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The same day Nick Schou's article "Road Rules" appeared (June 8), students and Irvine police produced the annual, award-winning "Every 15 Minutes" program (named for the fact that every 15 minutes, a person in our nation dies due to a drunk driver). While the attorney he profiled gleefully shared insights on stunts to avoid DUI convictions, teenagers were preparing for their proms. The lawyer's scheme fostered a false sense that people driving after drinking and doing drugs can avoid the consequences of their actions. A better profile—and one that I've come to expect from the Weekly—would be the depths a local attorney traveled to hatch a niche from which to profit.
I am appalled by Fremont's interview. I believe that driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is one of the most selfish things someone can do. Although Fremont's first piece of advice was to not drink and drive and the article did point out the erroneous readings of an alcohol test, much of the article could be used to help someone drunk avoid getting caught. I find this disgusting. I think the penalties for drunk driving are obviously not stiff enough because people continue to abuse the law on multiple occasions. The way to improve things is certainly not to help individuals avoid getting caught by the police.
What were you thinking when you decided to print this article?? Maybe you were the one who needed the drug and alcohol test!!!
Nick Schou responds: My interview with Mike Fremont—and these and other letters we received—point out a reality many Americans already understand. Under the guise of protecting us from drunk drivers, police harass and even arrest sober drivers. The police can do this because many people have let their fear of drunk driving overwhelm their loyalty to the Constitution.
IT'S A HABIT
In searching the Internet for some unrelated information, I happened upon Rebecca Schoenkopf's column (Commie Girl, Jan. 19) in which I was surprised and shocked to read, "Throw another Jew on Heaven's barbie for us." Am I missing something here, or is this the unbelievable anti-Semitic comment I think it is? Do you make a habit of printing such blatant garbage, or was I just lucky to happen upon the one and only time it slipped by you? I am an avid reader of both the Pasadena Weekly and LA Weekly, and I am hoping there is little or no relation to your publication.
A Jew at theWeekly responds: You're obviously not a regular reader of theWeekly or you'd be more alert to irony. And yes, there's a relationship betweenOC andLA Weekly and thePasadena Weekly: we control them. And the banks.
I strongly request a retraction of my supposed comments made in relationship to the article titled "Little White Man" (June 1). If there were ever an example of why interviewees say "no comment" to reporters, this is one. The reporter, Gustavo Arellano, has a definite ax to grind with someone at Hermandad Mexicana Nacional. This "reporter" aggressively called my office with a strong attitude and bias wanting information regarding a commercial. He was leading his "reporting" toward blaming the organization for the passion of other people involved in the creative process. Quick to make a deadline, he did not take the necessary time or patience to get the complete story.
Let me step back and inform you that my company has worked closely with Hermandad Mexicana Nacional and its executive director, Nativo Lopez, for many years. We have found his organization extremely helpful and sincere in their effort to inform and educate the Hispanic community. This often-overlooked group needs friends and supporters. Informing and assisting the community has been Nativo's mission as long as I have known him.
The primary issue of the commercial was the questionable tactics of the DMV in Anaheim. That was the point. Why did the reporter target the implication of a word that was not even used? Your reporter had to dig to create a problem.
Here are the facts of the commercial. We received an outline of commercial information. My creative department wanted to give the message some added punch. They added the questionable element of a word. [Editor's note: the Spanish word was "pinche," or "fucking."] The entire word was never used, yet the passion of my copywriter came through. When I heard the commercial, I asked that it be adjusted. There was never a use of vulgarity.
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There was never any pressure or indication from Hermandad Mexicana Nacional to use the word. This was the effort of two passionate individuals, my account executive and copywriter.
It is a shame that this is what your magazine chose to focus on with an article on Hispanic activities.
Andrew F. Mars
Corporate vice president
Gustavo Arellano responds: I'd like to thank Andrew Mars for confirming the facts of my article, in which I clearly pointed out that Hermandad had accused KHJ of inserting the word "pinche" into the commercial. In my "agressive" interview with him, Mars repeatedly denied Hermandad's assertion. Admitting it here should help clear things up.