There are a number of troubling things about Johnny Angel’s otherwise interesting and descriptive contribution to A Considerable Town in the May 9 (“Style L.A. 03”) issue of L.A. Weekly in which I am misquoted and improperly attributed.
At no time do I represent myself as an employee of KPFK or its parent, the Pacifica Radio Foundation. I anchor the KPFK Evening News as a committed volunteer who believes in KPFK as the only radio station in Los Angeles that is truly by the people, for the people.
At no time during the private event where we were introduced did I agree to be interviewed by Mr. Angel.
I was never contacted regarding the accuracy of Mr. Angel’s quotations. Nor was there ever a call or e-mail to fact check the conversation between myself and Mr. Angel.
Mr. Angel’s report is wildly inaccurate in both detail and spirit. Mr. Angel claims that I said the volunteers and staff in the Pacifica newsrooms somehow compromise our journalistic standards in order to perform the function of gadfly in today’s society. He claims that I also said the Pacifica audience is “stuck” in a time when politics was “different.”
I said no such thing.
If I held either of these opinions, I would not volunteer my time and talents to KPFK. The reason I came to the KPFK newsroom and the Pacifica network in the first place is that I was drawn to the integrity and courage the reporters exhibit in covering what more mainstream outlets don’t have the will or patience to cover.
I take great pride in the diversity of KPFK’s listening audience. Where else can you find loyal listeners that include everyone from Armenian mechanics in Glendale to 10th-graders at Fairfax High School, from Mexican short-order cooks in East L.A. to gay Episcopal priests in Beverly Hills, from Choctaw tribal leaders to Santa Monica City Council members, from West Coast activists to East Coast academics? Indeed, it is precisely because we eschew themes such as “Style L.A. 03” that we engender the trust of our audience.
I believe L.A. Weekly would like to have the same commitment to journalistic standards and protocol, so I look forward to seeing an acknowledgment and correction of these oversights in your next issue.
THE EDITOR REPLIES: In his Considerable Town article, Johnny Angel identifies Jennifer Hodges as an “evening news anchor at KPFK,” not as an employee of KPFK.
PRISONERS OF WAR
Los Angeles’ drug courts are definitely a step in the right direction [“High on Justice,” May 9–15]. For nonviolent offenders with chronic substance-abuse problems, drug treatment is a cost-effective alternative to incarceration. Unfortunately, drug courts are being misused for political purposes. Record numbers of Americans arrested for marijuana possession have been forced into treatment by the criminal-justice system. The resulting distortion of treatment statistics is then used by drug czar John Walters to make the claim that marijuana is “addictive.”
Zero-tolerance drug laws do not distinguish between occasional use and chronic abuse. The coercion of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis into taxpayer-funded treatment centers says a lot about U.S. government priorities but absolutely nothing about the relative harms of marijuana. For an objective take on marijuana, look to Canada. In the words of [Canadian] Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, “Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue.”
This is in regard to Scott Foundas’ review of The Shape of Things[“Form and Dysfunction,” May 9–15]. I guess it’s about two sentences in when Foundas finds it necessary to tell us there’s “a doozy of a twist ending.” Thanks. There are too few good films released each year to have one of their endings ruined by Foundas. When I’m watching that “doozy of a twist ending,” you can be certain I’ll utter, “Fucking Foundas.”
In his scathing review of X2[“When Big Gets Bigger,” May 2–8], Scott Foundas moans about how little impact film critics have on comic-book-derived movies. Get over yourself. From where I stand, listening to the audience produces movies like X2 that the audience enjoys (go figure). Some people believe that is the point of movie making.
I want to thank John Payne for writing an honest review of Madonna’s American Life. I personally feel as though it is her best work to date. It is insightful, personal, emotional — everything an artist’s work should be. But rather than write a review of the album, critics love to bash her relentlessly with very little to say about her work.