Jan
01
1995

Haitian Women Are Out of Frame

And Their Abusers Are Out of Sight

When President Clinton sat down in front of U.S. television cameras to explain "why the U.S. is leading the international effort to restore democratic government in Haiti" (10/16/94), he emphasized the violation of Haitian women's human rights. "International observers uncovered a terrifying pattern of soldiers and policemen raping the wives and daughters of suspected political dissidents," Clinton said, "young girls, 13, 16 years old...children forced to watch as their mothers' faces are slashed with machetes." In Haiti and in the United States, there was hope that these words would translate into action. But a month after the landing of approximately […]

Jan
01
1995

Drafting Students Into the 'War on Immigration'

Channel One's Anti-Immigrant Propaganda Has a Captive Audience

California's Proposition 187, voted into law this November, denies access to education, non-emergency health care and other social services to undocumented immigrants. Many of those affected are students, as were many of the leading opponents to the measure, with youth in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities organizing walkouts and demonstrations. While youth are less often consumers of traditional news from papers and TV, there is one form of media that many students are exposed to whether they want it not: Channel One, the in-school satellite TV news and advertising program that junior high and high school students in […]

Jan
01
1995

50,000 Watts of Hate

Bigotry Is Broadcast on ABC Radio's Flagship

Bob Grant

Would it surprise you that the most listened-to talk radio station in the country, owned by one of the most important media companies, has as its highest rated host a man who sounds like a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan? The station is New York City's WABC, flagship of the ABC Radio Network, and the host is Bob Grant. Grant is an important player in regional politics; conservative politicians like U.S. Sen. Al D'Amato, New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New York Governor-elect George Pataki have called in to Grant's show to […]

Jan
01
1995

'Move to the Right'

Pundits' Tried-and-Failed Advice

When asked what advice she had for Bill Clinton on Election Night (11/8/94), ABC commentator Cokie Roberts snapped: "Move to the right, which is the advice that somebody should have given him a long time ago." While most pundits used the more euphemistic "move to the center," Roberts' prescription was constantly being offered by media spin doctors. One of the most prominent was Al From, leader of the Democratic Leadership Council, a corporate-backed group "New Democrats" who have long argued that moving to the right and/or center is the key to winning elections. It is? "New Democrats," if anything, did […]

Jan
01
1995

Racism Resurgent

How Media Let The Bell Curve's Pseudo-Science Define the Agenda on Race

The Bell Curve

When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, "The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief." In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying--along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein's book--is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a […]