looked like he spent all his off-hours at the gym, insisted upon pressing charges, so Bill went to jail despite a call to Bernie Parks, who allegedly said he “wanted this one for the guys out in the field.” I did what I could with an LAPD lieutenant at the scene, including a charge that the CHP, the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles were in violation of the First Amendment, and state law 409.5 which deals with press access to crime scenes, but they took Bill away. I did get our camera and videotape back even though the CHP wanted to keep it.
It turned out that when Bill first got there and started shooting, he was standing outside the yellow tape – a “do not cross” line the police put up at crime scenes. However, while he was rolling, the cops decided to move the tape, and Bill, back. And Bill objected to it.
Much to their credit our managers at KTLA hired one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the country, Alan Isaacman, to get Bill out. Isaacman, is the same guy who argued (and won) Larry Flynt’s First Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court. I’m not sure Bill ever really understood just how high-powered (and high-priced) his lawyer was. Anyway, Issacman, got Bill out of jail and kept him out.
And that’s the story. Love him or hate him, Bill Knight, always got the shot. Never, not even once, did I come back from a story working with Bill with too little video. In the case of the CHP cop who opened fire on the off-ramp, not only did I get plenty of video, Bill and I also were honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award. But it was Bill who got the story. He always did.
Condolences to Betty and the family. So long Bill. RIP
On wonders if Howard Schultz is just naive, or whether he is colluding with other billionaires to be a spoiler for the Dems in 2020? Surely he can’t be so blind as to think the votes he would draw away from the Dems wouldn’t matter? Or can he?
What are we supposed to think about a billionaire who publicly proclaims progressive taxation to be a bad idea? Someone who thinks it is better to wring another 30-cents a day out of poor Liza Doolittle than to increase taxes on those who have more than they can possibly use or might ever really need? Even if that might mean going without a fourth gated estate, a second private jet or another yacht? Someone who tells us that so-called “Medicare for all” will bankrupt the nation, even while other developed countries like the U.K., Germany, Taiwan, France and Canada, are doing quite well with national health insurance?
For some, enough, it seems, will never be enough. Is it possible that the concept of being rich only gets “filthy,” when one stops caring about others and rationalizes away their immorality?
Simply put, it’s called “sharing the wealth.” Those of us raised in the Christian faith learned all about it in Bible class. You can be sure those of other faiths and even Secular Humanists, are familiar with it as well. The founders obviously held it close to their hearts, referring to it as our “general Welfare” in the preamble to the Constitution.
I have learned never to equate great wealth with intelligence. Some of these guys, and I’ve know a bunch of them, just fall over backwards into a pile of money. Like….ah….Donald Trump. Making Mr. Schultz an even bigger threat, is that he has Steve Schmidt working on his campaign. Schmidt, is very smart and very savvy, and he could greatly increase the number of voters Schultz draws away from the Dems. I know, I know, Steve Schmidt convinced McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. So he screwed up (massively) on that one. However, if you’ve listened to any of what he’s had to say on the talk shows, then you already know that generally he’s a very bright guy.
In other news for the intellectually battered and weary, scientists at the University of Minnesota are working on a new “what it feels like” scale for the weather. This one is for pets and it will be based upon the time it takes a hairless cat to succumb to hypothermia when it’s 0 degrees with a 10mph wind blowing. Not really. It’s a joke. I’m just really tired of weathercasters telling me not just how cold it is outside, which is something I can relate to, but what it will “feel like” if I’m mindless enough to stay outside without proper clothing long enough to get into trouble. Meaningless hype. That said, some idiot wanting to make a name for himself is probably out there working on a “what it feels like” scale for pets, right now.
Perhaps they should instead be pondering how long it will take us all to freeze to death if the Russians or the Chinese or the Russians in collusion with the Chinese, shut down the power grid? Cold, is cold. Twenty below can kill you even if you feel like it’s 25 below while you are dying. Just tell me how cold it is and leave it at that. Cut out all the hype. And do a little research on the Russian hacking thing, how they can kill our power at will. That’ll really scare you. Almost as much as somebody telling the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, that he needs to go over to the White House and “educate” the President. Those two, Coats and Russian hacking, are both on the “for real” scale, as opposed to “how it will feel.”
For me, the exchange of information, much of it valid news, is a chief advantage of being on Facebook. Beyond that, there is the ability to stay in touch with friends scattered around the country and the world.
That said, I have been trying to determine what value, if any, Twitter has? It seems to me to be nothing but a vehicle for celebrities with a huge fan base to communicate their personal feelings to their fans. Their personal feelings and opinions may or may not have any informational value, they may in fact be spreading misinformation, but Twitter gives them free reign to disperse what may be blather to millions of adoring subjects without any fact checking or editing. In as much, it could be considered a purveyor of intellectual chaos.
