Flashbacks: an embedded reporter goes over to the “dark side,” dumb things John Silber once said about gay people, and the virtual house call

5 years ago
April 18, 2003 | Dan Kennedy discussed what he thought was “perhaps the most astounding media story to come out" of the Iraq War.
“This past Sunday, Jules Crittenden, the Boston Herald reporter embedded with the Army’s Third Infantry Division, described how he ‘went over to the dark side.’ While rolling through Baghdad, Crittenden called out the positions of three Iraqi soldiers aiming rocket-propelled grenades at the vulnerable, ‘lightly armored’ vehicle he was riding in so that an American gunner could kill them. ‘I saw one man’s body splatter as the large caliber bullets ripped it up,’ Crittenden wrote. ‘The man behind him appeared to be rising, and was cut down by repeated bursts.’

“Crittenden then added: ‘...Now that I have assisted in the deaths of three fellow human beings in the war I was sent to cover, I’m sure there are some people who will question my ethics, my objectivity, etc...Screw them, they weren’t there. But they are welcome to join me next time if they care to test their professionalism.’ " Read Full Article

10 years ago
April 17, 1998 | Ellen Barry wrote about a potentially controversial Children’s Hospital program where patients are sent home with video cameras to report on the causes of their conditions.
“The home movies, when they came in, contained a wealth of visual information—rooms full of plants, which are grade-A mold producers; dusty construction sites outside kids’ windows—the kind of things you’d have to visit to see. There’s also information that might not come out in an old-style house call; footage of a smoke-filled kitchen; of medication overused or wrongly used; of hostility to doctors and isolation from peers...In one shot, an adult hand holding a cigarette reaches across the lens to turn the camera off. From the podium, watching the doctors watch the tapes, is Dr. Michael Rich. ce:office" />

“Rich’s project, the Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment program, or VIA, may change the way doctors treat asthma...[I]t also has the potential to go much further. ‘We used this methodology with a relatively tame subject, but we want to apply it to much more controversial issues,’ Rich says. Video intervention could be used not only to monitor the lives of kids with chronic illnesses such as sickle-cell disease, diabetes, and HIV, but also to achieve ‘complex medical interventions’ in cases that involve substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and violence in the home. It could bring the child’s experience to center stage.”

20 years ago
April 15, 1988 | Daniel Pearl reported on the quest to expand Boston University’s anti-discrimination policy to include the phrase “sexual orientation.”

“Boston University Students have staked out the next battleground in their continuing war with the administration over sexual politics: BU’s 119-year-old anti-discrimination policy, which some feel should be amended to include the phrase ‘sexual orientation.’ But BU President John Silber indicated during an address to students last week that the administration is no more receptive to that policy change than it was to putting condom machines in BU’s bathrooms.

“When Jeff Nickel of the BU Lesbian/Gay Alliance asked whether the university would include ‘sexual orientation’ in its anti-discrimination protections, Silber replied, ‘Now suppose someone’s sexual orientation is toward child molestation. What happens then?’ The new language, he continued, would permit ‘all forms of perversion and sex with animals and children and anything else. We’re not going to do that.’ Silber also said he does not believe that homosexuality is a ‘normative way of life’ and would not want incoming students to think the practice is desirable.”

25 years ago
April 19, 1983 | During a party given in his wife’s honor, Alan Lupo managed to alienate most everybody there.

“I am a Bermuda Triangle conversationalist. I start talking, and people begin disappearing. ‘I have to jog,’ one young woman insisted.

“ ‘But its dark and dangerous out there,’ I cautioned.

“ ‘Oh, that’s no problem,’ she said, backing toward the door. ‘Lots of runners out, lots of joggers, no sir, no problem at all, nice to meet you...'

“Moments later, my new conversation partner announced to me in what appeared to be a prepared statement, ‘I must get some wine.’ She fled to a corner, where she began drinking and talking to anyone who was there...I thought I spotted her glancing warily in my direction from time to time.”

Plus: Twenty years ago, reporter Sean Flynn investigated the controversy surrounding an inflammatory student newspaper at Dartmouth College. Read the article in full here.

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