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Journalism, Media Spin, and the Gaza Flotilla Actions, Berkeley, 9/22/11: photos & audio
On September 22nd, a benefit for KPFA was held at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists titled "Journalism, Media Spin, and the Gaza Flotilla Actions." The event was also a book release party for "Towards Gaza: Live from the Freedom Flotilla" by Angela Lano. [Full audio below]
[Pictured above: during the Q&A near the end of the program, Dennis Bernstein, Kevin Pina, Kathy Sheetz, and Henry Norr. Dennis Bernstein tells a story about an interview he did with a woman who was a Hitler Youth that traveled to Israel to make amends for past anti-semitism but then was drawn to join the Palestinian human rights struggle when she realized the racism and oppression under which Palestinians are currently suffering.]
From the fundraiser announcement:
The program will include a preview of a 1-hour documentary: "The Raid" by Belgian journalist and filmmaker Marcello Faraggi on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla (FF1) made from never before seen footage from over 20 smuggled cassettes as well as the last footage of Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza before his murder. The viewing will be followed by a Skype conversation with Faraggi. The program will begin with a commentary by KPFA's Kevin Pina and presentations by former SF Chronicle columnist Henry Norr who was the Bay Area media lead during FF1 and a passenger on the U.S. Boat to Gaza ("The Audacity of Hope"), one of the 2011 Freedom Flotilla (FF2) boats, and Kathy Sheetz who was on the first and successful Free Gaza Movement boat voyage in 2008, two later attempts to enter Gaza by sea, June 2009 and FF1, and the nurse for the U.S. Boat to Gaza during FF2. FF1 passenger Janet Kobren will introduce a book by her fellow passenger, Italian journalist Angela Lano, a narrative of her first-hand experience during FF1, her family's watchful and anxious time at home in Italy during the May 31, 2010 attack, and with post-FF1 reports included in the appendix. And there will be a guest appearance by Dennis Bernstein.
The Raid: The Untold Story of the Gaza Flotilla
Audio from "The Raid" screening is not included, the one-hour gap is indicated by the fading out of the film's introductory music and fading in of its title-sequence music.
Later, Janet Kobren reads a section from the book "Towards Gaza: Live from the Freedom Flotilla" by Angela Lano, about Angela having to "prove" she is a journalist to Israelis after the Gaza Flotilla was raided in 2010.
Henry Norr also addresses the MOCHA Gazan children's art controversy (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/23/18691167.php), a UC Zionist lawsuit, and his having been fired by the SF Chronicle. He says hardcore zionists exist to squelch dissent but that the heart of the problem is people who want to stay out of trouble and not become a target.
Kevin Pina speaks about it being common in the U.S. to only get one side of the story, such as fear-mongering about communists in El Salvador. He has felt a duty to present the other side of stories with U.S. tax dollars funding atrocities. He feels a compulsion toward social justice when most reporters favor those in power yet pretend to be objective. This objectivity is phony and forcing "balance" in the news neuters the truth. It's not a choice between being a journalist and social justice.
More on Troy Davis: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/18/18690684.php