Friday, May 03, 2013

How stupid are Larry Harnisch and the Los Angeles Times (false 'facts,' lies and plagiarism?)

The answer to the question?  Harnisch is plenty damn stupid while the Times just hopes you're the stupid idiot.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Times posted Larry Harnisch's fact-challenged piece entitled "The Jean Seberg Affair Revisted" which a friend at the paper e-mailed at the time.

I never read it.  As longtime readers of this site know, I knew Jean Seberg.  I've defended her repeatedly here.  (See, among others "Spying and Seberg" and "Steve Rendall and other idiots lie about Jean Seberg.") I also knew Joyce Haber (less well) and her former husband Douglas S. Cramer.  Douglas is still around, Jean and Joyce are dead.

Last night, I was on the phone with the friend who e-mailed the story back in 2009.  I had returned a call about another issue (a story the paper's working on that they needed _____ for and I said I'd make a call and arrange it -- which I still will do) and then we were just shooting the breeze when the 2009 story came up.  Did I ever read it?  The paper had really tried to be honest, so did I ever read it?

No.  And had forgotten it which would have been for the best.

But I got off the phone and searched my e-mails for it and pulled it up.

No, the paper was not honest.

I called my friend back about 30 minutes later and I asked if anyone fact checked the crap?

In the hours since last night's loud discussion, the friend has e-mailed Duncan Campbell's idiotic article for the Guardian in 2002 apparently thinking that because I know Duncan I won't call it out -- and maybe the Los Angeles Times would skate on this (I said on the phone last night that I would be writing about this here).  Not a chance.

Here's the Idiot Larry:

Haber's column, syndicated to about 100 papers, was soon picked up by Newsweek, which printed Seberg's name. She reacted with anguish. Her husband wrote a piece for a French magazine expressing outrage.

Here's Duncan playing the fool:

Haber's column was syndicated across the US in more than 100 newspapers. It was not long before Newsweek picked it up and printed Seberg's name.

That is blatantly false.  I guess when I'm dead, everyone will breathe a sigh of relief because no one will be left who gives a damn about the facts of this story.

But I'm not dead yet.

Newsweek didn't carry syndicated content.  It certainly wouldn't carry a column that appeared "in more than 100 newspapers."  What would be the point?  It had already been in 100 newspapers.

But what's really sad for Duncy and Larry is that we can do a timeline.  And what appears to have happened is that Duncan mis-reported and Larry plagiarized him.   I don't see how you can read Duncan's article -- especially with the mistakes in it -- then see Larry repeating the same (years later and without any credit to Duncan) and it just be by chance.

But to the timeline.

Joyce's item ran May 19, 1970.

So Newsweek ran Joyce's column, did it?

That ran in over 100 newspapers?


That doesn't seem like a smart business decision to me.

Especially when we're talking about the August 24, 1970 issue of Newsweek.

Three months later, Newsweek's running Joyce's column?

In what world does that make sense?

Can Duncan and his copyist explain how that happens?

Because in the world most of us live in, it wouldn't happen.

And it didn't.

The Los Angeles Times was not sued by Romain Gary.  He would have sued the paper if this were a story by Joyce that originated with the Times.

Let's look at what Joyce wrote:

Let us call her Miss A, because she's the current "A" topic of chatter among the "ins" of international show business circles.  She is beautiful and she is blonde.
Miss A came to Hollywood some years ago with the tantalizing flavor of a basket of fresh-picked berries.  The critics picked at her acting debut, and in time, a handsome European picked her for his wife.  After they married, Miss A lived in semi-retirement from the U.S. movie scene.  But recently she burst forth as the star of a multimillion dollar musical.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Miss A was pursuing a number of free-spirited causes, among them the black revolution.  She lived what she believed which raised a few Establishment eyebrows: Not because her escorts were often blacks, but because they were black nationalists.  And now, according to all those really "in" international sources, Topic A is the baby Miss A is expecting and its father.  Papa's said to be a rather prominent Black Panther. 

Now let's go to the offending passage in Newsweek:

She and French author Romain Gary, 56, are reportedly about to remarry even though the baby Jean expects in October is by another man -- a black activist she met in California.

As I've stated before, Jean didn't take the Joyce thing seriously.  She saw her as "a silly gossip columnist."  That's a direct quote from Jean and it's from after she lost the baby.

Joyce didn't print Jean's name.

It was a blind item.  The lunatic that is Larry thinks it was obvious it was Jean.  No.  Not even in the industry.  Jean's profile wasn't high enough for everyone to say, "Jean Seberg!" 

Jean didn't excuse Edward Behr.

Why is it I can type that name but others can't?

Not only did Newsweek not reprint Joyce's column, but they wrote a piece of their own about Jean.  Edward Behr was the writer.

Jean was convinced, and I agree with her, for Edward Behr in Paris to have access to the same rumor meant CIA involvement.

So it's interesting that the Mighty Wurlitzer -- remember that term exists about various 'journalists' on the CIA payroll -- has buried Edward Behr's name and repeatedly gone after Joyce.

Repeating, Jean knew who was responsible.  The Newsweek reporter Edward Behr.

Unlike Jean, I also blame editor Kermit Lasner.

He pleaded a scooter accident.  Why did he let that run in Newsweek?  He had a scooter accident.  Can't remember if it was before or after he had lunch.  But he had a scooter accident and wasn't thinking clearly.


