WILDLY INACCURATE IN DETAIL AND SPIRIT
There are a number of troubling things about Johnny Angels 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.
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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. Angels quotations. Nor was there ever a call or e-mail to fact check the conversation between myself and Mr. Angel.
Mr. Angels 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 todays 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 dont have the will or patience to cover.
I take great pride in the diversity of KPFKs 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 915]. 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.
Drug Policy Alliance
Bruce Shapiros article Alarm Addictions [May 915] neglected to answer one question about this countrys so-called war on drugs thats always rather puzzled me: Why do you suppose Darryl Strawberry is popularly considered a junkie scumbag and Robert Downey Jr. a poor helpless victim with an illness?
THE END IS DEAR
This is in regard to Scott Foundas review of The Shape of Things [Form and Dysfunction, May 915]. I guess its about two sentences in when Foundas finds it necessary to tell us theres 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 Im watching that doozy of a twist ending, you can be certain Ill utter, Fucking Foundas.
In his scathing review of X2 [When Big Gets Bigger, May 28], 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.
PAYNE AND PLEASURE
I want to thank John Payne for writing an honest review of Madonnas American Life. I personally feel as though it is her best work to date. It is insightful, personal, emotional everything an artists 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.
For 20 years now she has pushed the boundaries of music, sex and the roles of women in society. Shes not going anywhere until she says she is. Critics are a dime a dozen, but theres only one Madonna. Im thankful that there is an artist with the balls to say what he or she thinks and feels and truly grows as an artist.
I thank John Payne and the L.A. Weekly for writing and printing an honest review. Keep up the good work . . . It didnt go unnoticed.
Shaun A. Young
I just finished reading Sitegeist [Cheerleaders, May 28], and I want to say it has countered nicely for me the coverage of the USS Abraham Lincoln returning on Good Day L.A. I can usually trust that show to fill the morning with a lot of useless hooey, but now theyve gone patriotic. DANG!
A HEAD BELOW THE COMPETITION
Have you ever noticed that your headlines are unintelligible?
The Beasts Within
High on Justice
ON: George of the Jungle
A Considerable Town: Paradise Lost
Feed the Goats: Nine Democrats in search of a message
Most other newspapers use headlines that actually indicate what might be contained in the associated story. Is that too much to ask for the L.A. Weekly? Or must you be so cute with your headlines that a person has no idea what a headline actually means? Do you have so much contempt for your readers, or so little confidence in your journalism, that you feel you must tease and tantalize people into reading a story, rather than using the headline to let them know what to expect?
When you change your headline policy, let me know. Until then, Ill read the competition, which treats me like a grown-up.
In our Style L.A. 03 issue [May 915], a silk charmeuse ball skirt credited to designer Eduardo Lucero was in fact made by Goretti.