Sporting scars from his run-in in Kabul, Robert Fisk spoke for about 35 minutes to a packed house at Beyond Baroque this past Saturday (4/13/2002). The recording is of his prepared speech.
audio: MP3 at 22.2 mebibytes
A lively discussion was held after his speech. During the discussion, Fisk criticized US reporters on their coverage of the Middle East. He noted an "osmotic relation" between US press and the US government, mentioning that the first place US reporters go when they arrive in the Middle East is to the US Embassy where they are briefed by the CIA.
When asked about the lethality of being a war correspondent, Fisk affirmed that covering war is becoming more dangerous. However, he noted US reporters over-dressing their part and mentioned one reporter he met who carried a rifle and said he was going to kill Osama.
He also mentioned a recent CNN instruction to their reporters to start referring to Palestine settlements as "neighborhoods".
A tense moment arose during the discussion when a Chicano man talked about the parallels between US occupation of Native lands with the situation in Israel. When he didn't verbalize a question fast enough, the crowd turned against him with some physical threats verbalized. When asked for comments on the parallels, Fisk declined to answer saying he had read some books on the US-Mexico war but did not know enough to comment.
beyond baroque is an artist space/gallery/performance space in Venice California.
A lot of good political and cultural work seems to be coming from out of there as of late