Samurai Yenta

Award-Winning Journalist, Author, Poet & Inspirational Writer

Francesca Biller

Francesca Biller
San Francisco, California, United States
February 02
Author, Award-Winning Journalist, Poet, Short Stories, Humor and Art Culture
Award Winning Investigative Journalist, Edward R. Murrow recipient, Author, Essayist, Humorist, Poet ____________________________________ Art & Culture, Politics, Multicultural Issues & Identity, Philosophy of Parenting, Humor & Happiness, Inspiration, Female Empowerment, Food & Family, Japanese, Hapa & Multiracial History, Poetry _____________________________________ Published: The Japanese American National Museum, The Huffington Post, My Jewish Learning, The Chicago Sun Times,, Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Be'schol Lashon,, Empowering, Lakeview House International Journal- Poetry, The Jewish News Weekly ofSan Francisco, USA on, Discover, Senses Magazine,, The Syndicated News,, and others _____________________________________ Current & Latest: Speaker at "Mixed-Remixed Festival" for Discussion: "Global v. Universal: Otherness & Writing the Female Writer of Color" held at Japanese American National Museum __________________________________ "Samurai Yenta" a Blog about Japanese & Jewish Culture, food and humor for My Jewish ___________________________________ Books to be published book for Ithaca Press, a compilation of authobiographically-based inspirational-themed essays and stories, and a collection of Poetry _____________________________________ Essays published in a series of Textbooks about multiculturalism called "Multiculturalism in America: Opposing Viewpoints." I am writing a book of poetry, as well as a compilation of short stories and essays ______________________________________ Radio & T.V. includes appearances on syndicated national talk radio programs, including for CBS Radio and others wherein I have discussed politics, parenting, anti-aging/health as well as comedy appearances about pop culture. _____________________________________ Journalism Awards: The Edward R. Murrow Award, 2 Golden Mike awards, 4 Society of Professional Journalists First awards and The Los Angeles Press Club. Awards were granted for Excellence in Reporting for both print and broadcast reporting. ______________________________________ Blogs & Sites : Open I've Got Issues ---  The Elephant Journal The Huffington Post Samurai Yenta ____________________________________ Social Media Website: Twitter @francescabiller  Facebook @francesca biller Facebook Writer/Fan Page - @francescabiller-humorist-writer-author

FEBRUARY 13, 2013 1:04AM

Bee in the Bonnet of a Female Journalist

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I am not by nature or nurture an angry woman, but sometimes I get a Bee in my Bonnet and simply need to allow my well-heeled anger to buzz as much as any reeling, radical and righteously raving man.

But this is one rare time when my feminine flourishing must leave me. Bonnets, stylish hair and bees have no place in my life when the duty of integral journalism calls.

I may even find myself even saying "out loud" unthinkable swear words that belong only to the likes of sailors, lawyers and moronic imbeciles who pass themselves off as human beings or actors who pretend to be people.

Sometimes, I truly wonder how I can still manage to call myself a journalist with a straight face and a strong sense of nerves that have now become so steel-engaged, they could easily rival any pet project by NASA.

When television stations, namely CNN, some radio shows and so-called news websites immediately broadcasted the news and face of the Ex-Cop who went on a murder rampage immediately after the President's State of the Union Speech . . .

I was not so much horrified and disgusted by the news and the story itsef, but rather by the decision to air this particular news immediately after so much carefully worded ideologies and sentiments were passionately delivered by our President to our great nation of people.

Think about it for a nanosecond. Our first Black president delivered one of his most forceful and important speeches to date, and while I was barely settling into the glow of his message, there it was . . like a Superbowl announcer who just wanted to deliver the next better thing,. which in this case, was a lunatic mentally challenged cop killer, another psychopath who would become glorified because he was a full-fleged murderer.

What happened to the days of simple civility, gracious manners, well-soldiered and solid reporting, and a respect for the Office of Presidency?

As a young college student, I can faithfully say that I believed wholeheartedly in the integrity of journalism. As a matter of fact, I saw journalism as a special calling, if you will. Not much different than priests, nuns, doctors, soldiers or teachers.