For the rest of us, who don’t have millions of fans and who have no desire to lock horns with strangers in meaningless confrontations, what possible use does Twitter have – other than being a social networking gossip channel for kids? Why are we even using it, considering one of its most noteworthy impacts has been to assist DJT (and others like him) in threatening our democracy by giving him instant and free contact with his base? Even now, some argue that the very threat of a flurry of angry Trumpist tweets is preventing the Congress from taking action on the government shutdown.
I’m pretty sure the founders never imagined anything like this when they came up with the First Amendment. Extending freedom of the press to the massive white noise that is Twitter, is quite a stretch. Or maybe not? How far can and should free speech be extended with regard to all this new technology?
So why are so many of us still using it? Could it be because we continue hoping it will fulfill some promise of providing us with something – a credibility perhaps, or a purpose that gives it value – that simply is not there?
Is Twitter potentially too dangerous, too politically and culturally toxic, to be left to its own devices? Like putting a loaded shotgun in the hands of a small child? Equally troubling is the obvious fact that much of the Congress is largely ignorant as to how the Internet functions, much less the way dozens of various applications might impact our national security.
A friend in Oakland, CA, wrote yesterday, telling me the smoke is so thick in the bay area that he can’t go outside for more than twenty or thirty minutes before his eyes and throat start to burn. Concerned, I got up this morning and turned to Morning Joe on MSNBC, and then CNN, hoping to get the latest on the wildfires that continue to ravage the nation’s most populous state. What I saw was disappointing.
CNN, gave the story all of two minutes, with no context at all. No word on what, if anything, continues to burn or where. Nothing about the air quality over vast portions of the state, even in areas like Oakland, which isn’t near a burn area. At least I don’t think there’s any active fire close to Oakland at this time. It’s difficult to tell, with such poor coverage. Not a single frame of video from Southern California for example, where fires continue to burn, and even now, evacuees are just being allowed to return to their homes.
CNN did do a live interview with California Congressman, Ted Lieu, but not to discuss the wildfires. They brought him out to talk about whether Nancy Pelosi will be able to regain the position of Speaker of the House. Congressman Lieu, forced the issue. The first words out of his mouth were to express concern for the people of California and to thank first responders who continue fighting the fires. The anchors immediately changed the subject back to Nancy Pelosi and said not another word about the wildfires. It almost felt as though they were afraid to talk about it. Is California on another planet?
Two minutes for such a massive disaster impacting so many people? Why? East coast bias? Is that why the major news outlets all but ignore California, even though more than 600 people are now missing or unaccounted for with the number of dead from the Camp Fire at 63? The Camp Fire in northern Calif alone, has destroyed more than 11,000 structures including 9,700 homes and 290 businesses. 52,000 people had to evacuate as the fire has now grown to 140,000 acres. Conditions, apparently meaning the wind, temperature and low humidity, are expected to grow worse over the coming weekend.
According to one source, containment of the Camp Fire, is at something around 40%. I really don’t know, from watching CNN and MSNBC, as they said nothing about containment or where the fire is still burning, or whether anyone or anything continues to be threatened. If MSNBC is going to cover nothing but politics, okay, fine. But I do seem to remember them providing hurricane coverage? And CNN? There is no excuse for what CNN is failing to cover if they wish to be considered a news outlet offering something more than political punditry. Remember their hurricane coverage? They were all over it, but then, that was an east coast story, wasn’t it?
In Southern California, down by Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire, has now grown to something above 98,000 acres. Some residents are being allowed to return to their homes in the Malibu, Lake Sherwood and Hidden Valley areas. Containment here, is said to be around 57%.
To their credit, NBC, did send Lester Holt to California, but their reporting lacked context, presumably because they no longer have the kind of fully-staffed bureaus they once had in the west, and understanding the scope and scale of California is not something you can pick up in a few hours at the scene. It’s not the reporter’s fault, it’s the companies they work for.
Imagine more than six hundred people unaccounted for with 52,000 evacuated and smoke so thick that you can’t go outdoors, and all of it happening from New York City down to South Carolina. Think the networks would be giving that more coverage than they’re now giving California, our most populous state with the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world? They’d be all over it, 24 hours a day seven days a week. Like they cover hurricanes or winter storms that hit the east coast.
Don’t tell me the east coast media has no anti-west coast bias. I have friends in California and I think about it every day the state continues to burn. Calif should get considerably more coverage tomorrow when Donald Trump arrives dragging the White House press corps with him. I wonder if he’ll throw paper towels to the evacuees?
