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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 6. December 1978 - January 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 29, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/862.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1978 - January 1979). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 6. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/862

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979 - Page 6, December 1978 - January 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 29, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/884/show/862.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 4, No. 1, December 1978 - January 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1978 - January 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 6
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_546af.jpg
Transcript MediaMatters "by gabrielle coagriff The recent tragedy in Guyana received the full attention of the print and broadcast media. Charles Seib, syndicated columnist and media observer, said it best: "Never was the ability of television to destroy the insulation of distance more dramatically demonstrated. Because of the remarkable performance of NBC's Robert Brown, who kept his camera operating until he was gunned down, we saw the airport massacre a matter of hours after it happened—and in full color. "Barely had the television and newspaper assaults on our senses abated when Time and Newsweek hit us with their dreadful color pictures, more horrible in a way than the television pictures because they wouldn't go away." Newsweek devoted 26 pages to the story to Time's nine. The following week Time edged out Newsweek five to two. Seib poses an interesting question. "Would it have turned out differently if reporters and camermen had not accompanied Rep. Leo Ryan . . . ? Was it the presence of the press that drove the paranoiac Jim Jones to his final madness? It is a legitimate question but an unanswerable one. Often the presence of reporters and cameras can be a deterrent to violent or irrational acts." With the country still reeling, the race was on between publishers to get their paperback books into print. Within 72 hours, Charles A. Krause, a survivor of the airstrip murders, had signed with Berkley. Krause, wounded in the arm, was aided by fellow Washington Post staffers in his Guyana Massacre-the eyewitness account by the reporter who saw it all happen. CBS has bought the rights to his book for a documentary. From his hospital bed, Ron Javers, of the San Francisco Chronicle, worked on The Suicide Cult-the Inside Story of the People's Temple Sect and the Massacre in Guyana, published by Bantam. Javers was also wounded at the airstrip. Both paperbacks hit the stands within two weeks of the massacre. And that was just the beginning. According to Newsweek, James Reston Jr. was commissioned by Time Books to write a documentary novel on Jonestown. Grosset & Dunlap engaged Gregory Rose, a writer for New York magazine, for an in-depth account, and G. P. Putnam's Sons signed up three California writers for a hardcover on cult leader Jim Jones. This kind of exploitation, while unseemly in its haste, can to some extent be justified. It is a record for society to ponder. But for some comments on the tragedy, there was no justification. Take Ronald Reagan. In an AP interview in Bonn, West Germany. Reagan said that Jim Jones appeared to attract more Democrats than Republicans. "I'll try not to be happy in saying this," Reagan said. "He supported a number of political figures but seemed to be more involved with the Democratic Party. I haven't seen anyone in the Republican Party having been helped by him or seeking his help." Apparently Reagan was not aware that Jones was involved in California Republican politics for several years. The Los Angeles Times (December 17) says that "from 1968 through 1972, Jones put his followers to work for former President Richard Nixon and other Republican candidates with the same fervor he later gave Democrats in San Francisco." Jones was described by Marge Boynton, former chair of the Mendocino County Republican party, as a staunch Republican (in 1972) who was "very solidly for Nixon." Not to be outdone, ultra-conservative Rep. Clay Smothers (D-Dallas) compared the mothers of Jonestown, administering cyanide to their babies, to the thousands of abortions that are performed every year. Smothers, speaking at a Family Rights rally in Fort Worth, said liberals hold blacks in a "Jimmy-Jones-like grip." (This is the same Smothers who led the ERA recission attempt in the Texas house last session. When asked why he, as a black, did not support women in their equal rights struggle, his reply was "I've got enough rights to choke a goat.") And evangelist Billy Graham had the last word. In Singapore to open a crusade, Graham blamed the deaths in Jonestown on the