Sep 1 1994

Is Murder Moral?

Executive Director's Column

It was shocking, but hardly surprising, when Paul Hill was arrested for the killing of a doctor and his escort outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic on July 29. After all, the former minister had been advocating such action on national TV for more than a year. Appearing as a guest on CNN‘s Sonya Live (3/8/94), Hill hailed the man who had murdered abortion provider Dr. David Gunn as a hero “willing to lay down” his life to fulfill “the commandment of Christ.” Host Sonya Friedman responded by seeming to question Hill’s commitment to action: “But Mr. Hill, indeed, you […]

Sep 1 1994

The ‘Stolen Feminism’ Hoax

Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes

Who Stole Feminism?

In her book Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women, Christina Hoff Sommers sounds the alarm. “American feminism is currently dominated by a group of women who seek to persuade the public that American women are not the free creatures we think we are,” she writes. Such feminists have “alienated and silenced women and men alike.” Where once there were Reds under the bed, now there is the Fem Menace by every blackboard: “These consciousness-raisers are driving out the scholars on many campuses.” Unlike the “well adjusted” women of the 19th Century “first wave” of feminism, “gender feminists” (as […]

Sep 1 1994

A Couple of Mentions of Single-Payer

On ABC‘s Nightline, from July 1993 until the November 1994 election, there were only two mentions of the Canadian single-payer healthcare system: On a March 1994 show, an insurance representative made dire, unsupported predictions that with single-payer “there will definitely be limitations on your selection options in your future.” On a September 1993 broadcast that featured an interview with Bill Clinton, Ted Koppel pressed the president about “frenzied” Canadians swarming over the border for U.S. health care. Canadians, Koppel told Clinton, were saying, “Whatever you do, don’t exchange what you’ve got for what we’ve got.” According to a Gallup poll […]

Sep 1 1994

Double Your Standard

Repudiation, Forgiveness and Martin Peretz

Martin Peretz said blacks had “cultural deficiencies” at a March 21 breakfast hosted by the American Jewish Committee. With minimal differences in phrasing, his remarks were subsequently reported in both Newsday (3/22/94) and the Washington Post (3/28/94). It seemed to me a good opportunity to play the “blanket condemnation” game in reverse. We’re all familiar with the ritual: A black person says something offensive to the ears of polite white opinion and every notable in the African-American political community is pressed to issue a sharp statement of reproof. It’s a form of social discipline which doesn’t often work the other […]

Sep 1 1994

Limbaugh’s Inaccurate Responses to Charges of Inaccuracy

Rush Limbaugh has tried to defend a few of the dozens of inaccuracies FAIR documented in “Limbaugh’s Reign of Error” (Extra!, 7-8/94). Unfortunately, his responses to charges of inaccuracy were filled with the same sorts of inaccuracies that our original report documented. Limbaugh’s most extended response was made on his July 5 radio show, where he took issue with four of FAIR’s 42 items. In a July 14 USA Today column, where he referred to us four separate times as a “far-left media attack-dog group,” Limbaugh defended one other item and repeated his response to another. The other “charges will […]

Sep 1 1994

Smoke Screens

When Journalists Boost the Tobacco Industry, Follow the Money

Over the past few years, mainstream media coverage of the dangers of cigarette smoking has dramatically increased. But the tobacco industry is fighting back. One of the industry’s most visible counterattacks was a series of full-page ads from Philip Morris, which ran in 40 newspapers across the country, reprinting an article from Forbes MediaCritic (Summer/94) that questioned the idea that secondhand smoke causes cancer in non-smokers. The Philip Morris ads presented Forbes MediaCritic‘s report–written by Jacob Sullum, then managing editor of Reason magazine, now at National Review–as an objective antidote to the media’s biased reporting on secondhand smoke. Sullum’s article […]

Sep 1 1994

More Inaccuracy and Irrationality From Rush Limbaugh

If You Remember the 60’s…You’re Not Rush Limbaugh LIMBAUGH: “The liberals sit out there and suggest, as Vic Fazio did, that it is the radical right that’s acting in a stealth manner. And the Christians and the religious right are about to take over America. Note that Mr. Fazio probably had no trouble with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King when he entered the political fray. The Democrats had no trouble with the Berrigan brothers during the Vietnam War era, and they were priests. The Democrats had no trouble with Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman entering the political fray and […]