Days ago, following the murder of Washington Post writer, Jamal Khashoggi, and President Trump joking that any candidate that could body-slam a reporter was his kind of guy, a handful of former ABC News staffers, led by former producer, Meredith Wheeler, decided something needed to be done. Someone needed to take a stand. So they wrote a letter about Mr. Trump’s unacceptable and inexcusable disregard for our free press. About his encouraging others to treat the American press as an enemy, even while five of our colleagues were gunned down inside the offices of their newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
You will find a copy of the letter below, along with the names of more than 400 journalists. As of 11-27-18, there were 460 signatories. As the letter got its genesis on a FB page for ABC retirees the list contains the names of many former ABC staffers. However, journalists from other outlets, both print and broadcast are there as well, as the list continues to grow. You can view the most recently updated copy by clicking here. If you wish to add your name, leave it as a comment, along with your professional title(s) and media outlet(s) and I’ll pass it along.
Thanks to Meredith Wheeler and all those who have contributed their time to make this letter happen.
Oct 25, 2018
On the heels of the recent brutal murder of a Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump chose to celebrate the assault of The Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by an American congressman—an attack that occurred while the journalist was simply doing his job, posing questions to a politician.
Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte (R) bodyslammed
Jacobs, knocking him to the ground and beating him severely enough to send him to the hospital. Although Gianforte pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and was fined, the President of the United States praised this violent behavior at a Trump rally in Missoula, Montana, on October 18.
Trump’s condoning of political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press—which includes labeling any reportage he doesn’t like as “fake news” and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to punish from press briefings and events.
One of the pillars of a free and open democracy is a vibrant free press.
At his inauguration the President of the United States swears to protect the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment.
This President is utterly failing to do so and actively working not simply to undermine the press, but to incite violence against it as well.
In a lawsuit filed by PEN, the writer’s organization, against Donald Trump, they charge him with violating the First Amendment. We, the undersigned, past and present members of the Fourth Estate, support this action.
We denounce Donald Trump’s behavior as unconstitutional, un-American and utterly unlawful and unseemly for the President of the United States and leader of the free world.
1. Dan Cordtz, Economics correspondent, ABC News
2. Sam Donaldson, ABC News White House correspondent, ret.
3. Anne Garrels, ABC News and NPR correspondent, ret.
4. Jim Hickey, ABCTV
Correspondent and ABC News Radio National
5. Mike Lee, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
6. Bob Brown, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
7. George Strait, Chief Science and Medical Correspondent, ABC News, ret.
8. Hilary Brown, retired foreign correspondent, ABC News, former Anchor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
9. David Ensor, former Correspondent for NPR, ABC News and CNN
10. James Walker, ABC News Correspondent, ret.
11. Charles Glass, former Chief Mideast Correspondent, ABC News
12. Lynn Sherr, Correspondent ABC News, ret., author/ freelance
13. Peter Lance, ABC News Correspondent (ret.) Investigative author
HarperCollins? Contributor HuffPost
14. Al Dale, ABC News correspondent, 197896, ret.
15. Chris Kelley, correspondent, CBS NEWS, ret.
16. Ken Kashiwahara, ABC News correspondent, ret.
17. Judy Muller, ABC News Correspondent, ret.? Professor Emerita, USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication
18. Karen Burnes, Anchor/Correspondent/Producer, ABC and CBS
19. Bill Greenwood, former ABC News correspondent
20. Jim Slade, ABC News Science Correspondent, ret.
21. Ted David, ABC News Correspondent, Anchor, CNBC
22. Vicki Mabrey, former Correspondent CBS and ABC News
23. Ron Olsen, former Reporter, KABC-TV, ABC Radio Net and
KTLA-TV, founder/editor, workingreporter.com
24. Betsy Aaron, former Correspondent, ABC, NBC News, CNN
25. Chris Kelly, former Correspondent, CBS News, ret.
26. Ron Bisney, Correspondent, CNN, AP and RKO
27. Rick Kaplan, former President of CNN and MSNBC, Executive
Producer of The CBS Evening News, World News Tonight, Nightline and Primetime Live
28. Av Westin, former Senior VP and Executive Producer, ABC News, ret.
29. William Nagy, Vice President, ABC News, ret.
30. Bob Hoenig, former Senior Editor, ABC Radio
31. Paul Friedman, Executive Producer, NBC News, ABC News, ret.
32. David Buksbaum, former Senior Producer, ABC News, Vice
President CBS News, ret.
