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actions & protests | environment | media criticism a21 bush protests

A21: Who pays for our public services, streets and why doesn't the media tell the truth?

Independent media first given Secret Service Clearance to attend Dubya soriee and then denied access by Portland Police. Portland's KGW/NBC Channel 8 Steve Redin assaults indy videographer, because he had to get his prise-winning shot through a chainlink fence. What does the real media look like? You, me or NBC? Who paid for this propaganza fundraiser and who owns the streets? Lane County Commissioner Peter Sorenson and other elected officials want a true healthy forest and safe communities, while Bush wants old growth timber for his timber wealthy donors.
A22 Bush Round Two
Who pays for our public services, streets and why doesn't the media tell the truth?

Amy Pincus Merwin
8/23/03

A22/Bush Round Two began as mild, August day driving along a North Portland bluff overlooking the Willamette River. I dropped my partner and daughter off at Columbia Park for the protest, while I followed a labyrinth of police tape and barricades through this middle-class neighborhood until I found the media parking area.

I walked the half-mile to the University of Portland's Chiles center where my press credentials for KBOO, KWVA and Community Cable Access of Lane County were accepted, but I was not allowed to bring in my audio or video gear. A media pool had been established for local press, thereby allowing only one television, one radio and one photographer with recording equipment to record the event and required them to give dubs to all other media who requested it.

Once I received my press pass, I trekked the half mile back to my car passing through the 'secure area' on Portsmouth St through which Bush's motorcade would pass. As I paused to catch my breath, I realized that Willamette St. had been barricaded on both sides of Portsmouth with 8' high chain link fences. Police were everywhere and the media with their satellite trucks were on one side of the Willamette St barricade while the protesters and the majority of the police were on the other. I couldn't resist pulling out my video camera and tape the police, the protesters, the media, and in the background the snipers on top of the Chiles Center.

My slow progress through the secure area apparently irritated the Portland police and suddenly I had a police 'escort' out of the area to the media side of the barricade. They angrily told me that I could not return to the Chiles Center, but I checked with the Portland policewomen holding a master list of all cleared media and because my name was on this list she said I could still return.

I put my gear into my car, and checked in with the KATU/ABC press pool to ensure that I would be able to dub the Dubya later and began to walk back to the Chiles Center. Another block down around the chain link fence I was stopped and nearly arrested for trying to enter the 'secure area' after I had been re-assured that I could re-enter. Of course, the policewoman with the master media list was no longer in sight.

I resigned myself to video from the media area, where I found a small nook between two other video camera people near the chain link fence. I was videoing through chain link fence facing protesters holding signs against the human barricade of multi-jurisdictional police in riot gear and helmets listening to the chants of "Bush Go Home" reach me across the antiseptic buffer of Willamette St. Suddenly I was yelled at by one of the videographers that I was in his way. I explained that I was a small person handholding a small video camera and that the street belonged to everyone. Then I felt strong hands on my arms and shoulders trying to yank me out of the way, while he yelled that I was in his shot. I looked around and began to video this fortyish, physically-built cameraperson. Zooming in on his credentials I read that he was Steve Redin from KGW/NBC Channel 8-Portland. I turned back to the street to try to film, and felt Redin jam his huge tripod and camera into my back and legs forcing me up against the chain link fence. I am a 5'2", 50-yr. old recent, cancer survivor. I began to yell that he was hurting me. I turned to video his credential and face, and he knocked my camera out of my hands. I turned to him again and videod as he began to pull on my media credentials and denigrate my independent, media producer status. I then repeatedly insisted that he had no right to touch me and that I did not give him permission to touch me.

When I turned my back and ignored him, a radio personality, Neil [Pendel?] from KEX Radio-Portland put a microphone in my face and told me that I was completely rude. In my experience, I have received Secret Service clearance five times, and covered dozens of events with lots of other press, including the White House Press Corps. I have ALWAYS just found a nook to film in, set up my gear, made room for other press, accommodated their needs to share hook-ups or sound or whatever. Yet, I had apparently stumbled into KGW's 'territory' (as if anyone on the street can claim territory) and therefore Redin felt confident in assaulting me to get his shot. Yet, I held my ground.

While this conflagration was occurring, I continued to video as Bush's motorcade, complete with motorcycles, police cars, limos, ambulances, sirens, more motorcycles, police cars, etc. zoomed by to the chants and angry roar of the several thousand protesters compressed behind the chain link fences across the street. If this is what democracy looks like, then I just experienced a Bush-style civic lesson.

I left KGW's street 'territory' and found myself face-to-face with Neil, the obnoxious radio personality, who began to harangue me again. I began to video his vituperative spewing and then he knocked my camera from my hands as well.

Throughout the next forty minutes I found another more welcoming spot where I could actually video between the chain link gate rather than through the links. I caught a little protest action from across the vast antiseptic Willamette street buffer but began to wonder, "How does the media portray the protest that they don't even get close to?" and then "If the media doesn't get close to the protestors, but shoots them from across two barricades from the 'secure' top of the satellite trucks or through two chain link fences as I was doing, then I was receiving another civic lesson about 'freedom of the press' and, more importantly, how was the protestors' message being communicated to the average person.

