I didn’t know that Greg Letiecq sent Eric and Annabel to Mr. Fernandez and that sign. I never asked. I assumed they had just stumbled on it.

In the radio, Eric asks the people to not be judgemental of the people of Prince William. He explains his position and presents himself as a moderate. Having talked to Eric at length, many times, he isn’t too far off the mark.

See what you think. It is a totally different perspective from that which you have been led to believe.

Meanwhile, those in Manassas City who continue to blame Eric and Annabel might want to send a thank you note to Mr. L. It seems he got things going. 

As we prepare for this film to go national, into millions of households, it is good to know these things.

[note:  this thread is about 9500 Liberty and not about other organizations. ]

27 Thoughts to “What is Eric Telling the Rest of the Nation about PWC?”

  1. Rick Bentley

    “We repealed our law”?

    We all know that the (i.e. the final version) anti-illegal immigration resolution is popular. His film deliberately misinforms the rest of America about what happened here. Wake up and small the coffee here. You may like this guy and sympathize with his attempts to infl;uence debate, but his movie is disingenuous and outright dishonest.

  2. Rick Bentley

    The Iraq War was a runup to our illegal immigration resolution? Give me a break.

    “We were the therapists of Prince William County”. And the resolution was rescinded. And Greg L is analogous to Donald Rumsfeld. And we “came together around common ground” and we “repealed this law”.

  3. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    The Coffee Party………..ahhh HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  4. Rick, you watched closer than I did if you got all that out of it.

    I think the 9500 Liberty film documents exactly what happened in Prince William County. As a time line, 9500 nails it.

    Tell me what you feel is dishonest. And do you mean dishonest or do you mean disagrees with you.

    Slowpoke, we aren’t going to have that discussion here. Feel free to discuss it in the open thread, if you can find someone who wants to explore it but I don’t want it here and said so in the post…or hinted. Some things you shouldn’t have to spell out.

  5. Big Dog

    “I think the 9500 Liberty film documents exactly what happened
    in Prince William County” – fine, then why title it using a street
    address in the City of Manassas and consequently tossing gasoline
    on the already raging flames of Fernandez’s hate filled
    massive ego? Annabel and Eric are enablers for
    the vile Fernandez attacks on our community.

  6. And you and I will have to respectfully disagree on that issue, Big Dog.

    Was that sign, an obvious symbol even to the most literal minded, in the City or in Prince William County?

    Was it pointed out in the film that the sign was in a jurisdiction that had no resolution?

    The fire was already there. Eric and Annabel documented it. Big Dog, you continue to shoot the messenger.

    And I don’t disagree with you about Fernandez. I disagree with you about misdirected blame.

  7. That is one question we will be asking after Sept. 26: did the film makers throw the City under the bus. Too many people right now are operating on rumor knowledge rather than having seen the film with their own 2 eyes.

    I don’t see that the film harmed the City. Fernandez is another story. That is up for the City to assess with measurable data…like money. Perhaps if the City were really honest with itself, they would be asking if actions by the County harmed the City. Did the City’s real estate assessments drop the same rate as the County’s?

  8. Censored bybvbl

    Big Dog, Greg L was on my radar screen long before Mr. F was. He, Greg, gave the Cities and the county the initial punches on a variety of topics. Then he apparently sent the film crew to Mr. Fernandez. I don’t think that having Greg’s blog represent political discourse for the Manassas area gave the region a shining reputation. The City’s attempt to define “family” doesn’t exactly leave it faultless in the immigration debate either.

    I don’t know how Eric and Annabel would have covered the events in PWC without a mention of the sign and I can’t think of a better, more catchy title than the one they used.

    I think the people of Arizona and other states should appreciate the cautionary tale that the film is. However, PWC could have paid heed to similar tales before it allowed an opportunistic politician and a crackpot blogger to split the community for political advantage.

  9. Rick Bentley

    “Tell me what you feel is dishonest. ”

    The way the film acts as if there is no real resolution, pretending that the animus against illegal immigrants dissipated without legislation, and ignores the popularity of the existing resolution and of Stewart – it presents a totally false impression of what really happened.

    Also, the legitimate gripes discussed here ad naseum are minimized and explained away as xenophobia.

  10. I am going to defend myself and Elena first. I don’t think we have called anyone xenophobic. And I know I have always legitimatized the neighborhood concerns. People forget that I live very close to one of the PWC ‘ground zeroes.’ There were and are still some real issues with people who move in, especially immigrants, conforming to community standards. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always validated those types of concerns.

    and in the next block….film issues.

  11. Rick Bentley

    I didn’t mean you or Elena – I meant in Byler/Park’s film.