33. Andrea McCarren, former White House Correspondent and News One Correspondent, ABC News
34. Gil Gross, former Senior Correspondent and Anchor, ABC News
35. Helen Westwood, Washington Coordinating Producer, Primetime Live, London Bureau Chief, ABC TV News, ret.
36. Kathy O’Hearn, former Executive Producer, ABC/CNN/MSNBC
37. Derwin Johnson, former CNN and ABC Producer & Middle East
Bureau Chief, former Associate Professor, Columbia Univ. Graduate
School of Journalism
38. Thomasina Nista Chaffardet, Director of New Media, ABC News, ret.
39. Dianne Drummey Marino, NBC News & WNBC News, producer,
40. Dawn Ennis, former ABC News Assignment Editor, GMA Writer and Field Producer, Producer, NBC News
41. Linda Pattillo, former ABC News Correspondent, Lecturer in
Journalism, Georgia State University
42. Ed Freedman, Producer, CBS News & ABC News, ret.
43. John Beattie, former Producer, ABC News, ret.
44. Carmen Dixon, former Producer, Primetime Live, World News
45. Steve North, Correspondent, NBC Radio, and Writer, CBS News, ret.
46. Nick Young, Correspondent, CBS News, Radio, ret.
47. Robert Daley, New York Times correspondent and author, ret.
48. Kayce Freed Jennings, Former Producer, ABC News
49. Bob Furnad, Former Executive Vice President & Senior Executive Producer at CNN
50. Justin Friedland, Senior Producer, ABC News Special Events, WNT, Morning News, ret.
51. John Lower, Producer, ABC News, ret.
52. Todd Easton, Producer WNT, ABC News
53. Richard O’Regan, freelance journalist, former Producer ABC News, CBS News, CBC News, the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times Television
54. Bernice Vann Homstrom, ABC News, ret.
55. Mark Haimowitz, BO&E, ABC News, ret.
56. Willian Lynch, ABC News Film & Videotape Library
57. Richard L. Hess, former BO&E systems engineer
58. Mike Rebich, ABC News Cameraman
59. Warner W. Johnston, ABC Transmission Engineer
60. Joanne Mallie, Executive Producer, CBS News,ret.
61. Evalyn Lee, Producer, CBS News, ret.
62. William Bores, ABC Network Technical Director & NABETCWA
Local 16 Executive Board
63. Lisa Rosenberg, Producer, GMA Sunday, ret.
64. Jane Aylor, Director, Bureau Operations, ABC News DC., ret
65. Sharon Sforza Brender, Director of News Production, ABC News DC, ret.
66. Bernadine Rideau, ABC News PA/AD
67. Frank A. Dalecki, Jr., Producer/Writer, CBS News Radio, ret.
68. Lyn Henderson, Past President, Women in Film & Television, Florida Chapter
69. Meredith Wheeler, Writer and Producer, ABC News ret.
70. Phil Paine, Senior Engineer, London ENG Operations
71. Eddie Land, Former DA, WABC TV and ABC News
72. George Merlis, Former Executive Producer, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News.
73. Linda Maskin Fuller, ABC News
74. Dave Cohen, News Editor, ABC, ret.
75. Tara Sonenshine, former Editorial Producer, ABC NEWS Nightline, Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, currently at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
