Forgive us our Press Passes . . .

In the late Seventies, after a PSA jet crashed in theSan Diegoarea, Time magazine sent a writer from theirLos Angelesbureau, Doug Brew, down toSan Diegoto cover that news event.  When he approached the wreck area, there was a police perimeter line and he was stopped and challenged.  He showed the officer a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office Press Pass saying he was a reporter for the Santa Monica Independent Journal Newspapers in Santa Monica and the officer said “You’re OK, boy, you can go on through.” 

The fellow had dual citizenship in the world of Journalism.  He was the editor of the weekly Santa Monica Independent Journal Newspapers and simultaneously functioned as a reporter for Time Magazine’s Los Angeles bureau on a “stringer” basis.  Without a Press Pass he would have been in a difficult dilemma but with it, he had no problems about getting the story for Time Magazine.  Good thing he had the Press Pass.

Initially Doug Brew had been reluctant to do all the bureaucratic work necessary to get Press Passes for the news staff at the weekly Independent Journal Newspapers in Santa Monica, but one day, after being challenged by a Santa Monica Police Department officer, while riding his bicycle to the IJ office, he relented and agreed it might be good to have the Press Passes “just in case.”  The other fellow on the news department staff had been very enthusiastic about getting the Press Passes and made the suggestion about getting them. 

After the PSA incident, Brew was glad that he had been convinced to make the effort to secure the Press Passes and verbally expressed that sentiment to a co-worker.  Little did he know that would provide the led for a column on the Internets about 35 years later.

“♫Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end . . . ♫”

The process included being fingerprinted and photographed and having the editor’s application submitted by the Publisher.

In 1973, there were three young men who worked for the IJ newspapers.  One went on to become one of the people listed toward the top of the Playboy masthead; Brew went on to become Time Magazine’s White House correspondent during the Reagan administration.  The third one went on to International Fame as the World’s Laziest Journalist. 

According to Gavin Aronsen’s first hand account of the events (for the <I>Mother Jones</I> website[Click this link:  <a href =http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/journalists-arrested-occupy-oakland>http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/journalists-arrested-occupy-oakland</a&gt;) that occurred in Oakland on Saturday night, a woman reporter with a Press Pass issued by the San Francisco Police Department was detained by Oakland Police Department.  The OPD pointed out that she was in Oakland not Frisco before arresting her.

Initial reports state that there were six reporters who were taken to various jail facilities in the Alameda County area as part of the mass arrests in Oakland. 

Subsequently the reporters were released.

Apparently the principle of “Interline Courtesy” among various Police agencies has changed since the Seventies.

Has Oakland Police Department unilaterally adopted theLas Vegasphilosophy of “What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” or is there something else more ominous and disturbing going on all across theUSA, that could form the basis for a trend-spotting story?

If William L. Shirer, who wrote “Berlin Diary,” were still alive this writer would try to contact him and see if he could provide any insights or make any comparisons to events he witnessed years ago to the events that happened Saturday night, but we can’t do that.   He is dead and so we will let it go at that.

The reader is invited to formulate whatever “jump to conclusions” analysis he (or she) wants to accompany this report.

Won’t Uncle Rushbo, and other talk show hosts of that ilk, try to whip up a hysterical level of <I>schadenfreude</I> concerning the trials and tribulations of the reporters and then goad the rubes into voting for a Conservative?

To be continued . . .

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