Legendary Journalist Robert Fisk Tonight at Chapman

One of our era’s greatest and bravest journalists, Robert Fisk of the UK, is coming to speak at Chapman University tonight (Tuesday 9/23.)  He is so much more knowledgable about the Middle East, and gets so much more in-depth info than most journalists we have here, it’s not funny.  He was nearly beat to death by an Afghan mob back in 2002 on account of being a Westerner;  fortunately some mullah intervened.  And he is so hated by the right that “fisking” an essay or article (meaning finding fault with it sentence by sentence) has become a standard expression.  Here’s an excerpt from his Wikipedia which shows why I’m excited to see him in person:

Fisk is the world’s most-decorated foreign correspondent,[3] having received numerous awards including the British Press AwardsInternational Journalist of the Year award seven times. Fisk speaks good vernacular Arabic, and is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden (three times between 1994 and 1997).[4]

In the British journalistic tradition of the foreign correspondent, Fisk has developed a personal analysis of the foreign affairs that he covers and presents them in that light, often with trenchant criticism of the US and British governments and their Middle East allies. His view of journalism is that it must “challenge authority — all authority — especially so when governments and politicians take us to war”, and he quotes with approval the Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “There is a misconception that journalists can be objective … What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centres of power.”[5] Speaking of the historical basis for the conflicts he has covered Fisk said, “After the allied victory of 1918, at the end of my father’s war, the victors divided up the lands of their former enemies. In the space of just seventeen months, they created the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and most of the Middle East. And I have spent my entire career — in Belfast and Sarajevo, in Beirut and Baghdad — watching the people within those borders burn.”

Here’s the press release as it came across the metaphorical “TRANSOM,” as silly Jubal would say:

September 23, 2008, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Chapman University, Irvine Lecture Hall

The Age of the Warrior

Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk reports on bin Laden, Bush and conflicts in the Middle East

Dr. Robert Fisk is Britain’s most highly decorated foreign correspondent who has received, among his many awards, the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times. He has reported on the Middle East for the past 25 years and is currently the Beirut correspondent for the London Independent. His reports are always incisive, focusing on the reasons behind the big events.

Robert Fisk is the author of In Time of War: Ireland, Ulster, and the Price of Neutrality, 1939-1945, Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon, The Great
War for Civilisation: the Conquest of the Middle East
, and most recently Age of the Warrior: Selected Essays.

Hear about Robert Fisk’s interviews with Osama bin Laden, the crisis in Lebanon, impediments to peace in Israel/Palestine and Iraq, and many details you seldom glean from the media in America. Don’t miss this rare chance to hear Robert Fisk.

Sponsored by: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Program in Peace Studies

Parking for events is available in the Fred L. Barrera Parking Structure on Sycamore Street and the Lastinger Parking Structure on Walnut Avenue.

Permits costing $2 for two hours and $4 for four hours may be purchased at each structure.

Free and open to the public.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.