76. Eileen O’Connor, Attorney and former CNN White House and
Moscow Bureau Chief
77. Ellen Bradley Watson, Executive Secretary to David Burke, Exec VP, ABC News
78. Marianne Keeley Stack, ABC News Producer, ret.
79. Bill Harris, Editor, ABC News Editor, ret.
80. Laura Hughes, ABC News, Audio technician, ret.
81. Frank Radice, ABC News Producer, ret.
82. L. Aviva Diamond, former Correspondent, ABC News, former
Reporter, The Miami Herald
83. Dick Hubert, ProducerWriter, ABC NEWS SCOPE, ret.
84. Andy Lewis, Editor, ABCNews London, ret.
85. Cass Wagner, Camera: Local, Net, Sports, GMA, ABC TV
86. Wendy Vega, Sound mixer, WABCTV and KABCTV
87. Jody Serensits, ENG audio technician, ABC, ret.
88. Jorge Bouza, Sound mixer ABC/CBS, Miami Bureau
89. Dina Cholack, ABC News, former Producer/Assignment Editor
90. Mark Teboe, ENG Camera, Freelance ABC, NBC, CBS, Al Jazeera
91. Val WickensSmith, former ABSAT Manager, ABC News
92. Kelly Woods Traudt, former DA NewsOne
93. Lori Hoffman, Producer, Bloomberg News, ret.
94. Al Wasser, Writer/Editor, ABC & CBS News (ret.)
95. Barbara Silber, former AD, ABC Radio Network
96. Lynn Flaster, Writer, Producer, Reporter, NBC News, Connecticut Public Television, ret.
97. Jeff Kreiner, Senior Vice President, CBS News Marketing, Senior V.P. NBC East Coast
98. Jack Cloherty, former Producer, ABC News
99. Jacqueline Cutty, former Satellite Desk Coordinator, ABC News
100. Robert J. Murphy, Producer/Direction, ABC News
101. Andy Kay, freelance ENG Cameraman, ABC Sports/ESPN, CBS
Sports, NBC, NFL Network
102. Jeanne AmatoCollins, Assist. to correspondents and producers,
103. Stu Schutzman, Senior producer, WNT ABC News, ret.
104. Joe Donnelly, Producer ABC News, ret
105. David Riley, WXYZTV Technical Director, Action News, ret.
106. Rusty Lutz, ABC News Radio Assignment Editor DC, ret.
107. Liza Levine, Assoc. Producer, ABC News, ret.
108. Jill Landes, Producer, CBS News, ret.
109. Lew Strauss, CNN and ABC News, ret.
110. Dean Hovell, former World News Tonight Sr. Operations Producer, DC
111. Jacqueline Calnan, Former ABC News Assignment Editor, ret.
112. Carolyn Dunlavy, former BO&E computer graphics technician DC
113. Su Ronneburger, WABC Radio engineer, NYC, 19792014
114. Nancy Wilkerson, former ADE KABCTV
115. Ann Benjamin, Director, WNET
116. Laura Wessner, ABC News Nightline Senior Press Representative, ret.
117. Jim Murphy, News Editor, LA Times? reporter, KCAL, News 12 CT
118. Mardi Camille Tatton, former PA/AD ABC News
119. Shelley Ross, former Executive Producer ABC News, CBS News
120. Carol Williams, former Executive Producer, ABC News and NBC News
121. Rob Vint, Director, ABC News
122. Charlie Reina, writer, CBS Radio News, ret.
123. Naomi S. Boak, former executive producer, Twin Cities Public
124. Jeff Suarez, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
125. Kristin Whiting, Former Correspondent/Producer ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN National Geographic
