Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 5/10/11

WAS TONY KUSHNER MEANT TO BECOME THE NEXT HELEN THOMAS?

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     (# of views)   No comments
Author 1549
Message Danny Schechter

The Guardian reported: "The chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, addressing the board on Monday night, said he had supported the original recommendation of the award and praised Kushner's 'extraordinary body of work'. He urged the board to overturn last week's decision and to support the award."

Some members of the board spoke, all of them voicing support for Kushner. One of them described the row as a "blemish" on the university's reputation as an upholder of freedom of expression.

Here's how the Times put it: "Having embarrassed themselves more than was absolutely necessary in the eyes of many New Yorkers, trustees of the City University of New York are...to undo the damage."

Tony Kushner told the Times in an interview, "I have been honoured many times by prominent Jewish organisations, proudly identified as a Jew and maintained a passionate support for the continuous existence of the State of Israel."

"An apology should come from the Board of Trustees for not following the dictates of simple fairness and decency when this happened, and allowing someone who deserved better treatment to be treated shabbily."

Since the action of the CUNY board, he has received an outpouring of support from peace groups, friends, and intellectual and artistic groups. "It's completely overwhelming," he said.

In an earlier statement, Kushner, who has edited a collection of essays critical of Israel, said: "It's been my experience that truth eventually triumphs over sound bites, spin and defamation. And that reason, honest inquiry and courage, which are more appealing and more persuasive than demagoguery, will carry the day."

His story went from the Jewish press to the pages of the New York Times, and quickly became an international free speech issue.

But even if his status is rehabilitated, the Times asks: "Will a reversal end the affair? Not necessarily. Closing a self-inflicted wound can be tough."

The problem, of course, is that Kushner's status earned him reconsideration; other less well-known personages critical of Israel, including academic and political analysts, are often targeted in ways that generate less attention and debate.

Many conclude it's just not worth it to speak up about Israeli policy, less they became targeted and smeared - and even lose their jobs.

Meanwhile, Helen Thomas continues to live defensively as an exile in the strait-laced Washington media world in which she was once a luminary. A group of journalists are now lobbying the Society of Professional Journalists to reinstate her status but, aged 90, she has no major newspapers or high-profile politically acceptable people behind her.

Perhaps, next, Tony Kushner could write a play about how Thomas has suffered the slings and arrows of unfair slurs and demonisation.

News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. He is the author of When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War. His latest film is Plunder The Crime of Our Time. 

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Well Said 3   Valuable 3   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Danny Schechter Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel Gives All Jews A Bad Name

Is There A Threat of Fascism in the USA?

Free Marketers Going After Occupy Wall Street --Danny Schechter

WHO OWNS OUR MEDIA AND WHY IT MATTERS

COG OR COA: WHY IS OBAMA MORPHING INTO BUSH 2?

WERE THE BANKS TOO BIG TO FAIL OR THE BANKERS TOO BIG TO JAIL?