"Anything you'll write won't be the truth" | Inhuman Swill | William Shunn

"Anything you'll write won't be the truth"

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If you haven't yet, read British writer Elena Lappin's distressing Guardian account of being detained at LAX as a foreign reporter without a proper journalist visa:

Welcome to America Before I could approach to observe them [examining the luggage], the officer who had originally referred me to his supervisor was unzipping my suitcase and rummaging inside. For the first time, I raised my voice: "How dare you touch my private things?"

"How dare you treat an American officer with disrespect?" he shouted back, indignantly. "Believe me, we have treated you with much more respect than other people. You should go to places like Iran, you'd see a big difference." The irony is that it is only "countries like Iran" (for example, Cuba, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe) that have a visa requirement for journalists. It is unheard of in open societies, and, in spite of now being enforced in the US, is still so obscure that most journalists are not familiar with it. Thirteen foreign journalists were detained and deported from the US last year, 12 of them from LAX....

During my surreal interlude at LAX, I told the officer taking my fingerprints that I would be writing about it all. "No doubt," he snorted. "And anything you'll write won't be the truth."  [full story]

Why is it that I find this as easy to believe as I do appalling?

(Thanks to Geoff Landis for the link.)

[ original post:  http://shunn.livejournal.com/145245.html ]

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on June 24, 2004 5:46 PM.

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