To the editor:
When I first heard that The Lannan Foundation had cancelled John Pilger’s talk in Santa Fe, I never thought it was because of censorship. I didn’t think so then, and I don’t think so today. The charge that it was censorship is scurrilous.
Based on my years of working with the Lannan Foundation, who they have supported, who they have had speak in the past, and who they plan on having in the future, the idea that they would censor is nonsensical. Those who think that a foundation with a track record like there’s are jumping to political conclusions that are utterly unwarranted.
Red herrings abound in trying to find some censorship here. The idea that President Obama or anyone else somehow got to the Lannans is ridiculous. In my recent talk in Santa Fe sponsored by the Foundation I was harshly critical of the Obama administration, and my views were welcomed. To the extent that there are rumors circulating also the Lannan’s having issues with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, I should say that my office and I have been involved in working with WiliLeaks and Assange and are major advocates for their work, as the Foundation well knew before it invited me. The Foundation also supports the Martha Gelhorn Prize, which this year was awarded to Julian Assange.
Lannan is like no other Foundation in the country and has supported and made accessible voices we would never otherwise hear. Knowing the Lannans and the Foundation as I do, there is not even a remote chance that censorship played any role.