  12. I am going to address a few film concerns:
    I am confused by some of what you said. You feel that at the end, there is the feeling that the resolution was recinded when in fact, it was not? Is that what you mean?

    animus against illegal immigrants dissipated? I will watch for that on the 26th. In fact, why don’t you come up with a list of things for us to watch for. That would be helpful.

    popularity of existing resolution: here’s the problem–Corey and Greg acted like they loved it. We (the anti crowd) were pleased with it. Corey has recently said, according to what I was told, that the changed (current) resolution really is better than the original. It is hard to characterize what people really feel. If you go back and read bvbl around April 1 2008, there were some real doubting Thomases.

    I havent seen that film since last winter. I don’t recall how it was left as to popularity. I know several regulars here wanted the entire Resolution totally recinded. Most of us were pleased with things the way they were.

    And looking back at what you said about the blog, or more accurately bvbl, for Moonhowlings is a different blog and even under different ownership, you mean film perceptions rather than reality? I went all defensive on the blog now. I can’t remember the original that came to life Jan 2008.

    Finally, do you think it was intentional dishonesty or the fact that Eric reported what he saw through his eyes and those he interviewed and filmed and you saw things much more through your neighborhood?

  13. Grrrr I just lost my whole post.

    Thanks Rick. I went into defense mode rather than looking at the confines you had addressed your questions in. Sorry.

    I do know that Eric tried to address the conditions that got people worked up and angry. How do I know? There was a screening at a friend’s house. After it was over, he asked us, what do I need to add to show the balance of problems in the neighborhoods. He was told, show more of what was really pissing people off. He went out to film and instantly a neighborhood busy body called the cops on him. You might recall that bruhaha.

    At any rate, there was always the issue of privacy. It was hard to capture some of the squalor without violating privacy. You can’t just go up to a house, start filming with people living there. The empty, abandoned houses were easy. The occupied ones…not so easy. I believe that day he settled for gang grafetti footage. But I do know he tried. He was also taken on field trips by a local blogger who can relay that end of the story herself.

  14. Rick Bentley

    “do you think it was intentional dishonesty or the fact that Eric reported what he saw through his eyes and those he interviewed and filmed and you saw things much more through your neighborhood?”

    Intentional duplicity. He and Park worked hard to create a “storyline”, the one that Ebert saw in the film, where we came to agree afterwards that the resolution was bad, and that we’d rather have illegal immigrants in the homes than have them foreclosed.

    What to watch for :

    – The manipulated story arc
    – The way facts that contradict the story arc are left out – like the percentage of County residents happier with life here, Stewart’s continuing popularity, and the resolution in and of itself existing which was cause for the Nancy L.s of the world to have near-breakdowns at the time. Their coping mechanism, and I believe this was a concocted strategy, is to pretend that the modified resolution is “good” and the “bad” one got defeated. And that the Greg L.’s and Robert D.’s and FAIR aren’t primary authors of the existing, popular resolution.
    – The Michael Moore-styled attempts to take something someone says and magnify it and make it seem absurd. We can do this to anyone in any situation. (In fact, I probably do this myself to people more than I should).
    – The implications that PWC had a moderate amount of Latinos and the rest of us freaked out as if a takeover were occurring. In point of fact we had a moderate Latino population to start with and no one was freaking out. Outdated census figures are used to make us look xenophobic.

    “But I do know he tried.”

    Eh, not very hard if you ask me. A real documentarian would have been filming chicken coops in Woodbridge.

  15. On the last note, I would say you have been reading too much bvbl. I have no verification that those pictures are even real. Chicken coops have been on this side of the county and they weren’t owned by Hispanics.

    One of the criticisms of the film from ‘the other side’ is that Byler was too generous to Stewart and didn’t paint him to be as vile as he really was. How do we resolve those 2 polar opposites? I always felt the crew went incredibly easy on several people in the film, Stewart being one of those people, especially after he blasted off the personal emails from his colleagues to bvbl. He didn’t do that within an hour after he got them to be transparent to his county. He did it so Greg could tear in to them and set his hounds upon them.

    Remember that some of us followed this crap from all different angles and saw what was going on long before we saw Byler’s documentary. Remember that I don’t live in Gainesville or haymarket, even though we sometimes are accused of ALL being out there is Richville. I live on this side of I-66 in Poorville.

    As for Nancy Lyall and Mexicans without Borders, they played almost no role in the film. No one made Nancy out to be near a breakdown. She always acts like that. I also knew Nancy in another life, before she was involved with that organization. I didn’t even evaluate that behavior as ‘near breakdown.’ No one from that organization was involved with anti-bvbl in any way. Nancy and John attended a screening or 2 and those were open to the public.

