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Around Town: 'The other side' depends on point of view

January 22, 2014|By Anita S. Brenner

The mainstream media can be fickle. The media covers what it wants to cover and when it does, the duration can be painfully short, hence the phrase, “15 minutes of fame.”

It’s easy to feel ignored. The American mainstream media does not cover every book, project or film.

I learned this a few years ago, when we helped to promote “In the Shadow of Greatness,” a nonprofit book written by members of the Naval Academy Class of 2002. Sure, we made the L.A. Times Bestseller list, made it onto Fox & Friends and CSPAN, and had readings at independent bookstores from San Diego to San Francisco, including Vroman’s and Flintridge Bookstore.

The Barnes & Noble at the Grove, however, didn’t want us.

“Not our demographic,” said their scheduler.

“What is your demographic?” I asked.

“Anything on Bravo TV,” she replied, “The Kardashians. Reality TV...”

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That’s why, on one level, I can understand Patrick Stewart’s frustration that his 2012 indie film, “It's better to jump,” about the Middle East, told from the Palestinian perspective, has not gained national coverage.

Two weeks ago, in a front-page Valley Sun story, Stewart explained, “There is no counterpoint (presented in the film) — this is the view of the Palestinians. The other side of the story is told every day.”

In response, La Cañadan (and fellow Thursday Club board member) Barbara Self, in a letter to the editor, gently pointed out a flaw in Stewart’s argument. She wrote: “I have no issue with his documentary that exclusively tells the Palestinian side but only with his statement that ‘the other side of the story is told every day.’ His assertion that Israel's side is reported every day is unfounded. This statement leads the readers to believe the Palestinian side is rarely reported. Watch CNN, read the N.Y. Times or other news outlets and decide for yourself.”

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