The FAU Press Advisor Who Came to Dinner

Some Reflections on the Long Lost Chum I Barely Know

By James F. Tracy

I recently noted that an unknown party was linking somewhat inflammatory and misleading articles focusing on this author to my Facebook profile. After doing some modest investigation I came to find that the individual behind the posts was none other than Michael Koretzky, the self-appointed press advisor to FAU’s student newspaper, University Press (UP).

This was not the first time Mr. Koretzky’s blog posts came to our attention. In 2015 a colleague remarked that Koretzky was  attacking me on his various social media sites, sometimes camouflaging the diatribes under various nom de plumes. After being the focus of so many broadsides by major media outlets, however, I dismissed the commentaries out-of-hand as likely ill-informed, amateurish, perhaps even dishonest. Only time would prove me correct.

The Press Advisor Who Came to Dinner

A fitting narrative to describe Koretzky’s two-decade long affair with FAU is Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1939 Broadway play, The Man Who Came to Dinner. The story centers on an obnoxious showbiz personality invited to sup with a prominent midwestern family as a publicity stunt.

Upon his arrival he injures himself on the family’s icy front steps and insists on taking up residence in both their both home and lives to recuperate. As the story goes, the radio host never leaves, soon threatening the family with litigation for his fall, or should they dare seek an outright eviction. 

Promotional poster, 1942 film adaptation of The Man Who Came to Dinner

For two decades Koretzky has been the self-appointed press advisor to FAU’s UP,  run out of Florida Atlantic’s student union and funded by student government fees. A self-proclaimed proponent of the First Amendment and press freedom, Koretzky worked as a freelancer, founded a handful of publications, and presently operates a personal finance website, Debt.com. In 2004 Koretzky was accused by FAU’s student government of ethical violations stemming from his involvement with the UP, and fined several thousand dollars. 

Undeterred, he returned to the student paper shortly thereafter. An active member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Koretzky, 53, has become an undeniable presence in the national student press community, further honing his persona as news industry businessman masquerading in Che Guevara chic among student journalists.

From this perch he descends upon various college press conventions to fire off self-deprecating one liners while levying savage critiques of fledgling journalists and their newspapers, a practice comparable to shooting half-dead fish in a barrel. 

 

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Trump to Sign Executive Order Promoting Free Speech at Universities

(BDS & Lawmakers’ Criticism of Israel Excepted)

President Donald Trump has announced at this week’s CPAC conference that he will soon issue a Presidential Executive Order requiring universities across the US to uphold free speech on their campuses or be prepared to lose federal funding.

“Today I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars,” Trump said.

Yet in early February the Republican-controlled US Senate passed legislation allowing state governments to refuse to do business with companies that boycott Israel. The bill passed, 77-23, with 22 Democrats and Republican Rand Paul dissenting; Paul rightly argued that the legislation threatens free-speech rights.

As MintPress News observes,

The most controversial part of the bill by far is the “Combating BDS Act of 2019,” which would authorize state and local governments to retaliate commercially against entities that support BDS, such as by halting business with or refusing to contract or hire companies or individual citizens who either actively participate in or support the movement. A previous version of the bill included possible jail time as punishment for supporting a boycott of Israel or Israeli settlements, their violation of international law notwithstanding.

The legislation, which attests to the power of Israeli’s lobbying prowess, has yet to be voted on by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Along these lines, in 2011 former Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney explained that US lawmakers must swear allegiance to Israel or face inevitable expulsion from public office.

Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar incurred the wrath of the American Israeli Political Affairs Committee in February when she similarly suggested how the US Congress is beholden to the Israeli lobby. AIPAC used the incident to embark on a mini-fundraising venture.

Since 2004 the US Department of State includes a “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.” If taken literally, the State Department’s definition of anti-semitism effectively bars any public criticism of Israeli foreign policy toward the Muslim world and occupied territories. This definition is applicable to the speech and activities of the BDS movement on US college campuses.

Boycotts of certain businesses and even countries is part of a long tradition of nonviolent political protest in the United States, contributing to, for example, the demise of South African apartheid in the 1980s.

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Measles Before Media-Manufactured Epidemics

The US Congress and numerous state legislatures are in the process of making laws to institute “mandatory vaccination” on both children and adults. At the same time state governments are rolling back protections guaranteeing informed consent, a cornerstone of modern medicine.

Such measures are especially concerning because many vaccines have been found to be unsafe if not deadly, particularly for children. Because since pharmaceutical companies are immune from liability, they have little incentive to ensure vaccines are uniformly safe.

Those of who are in their mid-40s or older recall that measles was once a “right of passage” in childhood: After one suffered through the malady for a few days Mother Nature imparted us with lifelong immunity–minus the health hazard and threat of permanent injury vaccine products pose. Chicken pox, another common yet non-life threatening condition often experienced while young, was often mentioned in the same breath as measles.

This author recalls a time when as a grade-schooler he spent weekdays after school with a family in the neighborhood, as both parents worked. Two of their five children were about my age, and we all attended the same parochial school. One spring the entire family contracted the measles. It was no big deal. My grandparents provided childcare for a week or two,  and thereafter I returned to the normal late afternoon routine with the family. There was no fear their household harbored some dreadful contagion, because in the early 1970s health authorities and mass media were not erroneously promoting measles as a grave threat to public health that only vaccines can address.

The video below depicts how measles was reflected along these lines in popular culture.

Over the past several years, however, corporate-controlled news media and ostensibly governmental regulatory agencies doing Big Pharma’s bidding are deceptively making “measles outbreaks” the equivalent of the new Black Plague, while at the same time decrying as “fake news” those who so much as question vaccine safety and point to informed consent.

As the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons has recently argued in a statement to Congress,

Measles is the much-publicized threat used to push for mandates, and is probably the worst threat among the vaccine-preventable illnesses because it is so highly contagious. There are occasional outbreaks, generally starting with an infected individual coming from somewhere outside the U.S. The majority, but by no means all the people who catch the measles have not been vaccinated. Almost all make a full recovery, with robust, life-long immunity.

Many will recall Ronald Reagan’s famous remark,

If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

In a similar vein, the freedom to exercise discretion and informed consent over the treatments and substances introduced into one’s very body is the essence of personal freedom, and indeed perhaps “The last stand on earth.”

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