Waiting for News - December 20, 2000
Ah, the press. There's nothing quite like the rush one gets from media coverage, and I'll admit I'm not immune to the ego-gratifying pleasure of seeing my name in print. I've dealt with the media before on a few projects, so it's not new to me, and of course I'm on the other side of the lens all the time, but the undeniable thrill is still there when a reporter beckons. An interview? Why, I'd be delighted. Can I get you anything? Coffee? A sandwich? A hot towel? Please, do shoot me from my good side.
But I have to say I've never personally experienced anything like what has happened in the past week. It's as if Citizens for Truth and the "MacArthur Park" documentary didn't exist one day, and then the next day every reporter in the nation swooped down on us. We actually weren't trying to start a media storm right now (it's more valuable closer to the theatrical release of the film), but nobody can truly control that kind of weather. This website was discovered by the tech community, and it was like suddenly everyone cared about the Gates assassination again. Somehow if people hear there's a movie being made about a subject, that subject instantly becomes more interesting. Citizens for Truth has existed for a year, but now that people find out there's a doc being made about them, their website traffic has apparently increased tenfold.
The storm started with an article on ZDNet and then spread to points far and wide. Pretty soon the administrator of this website is telling producer Brian Clark and I that we're getting hits from article links as far away as Russia, China, Portugal, The Netherlands, Italy and Japan. And the Germans just can't stop writing about "MacArthur Park." Can anyone translate these? I'd love to know what they're saying about us.
I'm talking today to Entertainment Weekly. Apparently they're going to print something January 6 (although you never know).
All this coverage is good for Citizens for Truth, I suppose, but I think it's coming at a bad time. Not to tell tales out of school or anything, but it seems to me that the latest press releases about David James leaving and Mark Anderson stepping in as Interim Director of Action don't quite convey the turmoil that is going on right now with the group. David James called me two days ago and said once again that "something major" is in the works on his end. I know that David was frustrated with certain inner politics of the CfT organization. I still can't get Debra to tell me anything for the record about what's happening. It's always worrisome to me when a grass-roots group adopts a bunker mentality--especially a group that advocates openness on the part of public agencies.
Oh yeah--and there's some interesting stuff happening with Mark Anderson, the new Interim Director of Action. He sent me an e-mail with a URL to an archived post to a newsgroup that seems to have been written on Dec. 2, 1999, by one "AH." Alek Hidell? Mark is being aided in his investigative efforts by a guy who identifies himself as "Johnny Rotten." I'll get into this very intriguing subject in my diary entry one week from today. Until then...
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