Realistically, media needs contact with the people making the news to communicate what the news is to the viewers. But instead what I heard being reported was inane assumptions drawn from chants and signs, such as the following: "You can see the different views represented here today by these two signs, "We support you!" (scrawled on cardboard and barely visible from four feet away) and "Impeach Bush!" (on a 6' x 4' cloth sheet with 2' high, painted letters). Of course the major media does not bother to mention that the only pro-Bush supporters are either the 520 donors inside paying $2, 000 for salmon and salad, or $10,000 for a picture with Dubya, or being outnumbered probably 100-to-one by anti-Bush protesters outside.

An example of true independent media was the fact that my partner, who is not media and who was enmeshed in the protest directly across the street from where I had been cordoned off with the media, had been phoning in reports about the protests, as I had, to KBOO 90.7 throughout the day. Apparently during the protests, protesters demanding that the major media, "Tell the truth" confronted some of their camerapeople.

Later after I was done dubbing Dubya's 26-minute remarks from KATU/ABC, KGW's Redin approached me again. I pulled out my camera and began to video as he backed me up against the tailgate of KATU's stepvan. I asked him point blank on tape if he admitted to trying to forcibly remove me from my camera position, if he physically assaulted me, and if he tried to knock my camera from my hands. He stared into the camera and told me, "You were in my shot. I would anything to get my shot." Of course, he had to do anything to get his shot because he had been confined outside the event. I had overheard major media reporters who were confined behind the chain link fence complaining that only one of their media outlet's reporters had been allowed to get inside the Bush event. How else would Redin's work stand out, in this brutally competitive environment, unless he pushed me out of the way, so he could get his 'prize-winning shot' through a chain link fence?

As Redin was denying his aggressive behavior, he began to follow me to my car. I told him I was leaving and asked him to let me go, but he again grabbed my camera and tried to yank it away from me. When I called him on his behavior he finally walked away. Relieved I got into my car and left.

I went to pick up my family at the park, as the busloads of donors were leaving the luncheon. When the Black Block saw the busload of donors coming down the street they moved out to block it. The horrified and frightened faces of some wealthy donors recoiled from the bus windows while other's pressed noses to the buses' windows in disbelief and disdain. That was when Portland's finest—Vera Katz's boys—moved in. And on cue, both sides complied with the script, yet only ten people were arrested. But I wonder, who will pay for their defense, and if convicted who will pay for their incarceration. And I wonder if the day's theme should be, "Whose streets are these anyway and who pays for them?"

Another theme should be: Who is paying for Vera's boys to protect the wealthy donors, who have just dropped a cool $1 million on the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign. Will some of that cash trickle down on Republican Congressional hopefuls Tim Phillips and Jim Zupancic? Or who's paying the cost for the use of the Portland and Redmond airports, the clearing of and control of the streets, and all the related costs of people taking time off from work to demonstrate their freedoms? Perhaps another theme to be considered, would be what rights does independent media have in comparison to the major, or in their minds 'real' media?

How can any Oregon taxpayer accept, any smidgen of cost burden of this excessive fundraising soiree considering the funding crisis in our state schools, and in providing social services for the poor, disabled, elderly, homeless and mentally ill? And considering the massive loss of jobs in Oregon and the economic strife our state is experiencing? And while we shamefully remain the No. 1 hungriest state in the nation?

Upon my return I interviewed Commissioner Peter Sorenson, who wrote a statement with other public officials from around the state who hold every level of public jurisdiction, in regard to Bush's Healthy Forest 'promotion' agenda. This statement questions how Bush's plan to cut old growth trees will protect the fire-threatened communities that our now unemployed forest workers live in. Sorenson and the others believe that we could create jobs by putting forest workers into the perimeter forests surrounding our vulnerable communities to clean up forest debris, dry brush, and dead wood, thereby reducing the flammable fire load. They also advocate creating a long-term plan for our future generations by leaving old growth intact, thinning forests to create healthier, diverse forests that will mature and nurture, all the while keeping our communities safe from fire. According to Commissioner Sorenson, we could be creating sustainable jobs, a healthy forest and protecting our communities. Why isn't Bush considering these ideas? Instead he cultivates Portland donors whose wealth is forest-based, and subsequently demands, "Get that legislation on my desk." That legislation is, of course,

that old growth timber (which is fire-resistant and not a threat to our forest perimeter communities) be cut to feed their insatiable mills.

And in the end, America really only wants to know... "Who wants to be a millionaire?"

phone: phone: 541-345-1633


Who dies? Who pays? Who profits? 23.Aug.2003 17:38

Tom

Good article.

Rhetorical questions. We already know the answers, and it isn't you and me that profit, but we do pay.

It should be abundantly clear by now that 1. You can't pass laws against greed and stupidity. 2. Violence pays only in the short run, and favors the most powerful-- that is, the most violent. So how to keep the world from blowing up or dissolving in acid rain?

It should also be obvious by this time that Jesus, Buddha and Lao-Tsu (to name only the most famous) stumbled on the answer a long time ago. Don't participate with these people.