As a kid, I looked up to the likes of Walter Cronkite, Ted Koppel, the "younger more hard-hitting" Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, David Brinkley, Peter Jennings, Edward R. Murrow and many other great journalists and reporters of my time.

I worked my butt off and spent years interning at The Wall Street Journal, CBS, The Los Angeles Times and CNN.

As an unpaid intern and college student, I helped to cover and uncover local and national politics, business, the poor, homeless, women, welfare, foster care, children, men, the disenfranchised, corporations, small businesses, race, the Los Angeles Riots, and even the freak show that was to become the the O.J. Simpson double murder trial, now hailed as the trial of the Century, the last century of course.

At college as a Journalism major, I adored my professors; and along with my fellow colleagues and students, I thought I could and would help change the world. We had no doubt.

We got together often and met in cheap coffee shops and well-worn dorm rooms as we yelled and got excited about every lead, every possible story and every headline.

 We loved to report any and all important and interesting stories about the people, places and things that so challenged, angered, confused and inspired us all, and we covered each story individually, gave perspective parties their due and say, and were proud servants of the written truth, of each careful word, and how we presented each thoroughly researched article with triply-checked facts.

But alas today, I do not know what to even call my so-called profession, and I find myself often embarrassed to inform others of what I do.

Write?  Report?  Deliver the facts?

Impossible is what their eyes tell me.

Sometimes I sincerely believe that I would gain far more respect if I announced that I was a hit man, a drug dealer, a Stock Trader, pimp or some used car salesman out of a job.

The news media has largely become a paparazzi-driven circus inspired most by money, corporate interests and ratings.

There is no need to call me naive. I know that money has always been a large part of news, as it is part of nearly anything one can roll off their tongues, if they still can.

I do not belong to a socialist left-wing brand of idealism. Rather, I am well-schooled on the merits and original intentions of journalism, harkening back to the days of our forefathers, and their fathers as well.

So should we say goodbye to truth-telling, un-biased reporting and telling two sides of any story, let alone the correct side of one story?

It seems so. 

But I am sentimentalist, a romantic, an eternal optimist, so I will not bow out just yet.

And even though there is a swarm of bees currently buzzing in this female journalist's bonnet, I plan to continue to fight the fight, and will do so with integrity, grit, intelligence and some well-earned chutzpah.

Perhaps I will stay grounded in the name of my great grandfather who was a Newspaper Publisher Baron, a former Yankee, politician and hard-staunched reporter from Oklahoma.

What might he say? This man called William, who looked like Mark Twain on a good day, he would tell me the following . . .

He would tell me that I am especially needed now.

Not just because I am a woman with a Bee-Filled bonnet- which by the way looks mighty fine on me; not just because I took the Journalism Oath, but because I have a heart, a brain and I am passionate to the core.

He might also simply say that I owe it to him, as he genetically paved the way for my incessant and feisty reporter ways.

And I would agree.

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An excellent assessment of journalism, as a irresponsible monster. I applaud your integrity in trying to do the right thing.

In a post( December, 2012) entitled "Journalistic Smoke " I mentioned that some journalism has a 'yellowish tinge; and most has a brownish hue. ' I also stated that selective, self-interest journalism is 'kinda like driving down a four lane freeway and viewing it through a soda straw, as Malcolm Gladwell wrote on another topic.' If you care to, google my article.

I find the media's penchant to sensational the culture of violence and stupidity to be very wrong.

