Jul
01
1995

Talk Radio on Oklahoma City:

Don't Look at Us

"Talk radio was ahead of the pack because it's tied into the people," Michael Harrison of the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts (NARTSH) told John Tierney of the New York Times (4/30/95). "The mainstream press is out of touch.... That's why it didn't see the Waco connection right away." According to Harrison, who edits the talk radio publication Talkers, while mainstream media were blaming the deaths in Oklahoma City on Arab terrorists, nearly as many talk radio callers were citing the Branch Davidian debacle as the probable motivation for the bombing. As evidence for this claim, Tierney cited […]

Jul
01
1995

The Oklahoma City Bombing

The Jihad That Wasn't

Seldom have so many been so wrong—so quickly. In the wake of the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Federal Office Building, the media rushed—almost en masse—to the assumption that the bombing was the work of Muslim extremists. "The betting here is on Middle East terrorists," declared CBS News' Jim Stewart just hours after the blast (4/19/95). "The fact that it was such a powerful bomb in Oklahoma City immediately drew investigators to consider deadly parallels that all have roots in the Middle East," ABC's John McWethy proclaimed the same day. "It has every single earmark of the Islamic car-bombers of […]

Jul
01
1995

The Spotlight's Influence Grows in the Dark

Abstract

Abstract Researchers who monitor hate propaganda have watched The Spotlight expandits emphasis from stories about Zionist banking conspiracies and the "myth"of the Holocaust to favorable coverage of the militias and neo-Nazi groupslike the Aryan Nation. "The Spotlight fosters and promotes and reflects themilitia's worldview," says one researcher of contemporary fascistmovements. The Spotlight is "a bridge between the racialist right and theparamilitary right and the far right in Congress." [ Next | Previous | July '95 | FAIR | Mail/Suggest | Index ] Extra! July/August 1995

Jul
01
1995

Homophobia, Racism and Sexism?

The Connections Are Clear to Far Right

After the Oklahoma City bombing, the New York Times (4/24/95) reported surprise at the existence of right-wing terror-gangs: "New Images of Terror... A suspect, a white drifter, evokes new fear." But right-wing terror is hardly surprising to those who’ve been on the receiving end of it over the years; nor would the pale image of the suspect have been "new" to mainstream readers if media had been doing their job covering hate crimes. There were 2,064 homophobia-motivated acts of violence in nine U.S. cities last year; according to New York’s Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, anti-gay hate crimes are the […]

Jul
01
1995

TV Lets Corporations Pull Green Wool Over Viewers' Eyes

"How come the cars on television commercials can't seem to find the road?" my Aunt Sue asked me a couple of years ago. Indeed, TV cars and trucks are found splashing through creeks, climbing rocky slopes, parked in wetlands, invading deserts and even perched on needlelike pinnacles, but rarely are they shown actually driving down a road. Chevrolet took this so far a few years ago that one of its print ads, with the title "Wetlands Conservation," proudly proclaimed, "Chevy S-10 Blazer 4-Door. It takes to wetlands like a duck to water." TV watchers everywhere must be similarly confused with […]

Jul
01
1995

Islam: Fundamental Misunderstandings About a Growing Faith

There are approximately 5 million Muslims in the U.S. -- nearly as many as there are Jews, and more than there are Episcopalians. Early in the next century, Islam will probably be the largest non-Christian religion in the country (L.A. Times, 12/17/94). Yet there's rarely a mention of Muslims in the media that doesn't have to do with violence. In day-to-day coverage, they are largely absent; Muslim festivals like Ramadan often come and go with little note. The media is so full of reports on the "Islamic threat" from "radical Muslim terrorists" plotting "Islamic fundamentalist violence," one could excuse the […]

Jul
01
1995

The 'Experts' Speak

Some of the most cited anti-terrorism sources--and their “credentials”

Steve Emerson: Emerson is a journalist (late of U.S. News & World Report and CNN) noted for his anonymous U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources (Extra!, 10-11/92, 11-12/93). These sources led him to announce, in the wake of the World Trade Center explosion, that the "bomber or bombers may be from one of the former Yugoslav republics." (CNN, 3/2/93) That embarrassing error did not teach him caution: When the Murrah federal building was bombed, he immediately began insisting that all signs pointed to Muslim extremists. There’s more than a little bigotry in Emerson’s obsession with Muslim terrorists. To him, the fact […]

Jul
01
1995

The Myth of Social Security's Imminent Collapse

Thirty years ago, when Barry Goldwater proposed making Social Security voluntary, he was dismissed as a lunatic. Now, however, the radical transformation of Social Security--essentially its privatization--is the consensus among the political class and the pundits who serve them. The strategy of the privatizers is proving quite successful. Sow doubts about the future solvency of the system. Chip away its near-universal political support by taxing benefits of  "affluent" retirees, periodically lowering the definition of affluence. Encourage the "affluent" retirees of the future to provide for themselves, because of the system's wobbliness. And eventually turn the public pension system into welfare […]