If people chose to make their own clothing, grow gardens, work close to home, live simply, buy from trusted local merchants and local farms-- etc, etc,-- we've heard it all before-- then the corporations would have nothing to do, and would dry up and turn to dust. The chance of that happening in the general public is zero-- the human desire for novelty and the greed function will see to that, and the anxiety sub-routine can be called by any amateur PR man. So as a species, we are doomed to enslavement by fear and drugs and shiny new things.

But as individuals, we have a choice. Therein lies the hope-- that those who can see will lead those who are not yet seeing. Pretty clearly, we can't destroy villages to protect them or cut forests to prevent them from burning for very much longer. But there is still time

Thanks for writing this 23.Aug.2003 19:29

CatWoman

You've asked some important questions. You've also pointed out a bizarre phenomenon: the mercenary corporate media thugs. I mean, they've always lied to us, but recently they've taken to actually attacking us physically in the streets. I'm curious. The KGW guy...that wasn't that fucked up photographer with the doofy perma-grin and the shiny little sheriff star sticker on the side of his camera, was it? That guy fucking shoved me at a press conference once, then set his tri-pod on my foot. If he tries that again, he's gonna look pretty funny with such an expensive camera shoved all the way up his ass.

well 23.Aug.2003 21:51

corporate media

we've been iterfeared with by the indy's before. I know niel penlan he's not easily angered you probably commited several fouxpaus. telling the truth is a relative term. I hear this from activist media all the time it's not the corporate medias out to lie it's just that they don't tell only your perspective exclusivley. the cameraman, probably had his camera on the tripod leveled and you came along blocking the view. next time try standing next to them so your not in the shot. it's also likley that kgw was live at the time on that camera. which would explian why they didn't have the incoming shot and only showed the outgoing later in the day.

It was an interesting day, what? 23.Aug.2003 21:55

mesopotamian tar baby

I couldn't help but notice that the goon squads were better equipped than the troops in Iraq.

Who is the picture of? 23.Aug.2003 22:56

curious

There's no caption with the picture. Is that Steve Redin? If not, will someone please supply a picture of this gentleman?

To corporate media 24.Aug.2003 08:24

you guys ARE liars

Listen. Maybe you don't see it. Maybe you honestly think you're just out there trying to tell the truth. So I'm going to try to help you understand our perspective. First, do a little reading. There are any number of books out there detailing just how the corporate media twists and distorts the truth. More importantly, watch your own broadcasts. See? You might have really wanted to tell the truth, but see the changes your editors and sponsors made? How come? Pay attention next time.

Corporate media is mind control of the masses. You're a victim of it yourself -- see how you automatically assume Amy must have "committed some faux paux"? See how you assume that any "faux paux" could have justified that asshole physically attacking her? Where do you think you got that victim-blaming attitude from. Yep, the corporate media. If something happened to you, you must have deserved it.

My final advice to you, corporate, is to see a copy of the Portland Indy Video Collective's piece called "Li2U News." It shows, more clearly than anything I can say to you, why we say you are liars. Even (maybe especially) the local news. You are clearly caught, pants down lying. Watch that piece and then try to tell me how fair you are, how "it's not the corporate medias out to lie it's just that they don't tell only your perspective exclusivley." [sic]

Assault 24.Aug.2003 14:32

advocate

Do you have any desire to sue this KGW arsehole? Sounds like you should have evidence/witnesses that you were assaulted by him. Even if you were blocking his shot that wouldn't give him the right to claim self-defense or any other justification. I'm for it. Not to mention writing to his station with a complaint. I'll be happy to write one of those letters.

it happened to me on march 20th 24.Aug.2003 17:46

native

on march 20th, i was attacked by a hired goon from kgw tv. i intentionally blocked a camera, because they were attempting to exploit people who were not there for tv ratings. they were clearly asked several times not to film, but continued to attempt to do so. i put my hand in front of their lens, and some guy who was intrduced as their "bodyguard" physically attacked me. he shoved and pushed and hit several people before people began to accuse him of assault. when he realized everyone was aware that what he was doing was illegal, he backed off. no one -- including me -- had touched a kgw camera, they had merely made it clear they did not want to be filmed and then held their hands before the lens. last time i checked, not even the corporate media had any kind of constitutional right to beat people up for not wanting to be filmed.

what's this crap with the body guards, anyway? i've never been one to get physical with corporate news, but i'm about to start. first they lie to us, then they treat us like fair game in the streets. fuck that shit. they really do suck shit. i say we never, ever, ever let them get near us with their fucking cameras. don't touch em, violence is not my style. but fight back if attacked by their goons. they have no right.

Show the video? 25.Aug.2003 12:01

evidence, not rhetoric

I was glad to read that Amy Pincus Merwin turned on her camera at crucial points during the confrontations with the corporate media. Will these videos be shown? It would be especially enlightening to see the raw, unedited footage. When I have attended Videos from the Resistance showings, it has struck me that the high degree of editing and socio-political commentary makes most of the videos I've seen be less useful as evidence of what really happened in any given confrontation. Instead these videos become propoganda. Good propoganda, and propoganda that I am inclined to believe, but the lack of objectivity makes me question the absolute veracity of the filmmaker's version of events. Here we have a decent opportunity to see footage of an event as it happens rather than a prepared piece which may or may not have been manipulated in the editing. Amy, will you show the footage at an upcoming Videos from the Resistance showing?