devil. "The whole thing is a perversion, Jones' perversion of religion, the work of Satan. Satanic forces caused the deaths of so many in Guyana." Texas Monthly is inordinately proud of its covers. Their December issue not only has a cover and a cover story, but a story about the cover. The cover story is "So You Want to be Chairman of Exxon?" The cover shows a man in a business suit with a Tony-the-Tiger mask, his foot planted on the back of his vanquished rival, and a woman, displaying the obligatory TM cleavage, clutching his leg adoringly. "The Exxon cover discussions began seriously enough," writes Gregory Curtis in The Inside Story.' ". . . Gradually, the meeting followed its normal course toward hysteria and culminated in the idea that we would have in big type next to a Dolly Parton look-alike the legend WANT TO BE THE CHAIRMAN OF EXXON? RULE ONE: DON'T LOOK LIKE THIS. That idea stuck until our hysteria died down. That took about four days." Given TM's breast fixation, a Dolly Parton-type cover would seem a natural. After all, their newsstand sales rise when the necklines on the cover plunge. But there is an interesting correlation between Dolly Parton's success and being chairman of Exxon; one that the TM staff, in their "hysteria," seem to have missed. The article talks about "men . . . who share . . . enough drive and hunger to have done what is necessary to get to the top." They do it by setting their goals early and not rocking the corporate boat, or threatening anyone, on the way up. Parton has followed the same rules. It's a calculated trade off. She has purposely exaggerated her sexuality to the point of caricature so that she does not intimidate other women; nor is she a threat to men, who can ridicule her and at the same time indulge their sexual fantasies. It works, and like Exxon executives, she is willing to pay the price. That price is illustrated almost daily in the Houston media with jokes and look- alike contests. Among the worst offenders are the radio DJ's. Typical of the genre is Gary Harmon, morning rush-hour DJ on KAUM FM radio. "I understand Dolly has a new single out—her bra strap broke," was a recent sample, followed a few minutes later by "We have a secretary who is very popular. Instead of just standing under the mistletoe, she goes straight out and waits in the bushes." November's Houston City Magazine featured a six-page "trip down mammary lane" with a Dolly Parton look-alike contest—three quarters of it pictures, large pictures. The author claims the winner "looked no more like Dolly Parton than your uncle does, but her bust took up all the space from neck to waist on her under-five-foot frame." On the other hand, that same issue of City had a fine article by Babette Fraser on Houston City Controller Kathy Whitmire. The cover, an illustration of Whitmire as Wonder Woman by Kirsten Soderlind, was marred only by the copy beneath it: "Houston's best French bread, biggest bosoms and toughest boxers." Sometimes humorous, often controversial, always intelligent and stimulating, Nikki Van Hightower's daily commentary on KTRH radio attracted a wide community audience. The station, however, took them off the air claiming it needed "more advertising time." "Why didn't they bump something else?" one perceptive caller asked during Van Hightower's two-hour call-in show. You may not be able to hear Van Hightower's commentaries on radio, but you will be able to read them—with this issue they debut in Breakthrough (see Page 3). Cartoonist and playwright, Jules Feif- fer, has given us permission to reprint his cartoons. So look for them as a regular feature in Breakthrough (Page 2 this issue). Feiffer is also one of our subscribers. Rumblings from the news room at the Houston Post. Sources say the editorial department there is furious with the latest decree from their boss, Oveta Culp Hobby. At a specially-called meeting a couple of weeks ago, they were informed that not only would reporters and editors not get hefty pay raises in line with recent increases at the Houston Chronicle, but regular, annual raises would be limited to a patriotic seven percent. (Historically, editorial salaries in Houston have been far below those of other big city newspapers.) In the wake of increases at the Chronicle ($50 to $100 per week) Post staffers were stunned, since they had expected a similar boost. To add insult to injury, the Chronicle has almost doubled its Christmas bonuses, from one week's pay plus $25 to two weeks plus $25. The Chronicle also pays an annual bonus of five percent. Post staffers get one annual bonus, paid at Christmas, of about four percent (two weeks salary.) Other departments of the newspaper were notified by memo—only the city desk staff were told en masse, an interesting departure from the usual business practice of breaking bad news one-to-one. At this time, there is only one news- v*; HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH DECEMBER/JANUARY 1979