Avi Lewis and me


a crazy good week so far. I just learned that two law review articles I wrote last fall will be published this spring, one on Bono, cause-marketing and the First Amendment to be published by Pepperdine Law School; and the second on Blackwater and immigration privatization will be published by the St. Thomas Law Review (spring ’08), as part of the LatCrit XII symposium.

Funny thing is five minutes before the email binged with the news from St. Thomas Law Review, i got off the phone with Jeremy Young who told me he and Avi Lewis (Canadian documentarian and political reporter) saw the article on the internet (thanks expressO), liked it, and wanted to talk to me for a segment they are putting together for the new news magazine show, “Frontline-USA” for the Al-Jazeera network (yep). Freaked steph and me out, must say.

Even though I have seen and read about the independent and high level political reporting of Al-Jazeera over the years (I taught about al-jazeera for an international communications class), tough to deny the emotional response coming from America’s post-911 corporate media culture. Sure had a funny feeling hearing that al-jazeera wants to talk to me.

At first i thought th initial email from jeremy young could have been spam; i emailed it to steph at her office and she wrote back “what da *;^*”

but we decided I should do it because their story idea about Blackwater and privatization of the border is important and coincides with my own research on the privatization of immigration control. So we figured that millions of people around the planet might see it (yikes, but at least our friends in Hungary and London could see it), except everyone in the US, of course, where it al-jazeera is nowhere to be found on cable.

come on first amendment people, time to get on this!

To see the segment, you’ll have to go to the al-jazeera-english web site. the show airs, beginning this Friday at 8pm (i think).

Next, we did some digging on Avi Lewis, who anchors the show. Avi is a celebrated left-documentarian, reporter and producer from Canada, having done some fantastic work, including a documentary “The Take” on the recovered factory movement in Argentina, with his wife, Naomi Klein (a book hero of mine since No Logo).

Quickly, trepidation turned to excitement. “Avi gonna be in da house.” what a kick.

Avi’s grandfather, Moshe Lewis (Losz), was a leading member of the Jewish Bund, who left Poland for Montreal in the early 1920s. So hey, my granfather fled the pogroms in Russia, went to Paris to paint and then NYC. close enough. If Avi could do Al-Jazeera, so could I.

(more later…)
PS although i ended up on the cutting room floor for this piece it was still a grand experience. More important, the frontline usa segment on the border (3/16) turned out to be a strong piece on privatization of border control. check it out on You-Tube.

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