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Helen Thomas &
Jonathan Adelstein

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Helen Thomas National Conference for Media Reform Jonathan Adelstein
Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas
& FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein

at NCMR / National Conference on Media Reform

On the eve of Dr Martin Luther King's birthday celebration, NCMR /
The National Conference for Media Reform rolled into Memphis, TN - and RFS! was in the house.  NCMR gathers the most prominent journalists, activists, academics, film, tv, and radio producers, civil rights advocates, educators, and concerned citizens to address the state of the media, propose solutions, network to form active collaborations to reform the state of corporate dominated mainstream media, and expand the possibilities and penetration of alternative and independent media.

No mainstream journalist active today deserves more praise for afflicting the comfortable than White House press corp veteran, Helen Thomas.  To cite only a few of her accomplishments in over 50 years as a journalist, she was White House bureau chief for United Press International, has covered every president since Kennedy, and was the first woman to serve as an officer of the National Press Club.

Ms Thomas discusses the implications of the subpoena power being used to compel journalists to testify on behalf of the prosecution, as has just occurred with independent journalist Sarah Olson being pressured to testify in a court martial against Lt Ehren Watada - the only US officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq citing his obligations to refuse unlawful orders under internation al law.

I doubt that you have ever heard Helen Thomas speak as candidly and personally as she does here with Liz Wolf Spada, whose son Josh Wolf, an independent journalist, is being held in jail for contempt for defending our rights to a free press by refusing to divulge his sources.  Josh is approaching a record 168 days of "corecive detainment" for refusal to comply with a grand jury's demand to produce the raw footage of a demonstration that he covered.

RFS! was privileged to record and participate in this interview with Ms Thomas arranged by Free Speech TV and Free Voice Media Alliance.  Thanks to Sue Salinger and Kevin Price - interviewer and technical director, respectively - for their permissions.

The behavior of the Republican majority of the FCC over the last several years is beneath contempt.  In spite of their mendacity and manipulation, Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein have brought the ATT / Bell South merger to an historic conclusion - ATT has made a two year commitment to Net Neutrality that sets a precedent that can serve as a basis upon which legislation can be drafted in the new congress to insure net neutrality nationally.

Thanks to Brian Kahn for his permission to roll videotape while he interviewed Commisioner Adelstein for his program, Home Ground on Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings, MT.

Visit the NCMR / National Conference for Media Reform website for a full list of the speakers but Amy Goodman, Jesse Jackson, Michal McChesney, Michael Copps, Bernie Sanders, Gina Davis, Danny Glover, and Dennis Kucinich are only a few of those present to address a record convention turnout of 3500.

As part of the press corp and as a member of the video pool which insured that the dozens of workshops were documented as well as all the featured speakers, RFS! will present a selection of these panels and speakers in the coming weeks and months.  Stay tuned!

Click here for NCMR
Click here for the
wikipedia entry on Helen Thomas
Click here for the
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
Click here for
Free Speech TV
Click here for the
Free Voice
Media Alliance

Click here for
Home Grown Radio
Click here for
Josh Wolf
Click here for
Lt Ehren Watada
Click here for
Sarah Olson's appearance on
Democracy Now!