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(de) Katie Sierra Anarchy story a hit in Japan

From Flint <flint@mobtown.org>
Date Thu, 29 Nov 2001 13:02:31 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Anarchy story a hit in Japan


Greg Stone
Anarchy story a hit in Japan
Thursday November 29, 2001

Seattle has major league baseball player Ichiro Suzuki. Charleston is
itinerant home to a gaggle of Japanese television journalists.

They've all come trooping to town to chronicle the protestations of Katie
Sierra, the 15-year-old who upset the apple cart with her anti-war,
pro-anarchy talk at Sissonville High.

Our Eric Eyre, nice guy extraordinaire, has served as quite the gracious
host, providing phone numbers of interview subjects, supplying directions
and identifying sushi restaurants.

One camera crew from Tokyo's TV Asahi visited a couple of weeks ago.
Another, from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, is scheduled to arrive soon.

TV Asahi wasn't happy that Tokyo Broadcasting would also be pursuing the
story. "Don't help them!" a producer hissed at Eric. "They're the

Katie's 15 minutes of fame - she made an appearance on Court TV - didn't
include American network news. The Japanese media, on the other hand, have
gone quite bonkers over her plight.

About 20 million people watch TV Asahi. Big newspapers have written
editorials about her.

They're intrigued not only by the free speech angle, but also that Katie's
protest deals with peace. The Japanese are apparently very much in favor
of not causing trouble, owing to their World War II history.

A Boston University student, Korean Chong Ju Park, was in town Tuesday and
Wednesday to talk to Katie. Though Park is Korean, he was raised in Japan.

Our Japanese visitors aren't here to do any fluff pieces, either. "I was
impressed. They were relentless, dogged," said Eric, no shrinking violet
of a reporter himself.

TV Asahi's reporter carries himself like the Mike Wallace of the Rising
Sun. Sissonville High Principal Forest Mann had the misfortune of falling
into his sights.

Reporter and crew pursued Mann into the school and eventually his office.
The reporter suggested that Mann implied a double standard by allowing
some students to wear shirts bearing "USA," "God Bless America" and "Bin
Laden - Wanted Dead or Alive."

Mann, the reporter said, got a little testy.

"At that point," the Japanese journalist recalled, imitating the wringing
of a washcloth, "I put the squeeze on him."

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