The Berkeley Daily Planet has a special knack for dwelling on the irrelevant. The fact that I am a minority shareholder in, and CEO of, the company that owns Zorro is of prurient interest to the Berkeley Daily Planet. It is, however, completely irrelevant to our efforts on this website, which is owned and operated by a different company. The Berkeley Daily Planet’s attack upon me using Zorro is three pronged:
1. Oy veh, say he ain’t Jewish. Eleven years ago I gave an interview to a Jewish newspaper in which I made the case that Zorro came from Spanish Jews who hid their Jewish identities during and following the Inquisition. It was a tongue-in-cheek statement. In the very many Zorro movies, TV series, books, and stage plays I have produced before and since, I have never suggested that Zorro was Jewish. But I could. You see, Daily Planet, Zorro is a work of fiction. So if I wanted to I could have him sprout butterfly wings, fly over the moon, and alight on his return in a Jerusalem yeshiva to study Talmud. The Berkeley Daily Planet should understand the concept of fiction very well, since they too are in the fiction business, except only that they call their fictions “news.” However, if it really bothers the Daily Planet so much, I state here loudly that Zorro is Catholic, always was, his parents and his grandparents were Catholic, and all the way back to the apostles his forebears were Catholic. No, wait, the apostles were Jews. So I won’t say that. This points to one of the key differences between the Berkeley Daily Planet and DPWatchDog.com The Berkeley Daily Planet is just plain dreary, dreary, dreary. We hope that we are not.
2. I am a spoiled rich kid, living off my inherited wealth. My father bought part rights in Zorro from the creator and then sold those same rights to Walt Disney, who used them in turn to create the famous TV series of the late 50’s. I came along years later (my father had died when I was just 10) and bought back rights from the estate of the creator and from Walt Disney for next to nothing. At the time, Zorro was considered worthless. I set about developing concepts for Zorro TV, movie, stage adaptations, comics, etc., and have enjoyed some modest success. The website, www.zorro.com, gives further details. The fact that O’Malley goes after someone for his perceived wealth bears examination. If you look back at all the attacks on George Beier when he ran against Kriss Worthington for City Council, they also centered on his wealth. Ditto, Patrick Kennedy. What is strange about this is that Becky O’Malley above and beyond all other Berkeley citizens has used her vast wealth to unduly influence the city. It is a strange case of the pot calling the kettle black. I have used virtually no money to date in my efforts to right the many wrongs at the Daily Planet. Our power and influence derives from the depth of our research and the coherence of our arguments. Nothing more.
3. Let’s put Zorro out of business. Joanna Graham once called upon the citizens of Berkeley to boycott all things Zorro, because I wrote articles in the Berkeley Daily Planet that she did not like. O’Malley rushed to publish this call to boycott, but now condemns others in this town for organizing a boycott of the Berkeley Daily Planet. I have not called upon anyone to boycott or economically damage the Berkeley Daily Planet. In fact, if the Berkeley Daily Planet would accept my pleas for reform, it would be economically strengthened, and that would be just great as far as I am concerned. By dragging Zorro into this, the Berkeley Daily Planet is no doubt trying to economically damage my company. Indeed, the financial guys in the company are telling me that as a direct result of the Berkeley Daily Planet’s war against Zorro, we can anticipate the sale of five fewer Halloween costumes this year in Berkeley. We will soldier on.