Los Angeles Performance Finale

As Top Secret ended its final run at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Los Angeles Times published an excellent preview piece, and a later op-ed relating the Pentagon Papers episode to current events, and there have been a number of stories about the impressive slate of events held as part of the collaboration between Top Secret and Sunshine Week, including a panel that followed the March 13 performance, (which was replayed in radio form on KPCC-FM in Los Angeles on June 28). The dialogue after the final live performance was led by Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition. Panelists were  David C. Kohler, former CNN general counsel who now is director of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute and Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles; and Marc Cooper, lecturer and associate director of USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism. “This partnership provides an exciting and creative new avenue to engage people in the discussion about how important it is to our democracy to protect people’s right to information,” said David Westphal, Washington editor for McClatchy Newspapers and co-chair of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Freedom of Information Committee.” You can also view two of the post-show panels including John Dean and Bob Shear.  Sunshine Week is a national initiative that encourages discussions about the importance of open government and freedom of information led by ASNE. Additionally, two new books, one about Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell (which has been garnering attention and controversy), and one about the history of research at the  RAND corporation, will be sure to continue to provide insight into this historical period. UPDATE: The Boston Globe recently published an excellent op-ed from its former editor commemorating the anniversary of their publication of the Pentagon Papers.

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