Monday, June 12, 2006

Selected Media

Larry King was in San Quentin State Prison. What is Larry King doing in San Quentin of all prisons? If there's no execution or showcasing something to portray the prison in good light, why did San Quentin allow media inside its walls? Hmmm... After all, a law was passed in the late 80s that banned media access to prisoners. The prison system does not want prisoners to profit from their crimes or complain about frivolous issues. So it says. Hmmm...

Well, Day 2 in San Quentin with Larry King on CNN shows the interviews of four life prisoners, an ex-San Quentin prisoner who is a volunteer for the Protestant Chapel, a woman volunteer who coordinates the college program and the prison spokesperson. The interview takes place in a grassy area between the chapels of different faith and the adjustment center, which holds death row prisoners like the notorious killers Richard Ramirez, Richard Allen Davis, and Scott Peterson.

Here are some of my observations of the interviews:

All the male interviewees are Christians, born-again Christians.

There are two whites, one black, and one Mexican prisoner who have been incarcerated between 20 and 27 years for murder.

No Asian prisoners.

When asked of one white prisoner whether there were drugs in prison, he said he didn't know because he didn't hang around with people who did drugs.

They are model prisoners.

They take responsibilities for their actions and participate in various programs to help themselves and others.

They all hope to get out one day.

The camera shows the Mexican born-again Christian reading a Bible the first thing he does upon entering his cell.

No questions were asked about the conditions and treatments of prisoners.

No answers reflected anything negative toward the prison.

Almost everyone was on a first name basis during the interview.

I wonder what would have been the chances of Larry King interviewing me if I were still in San Quentin? What would have happened to me after the interview if I were chosen? I'm grateful that I don't have to be in that position.

5 Comments:

Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Hello Eddy, it's Zachary Drake. I'm a friend of Paul Dosh aka "Pablo". We met at the second San Quentin poetry slam, and I saw you again when Pablo testified at your INS hearing.

I'm just getting into blogging myself, so I thought I'd finally check out your blog. It's cool! I've added it to the list of blogs I check out when I have a moment to surf the web. Since I'm an often-unemployed actor, I have a lot of those moments!

My own blog is Internal Monologue, part of the political blogosphere that appears to be developing and gaining some recognition. (I have a very low traffic site, so I can't claim too much of the glory.) I also talk about cultural issues and other things.

I wish you were out. I hope that happens soon.

-Zac

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