I Write to an Aussie Talk Show Host About Obama, He Gets “Inspired,” Writes a Column in “The Australian” (Mentioning Me), and Then…

…you may be as surprised as I was about what he said and how he said it…or maybe not!

Last week I wrote about an interview I heard on Radio Australia hosted by Phillip Adams.  His guest was Bruce Shapiro, a contributing editor for The Nation. I wrote about this interview in a post on August 1 and included a link to the audio.

During the conversation the talked turned to Obama both host and guest were awed by the turnout for Obama in Berlin.  Since I think Adams runs a great, informative show, I felt it my duty to inform him of the circumstances–that there were rock bands, brats and beer offered to anybody who showed up to see Obama.

Adams wrote back to me, asking if for some more information, and I provided a link to the Gateway Pundit’s post which included a link to a report in a German paper, the Berlin Morgenposten. He was curious about the “hijacked” crowd (his term, not mine):

G’day Gloria…haven’t heard about this…a rock concert? a hi-jacked crowd? .more info?

Then the “fun” began with this follow-up email (unedited for typos):

> Dear Gloria.I write a couple of weekly coumns for The Australian, our national
> newspaper.here’s one that will go in early next week – inspired by YOU!
Thought it might amuse..

(“The Australian” is a Murdoch paper and Australia’s only national newspaper.)

Adams had attached an advance copy of his article.  My full name was included and, at my request, he told the website editors to remove it prior to publication.  (They didn’t…the piece went up with my full name, misspelled, but there nonetheless. A couple of emails later, the correction had been made and only my first name appears toward the end of the piece.)

I wrote back to take issue with a couple of things in the piece, knowing full well that Adams was within his rights to say what he wanted.  I never “accused” Obama of anything, nor did I say the crowd was “left over” from a rock concert, as Adams wrote. (Unfortunately, I wrote to Adams the first time using the form on his page, so I don’t have a copy.  But the gist of it was simply that I was providing him with an “update” to the facts surrounding Obama’s speech, something that he might not have known about…which, he didn’t.)  But, I went on the record by replying:

Also, did I really “accuse” him if, indeed, he actually has used rock bands as
part of his events, not only in Berlin, but also in Oregon in May?…I just
wanted to apprise you of the staging in case you weren’t aware of it! (And the
food sure sounded good in Berlin, having almost overdosed on brats when I
visited there years ago!).  The question will always be, of course, whether the
crowds were there for Obama alone, the bands, alone, or a combination of both (and in what proportion if the latter!)

Thanks for revising my name if not the term “accuse.”   Because, if I’m ferreted out as being an Obama basher because of being labeled an “accuser” (I am a critic, but based on reasoning and observation, not obsession with any other politician), I really do have some fears the way things have been going here lately…I would like to refer visitors to my site to your piece but I’d be hesitant to do so with my full name “in lights”!

So, here is the tease for article as it appears in August 5 edition of The Australian:

In his advance copy to me, Adams called his piece “BARACK AND ROLL” but the print/web version has different title and there have been a few minor revisions.

Here are some key passages:

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Funding In-Depth, Investigative Reporting as a “Charitable Matter”??

It’s being talked about, according to Bruce Shapiro…on Radio Australia!!

I listen every *morning via shortwave radio to “Late Night Live” with Phllip Adams which features “ideas and opinions from around the world.” It is the best talk radio I have ever listened to.  Some reasons why from part of Adams’ ABC bio:

Phillip Adams is a prolific and sometimes controversial broadcaster, writer and film-maker. As presenter of Late Night Live, he has interviewed thousands of the world’s most influential politicians, historians, archaeologists, novelists, theologians, economists, philosophers and sundry conversationalists. ‘It’s a privilege to present Late Night Live,’ he says. ‘No radio program, anywhere on earth, casts a wider net.’ Phillip’s laid-back approach has become a trade-mark for Late Night Live, as has his humour, curiosity, his ability to flesh out rare insights from his guests, and his amazing store of anecdotal knowledge.

Largely self-educated (he left school in his mid-teens) he’s the author of over 20 books, including The Unspeakable Adams, Adams Versus God, Talkback, Retreat From Tolerance and A Billion Voices. His writing has appeared in many of Australia’s most influential publications and he has been a contributor to The Times and The Financial Times in London, and to the New York Times.

And that’s just part of his resume…

The guest on July 29 was Bruce Shapiro. Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and correspondent for Salon as well as the Executive Director of the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma at the University of Washington.

Shapiro began his career on the fertile journalistic and political terrain of Chicago in the 1970s, and was a founding editor of the radical magazine Haymarket. He’s been the director of The Nation Institute’s Supreme Court Watch, a civil liberties watchdog; teaches investigative journalism at Yale University and, as co-convenor of the Dart Foundation Fellowship in Trauma and Journalism, is leading efforts to reform news reporting on violence.

He also co-authored a book with Jesse Jackson entitled “Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America’s Future” in 2001 and, in 2003, published “Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America.”

Shapiro spent the full hour with Adams. If you listen to the show (Link to audio here), you’ll hear some of the usual Obama talk that we’re used.  See below for details…

Eventually, however,  the talk turned to the state of journalism with Adams noting the demise of the L. A. Times weekly book review magazine just this past week.  It was second only to the New York TImes book review in importance and now it’s gone.

This is where the conversation really got interesting.  The  talk turned to the future of high-quality journalism (Minute 36:00 on the audio).   Shapiro said that it’s been a “terrible couple of years” in the news business.  Many of Shapiro’s friend in the news business have left or are in “profound anxiety” about the possibility of losing their jobs. Debt, technology, and lowered ad revenues have created a period of “huge change” in the industry.

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