Friday, January 23, 2009

Omitting Pete Seeger derails concert review

The Baltimore Sun, from what I can tell by watching the daily "press gaggle" on C-SPAN and observing its chief White House correspondent be as much of a scripted plant as "Jeff Guckert" was, is a reactionary rag. It failed to mention Pete's presence at the inauguration. Highly selective news indeed.

Susan Hartman, "the editor of a magazine of folk and world music" had the keenness to make the observation and presence of mind to call the paper out in the letter to the editor below. I am proud a member of the folk community took this action.

Not being a regular print media reader, and seeing no postings in NortheastFolknRoots - - a 325-member folk news and discussion group, I have no idea if the Northeast mainstream also participated in a news blackout, or did they give Pete's presence any coverage?

Omitting Pete Seeger derails concert review
January 23, 2009

While I understand the difficulty of writing a concert review and know that someone will inevitably be disappointed by a reviewer's failure to mention a concert participant, The Baltimore Sun's review of the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial was egregious in its omission of the presence of Pete Seeger ("Musical messages of hope, faith," Jan. 19).

While many Hollywood celebrities were part of the celebration, no other person was more deserving of that bully pulpit on such a day of celebration than was Mr. Seeger, who was blacklisted in the 1950s, marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
and participated in the Poor People's March in 1968 at that same site.

No other performer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that day has sung before so vast a number of Americans over such a period of time as Mr. Seeger has.

Kudos to those who remarked on the historic nature of the concert and who recognized the participation of Mr. Seeger, who has been speaking truth to power since before most of the participants in the concert were born, as a central point of that history.

Unfortunately, The Baltimore Sun's reporter was not one of them.

Susan Hartman


The writer is the editor of a magazine of folk and world music.

p.s. If any Notlob Music members reading this have friends and family in the Baltimore area, please forward this page and give Susan Hartman my congratulations.

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