126. Jerry Zweben, TV network staff Associate Director. ret.
127. Gil Longin, Writer/Editor, ABC Radio News, ret.
128. Kathleen O’Neill, former DA, Midwest Bureau, ABC News. Writer, ABCNews.com
129. Moe Thomas, ABC News Master Control, NAC Operations
130. Hal Feldman Digital News Director, NewsOne, Editor/Videographer WABCTV, WCAUTV
131. Michael Risner, Journalist and Production Management, WCJB TV, WPTV TV
132. Robert Forsyth, forrner Director Ops and Engineering, WJLATV
133. Susan Pomerantz Associate Director, ABC, ret.
134. Sarah EvansBurke, former Interview Producer, Al Jazeera English
135. Brian Pannier, Audio Op, ABC Television Network
136. Michael Karman, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
137. Stratis Zervos, ABC News, ENG Camera, Freelance
138. Adam Smook, Technical Director, ABCTV, ret.
139. Jim Greene, Satellite Engineer, NBC News, DC
140. Mark Walz, CNN Senior Photojournalist, DC
141. Kimberly Stanick Mullins, former DA NewsOne
142. Tony Caravello ,General Manager Network ENG, ret.
143. Robert Ruttenberg, CBS News, Editor, ret.
144. Cara Fogarty, former Producer NBC Radio, Mutual Broadcasting System and NPR
145. Douglas Obert, World News Tonight Editor
146. Merrill Perlman, Former Director of Copy Desks, New York Times,
147. Francia White, Former Associate Producer, CBS 60 Minutes, PBS, ret.
148. Mitch Davis, Producer, Special Events, ABC News, ret.
149. Deborah Moxham, Writer, WNBC News, ret.
150. Samuel Campbell, Former Writer and Editor, ABC News
151. Kimberly Myers, Former Producer, WNET, ret.
152. Elizabeth MacKay, former Director of Production, ABC News
153. Bill Nieves, CBS News, Producer, ret.
154. Molly Fowler, Former producer, ABC News
155. Meredith Greene Megaw, Former producer ABC News
156. Regina Elo, former Manager, Awards and Special Projects, ABC
157. Gary E Donatelli, Director, ABC Entertainment
158. Murr LeBey, Former Unit Manager and Producer, ABC News
159. Shirley Weiss, Associate Director, ABC ret.
160. Charlotte Perry Aguilar, former West Coast Producer, Nightline, World News Tonight
161. John Arrowsmith, former Senior Producer, ABC News, ret.
162. Tina Lurie, former Operations Manager, ABC News Washington Bureau
163. Gillian Overholser ABC News Associate Producer 1989/1992
164. Thomas Thornton, Editor/Engineer/Producer, ABC News
165. Nick Ludlow, former ABC News Cameraman and current MD of
Prime Television, London
166. Anthony Forma, ABC Freelance Cameraman
167. Alice Look, former Newswriter, Producer, Reporter WNBC.
168. Susan Mercandetti, Former Vice President, ABC News
169. Faridoun Hemani, Managing Director, Linx News, former ABC News Assignment Editor
170. Ken Jobe, former Assistant News Director, WABCTV
171. MaryBeth Neil, Producer, NBC News
172. Gail Zimmerman, former Producer/Director, ABC and CBS News
173. Beth Osisek, former Producer, ABC News
174. Peter T Michaelis, Producer ABCNews and CBS News, ret.
175. Leslie Walker, former Associate Producer, 20/20
176. Julie Hartenstein, former ABC Producer, Associate Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
177. Rhonda Roberts, Producer Washington Bureau, WNT and Special Events, ret.
178. James Mallon, Technical Operations Manager, BO&E, ABC News, Washington, DC, ret.
179. Evelyn Kanter, former Writer/Producer for CBS and ABC News and Reporter for WCBS Radio and WABCTV
180. Douglas Alden , former Producer, ABC News/ NBC Olympics/ ESPN, Writer for Fortune Magazine
181. Jan RyanFormer, Anchor WTVF, WLAC
182. Jeffrey Veatch, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, ret.
183. Carla Wohl, former ABC NewsOne reporter, now Associate Dean, External Relations USU
184. Emily Paine, former Editor, ABC News Productions
185. Jamie Deans, former Producer, ABC News 20/20
186. Jeffrey Veatch, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, ret.
187. Greg Neal, Associate Director, ABC
188. Judy Enteles Landis, former DA, Researcher, AP, Producer, ABC
189. Stew Stoltz, Producer, News Promos, ABC.
190. Steph Jacobs, ABC and CBS News, ret.
191. Stu Chamberlain, Writer/Editor, ABC News Radio, 1977/2010
192. Alice Irene Pifer, former Producer, ABC News, Producer, Tikson
193. Paul Colten, ABC Video Editor/Sound Mixer, ret.
194. Beth Simons, ABC ENG Editor, ret.
195. Mike Stein, Editorial Producer, World News Tonight, ret.
196. Lee Goldman, Audio Ops, ABC TV, ret.
197. Willis “Skip” Brown, Producer, Cameraman, CBS, ABC, NBC News and PBS NewsHour, ret.
198. Elliott Reed, VP Operations, ABC Television Network
199. Lynne Adrine, former Senior Producer, ABC Weekend News
200. Kate Felsen, currently VP, Marketing and Digital Strategy,
Turnaround for Children, and formerly Senior Producer/Foreign Editor ABC News,World News Tonight
201. Philip Mishoe, Jr., Broadcast Engineer, ABC News, ret.
202. Stanley Penn, former reporter Wall Street Journal, Pulitzer Prize winner
203. Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, ABC News
204. Steve Hammel, Former VP of News WJLATV
and former Vice President & General Manager WRALTV
205. Paul Kasper, Photojournalist, WTSP
206. John L. Venable, ABC News Operator
207. LaVonne Ellis, ABC Radio News, ret.
208. Elizabeth Sovern, former Associate Producer, World News Tonight
209. Mitch Leisner, ENG Editor, ABC News, ret.
210. Hank Silverberg, former Reporter, WTOP Radio and WUSA9
211. Brian Robertson, former News Photo Journalist KGW, Portland
212. Ed Eaves, Editor/Producer ABC News & NBC News, ret.
213. Herb Perone, former producer and writer, ABC News
214. Robert Pankau, ABC radio reporter, Miami Tampa. Semi retired
215. Roger Scott, West Coast Deputy Bureau Chief, Producer and
Assignment Editor, ABC News, ret.
216. Ellen Rooney, former Film & Videotape Editor, ABC News
217. Dennis Shannon, Video Journalist and Technical Director, CBS
218. Polly Kummel, former Journalist, San Jose Mercury News and
219. John E. D’Ulisse, ABC News Operations 1999/2003,
220. Wolfgang Achtner, formerly ABC News, former Reporter/Producer ABC News, former correspondent CNN, Professor of TV News Reporting, University of Siena & Unversity of Perugia
221. Ty West, former Producer, CBS, NBC and MSNBC
222. Mara Altschuler, former Producer, CBS News
223. William Davis, former Writer/Editor, ABC News
224. Bob Young, former Associate Director, ABC
225. Glenn Lewis, Editor/Sound Mixer, ABC News, ret.
226. Douglas Alden, former News Producer, ABC News, ESPN, Writer, Fortune Magazine
227. Dianne Drummey Marino, Producer, NBC News and WNBC
228. Ellen Samrock, former Manager of Research, ABC New, ret.
229. Kathe Traynham, former WNT Producer, DC
230. Susan Wittan, former Editor, World News Tonight, DC
231. Michael C Bohn Sr., former Editor, ABC News
232. Patricia (Beck) Ryan, former BO&E, ABC News, DC
233. James W. Smith, EVS Editor, ABC Good Morning America
234. Mike Cavender, Executive Director Emeritus, Radio Television Digital News Association
235. Ray Jacobs, Senior Creative Ad Director with long association with CBS and NBC News
236. Jan Phillips, former Principal of a San Francisco-based
motion graphics company
237. Tom Kenworthy, Reporter, Washington Post (19832000)
and USA Today (20002007), ret.