Nice Hat.
Don't let the bee out. It becomes you.
jlsathre, Thank you, I plan to purchase an even bigger bonnet today
Agree. But I think broadcast is the most tainted, though there are hardly enough newspapers left to criticize. I sound like an old fart, but reporting sure isn't what it used to be "back in my day." And that's not how we learned it in j-school. The "editorial we" is bastardized.
Lyle Elmgren, I mourn the death of integral journalism like a family friend who has passed but will not be forgotten
Bernadine Spitzsnogel, Indeed, broadcast journalism is surely a sight more sore for the eyes, although even print journalism as in The New York Times, that supposed last bastion of integral high browed- prose has fallen victim to the hype and gives us little hope. Entertainment and sensationalist-driven stories often gleam the front page as I look at my I-Phone before I have even had my morning coffee.
“What happened to the days of simple civility, gracious manners, well-soldiered and solid reporting, and a respect for the Office of Presidency?”
Civility is good manners and politeness, from respect. Good word: ‘gracious’ means, they say, to be kind and polite (ok, not a full blooded definition), they say it means elegant and luxurious (your prose shows this) and…it means
“condescendingly polite.
To perceived inferiors!”
That may be the key. The “ news media has largely become a paparazzi-driven circus inspired most by money, corporate interests and ratings.” PLAYING TO THE LEAST COMMON DENOMINATOR in Americans. The lust for gossip, the immature need to see the Great Ones fall (after they were carefully built up in collusion with the media)…the lust for dirt. To show, what, I often wonder?
A lot of people I respect love this reality tv crap. Why? “It shows me I am not as bad, at least, as they are”.
Yours is the noblest profession: the profusion of Truth.
In a world where such ideas as Beauty and Goodness are nihilistically impugned , made fun of, rendered impotent in their meaning or effect on us….where Beauty is a Hollywood gal glammed up to seduce us with a nipple shot or some leg, or cleavage…where Goodness is laughed at, envied, and a target of destruction…
Well, you are needed even more!
I agree that the network's desire to stay on top of the Christopher Dorner story, even in the midst of the President's important speech, is ridiculous. Dorner would have been just as dead if we had waited until the 11 p.m. news to learn of his death. Instead of journalism, the word "circus" comes to my mind.

James M. Emmerling, Your comments are taken both to heart and mind. Indeed, journalism once was one of the noblest of professions and still can be if a few of us can outsmart and outwit the foolery of the gross establishment that now passes as news, information and as imperative knowledge that we need to know.
I may not be "glammed up" but I do believe in the truth, and for that one reason alone I will continue to report for the people.
Barbara Weicksel, The bees are buzzing now even in the bonnets of my kids, who now have a new perspective on the media, thanks to their passionate and verbose mother
They were actually covering this story before the State Of The Union, and broke away from it when the proceedings began. I have to disagree with you on this one. This is a most newsworthy story for many reasons. It demonstrates the violence in our society, the danger of dangerous weapons, what happens to the minds of those who fight in these deadly anti-terrorist wars, and a general para-military thing that is building. Even the odd L.A. pieces, including the past racism of the L.A.P.D. and the movie star angle (I heard Charlie Sheen was invocked by the killer). It is quite a story, and it will make a great movie. Sorry, but it is definitely NEWS. As for the State of the Union speech, it was very good, and especially the President's pleas for the Congress to vote on gun violence. This latest story, being just one more chapter in a page heavy book, adds urgency to that cause.
Self correction. I didn't realize you meant CNN CONTINUED TO COVER THIS during the President's speech. I was watching MSNBC and they stopped covering it when the speech began. If that's what you were complaining about, I stand corrected and I AGREE.
Pam Malone, Yes, CNN had a split screen image when Obama was taking the long walk towards the podium for his State of the Union speech, but broke away when he started to speak. There it was, a fire burning in the woods with a raving murderer dying perhaps inside while the President shook hands with our state leaders.
L in the Southeast, Yes, he certainly would be just as dead, and his infamy would not have been scarred in the least.
well I guess you got to look at the whole imbroglio as
a metaphor for america2013:
"a fire burning in the woods with a raving murderer dying perhaps inside while the President shook hands with our state leaders.
James M. Emmerling, Indeed and peace to you
I yearn for the day when investigative journalism--exposing corruption--comes into fashion. Unfortunately, and this is a fact, the people wan this lame, superficial s**t, and the corporate media feeds the people some lovely s**t. Thank you for this excellent post. R

PS If used in the right context, there is no such thing as "bad language."
Thoth, indeed your comment about bad language seems to be true. Even the great Mark Twain once said, "When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear."
I do not know why I have always avoided swearing, I suppose I was simply brought up as a lady, but as I wrote, this lady now has a few things to say, and anger is sometimes a justifiable and necessary emotion and act.
I have not given up hope, already deep into another story-- the passion of a writer never leaves for long