The CIA planted a lot of items in Newsweek over the years.

I would hate to think poor little Kermit or someone else had a scooter accident every time one of those turned up.  Their knees would be so skinned up they probably couldn't ever wear shorts or spend a day at the beach.

Joyce's blind item didn't mean much to Jean.  It was a blind item that could have been about several actresses -- Jane Fonda included but I'm actually thinking about 3 women who faded and one who has run from her past background but it could have been her back then.  And that's if you overlook, for example, Mia Farrow and others you could easily confuse the item about.  (Strip away the musical, the column doesn't make clear that it's been filmed -- it's Paint Your Wagon from 1969.  The item could be referring to an upcoming, just signed for film.  Also you're asking that people know every detail of a celebrity life at a time when you had movie magazines, yes, but you didn't have Entertainment Tonight, E! or anything like that -- you had movie magazines and you had tabloids.  It would be very easy for someone to think, for example, that it was Mia who was in England and married to conductor Andre Previn.)

Jean was in Paris and being harassed.  Mail opened, clicks on the phone (indicating a wire tap) and much more.  None of which made her pregnancy any easier.

The child that she'd lose was born August 24th.  Not in May after Joyce's blind item.  It was born after Newsweek's Edward Behr's item announcing that though, she and Romain told the world he was the father of her baby, in fact, she'd had an affair and the father was a Black Panther.  (The father was actually a Mexican activist.)

Newsweek.  Which was in all the public and school libraries, which was in homes across America.

'Hey, Mom and Dad, you know the baby Romain and I are having?  Well in case you didn't pick up Newsweek yet, let me explain to you that my husband is not the father of my baby.  Yes, that's in Newsweek.  You don't have copies yet?  I'll send you some so you can clip for the scrapbook.  What's that?  Dad'll just grab a copy when he pops over to the Piggly Wiggly?  Well if it's easier.'

She knows she's being spied on, she knows there's an effort to get her, now she knows everyone in her small town in Iowa is going to be looking at her parents.

On top of that, Jean had tried to get in touch with the father repeatedly without luck.  Newsweek?  Chances were good that in Mexico, he'd learn of the pregnancy -- by 'another man.'

It is appalling.

Speaking to the press after Jean's body was discovered, Romain did not blame "the newspaper" the Los Angeles Times. He blamed "the magazine" he sued, Newsweek, and the FBI.  I blame the CIA. Again, Jean believed it was CIA involvement.  Jean actually thought Edward Behr was on the CIA payroll.

Jean was killed by the US government.  She took her own life but they drove her to it.  Spying on her, spreading lies about her, tapping her phones, interfering with her travel and so much more -- all of which became 'normal' and 'day-to-day.'  So that when it may have been over (it may not have been, she may have continued to have been spied upon by the CIA up to her death) and you had a woman who lost a child due to the war the US government conducted against her, it's not at all surprising that she wouldn't feel safe, that she would be suspicious of strangers and that she would be plagued with nightmares.

When you pull Edward Behr out of the story, you let Newsweek off, you let the CIA off the hook.

Maybe that's the real intent behind the continued inability to honestly discuss what was done to Jean?

Other problems with Larry Harnisch's awful article?

How about the claim that Jean took pills a few weeks after Haber's blind item?   I believe he's referring to an August event.

So when Looney Larry writes:

The complex, troubled actress took an overdose of sleeping pills several weeks after the story appeared, and, on Aug. 23 prematurely delivered a daughter who lived for two days. At the baby's funeral, a traumatized Seberg--she was 31 then--opened the casket to prove the baby was white, the stories lies.

I'm sorry but I don't know anyone who would characterize August as "several weeks after" Joyce's column ran May 19th.  "Several months," yes.

Larry's either plagiarizing or he's working for someone other than the Times because you don't make the mistakes he does by doing your own research.

I also call "LIE!" to Jim Bellows' claim in Larry's bad article that Joyce named Jean in a draft of the column she intended to run.  Jim makes himself this wonderful person who read over a draft and told Joyce she couldn't print Jean's name.  That goes against what Joyce told me personally (and this is not a minor topic to me, I confronted Joyce about it in the late 70s, I did not know Joyce when the item originally ran) and what Joyce stated publicly.  It also doesn't pass the common sense test.

Printing Jean's name in 1970 would have opened her and the paper up to charges of libel.

Let's be really clear on this.

Romain was claiming to be the father.  Their divorce wasn't final.  (Their divorce became final in July of 1970.)  As the legal husband of Jean on May 19th and publicly stating he was the father of Jean's baby?

The court would have found in favor of Romain and Jean.

There would have been no talk of blood tests.

Jim Bellows wants you to believe that Joyce was going to print it with Jean's name?

In 1970, the court wouldn't have cared about blood tests or anything beyond the fact that this couple said the father was Romain and Romain was married to her at the time the item ran in the paper.  The court would have seen this as the media going into an area, a sphere, that was beyond speculation -- regardless of whether or not the paper had printed the truth.  There would be no 'evidence' that Jean and Romain would have to produce.  It would have been libel in 1970.

So for Jim Bellows to pretend he was some hero?

And for the idiot Larry to be either unaware of what Joyce said about this matter or not to care enough to carry it in his bad article?

The whole thing's an embarrassment.

Please note, I didn't want to read it.  I was sent it when it went up four years ago.  I avoided it.  I read it only because I was asked about it.

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