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Dec 4, 201606:55 PM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Fidel On The Cover

There’s a framed magazine cover that I have had in my office for years. A former magazine owner, who collected interesting covers as a hobby, gave it to me. The image says a lot about the magazine industry. Dated Jan. 19, 1959 the LIFE magazine cover shows a young Fidel Castro, dressed in his classic olive colored military combat fatigues, on the way to his conquest. The cover line stated boldly: “Castro in Triumphant Advance to Havana.” I have kept the cover because it reminds me of what a heroic image Castro was in his early days. There he was, a guerrilla from the mountains taking on a corrupt regime. With his grizzled beard suggesting ruggedness, the world, including many United Sates citizens – if not the government – cheered him on. It turned out, however, that the loudest cheering would be in the Kremlin.

Castro to me is a reminder of the volatility of the news – how things can change; how image can betray reality; how Robin Hood can turn into the Sheriff of Nottingham. Those in the media can capture the moment and speculate about the future, but the advance is not always triumphant.

Some things are predictable, however. Look at the other copy on the cover. One says, “Turmoil on Capitol Hill: A Look at a New Kind of Congress.” For whatever way LIFE saw congress changing there would be more changes to come, especially with population shifts and the passage of the voting rights bill in the next decade. As the nation shifts politically and culturally, Congress is always becoming a new kind. But the real telling headline, and probably what sold the most copies, was at the top of the cover: “Crash Diets are No Good.” There are probably magazine editions on the newsstand today dealing with the same issue. Dictators come and go, the world changes, but the war against weight gain continues. That conquest would truly be heroic.

 

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BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and at book web sites.

 

WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS  AT 7 P.M. AND REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M. ON WYES-TV, CH. 12.

 

 

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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