Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

Screen & Stage
January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

Writers Let Down Big Easy
Watching mainstream media, we should be ashamed
By  Rosie Levine

The party's over and Katrina wasn't the only one hanging the people's jazz hats.
ever, as a writer, would I have imagined watching in horror the network coverage of Hurricane Katrina, reeling with disbelief as tens of thousands of New Orleans citizens were portrayed as "refugees" -- not innocent victims -- in their own homeland.

If you write for TV, this should've hit you in the gut like a tire-iron.

The word scrolled endlessly, it seemed, on the mighty media giant CNN banner, although it was eventually changed to more palatable euphemisms. It was accompanied by footage of 15,000 suffering men, women and children -- mostly black and mostly poor -- as they lay dying, dehydrated, and starving, first in the Superdome and then the Convention Centre.

I am so grateful that, as a Canadian and someone who reports on the world, we did not join the American regime in its ongoing phony war in Iraq. Yeah, that reality TV "Shock And Awe" spin -- great title for a bomb-bastic war movie, but with a failed ending -- was snivellingly sucked up by the mainstream media. It's here I want to say, "But not us."

I am forever reminded of that war-mongering idiocy by one of my favourite, globally conscious bands, Spearhead. A song on their latest album, Everyone Deserves Music, called Power To The Peaceful, delivers a powerful message from the band's spearhead, Michael Franti, "You can bomb the word to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace." But that's for the poetry section.

I was in Los Angeles when Dubya was astonishingly re-elected in 2004. Another rigged gig. But the sense of pure dread that I, my pals and fellow writers felt, was absolutely daunting, beyond description. We tried to soothe ourselves, with great difficulty and lots of drinking. The death knell ringing for the belief in peace was loud and clear. The despair was just setting in.

Back to the present, anyone reading a newspaper, watching television, surfing the net, or listening to the radio (or, in Dubya's case, advisors) was fully aware that an unprecedented Category 5 hurricane was about to hit a worldwide beloved American city.

How sickening that, prior to the hurricane, no busses were deployed to evacuate the residents of New Orleans who couldn't get out by car, because they didn't own one or could not afford to rent one. Time Magazine rather blandly notes that 70% of the nursing homes in New Orleans were not evacuated. Let the dying die. How compassionate. Time doesn't care.

Yet, in the days following 9/11 -- when air travel was forbidden -- under Saudi supervision and with FBI approval, 24 members of the bin Laden family criss-crossed America in private jets, enroute to their homeland. Where were the TV writers then?

During the current debacle, Dubya tried to initiate the "blame game"... childish fool that he is, even blaming, not only the state's politicians, but the media too, for creating a false "sense of relaxation about the outcome." Does he really think that we are that gullible, given the fact that 65,000 body bags have been sent to the beleaguered states? Forget the hundreds of reported dead so far. The "Numbers Game" has only just begun.

Crueler still were the words of Condaleeza Rice, who was Ferragamo shoe shopping in New York at the time her fellow Southern residents were suffering beyond belief.

Apparently, a fellow shopper, vocal in her dismay of the government's fave female pet not being with her peeps during their time of grief, was evacuated from the high-end shop at Rice's request. Before high-tailing it back to Washington, numerous reports have Rice responding, "Jesus Christ will take care of everything." I'm not kidding. This ain't fiction.

What on earth, as writers, for TV or otherwise, can we learn from this tragedy? For one thing, remember the adage "How do you know a politician is lying?.. His/her lips are moving."

The spin is in and it becomes more unbelievable as the days go by. The country's CEO now "accepts responsibility." Wow, what a concept. So soothing. I, for one, will continue to trust, not the mainstream, but online sites like, or IN, where you can believe the writing.

When writers, musicians, athletes and actors immediately mobilize to raise funds for the victims, while the powers-that-be are immobile, how is it that Kanye West's statement during the NBC Live Concert For Hurricane Relief that "President Bush doesn't care about black people" is edited out for the West Coast broadcast? Guess Dubya was finally watching TV!! And violating the Freedom Of Speech amendment.

What has happened in New Orleans is nothing short of criminal negligence, yet I suspect there will be many diversions (back to Iraq) to distract from the reality of the grim reaper, guided by the government. Call me a bleeding-heart liberal. I accept that label with humble pride.

Peace.IN Icon

Rosie Levine is a Toronto freelance writer and gossip columnist extraordinaire, having covered culture, rock'n'roll and gossip and media for a host of Canadian publications for 25 years.

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Screen & Stage
IN This Issue
Novel To Screenplay: Adaptation 101
Learning The Lingo
Elevator Exposure
Who Profits?
On The (Back) Lot
Lingua Scriptus
Part II: The Script's Key Plot Points
Part I: The Script's Key Plot Points
Origin Of The Screenplay
Scriptspeak: Writing Dialogue

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."