I am the author and the person who was assaulted 25.Aug.2003 13:19

Amy Pincus Merwin inform@rio.com

The picture is of Steve Redlin, KGW's camerperson.

I am not lying. I didn't notice their coned-off area until I left the area. I have raw footage of Redlin knocking my camera from my hands, grabbing my arms and trying to physically move me, grabbing my press credentials (all while I tell him to not touch me) and later admitting to doing all of it. I will be fine with sharing my footage, when the time is appropriate.

I must ask the people who so fiercely defend KGW's behavior... Why do you believe that KGW had a right to cone-off the street for their exclusive shots? Why couldn't they raise their cameras up higher? Did you realize that they had two cameras focusedon the same shot, so they do have footage of Bush's entourage going as well as leaving?

Why do you think the mass media has more right to the street than independent media? Doesn't the street belong to everyone? I know I pay the taxes for that street. Do you think that mass media pays more taxes so therefore they should have the right to cone-off and claim territory on the street?

If they were really concerned about not having anyone block their sacred shot, they could have shot from on top of their satellite truck the way many other stations were doing and not had to deal with 'us rabble' in the street.

Face reality—a shot of a motorcade zooming by through a chain link fence is NOT an award winning shot. Nor is street-level footage through a chain link fence to a protest contained by another chain link fence a block away an award winning shot. What do you think Redlin's real motivation was in assaulting me? (It seems that I'm not the only person who he has been agressive with.)

I also have video of Neil Penlan screaming at me and grabbing my camera to direct the shot at his face and not at his credentials. Ironically, after I told him my name and showed him my credentials, he accused me of not being cooperative because I wouldn't spell my name for him. Maybe you don't really know Neil all that well and would like to see my footage of him?

Anyone who wants to contact KGW is welcome to do so.

Show the video? 25.Aug.2003 18:24

evidence, not rhetoric

I am looking forward to a showing of the footage. However, I am a little troubled by the phrase "when the time is appropriate". Can you expand on that? I'm new to the indymedia scene, so maybe there's something that I don't get, but what would constitute an "inappropriate" time to show this footage? Unfortunately, the qualifier "when the time is appropriate" sounds a lot like the tactics used by conservative administrations to delay the timely release of information to the public. Bush has used it in discussing information about detainees in the so-called "war on terror", I believe the first Bush used it in talking about the build-up to the first Iraq war, and Reagan used it in the initial stages of disclosure about Iran-Contra. I know you don't have the same motivations as these administrations, but the words you used raise similar concerns about the free access to information that could be productively shared. As this thread indicates, there is a difference of opinion about what transpired and what roles the various people played. Your film could shed some light on the debate.

videos of resistance 25.Aug.2003 22:50

?

I am a videographer with some edited pieces from recent protests, and actions. I would like to share them with the video resistance festival. Do you have more info. on how to do that and when the screenings will be? Please e-mail me at:
 journalista1@yahoo.com
or just post here on this thread. Thanks a lot.

WHOSE AIRWARVES? OUR AIRWAVES! 26.Aug.2003 07:03

Corporate Media Shill

All of you "alternative media types" here at Portland Indymedia and elswehere should understand one thing: We, the corporate media, OWN THE AIRWAVES, not you. You people are nothing more than riff-raff and street urchins who presume to tread upon the hallowed ground that WE, THE PROFESSIONAL CORPORATE MEDIA represent. WE ARE THE MEDIA--not you ragamuffin Anarcho-freaks with your camcorders and your unprofesionally produced videos.

Unlike you, we get paid mucho dinero in order to produced officially sanctioned versions of the "news" with high production values and a happy talk facade that Mainstream America loves.

Understand this fact, and get over it.

WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!

WHOSE MEDIA? OUR CORPORATE MEDIA!

WHOSE AIRWAVES? OUR AIRWAVES!

where are "witnesses" comments??? 26.Aug.2003 08:28

kurtkabang

listen, i hate corporate media. and i love kboo and indymedia. that's a straight fact. but why did indymedia delete out "witnesses" comments??? this person was reasoned and literate. and i happen to suspect that the actual events may have been more similar to "witnesses" comments than the kboo reporter's... anytime anyone paints themselves as completely free from blame in an argument, you can bet that person is bending the truth.

ironic. the point of the article was the prevention of free access of (all of) the press.

indymedia censorship! 26.Aug.2003 09:16

what?!

I can believe you guys deleted the comments of people who were there and had a different version of the events than the kboo reporter! What the hell?! There was nothing offensive in those posts and now they're gone. Talk about free speech!

