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February 1995, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 11:54:30 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Marilyn Robinson of the University of Texas Law School complains about the
name of my employer.  You'll have to take up the name issue with David
Horowitz, president of the outfit. His number is 310-843-3699 I did speak on
the phone to Ray Browne and told him the same. I believe the incorporation
papers are in order. The general counsel is John Howard, Esq. at the same
number, if you want to make your request directly. As far as the Lexis/Nexis
listings, my employer has no control over what the papers choose to cover.
Rest assured that with 25 employees in Los Angeles and myself and an intern
here in Washington, the PBS issue is just a small part of the activity, and
COMINT one publication out of many. The Center publishes "Heterodoxy" a
monthly journal exposing polticial correctness, "The Defender" a bi-monthly
dedicated to free speech issues and the work of the Indidvidual Rights
Foundation, a sister organization, "The Report Card" which covers education
controversies. The American Forum in Hollywood brings together liberals and
conservatives in the entertainment industry to debate topics like "Dan Quayle
Was Right." The Center also publishes David Horowitz's monographs such as
"Liberal Racism." For a complete listing of publications, call 310-843-3699
and ask for Joe Piechowski. He'll be happy to send you sample copies.
I don't understand what any of this organizational stuff has to do with PBS,
nor Ms. Robinson's interest in same. I believe the First Amendment protects
criticism of PBS and don't find her quote particularly shocking. I'll even go
further and say that I sometimes watch and enjoy The Simpsons. Is that a
crime? A thought crime? I would think that rather than stoop to
guilt-by-association tactics, one would analyze what was contained in the
testimony given to Congress. The testimony is public record through the
Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee.
My entire career has been in and around public television since my film "Who
Shall Live and Who Shall Die?" was shown on WNET and other PBS stations in
1982. Ms. Robinson can download Vincent Canby's favorable New York Times
review from Lexis/Nexis if she is interested. I have a Master of Fine Arts
and a PhD in Film and Television from UCLA, Peter Wollen was my dissertation
advisor. I taught at UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles. A
book version of "Masterpiece Theatre and the Politics of Quality" is coming
out shortly from Scarecrow Press. Two edited volumes, one about the NEA/NEH
called "The National Endowments: A Critical Symposium" and one about PBS
called "Public Broadcasting and the Public Trust" are coming out soon from
Second Thoughts Press. I am Washington Editor for COMINT, a quarterly journal
which covers public broadcasting and the Endowments. I have published  in
both scholarly journals like "Studies in Popular Culture" and the "Historical
Journal of Film, Radio and Television" and newspapers like the New York Times
and Boston Globe.
I don't like the implied smear that I'm misrepresenting myself and would like
an apology for the insult, as soon as possible. It was rude, uncivil, and
uncalled for.  I only list my affiliation because the netiquette suggested
it. The facts of the financial and other scandals in public broadcasting
speak for themselves. Also, I don't sign on every day, so I certainly didn't
get the email referred to and find the sneering tone insulting. The ugly
undertone of legalistic intimidation is perhaps the most easily recognized
marker of today's academic bullies.
Yours sincerely,
Laurence Jarvik
Center for the Study of Popular Culture