Lannan Foundation abruptly bans, and cancels the US premiere of, John Pilger’s film “The War You Don’t See” (which, therefore, you won’t see)

—— Forwarded Message
From: john pilger
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 10:46:03 +0100 (BST)

Dear Noam

I am writing you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, ‘The War You Don’t See’, and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of ‘The War You Don’t See’, in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website

The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

What is deeply disturbing about the ban is that it happened so suddenly and inexplicably: 48 hours before David Barsamian and I were both due to depart for Santa Fe I received a brief email with a ‘sorry for the inconvenience’ from a Lannan official who had been telling me just a few days earlier what a ‘great honour’ it was to have the US premiere of my film at Lannan, with myself in attendance.

I urge you to visit the Lannan website Good people like Michael Ratner, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald are shown as participants in discussion about freedom of speech. I am there, too, but my name is the only one with a line through it with the word, ‘Cancelled’.

Neither David Barsamian nor I have been given a word of explanation. All my messages to Lannan have gone unanswered; my calls calls are not returned; my flights were cancelled summarily. At the urging of the New Mexican newspaper, Patrick Lannan has issued a one-sentence statement offering his regrets to the Lannan-supporting ‘community’ in Santa Fe. Again, he gives no reason for the ban.

There is a compelling symbol of our extraordinary times in all of this. A rich and powerful individual and organisation, espousing freedom of speech, has moved ruthlessly and unaccountably to crush it.

With warm regards

John Pilger

I spoke to the manager of the Santa Fe cinea where ‘The War You Don’t See’ was to be screened. He received a late-night call. Again, no reason. He had hours to cancel the advertising in The New Mexican.

4 replies on “Lannan Foundation abruptly bans, and cancels the US premiere of, John Pilger’s film “The War You Don’t See” (which, therefore, you won’t see)”

Yes, indeed, That’s corrected. It was an error in the original source, thanks for spotting.

TO: Mr. Pilger,
CC: Wikileaks, Lannan Fnd, Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian, Mr. Miller et al

Re: Lannan Foundation Censorship of The War You Don’t See documentary: Root Cause Problem Solving: Scientific Journalism Campaign:

I read about the e-mail you received from Barbara Ventrello (the Lannon foundation’s Cultural Freedom Special Projects director) saying that Patrick Lannan had called from California to instruct them to cancel your events.

I don’t know why your documentary is being censored by Mr. Lannan. I was curious whether your documentary negligently or consciously avoided including two fundamental root cause issues in the promotion of war (in which the media play a primary role); but which your documentary did not address at all.
In 2010 the Radical Honesty culture in South Africa, an offshoot of the Radical Honesty culture founded by Dr. Brad Blanton, former Green Independent candidate for US congress in 2004 and 2006, filed a ‘direct access’ writ of Habeus Mentem application to the SA Constitutional Court (Radical Honesty SA v. 88 SANEF Media Publications and their Editors (CCT 06-11)) which addresses both these censored issues ignored by your War You Don’t See media censorship documentary. The direct application to the SA Constitutional Court was dismissed within less than 8 hours by the entire bench of the Constitutional Court as being ‘not in the interests of justice’. It argued on behalf of a Scientific Journalism Campaign; establishing a Scientific Journalism Media Publication rating system, which could be monitored by anonymous Media Inspectors, similar to Restaurant and Hotel Inspectors.

“To issue an advisory ruling, with expert witness input from Wikileaks and/or OpenLeaks ‘scientific journalism’ experts, in support of a clear classification system of ‘media corporations’; similar to Hotel Star Ratings and Smoking Label warnings. For example: (a) Three Star Media Corporations practice unbiased and politically incorrect scientific journalism; (b) Two Star media corporations practice left or right ideological propaganda when it contradicts scientific journalism truths, and withhold from their readers access to the original documents they are reporting their bias upon; (c) One Star gutter yellow smear propaganda journalism, which has no interest whatsoever in scientific truthful reporting, only profiting from spreading gossip and malice. All media corporations are required to publish their ‘scientific journalism’ hierarchical star status, in a designated space on their front page, clarifying their Star Status, and what that start status means regarding the scientific journalism or not quality of factual information being sold to the reader.”

Continued in PDF:



Lara Johnstone
Radical Honesty SA

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