Ignore the police provacateurs 26.Aug.2003 09:50

The last 3 commentators are police

The last 3 comments are obviously written by the police (or corp media?) and are only meant to provoke a response. My response is that we should ignore these ignorant police provacateurs. Let them eat their krispy kreams and die.

obviously written by police 26.Aug.2003 10:37

kurtkabang

hahahahahahahahaha! i've never been called a cop before.

especially not for maintaining a healthy skepticism about what i read, and for wanting several views to be presented. without being deleted for no reason.


for the guy/girl who thinks i'm a cop, well, i'm easy enough to find. send me an email. you can come visit me in my office. you can come see my garden and compost pile and i'll cook you some tasty vegan food and we'll talk about emma goldman.  kurtkabang2002@yahoo.com

and also for the guy/girl who thinks i'm a cop, you sound like an indymedia sheep (instead of believing everything on fox news, you believe everything on indymedia). prove to me you arent'! baaaa baaaa!

read the editorial policy 26.Aug.2003 11:08

indy volunteer

We've done our best to be responsive amidst all the trolling over the past week but the discussion of censorship is getting tired. Our editorial policy is clear. For those who were wondering what was "offensive" about the hidden posts read the editorial policy, point 9, "are obviously incorrect or misleading, including attempts to spread dis-information". kurkabang, we know you were mis-categorized with the rest, but the poster was right, the other comments are coming from the corporate media and hence, what is offensive about their posts are that they are lies, which should not be surprising to anyone. In the unlikely event we have judged any of the posters incorrectly, as we are only human and do make mistakes, they are welcome to come to an indymedia meeting to discuss the situation. But we have pretty strong evidence that this is deliberate dis-information from the corporate media involved. They are, of course, welcome to present their side of the story, but not under the guise of just being a "witness".

ok 26.Aug.2003 11:22

kurtkabang

thanks for the response, indy volunteer. i stand corrected.

that is, if you're truly an indy volunteer.... and not some convoluted cop/witness/person....



just kidding.

editorial decisions 26.Aug.2003 13:25

Evidence, not Rhetoric

You have "pretty strong evidence" that differing accounts of the confrontation came from the corporate media? Can you share your evidence? It is very easy to make the claim that your evidence is strong (just reference what Bush said in his build up to the war with Iraq - he continually claimed to have evidence of Iraq's weapons development, and continually delayed sharing his "evidence" - when they did share it, the "evidence" was at best circumstantial, and certainly not strong enough to lead the country into war, but by then so many people had been hearing the line about the administration's "evidence" against Iraq that lots of people had begun to believe it), but the claim of "pretty strong evidence" is empty without further explanation. What is "obviously incorrect or misleading" is subjective without evidence to back up either position. It seems that the editorial board has an inherent bias toward believing an independent media producer and assuming that any who disagree with that producer are "obviously incorrect". How is this different than how the corporate media portrays the administration's viewpoint as inherently correct and dissenting opinions as inherently (or "obviously") incorrect?

When the time is appropriate… 26.Aug.2003 21:13

Article author

I am meeting with an attorney about being physically assaulted by the KGW cameraperson and want to wait and see what he says about showing my video and how that might effect my case, should i acutally have one. So, when the attorney says the time is approriate, I'll show my footage.

I don't know anything about comments being edited.

In response to the person who says that I might have some blame in this incident, I respond ny saying that I inadvertently stepped into KGW's cone area. BUT as I said in my ariticle, if I had realized my error I might have still stepped into that area, as I would not respect their claim of the street. We all pay for and own the street. Otherwise, my error could be perceived as I did not leave when Steven Redlin told me to. I simply do not recognize his authority now or ever.

I am legitimate media: KBOO, KWVA/Eugene, CTV/Eugene. An irony is that I have worked as a news assignment editor for NBC/Eugene, and I was offered a news assignment editor position at KGW, which I never accpeted. I know corporate media from the inside out and I know exactly how much censorship and ridicule and manipulation goes on.

Censorship at Indymedia - A real problem 27.Aug.2003 12:28

Free Speech Lover

I like the idea of indymedia because it is suppossed to be an OPEN process not a closed or exclusionary one. "Indymedia volunteer" cites:

"editorial policy, point 9, "are obviously incorrect or misleading, including attempts to spread dis-information". ...comments are coming from the corporate media and hence, what is offensive about their posts are that they are lies, which should not be surprising to anyone."

It is frightening and dissapointing to me that indymedia is using arbitrary discretion to censor and exclude comments that are uncomfortable to them. Is that not EXACTLY what corporate media does?

Remember the old saying by Voltaire... "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it..." - That is the underlying spirit of "Freedom of Speech" - and now even indymedia is freely experimenting with the Freedom to Censor. This wouldn't be the first time. Some at indymedia, (and I'm not referring to the aforementioned indy volunteer) think of indymedia as their own pet project and forget that indymedia is suppossed to be an OPEN COMMUNITY MEDIA forum even if we don't like someone's perspective.

I personally am not afraid of what cops or corporate media have to say - and don't feel we have to censor them. Whatever they say can usually be refuted pretty easily. What are we so insecure about, that we have to delete their comments? I can understand removing racist sexist hate speech, death threats, and such... but to remove someone's comment with "they are lies" as an excuse, is, well, it totally reminds me of what Bush does to dismiss his detractors. Things aren't so black and white in the world and the complexity needs to be revealed thru debate - not stifled by censorship.