238. Ann Natyzak, Electronic Graphics, CBS News, MacNeil/Lehrer
239. Kenneth Walker, NPR Africa Bureau Chief, ret.
240. Don Wall, Producer, ABC News, ret.
241. Lawrence Wells, Supervising Producer, NBC News, ret.
242. Tom Gauger, ABC Radio Reporter/Editor, DC? UPI Radio Anchor, ret.
243. Patrick O’Driscoll, Reporter, Reno GazetteJournal
, USA Today , The Denver Post , and Denver Bureau chief for USA Today (19972007)
244. Sara Fitzgerald, Assignment Editor and New Media Developer,
The Washington Post, ret.
245. Loren Ghiglione, former President of the American Society of
News Editors, Dean of Medill School of Journalism, and Editor and
Publisher of the Southbridge (Mass.) Evening News
246. Tom Torok, Projects Editor, The New York Times, ret.
247. Peter T Michaelis, Former Producer ABC News and CBS News
248. Dennis Shannon, Journalist and Technical Director, CBS News,
249. Elissa Free, former Executive Producer and Newsroom Manager, CNN Washington Bureau
250. Bettina Hutchings, Former National Field Producer, CNN
251. Megan Duke, former Associate Producer, CNN Washington Bureau
252. Georgia Routsis Savas, former CNN Unit Manager, Writer, Producer
253. Tim Hart, former CNN Senior Photojournalist
254. Linda Lashendock, former Production Manager, CNN Washington Bureau
255. Chuck Berray, former CNN Video Journalist, Editor
256. Steve Stahl, Former Director of Operations, CNN
257. Kolyan DasGupta, Former Chyron Operator, CNN, Former Master Control Operator, CNNSI
258. Kate King, former CNN Senior Producer, former CNN.com Copy Editor
259. Peter Dykstra, former Executive Producer, CNN
260. KC Wildmoon, former Supervising Editor, The CNN Wire
261. Daniel Noel, Midwest Regional Producer for CBS Newspath, ret
262. Diane Slaine, former Senior Producer, ABC News
263. Richard Calangelo, Executive Director, ABC BO&E, ret.
264. Eileen Russell, Producer Documentaries, ABC News
265. Julie Anne Overton, former Producer, CBS News, DC
266. James Overton, Writer/Produer ABC News, DC, ret.
267. Shelley Harris, former Unit Production Manager, ABC News
268. Vicki Contavespi, formerly at Forbes and freelance
269. John Swartley, Journalist, San Jose Mercury, ret.
270. Chuck Carroll, Reporter, Formerly San Jose Mercury News
271. Mack Lundstrom, Reporter (ret.)/lecturer, San Jose Mercury News, San Jose State University
272. Rick Nobles, Journalist, Editor and Designer at the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury and Dallas Morning News.
273. Mary Gottschalk, Riverside Press Enterprise, San Jose Mercury
News and Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, ret.
