Is it time to write a column comparing and contrasting the state of the art for journalism in the USA today with how it was in Germany in 1937?
What if a rogue pundit were to speculate about what is really going on behind the scenes in the Middle East and correctly hit the nail on the head? Would that open the gates to a cable TV gig or would it merely earn the poor blighter the cell between the ones reserved for Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning and Edward Snowden? (Is the rumor true that Charlie Manson and Sirhan Sirhan have adjoining workout areas and that they can talk to each other but not see each other when they burn calories?)
After noticing that the Texans for Public Justice website had posted a story announcing the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate a dispute involving Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Travis County District Attorney, the World's Laziest Journalist hopped over to Yahoo and sent a tip to the news desk at the Mike Malloy radio show.
The World's Laziest Journalist isn't going to get invitations to the Bohemian Grove so we'll take the Zen advice to be grateful for the beef in our bowl and enjoy stumbling over interesting topics that are new blips on our pop culture beat radar, such as the niche group that invalidates the warrantee on their digital camera and customizes them to take photos using infrared light. We recently encountered such as the images at the LOOKgallerySF.com brick and mortar location at 720 Geary Street in San Francisco.
About two dozen students were arrested this week protesting the plight of the City College of San Francisco. The arrests got only a fraction of the news coverage that the arrests of the students protesting the HUAC hearings in the same city got in 1960.
"Subversives: The FBI's war on student radicals and Reagan's rise to power," by Seth Rosenfeld (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York N. Y. - 2012 by Seth Rosenfeld) showed up recently in the Friends of the Berkeley Library used book store and we immediately snapped it up. A student is quoted as saying "We do know, however, that others of (FBI director Herbert) Hoover's statements either are based on lack of information or are made in bad faith." The book indicates that in a confrontation between the FBI and wiretapping laws, the result resembled something that would have outraged Edward Snowden.
The author seems to believe and resent the idea that student's lives and reputations provided convenient stepping stones for St. Ronald Reagan on his path to the White House.
San Francisco columnist Herb Caen loved rubbing elbows with the "swells" and earned a comfortable living writing columns about his various experiences doing that. In 1960, Caen did defend the student who protested the HUAC hearing and was hit with a tsunami of letters objecting. Rosenfeld quotes Caen (on page 96) as writing: "To sum up, what I object to most heartily is the attempt of the Committee to smear the students present as "Communist stooges.' There is no more effective way of enforcing conformity and instilling fear."
Sarah Burke, in the August 21 - 27, 2013 edition of the East Bay Express, reports (pages 10 -- 11) that the University of California at Berkeley will achieve a national first when they approve a new redistricting which will give the school its own city council district.
[Photo editor's note: In the summer of 1969, when the song "The Age of Aquarius" was ubiquitous the World's Laziest Journalist spent some afternoons lounging in the sun on the Marina Green in San Francisco. The nostalgic appeal of returning there to mix with the general public to get a photo of the America's Cup festivities to use with the new column was overwhelming. Seeing an aircraft carrier start out on a journey to the waters off Vietnam by sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge evoked a greater emotional reaction than learning that a yacht race was being canceled because the winds were too strong for a second race on Monday August 19, 2013. (Wouldn't stronger winds just make the sail boats go faster?)]
Edward R. Murrow, in a speech to Radio and Television News Directors, said: " . . . Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night . . . the time normally used by Steve Allen is devoted to American policy in the Middle East . . . . Otherwise, it (television) is merely wires and lights in a box."
Now the disk jockey will play "Sea Cruise," "Big Bear Lake," and "Red sails in the sunset." We have to go get a Virginia City Muckers' t-shirt. Have a "Eureka!" type week.
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