That said, article author, "Amy Merwin" says "I am legitimate media: KBOO, KWVA/Eugene, CTV/Eugene. ...I know corporate media from the inside out and I know exactly how much censorship and ridicule and manipulation goes on."

First of all, indymedia is based on the concept that we are ALL "legitimate" media and don't need credentials from some official broadcast outlet, to have legitimate access and be allowed to tell our stories. Do we need to see Amy Pincus Merwin's resume up here? One does not have to go to journalism school and have fancy degrees to "be your own media" as the indy slogan goes...

And from being involved in various ongoing indymedia projects - I can say that at times, I have directly experienced or witnessed much "censorship and ridicule and manipulation" - to my disappointment.

You really should consider changing a structure/process that allows one person to exercise arbitrary power and censorship. Isn't that the central anarchist crititque about hierarchies and the abuse of power?

I realize we are struggling to create "alternative" structure and values in a pretty fucked up racist sexist capitalist competitive context, and that its a real challenge to be truly "alternative" or even be significantly different, - but we must not let each other get away with the same behaviors we despise in the mainstream culture.

p.s - I too want to know when the hell is that video resistance screening is and how does can submit one's media to it. Thanks.

give me liberty or
die

fuck all this discussion of censorship 27.Aug.2003 16:43

cynic

If you don't like it, create your own site with no editorial policy and see how long it lasts before becoming over run with spammers and trolls. Many of us do not want to read an unmoderated site because it's a waste of our time. While I respect the right of anyone to say what they want to say, that is not the same thing as allowing someone to say whatever they want wherever they want. How do you think Voltaire would have reacted if I marched into his house and started insulting him? This is not a public space, unlike the street on which the article's events took place. Indymedia is not some unaccountable corporation. Go to the meeting, email, call, or do whatever if you really feel like you have been misjudged. If you want things to change than get involved.

Now, as this thread has been hijacked let's get back to the actual events. All I can say is that it is not illegally to block a camera or stand in front of someone on a public street. It is illegal to assault someone, even if they have been taunting you (although a jury might be less sympathetic). Frankly I find it odd that all of these people spamming this article just happened to see these events transpire. I did not, so for all I know a big crowd gathered around while this took place. Still, it seems pretty odd to me. Especially with the talk of body guards, past assaults, and lawsuits, that all of a sudden people come out of the woodwork and camp on this thread to state that it didn't happen. Am I the only one that finds this suspicious?

observer 27.Aug.2003 20:38

observation

this woman will never sue and you'll never see her film of the incident as it will clearly show that she's lying.

Let's see the video - AMY STRIKES AGAIN! 28.Aug.2003 03:12

Chris Rich - P'TOWN ptowncreative@hotmail.com

1st.
I know Amy, and I know Steve.
What Amy is doing is her normal style. Rude, abusive, and self-rightous. I too, have had my dealings with Amy. I'll get into that in a minute.
Steve Redlin is a decent media hound. He lives to shoot. He is also an award winning producer with many decades of experience. Look at his picture - it shows him as he is! A nice guy! He's a funny dude, and is one of the most gentle people I've met. He votes, and is active in his community. What many in the indy world don't understand is that there are more "friendlies" in the mainstream media than one would expect. They have a job to do, and they do it. I know this as a fact, because I have been indy to-the-bone for a decade. I still shoot for CNN, NBC, and the like. They tell me what they want, I go get it. I also work with marijuana reform groups to legalize marijuana, and end the drug war. Whether I am shooting asscraft for an anti-drug war spot, or asscraft for some terrifying propaganda, there are rules of conduct for any media people.
#1 - Never jump in someone's shot!
#2 - Never interrupt an interview
#3 - Never jump in someone's shot!
An indy shooter that's any good, knows how to get along, and be courtious. Let the protesters do their job.
We all get our shots.
Now, about Amy. In attempts to work with her regarding marijuana politics (supposed to be on the same side - right?) she was verbally abusive, demeaning, demanding, manipulative, sexually biased, and rude - actually mean, to my friends & me. It is my personal opinion that she is insane. I also tongue lashed the director that had me drive 90 miles (one-way) to this hell I have described.
Amy wrote that Steve was outside the gate, so he was set up somewhere trying to get his shot. He didn't get any special treatment.
Based on my experience, Amy is just the type of person to walk right into the frame, and then start a fight about why she won't move, or why they should move somewhere else.
I also read that Amy was pulling a feed from one of the trucks. The truck rdoesn't have to do that. They privately own that equipment. They were hooking her up with a clean feed. That's pretty nice of the media. Did she pay them anything for the use of the technology? They paid a shit-load of cash for that that truck and equipment. She got free access.

So I say, POST THE VIDEO. I will be amazed if Steve started this mess. I will also be saddened if it's true. I will still maintain my personal opinion about Amy, regardless.

