Media people

Making a connection

Rip Rense reconnects on his website with Dave Lindorff, his onetime colleague at the Daily News when the paper was still just the Valley News and Green Sheet. Lindorff covered the county Hall of Administration in the late 1970s, then their careers took different paths:

Dave was the real deal. He did what a reporter is supposed to do. He took nothing at face value. He analyzed, peeked at the man behind the curtain, never took an official statement at face value. If it walked like a duck and quacked like a duck, Dave figured it was probably a goose. He lived by the old homilies, "The duty of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" and "It is a newspaper's duty to print the news and raise hell."

Not surprisingly, he didn't last long at the Valley News, which at that time was a sort of house organ for Valley stuffed shirts. (But it had great bridge club coverage!)...He stuck out in that staid, antiseptic Van Nuys newsroom like Ice T in Boise. What, I wondered, is a real smart guy doing here, amid the old alkies, suits, and stoner Valley dudes? And he had a wife who was a harpischord virtuoso!

Through the decades, I kept track of his exploits via a mutual friend: raising a family in China, two Fulbright scholarships, correspondent for Businessweek in Hong Kong, contributor to Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Forbes, The London Observer, the Australian National Times. . .And the books: Marketplace Medicine: The Rise of the For Profit Hospital Chains (Bantam, 1992), and Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Common Courage Press, 2003). More recently, he co-founded the National Writers Union in Philadelphia, where he now lives...

Lindorff freelances for and Salon and has a new book out, This Can't Be Happening, with a foreword by Alexander Cockburn.

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