Letter published in 3/28/96 Boulder Weekly (it took
6 weeks to get them to publish it.)
How hypocritical for Colorado Daily reporter Lisa
Marshall to lament "Student activism at all-time low"
on the 1/23 front page, and for editor Clint Talbott to write
on 1/26 that Lisa is working to include a "broader array
of voices on our opinion page." When yours truly (voted "Best
Activist" by Boulder Daily Camera readers) told a CU "diversity"
meeting last May 1st that CU should "democratize", Lisa
told Clint that I had "disrupted" the meeting and he
fired me as Daily columnist, denying me any hearing. I wrote "As
the Millennium Turns" for 4 years.
The co-chair of the meeting, Assistant Professor
Esteban Flores, wrote the Daily that he "much appreciated
Mr. Ravitz's comments at the May 1st meeting." Professor
Marty Walter, who jumped to his feet at the meeting (all 6'5"
of him) and began by saying "Yes, we need more democracy!",
later said "If anyone disrupted the meeting it was me."
Published letters ran 18-2 for rehiring me, the two negatives
being from an employee each of the City and the University, institutional
targets of my column.
Small-minded control freaks like Lisa and Clint,
in media and politics, are the main reason people shrink from
"activism". The hopeful bumper sticker "If the
people lead, the leaders will follow" rarely pans out. Usually,
if the people lead, the leaders attack them.
Clint breaks his word to Daily readers. He wrote:
"I have not `censored' Evan Ravitz...and hope he uses the
open forum [letters] to express his views". Yet Clint (or
subordinates) held back for months three of the four letters I've
since written, and removed the key sentence -where I invite people
to take "action"- from the fourth! I had to call the
Daily publisher to get each one published at all. The same kinds
of things happen to many other letter-writers. When Clint learned
from Mr. Flores and others that I didn't disrupt anything, he
said he'd talk with me and reconsider, but after putting me off
all summer, he reneged. "This conversation is terminated"
Clint told me on the phone.
After failing to talk to Terminator, I finally called
Lisa (who I'd never spoken to) and asked why she started this.
She said she thought I "wasn't very objective" at the
meeting. Lisa doesn't understand that her job as reporter is to
be objective, but mine as columnist was to express opinions. I
was at the meeting to participate, and not to write about it,
anyway. Even reporters are free to "be active" at meetings
they're not reporting on.
I've never met Lisa. But I know Clint too well already.
He told me himself that he's a "misanthrope", which
my Webster's defines as "A person who hates or distrusts
all mankind." Clint lords it over the community he's cut
himself off from: he rarely returns calls at work, and has an
unlisted number at home, unlike those of us who care for and respond
to our readers. I regularly give out my number: 440-6838.
Law 'n order man Clint called Matt Franzen a "moronic
vandal" when Matt in '92 removed the County-erected "safety"
gate which prevented cyclists headed to 4-Mile Canyon from using
the Creek Path to avoid the Canyon Highway. The County's gate
forced cyclists like Cheryl Amet onto the highway, where she was
killed by a dozing driver. This, not vandalism, prompted the local
legend "Torchmaster busts County-gate". Clint
now proves a more real danger to law by tacitly advocating vigilante
action in an October '95 editorial, which attorney Patricia Mayne
wrote to admonish him for.
Other letters have pointed out his paper's prejudice
against "transients" and "rainbows". Here's
Clint's September Freudian slip: "Sam Archibald taught journalism
law and ethics (ha, ha) to 75 people at once." You do have
funny ethics, Mr. Talbott.
The Daily, supposedly run by its employees, should
consider a new editor. In any case, they should make the editor
accountable for his or her words and actions. Democratize, even.