I believe in producing and creating positive media. I also have to pay the bills. I didn't pay the bills with anything you'll see below. (windows media)

Who do you love who smokes pot?
 http://www.ptowninc.com/movies/j_t.wmv

America's Cannabis Superstore!
 http://www.ptowninc.com/movies/TheHempStore56k.wmv

How the media reported:
 http://www.ptowninc.com/movies/FOX10pm56k.wmv

How the media reported #2:
 http://www.ptowninc.com/movies/CBS11pm56k.wmv

A press conference I set up:
 http://www.voterpower.org/media/vpKPTV7_1356k.wmv

A KGW report:
 http://www.voterpower.org/media/leveque7_0156k.wmv
(dunno if Steve shot this one?)


to cynic 28.Aug.2003 08:43

kurtkabang

i dunno, cynic, your comment sounds an awful lot like "love it or leave it."

i never claimed to be there. i just said that amy portrayed herself as a saint and steve as an asshole. in my life experience, it generally takes two to start a fight. not always. but usually. and while something may be legally right, it isn't always morally right. while legal, standing in front of someone's camera after they have staked out a space early is laaaame, corporate media or not.

and all i want is for other sides of the story to be allowed to be posted if they don't agree. that's not spamming or trolling. that's free speech and debate.

fuck talking about censorhip? 28.Aug.2003 10:44

free speech lover

I guess you said it all in your title, cynic. Indymedia isn't "public space"? according to you? In Seattle during WTO - indymedia was about walking in off the street and being able to tell your story. The terms of free expression don't change simply cause we're on the internet. We didn't have to worry about middle management. We started indymedia because we didn't like the corporate filter. We didn't trade that one in for an "indymedia filter" but a truly democratic forum.

You say
"If you don't like it, create your own site with no editorial policy and see how long it lasts before becoming over run with spammers and trolls."

If you want your own project to control - start YOUR own website. This IS suppossed to be a community project. d

You say "Many of us do not want to read an unmoderated site because it's a waste of our time."

There is a difference between moderating and censoring. That's the point I was making in my previous post.

when the hell is that goddamed video resistance festival? I got some good shit from the Portland anti-Bush protest. Ya'll speak yer mind. THAT is what indymedia is about.

live free or die


Honest Hardworking Sensitive Professional Newsman - Steve Redlin 28.Aug.2003 11:59

L. Hennigan

Steve Redlin is one of the most honest, sincere and hardworking men I have had the pleasure of knowing. His sensitivity to others has made his many news stories touch the heart of the viewer and bring them to life. His style is professional all the way and reflect the high standards he holds for himself and expects for others. Steve Redlin is a man I greatly admire. Amy should know better than to jump into another cameraman's shot or to behave unprofessionally during shooting. Never jump into someone's shot. Never interfer or interupt and interview. Never slander another. Amy, let us all see the video. As owner of a production company I have had the pleasure of Steve's professional advise on several projects and value his advise highly. He has my respect and I believe him incapable of the aligations. Amy prove your story.

love it or leave it? 28.Aug.2003 12:13

cynic

No, I'm just sick of this happening during every major event. Maybe you all don't remember what this site was like 6 months ago. Readers were expressing their disgust and claiming that they would not return to the site because of all the garbage people had to wade through to get at information they were interested in. Now, every time their is a major event, spammers and trolls disrupt as many discussions as possible, first, by just attacking people, making false claims, harassing and abusing readers, etc, and then by crying censorship on every thread when their posts are hidden. What is sad is that the rest of the community starts picking it up and runs with it. Look at how many threads recently have degenerated into talks of censorship. It keeps the community arguing with one another rather than focusing on the issues. Am I alone in seeing this as counter productive?

Blocking the corporate media might be "lame" or "rude" but it is not illegal; assaulting someone is. And Chris, I hate to break this to you, but if you are taking footage for the corporate media you are working against the very causes you claim to support. The corporate media routinely and voluntarily turns their footage over to the police. All that footage you've taken of people smoking pot, how do you think those people feel about that video being on file in various police departments? Since you claim to know both people, why don't you have Steve post his video? If Amy is indeed talking to a lawyer they may very well instruct her not to release her footage. But Steve can do what he wants with his footage (assuming his bosses let him, of course), and if these claims are false, surely he has video of it. It seems to be that that's what people want to see.

free speech lover, why don't you go to the video page and use the emails there to contact people about video?

Steve Redlin is the next coming of Christ 28.Aug.2003 13:11

not the corporate media

Steve Redlin has saved babies from fire and puppies from drowning and kittens from starvation. He has never had any physical contact with anyone in his life and if he did assault someone it was only because they violated the CORPORATE MEDIA CODE OF CONDUCT which carries the penalty of assault. So why don't you "indypendent" reporters just shut up and let us do our jobs. You have no place at an event that we are covering. If we block off the street, we control it. Who's streets, the corporate media's streets, isn't that how it goes? We didn't pass around a memo or an email telling people to come to this story and defend Steve. We just happened to be reading indymedia looking for stories... I mean, laughing at all of you, and saw the story of events that we were all witness to. We all know Steve intimately and know he would never do anything like this because he has never done anything like that to us, the corporate media... I mean, other independent witnesses and upstanding citizens. It's not like the corporate media... I mean, concerned bystanders, have a history of character assassination, misleading people, distorting the truth, not reporting important details, failing to investigate even the simplest matters, spending the bulk of news broadcasts on sports, weather, and "human interest stories", and generally lacking any journalistic credibility, responsibility, or accountability.