    How do you know what was said was magnified? Why do you dismiss that what the person said wasn’t absurd? Can you give an example so I will know what I am looking for. The one I am thinking of, I actually think that the person is absurd and deliberately says things to misrepresent what others say.

    But I will look for those things. Perhaps because I spent so long reading bvbl, I don’t even notice when people’s statements or events get magnified or skewed to the point that the person doing so looks absurd. Let’s see: Sharon Pandek, Chuck Colgan, Frank Principi, Jeanette Rishell, Nancy Lyall, the Zaptistas, Paul Nichols, …the list of political enemies goes on and on. They all had that happen to them.

    Maybe on the xenophobia. If I am going to agree, this is where it might be. I think there has been a tendency to dismiss reactions to real unlivable situations as simply xenophobia or racism. Yes, both conditions exist but some pretty decent people had some real bad problems come to their neighborhood that they never expected to have to confront. And you are right. Some of it was just waved off and dismissed. It was no more fair to do this than for others to lump all hispanics into the illegal category.

  16. Rick Bentley

    “No one made Nancy out to be near a breakdown. She always acts like that.”

    Not when she’s on camera. She’s very upset in that scene in that church.

    “How do you know what was said was magnified? Why do you dismiss that what the person said wasn’t absurd? Can you give an example so I will know what I am looking for. ”

    Every member of HSM seen in the film is pictured negatively.

  17. Emma

    May I suggest to Eric that he screen the film to actual residents of Liberty Street and film their uncensored reactions? Judging from what I have heard and been told, that would be a whole lot more truthful and realistic than the Byler/Park narrative.

    Come on, Eric. Consider this a challenge.

  18. He has had many many screenings, Emma and they would have been welcome to come. I wouldn’t have cared if he had used my street name. Shrug. Think if you lived in Forks, Washington. That place will never be the same.

  19. Rick…I am going to pass on Nancy. As I said, she was not an intregal part of the film and she was never a part of this blog. Anything I say will come back to bit me.

    As for HSM, how can you say people just sitting there listening is negative? I don’t think the people sitting there at Stonewall her shown negatively. I don’t think Chris was shown negatively. As for some of the others, perhaps there was a reason they were shown negatively. As for those speaking at the marathon, I don’t know who is HMS and who isn’t in those snippets other than about 2 of the people.

  20. Censored bybvbl

    Rick, I saw the marathon BOCS meeting on my tv as it happened and before Eric and Annabel put up their video of the event. The featured speakers at that meeting stood out in my mind as well. They have no one to blame except themselves if they feel they were portrayed negatively. The words they spoke were formulated by them not E & A.

    As an art major, I’m not surprised or concerned that the film may be thought to be slanted. I’ve sat in classes where an assignment was given and then seen twenty different interpretations of that assignment at critique. It would be fun to see your interpretation as well as that of others if you were given the same raw footage to work with. But…none of us took the time to film it or edit it.

    IMO, your neighborhood problems were no worse than those I’ve encountered in my neighborhood – except my neighbors were white and US citizens. Corey Stewart couldn’t use them for his re-election campaign.

  21. Rick Bentley

    I do not agree with the implicit assertion that PWC is bigoted. It has been ethnically diverse for a long time and with a healthy Latino population.

  22. Censored bybvbl

    Rick, too many of the people who got involved on Greg’s blog and in HSM were bigoted. They made it look as though the actively involved residents of the county were bigoted. But I think that most people in the county weren’t even interested in the topic of immigration because the majority weren’t affected by it. So it’s probably true that bigotry was perhaps portrayed as more existant than it was.

  23. I don’t think PWC is bigotted. However, I do think plenty of people in this county are bigotted. I don’t need Byler or a film to tell me. I worked in this county for decades. My ears and eyes don’t lie.

    It has become all too common to feel it is appropriate to make comments that are bigotted, regardless of who it is about.

  24. Red Dawn

    Right, Moon!!! It is an EASY PLUNGE to say that PWC is bigotted when before the immirgation wave and still now, PWC was looked down upon as being white trash, etc,..rolling eyes…. 🙂

  25. I never thought it was white trash or I wouldn’t have lived and worked here.

    I didn’t move here until I was an adult. Perhaps that gives me a different perspective.

  26. Red Dawn

    Not so much white trash….just the same descrpitions used when talking about West Virginia folk…same jokes, etc..bottom line, someone has to pick on someone 😉

  27. Yup, there will always be a pecking order. Think of the poor blokes in Mississippi and Arkansas.

    In our case it runs right out of DC, down the 29 corridor until you get to Green County. Then you hit Albemarle and the pecking order starts all over again…or that’s what some people think. No shortage of arrogance there either.

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