Friday, July 06, 2007

Celebrating the Fourth

Friday, July 6, 2007

So we did something pretty gutsy this week, I thought, doing a program on the CIA's "Family Jewels" on the Fourth of July. We worried a lot about it beforehand and went back and forth about whether it was appropriate or not. In the end, we decided to go ahead because, after all, what's more American than the right to dissent, even though it's easy to duck and self-censor in this period in our history when our leaders are trying to label dissent as un-patriotic.

So Patrick Paczerski, our crackshot intern who produced the program, lined up a set of three interesting guests: a Latin American historian who recited a lintany of our transgressions south of the border, veteran newsman Daniel Shorr who reported on the CIA's misdeeds back in the 70's and took a heavy hit as one of the reporters on Nixon's hit list, and a British political philosopher who reminded us that love of country means warts and all. Just as we had anticipated, we got a call from someone who chided us for doing a program critical of America on the Fourth of July. We should have been talking about our war heroes instead, he said. I wanted to say in response that Daniel Shorr is one of my war heroes. But Dan spoke so well for himself. When I asked him how he, as an American who had once been threatened with jail for his investigative journalism, was celebrating the Fourth of July, he said, " ...Just like every other good American!"

Here on Earth began its first broadcast on the Fourth of July weekend four years ago. Happy Birthday, America. Happy Birthday, Here on Earth. May you both live up to your greatest promise. I'm proud to be an American.

1 comment:

Bev said...


Remeber 1979, when you lived in Versailles, KY? I was the one (along with my friend KDR) who left the donut on your front porch. We had tickets to the Dylan concert but skipped it in favor of a party at your house. I remember nothing of that night, except the donut, delivered in the middle of the night weeks later.

For years to come, KDR and I would ask each other what ever happened to Jean? We each have our autographed copy of South from Rome: Il Mezzogiorno.

Well, as if the donut weren't enough, I'm tagging you for a meme.
Sorry for everything.