We're just trying to give you a friendly warning:

NEVER JUMP INTO SOMEONE'S SHOT.
NEVER INTERFER OR INTERUPT AND INTERVIEW.
NEVER JUMP INTO SOMEONE'S SHOT.
NEVER SLANDER ANOTHER.
NEVER JUMP IN SOMEONE'S SHOT!
NEVER INTERRUPT AN INTERVIEW
NEVER JUMP IN SOMEONE'S SHOT!
SIEG HEIL!
SIEG HEIL!
SIEG HEIL!

Leave reporting to the professionals.
- Your friendly neighborhood corporate media
KNOW YOUR PLACE, SHUT YOUR FACE!
KNOW YOUR PLACE, SHUT YOUR FACE!

Not the corporate media? 28.Aug.2003 13:48

Chris Rich ptowncreative@hotmail.com

Just proof that activism drives some to insanity!
Many indy "whacko's", not the hard working rational ones, are what prevent activists from being taken seriously.
Oh well.

BTW, Steve very well may be the second coming of Christ. One never knows.. :) It certainly isn't the rude and abusive "activists" out there. Shit, they SHOULD be working for the fed's. They sure have the attitude, and lack of compassion. Certainly no respect.

No way to win a war!

-chris


emerging taciturn 28.Aug.2003 15:53

weeping jesus llabeck@easystreet.com

the kgw guy wasn't shooting anything, indeed the kboo woman's conduct disrupted any possibility of a shot of anything not handheld. She was so filled w/her own historonics I doubt she got much of value with her handheld. Which, by the way, if it was knocked to the ground should bear some evidence of the plummet. But as one writer notes this is blossoming into a discussion of censorship, evidently an ongoing problem at indymedia. Could all of the racket on the topic be indicitive of a censorship problem?

there is a problem 28.Aug.2003 16:31

concerned

"Could all of the racket on the topic be indicative of a censorship problem"
No, it's indicative of a disruption problem. For some reason (I can't imagine why, with legal threats looming) a couple of people are anxious to keep people from talking about anything but the issues raised by this article. So first they try spamming the thread, and when those posts are removed, they resort to yelling censorship. It's a simple strategy; dishonest, but simple, and we've seen it time and again on portland indymedia.

Chris, I don't respect those who take money to work against progressive causes, regardless of whether it is just to "pay the bills" or whether they are a "nice guy" deep down inside. I also think it's hilarious that you accused someone of being a "whacko" for parroting your own words. Funny stuff... Keep it up guys... Let everyone know just how the corporate media behaves.

couple of things 29.Aug.2003 07:25

videista

To the person above who wanted to know how to show their stuff with videos from the resistance: contact the pdx video collective at  videoresistance@ziplip.com and tell them what you have.

To the people who think Amy "deserved" to be roughed up because she got in the way, and especially those of you trying to say whatta great guy the perpetrator was, pull your heads out. Corporate goons have no right to manhandle us in the streets. Part of their job is to keep anyone else from getting the story, so they can twist it to their own ends. That's what this freak was doing. And by the way, I don't care what a card he is at the corporate media barbecues, he's an asshole.

To the cops: Keep trying. You're obviously trying to exploit what you perceive as a weakness here, but it's not gonna work.

wanna believe 29.Aug.2003 12:32

ms. informed

I wanna believe you amy but am having a hard time with this story. being assaulted is big news and after you were assaulted by that camera guy you didn't get witness names? you didnt interview people around you that saw it to add to your report? you didn't press charges right away - yeah, like the cops could care, so i guess thats ok. i do count on indymedia to give methe straight truth and you are all making me wonder. i mean there is lots of shit flying here and the only defense is they lie because they don't agree with how you saidit happened.

Half this site is COINTELPRO 29.Aug.2003 12:34

..

And you guys are far from being slick. But then what type of person becomes a fed or cop? And this will always be our advantage - fascism appeals to the ignorant, the followers, the stupid, the cowardly - the dogs of the world, the group hunters of the world.

Anarchism appeals to the creative, the artists, the intelligent - the independent thinkers of the world.

Hey Fatherland Security: You're not fooling anyone that matters - because you'll never have what it takes.

Li2U News Video 25.Feb.2004 23:02

vftr

This video is now available online:


No Case 02.Jul.2004 13:09

Eltear eltearpdx@netscape.net

Thought y'all would like to know that Amy Pinkus Merwin's lawsuit against the photog and KGW-TV (and whooever else she felt like blaming for her bad, bad day) has been dropped.

THERE WAS NO CASE. THERE WAS NO ASSAULT.

In fact, Ms. Merwin's version of what happened that sad day in August -- published here -- is a lie. At least about her interaction with the people from 8, anyway. Hmm, makes me wonder about the truthfulness of ANYTHING this person has to say in this article or ANYTIME.

With that in mind, maybe at least take the poor guy's photo off the headline page?