Errors are under-rated in journalism. Minor errors are not journalism’s cancer–willful distortions are. Minor errors are more interesting and more complex. For when minor errors are corrected, they are often so fruitfully corrected that it winds up being a good thing you made the error to begin with.
My father, a journalist, has many Southern influenced truisms, including: “Too many good stories are ruined by over-verification.”
True. But not this time!
In my May 15 post titled Sheila Lewis Ealey: Voice of the Broken, Voice of the Unbroken, I referred to a journalistic tradition called an “ambush” which is when reporters, usually with cameras, surprise an antagonistic source and film them running, or ducking into a car, or putting a hand over the camera lens, etc. And we take pleasure from seeing the guilty person flee. (It also greatly enhances the sense that they are guilty.)
A reader named Jen wrote this extremely interesting (and gracious) correction to our comments page, detailing just how much Senator Richard Pan despises the democratic process, and just how much activists, and even constituents did, over a period of fourteen months, prior to Vaxxed’s visit/ambush, to try to communicate with him.
Thank you Jen! (I don’t know your last name, at “press” time.)
Pan is not in his right mind. About that we all agree. But actually, technically, any non scheduled interview, no matter the pre-history, is still an “ambush.”
But I think the ambush has its place, and this was definitely it.
Bravo! Well said. We are near a tipping point, The truth is set to cascade.
I’d like to offer one tiny correction: Del, Andy, and Polly didn’t ambush Senator Pan. There were a group of Sacramento activists accompanying them in the Capitol that day, including four of Pan’s constituents. Pan and his staff knew we’d be coming. For two weeks we had been communicating with his office in attempt to get an appointment. We were using the online appointment setting system (which I assume is broken as I’ve been using it in attempts at getting an appointment for 14 months now, have yet to have an appointment request honored). There was a letter written requesting an appointment that was signed by almost 50 of his district constituents (I know, I wrote the letter), which was emailed AND hand delivered the week before (this in conjunction to phone call requests for an appointment as well). Pan knew we were coming, it wasn’t an ambush, yet he still ran. We were granted appointments with several other legislators; some appointments made in advance, some granted on the spot. A Sacramento activist team visited EVERY SINGLE Senate and Assembleypersons office, gave them a Vaxxed postcard and invited them to the movie (they were in session the week Vaxxed was playing in Sacramento). We also told every office that Del, Andy, and Polly would be in the building and might stop by. Some gracious representatives welcomed the entire team with open arms, Senators Anderson and Moorlach for example. Some representatives granted on the spot meetings without prior notice; Assemblymen Gomez for instance. Some, who were very PRO SB277 granted us an audience; Ben Allen’s COS for instance. In case you’re not familiar, Ben Allen is the co-author of SB277. We were told over and over that day at the Capitol that the implementation of the bill is a nightmare and that constituents and schools are drowning the staffers with phone callsand emails; office after office told us that Pan has been unwilling to respond to their requests for guidance. So you see, it’s not just Wakefield and Co. Pan’s running from, it’s not just his constituents he’s running from, it’s also his colleagues.
He is a man without integrity. He doesn’t answer to the people, he answers to special interests. And he is the perfect example of all that’s wrong in our political system.
FYI- in 14 months not one of us from this activism movement has been granted an appointment. NOT ONE! Last August I went to his office with a Nun and a Pastor, whom are both very upset about this law. As a thank you for our desperate attempt to speak with Pan we were escorted to the Capitol Police office. This is how Pan and his staff operate. Truth and integrity are not currencies this man operates with.
Here is a different “Pan Ran” video from the last one published here: