Open letter to Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune/Jim Lehrer NewsHour:

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 08:20:32 (PST)
From: “Brian Riley”
To: “Clarence Page”
Subject: URGENT, Mr. Page: Re: Deaf culture, identity and cochlear implants

Hi Mr. Page,

I am distressed that I [previously] sent you this important heads-up information about the myth of cochlear implants, yet you seemed to totally ignore it and then went on to perpetuate the myth on your recent essay on the Jim Lehrer NewsHour. We have corresponded before and I know that you do read your e-mail.

I mentioned in my last e-mail that culturally Deaf people see themselves as bi-cultural and they *already* have the open attitude towards “doing both” (being part of Deaf culture and being part of the mainstream). Yet your essay does not acknowledge this and it contributes to the harmful propaganda that our university president (I. King Jordan) used to try to manipulate the media and popular opinion during the protest against Jane Fernandes’s selection.

I encourage you to dig deeper to find the real story. The real story is that the manufacturers of cochlear implants are misrepresenting their effectiveness. Cochlear implants are virtually worthless for children who are born deaf. They really only help people who lost their hearing later in life. Your essay totally misrepresents the facts about cochlear implants in this regard.

Cochlear implants provide a *false* sense of identity and a false sense of hope to parents of deaf children and they cause those parents of deaf children to make the totally *wrong* educational choices for their children, deciding to send them to mainstream schools with interpreters, instead of a residential schools for the deaf where they can learn native fluency and ASL and have a good foundation from which they can develop normal cognitive skills.

The term “identity” and “identity politics” are being used in anti-intellectual ways in the manner of a “simple lie” ( à la Toqueville) in order to sidestep legitimate facts about culture and language that have been discovered by linguists and anthropologists.

Newspaper columnists throw in the term “identity politics” and it sounds like they are talking about unreasonable people who are playing superficial games of identity, when that is far from the case. All the Gallaudet protesters were asking is that they be treated fairly. They were not asking for any special privileges and they were not playing superficial games with the notion of cultural identity. They were acting in self-defense, fighting against an administration that refused to recognize their moral equality–an administration that was exploiting them for their own short-sighted and counterproductive purposes.

Please don’t rush ahead with stories with simple themes that gloss over the real problems and actually contribute to the problem. Please do the responsible thing and dig deeper to report what actually happened at Gallaudet and the danger that administration of I. King Jordan posed (and how Jordan attempted to retain his influence by installing his hand-picked crony, Jane Fernandes).

Please investigate the matter as a responsible journalist and convince yourself about the reality of today’s cochlear implants and how they are being used as tools of manipulation and exploitation.

Please dig deep and get into the *real* story. Don’t you realize that the health, welfare and happiness of thousands and thousands of deaf kids in the future depends on what you say? You let them down.

Brian Riley


Transcript (and link to video) of Clarence Page’s essay on the Jim Lehrer NewsHour from Thursday, November 9, 2006

Recent column written by Clarence Page on the Gallaudet protest


13 thoughts on “Open letter to Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune/Jim Lehrer NewsHour:

  1. You would be surpised about the size of the group who support the Administration as well as JKF. And you are right JKF has got a long way to go and you will be seeing her int he future for sure. Maybe as the Pres. Designate. She can apply for this position again and should get it AGAIN!


  2. No, Harkin has done Gallaudet harm by pushing the “deafness as a disability theme” onto deaf people who never saw themselves that way in the first place.

    Jordan told the whole world in his 1978 Washington Post interview that he was “not a real member of the deaf community”–He was right. Jordan has harmed the deaf community greatly.

    Thankfully, the deaf community is fighting back.

    As for Fernandes, she is only 50 years old. She still has half a lifetime ahead of her. She’s clever enough to be able to bounce back and climb the ladder of success again. Let’s hope she’s honest enough to do it right this time. If so, I will support her in any way that I can. If not, I will criticize her, as needed.

    Why don’t you people reveal your identities. Who are you? Your group isn’t very large. It’s just a handful of people.


  3. MinistryofTruth, Brian Riley is only trying to practice law without a license, he is not really Brian Riley, Esq.
    He has demonized and put down Senator Tom Harkin, one of the greatest supporters of Gallaudet and the Deaf community and one of the top leaders in the new Democrat congress. He says the protest is over and we won, so why is he still posting? He has gotten the head of Jane d’Arc on a platter so why does he still insist on rabble rousing?


  4. That comment was made up by you. If it wasn’t please give us the full text with video of it. Until then keep being the low-life you are in stay out of Gallaudet. The students, faculty and administration have asked you numerous times.
    We are trying to move on and continue to get funding, you have no useful input therefore should stay away.
    What in the world do you no about deaf culture, you need to be part and in deaf culture to know it and you are neither.


  5. Jason, you are a sore loser. The Gallaudet community appreciates my involvement. Don’t you realize the protest is over and you lost?

    Obviously, you are someone who is close to Irving Jordan or Paul Kelly. We’re not stupid.

    Ken Levinson is not an honest man. If he has such a low opinion of culturally deaf people, then he should have never accepted the invitation to join the Gallaudet Board of Trustees.

    As a Board member, he is obligated to be available to the public, since Gallaudet is a 501(c)(3). I was perfectly justified in exposing his comment to the world (when he said in the O’Hare airport that he thought culturally deaf people were “immature” and not ready to take over and govern Gallaudet.)


  6. Adrian Apollo (aka Brian Riley) thinks he is secret agent but little does he know everyone is privy of him. THE GREAT STALKER. I don’t identify myself to you because you CREEP ME OUT! Next thing you will me following me around trying to speculate what I signed to someone and harrassing my friends and family. We don not need your infinite wisdom. Get Out!!


  7. My god…. “Carol”… “Ministry of Truth”…. “Concerned alum”…. “Miss Cleo”…..

    Are those all different pseudonyms that Paul Kelly uses? If not, then who is it? You don’t identify yourself.

    I know you are afraid of bad publicity, Paul, but come on. This is ridiculous.



  8. I agree with carol. A hearing person established Gallaudet and now you, as a hearing person, is trying to destroy it under the disguise of supporting the protestors. Your contacts with congress and threats to bring a lawsuit against them is causing irreparable damage.


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