Boycotts and Blacklists
My letter is in reference to the article The New Blacklist by Doug Ireland [June 10-16]. I want to thank L.A. Weekly for this excellent piece regarding the Christian right and the ensuing boycotts being conducted across the country. Corporations must stop kowtowing to these boycotts or the mere threat of one! Doug Ireland is an insightful and intelligent writer, and this is a tremendously well-written article.
Linda Jean Edwards
Doug Ireland's article The New Blacklist on boycotts by conservative groups against companies supporting gay organizations was a good example of forgotten history and drama, but not of accurate reporting.
Ireland throws every example out there of threats from conservative organizations, equates them with both communism and fascism, and ends with how the poor gay groups can'possibly compete. This makes for a good Star Wars script, but it's not the truth.
Mr. Ireland forgets how gay groups called for boycotts against sponsors of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's television show, only to force it off the air. The protests against Dr. Laura were based on statements taken out of context (see Tammy Bruce's book The New Thought Police to learn about this).
Truth undermines Mr. Ireland's good story. Next time, don't go back 50 years; just research the past decade.
I think Doug Ireland's article gives too much credit (if that's the word) to Don Wildmon and his band of lunatics. It may be true that Procter & Gamble backed down on some ads because of their pressure. However, during the recently completed Upfronts, P&G made it clear to advertisers that they were interested in moving their TV dollars to other methods of exposure, such as product placement.
Let's give credit to the so-called free market and greed, too!
Amen to Marc Cooper for the May 26 article Back From the Fallout Shelter. When the so-called nuclear option was defused by the tyranny of the 14, I waited for the outrage. In column after column, journalists and pundits talked about the victory for Democrats, how they had made the Republicans blink. What have Democrats gained? The almost guaranteed confirmation of the three most egregious (IMHO) nominees, with warnings not to use the filibuster again. And the Republicans have given up . . . nothing. Frankly, I would rather the Democrats had stood their ground and forced the Republican hand. Thank you for having the courage to state the obvious.
West Jordan, Utah
Regarding the article about Chris DeRose [24/Seven, An Elephant Man, May 19-25], I agree with Mr. DeRose's actions to try to bring attention to the plight of animals in zoos. Animals are often taken out of their native habitats, brought to the U.S., caged, and treated as objects for entertainment.
Many zoos claim to employ only top professionals to administer to the animals' daily care. If these professionals really did care for and about these animals, the animals would still be in their native settings.
Mr. DeRose has shown courage and determination to end animal suffering. We all should applaud him and support him.
St Louis, Missouri
They Had Her Covered
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In his piece on early-'70s folk singer Judee Sill (Heart Food, May 27-June 2), writer Greg Burk gives the impression that Warren Zevon was the only artist who covered the Sill tune Jesus Was a Crossmaker. Not so. The Hollies did a superb version of it on their Romany LP. And the Turtles covered her lovely Lady-O. Both of these renditions were considered good enough by their respective record companies to be released as singles. Just thought I'd mention them.
FAANtastic News . . .
Last Friday, the Association of Alternative Newspapers hosted its annual awards ceremony, and L.A. Weekly carried off more first-place awards than any other AAN publication. The following stories and special features took first place in these categories: The Best of L.A. issue (Special Section); the Kids Rock issue (Editorial Layout; designers John Curry and Ryan Ward and illustrator Cole Gerst); Format Buster (The Zeitlist, edited by Tom Christie); and Food Writing (Jonathan Gold). Second-place honors went to John Powers for Arts Criticism, Bruce Eric Kaplan for Cartoon, and photographer Teun Voeten for Photography. Third place went to Celeste Fremon (Feature Story), Marc Cooper (Media Reporting) and Alec Hanley Bemis (Music Criticism). Finally, writer Brendan Bernhard received Honorable Mention for Arts Criticism.