Letters for the Week of March 28, 2012. 

Readers sound off on Dan Richards, Le Cheval, and livestreamers.

Page 2 of 4

Jeff Hoffman, Oakland

"See No Evil?," News, 3/14

The Power of Trust

Livestreaming is a tool and many things can be done with it. Some of the more professional streamers have chosen to conduct themselves as journalists. These streamers do not allow their choices to be controlled by the people whose actions they are streaming. These streamers whose work is of professional journalistic quality may use the words "transparent," "truthful," or the newly coined "SunshineBloc."

Spencer Mills (@Oakfosho), Pirate, Lexica, TimPool (@TimCast), and some others conduct themselves as professional journalists. This means they will show the most interesting or appropriate thing happening in front of the camera. A journalist does make choices. However, most journalists will film a crime taking place in front of their camera. Tim Pool was filming when people ran up in front of his camera and let air out of the police car tires. Tim did not chase them down to film them — they chose to do this in front of his camera. It was their choice to be on camera.

There is no reason that any journalist should be complicit in anyone's crime or wrongdoing — whether the wrongdoing is a protester throwing a bottle or a police officer beating a protester. A journalist is there to journal, to record what is happening.

Yes, a journalist makes choices. A livestreamer makes many editorial choices on the fly. The best livestreamers seek out the most important things to show, according to their educated, experienced judgment. There are reasons the best livestreamers have worldwide followings.

Trust is a big word. We trust news reporters if we feel they are telling the truth. Those livestreamers dedicated to truth have earned the trust of people worldwide.

Sue Basko, Hollywood


Oakfosho, Pirate, and the rest of the livestreamers are heroes in my book. I watch them as often as possible so that I can see what's actually happening, as opposed to what the (almost always absent) mainstream media tells us happened via the wholesale reprinting of OPD or City of Oakland press releases. While I've seen some questionable protester behavior — mostly in the form of ill-advised inflammatory language — the livestreamers have documented an Augean stable's worth of outrageous and illegal police activity that otherwise would have been swept under the carpet.

For better or worse, there can no longer be an expectation of privacy at a mass protest, and it's important to note that the police also have a full array of camera equipment at their disposal — and are not shy about using it. Ultimately, protesters must ask themselves who they trust more to present a full and comprehensive view of their actions: sympathetic and transparent livestreamers, or police determined to crack down on dissent to the full extent of the law and beyond?

John Seal, Oakland

"Hayashi's House Raises Ethical Questions," News, 3/14

Slow News Week?

I don't see anything wrong in this arrangement. The two appear to be paying a fair rent, under circumstances, no law broken. Let them live in peace.

Tony Santos, former mayor of San Leandro

"Who Else Has to Pay," Music, 3/14

A Perverse World

I think this a great example of local journalism, presenting a local issue that has broad impact and that would otherwise be invisible to the public. It is a perverse world where music cops are shaking down micro venues for local musicians in the name of protecting artistic property rights. Does The Beatles' estate really need a nickel every time some street musician plays "Hey Jude"? Is this the way our society should support the music "industry"? Thanks to the Express for covering stories like these.

Gen Fujioka, Berkeley

"Apple's Dirty Money," Raising the Bar, 3/7

Responsibility vs. Revenue

There are "conflict mineral" provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent payments to warlords in the Democratic Republic of Congo where minerals for cell phones are mined. But no protections for the Chinese workers. Some folks would say that it is the responsibility of the Chinese government to protect their workers. What do you say to those who think that "maximizing profit" is the only job of a corporate CEO?

Lisa Lindsley, Washington, DC

"A New Lease for Le Cheval," News, 3/7

Hungry — and Fast

I was informed that Le Cheval was back in its old restaurant by a co-worker at around 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon, and by 1:45, I was eating my favorite dish, the Claypot.

Jeremy Kahn, Oakland

"Fire the Cougar-Killer," Seven Days, 3/7

In Defense of Dan Richards

You state that Dan Richards is the most "tone-deaf" public official in California. How wrong you are. That title goes to Governor Jerry Brown, hands down!

Dan Richards did nothing illegal, nothing immoral, nothing unethical, nothing wrong. He didn't even get the hunt for free, he got it at a discounted price, which is available to the general public. Saying that Dan Richards must follow California hunting laws in another state is like saying a chief of police in California must obey California speed limits no matter where he goes. California laws end at California borders, or is that too difficult of a concept for you? Oregon has no sales tax, so when you go to Oregon and go to a store to purchase something, tell them you are from California and that you want to pay the California sales tax on your purchase.


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