274. Lou Calvert, 46 years as a print Journalist in Ohio and California, ret.
275. Kat Harting, former New England Bureau Chief and producer,
276. Bill Knowles, Prof Emeritus, University of Montana School of
Journalism, and former ABC News producer and bureau chief
277. George F. Harrison, Writer/Producer/ CBS Radio News, Editor,
WCBS TV News/Editor, UPI/Producer, WMAR TV News
278. James Schiffman, former Chief Copy Editor, CNN International
279. Gareth Fenley, former Associate Producer, Headline News and CNN
280. Susan Rook, former CNN anchor & host of TalkBack Live
281. Brian J Nelson, former CNN Anchor & Correspondent, CNN, CNNI, Headline News
282. Rick Perera, Former CNN Field Producer
283. John Busbee, former Master Control Operator CNN2/CNN Headline News
284. Jonathan Peterson, former CNN Interactive technical manager.
285. Laura McGeary, former CNN, CNNI guest booking producer
286. Robin Kemp, former CNN newswriter
287. Kim McCabe, former Senior Producer, CNN Primetime
288. Kimberly Abbott, former CNN editorial producer
289. Susan Lilly, former Supervising Producer, CNN Medical News Unit.
290. Daniel Knode, Former Operations Supervisor CNN
291. Denise LeClair Cobb, former anchor CNN and CNN Headline News
292. David Furtney, former Research Analyst, CNN Audience Research, former Programming and News Specialist, CNN Viewer
293. Danielle M. Amos former CNN Supervising Producer.
294. Mike McGill, former Associate Producer, CNN Washington, former Planning Editor, WUSATV, Washington, DC.
295. Harris Whitbeck, former Bureau Chief Mexico City
296. Bruce Kauffman, Editor CNN2 / Headline News
297. Lauren Cardillo, former producer, CNN WASHINGTON Bureau
298. Sol Levine, former executive producer, CNN Washington
299. Chris Riker, former CNNI producer
300. Rich Pasenow Former Video Editor/Videographer Headline
News/CNN Newsource/CNN Telemundo
301. Ginanne Brownell Mitic, former CNN feeds producer and librarian
302. C. Farrel Sparks, formerly Senior Operations Supervisor,
303. Jennifer Crowe, former CNN Master Control Operator
304. Renee Oricchio, former Supervising Producer, CNN Financial News
305. Ana Chassoul, Producer CNN NewsStand, CNN Spanish
306. Martin Asturias, former CNN videographer for latin America
307. Lasta Drachkovitch, former CNN chyron and graphics operator
308. Tom Purdy, produced the first hour of CNN
309. Maria White Tillman, former CNN Sr. News Editor
310. Michael Welter, Sr. Editor/Producer CNN
311. Jessie Williams former Sr. Director/technical dir. , CNN/CNNI
312. Patricia Ochs, former International New York Times, CNN.
313. Hannah Buchdahl, former writer/producer, CNN Atlanta and DC
314. Megan Rosenfeld, former Reporter and Editor, The Washington Post
315. Robert Kelly, Reporter, St. Louis PostDispatch, ret. Mass
Communications Instructor, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
316. Stacy Simon, former Executive Editor, CNN Headline News
317. Melissa Mathews, former Producer and Copy Editor, CNN
International, CNN Headline News
318. Mike O’Toole, former Writer and Producer, CNN International
319. Marty Secord Young, former Editor, Photographer, Producer CNN
320. Paula Granger, former Editor, Sound recordist, VJ
321. Bill Lichtenstein, President, Lichtenstein Creative Media
322. Silvio Carrillo, former Producer, CNN DC
323. Rebecca Rau, Associate Director, ABC News WNT, ret.
324. Tamara Linderman Lyons, former producer, CNN Washington
325. Barbara Rafaeli, Producer, ABC News, CNN, Bloomberg, ret.
326. Joy CiarciaLevy, former Producer, ABC News
327. Scott Richardson, Manager of News Information, ABC News, ’88-90
328. Don Morfoot, former Writer, Producer and Sr Producer, ABC and NBC News
329. Larry Marotta, formerly ABC Radio
330. Doreen Thomas, former Supervisor, ABC Network Video Tape
331. Susan Aasen, Producer, ABC News, ret.
332. Jacquelin Sonderling, writer, KTLA, former producer KTLA, KCAL, CBS2, former investigative producer, NBCLA
333. George F. Harrison, former Writer/Producer/ CBS Radio News,
Editor, WCBS TV News/Editor, UPI/Producer, WMAR TV 334. Jack Lynch, former Editor of The New York Times, San Francisco Examiner and International Herald Tribune 335. John Fenoglio, political reporter, KTLA
There is no democracy without a free press
Today, hundreds of newspapers across the country are publishing editorials to fight back against repeated attacks on the media. The brainchild of The Boston Globe, newspapers were asked to publish their own editorials that highlight the dangers of the assault on the press.
The Society of Professional Journalists stands in solidarity with these newspapers and applauds their efforts to explain the importance of the work they do every day. We know that without them, the country would be a much darker, more secretive place.
After all, it’s journalists who uncover stories of children being abused by people in positions of authority; of drinking water being contaminated because regulations and laws weren’t followed; of the misuse of money and power by government officials and agencies.
Freedom of the press was included in the writing of the First Amendment for good reason. Our founding fathers knew that it is human nature for those in positions of power to sometimes abuse that power. For democracy to thrive, they believed it was important to ensure there would always be a watchdog – the press – to maintain balance and, when needed, protect citizens from their own government by helping them obtain information. (As the Washington Post tagline states: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”)
Journalism is a public service. Journalism is done for the public good. We’re taught as journalists to show the story, not tell the story. The best way to show the public that we are not “the enemy” is by telling accurate, fair, truthful stories. By showing that we care about the people and communities we cover. By acting ethically at all times.
But while a majority of journalists do just that, they remain at risk. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 27 journalists have been attacked so far in the United States in 2018. Worldwide, according to Reporters Without Borders, 50 journalists, 10 citizen journalists and 3 media assistants have been killed in 2018.
Journalists should not have to consider hiring security guards to accompany them to political rallies. Journalists in every city and town across America should not worry for their safety every time they go out to cover a story.
A segment of the American public is clearly angry about what they describe as “fake news” or too much opinion and not enough facts. Journalists don’t understand why the average citizen struggles to tell the differences among news, opinion, commentary and analysis, or to realize that not every journalist produces each kind of journalism.
The United Nations Human Rights Chief said earlier this week the numbers of incidences of violence and death against journalists will increase worldwide if the rhetoric does not stop. Other countries look to the United States to set the precedent, he said, adding that, “The U.S. creates a demonstration effect, which then is picked up by other countries where the leadership tends to be more authoritarian [in] character or aspires to be authoritarian.”
No profession is perfect. Journalism is no exception. But a United States without a free press is not a place most Americans would want to live. Simply put, there is no democracy without a free press.
-Reprint from Rebecca Baker’s blog. She is President of the Society of Professional Journalists