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nettime: [Fwd: !*Protest CNN's "Reliable Sources" Mumia Smear]

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>Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 02:00:22 -0800
>From: Paul DeRienzo <>
>Organization: Let 'em Talk
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>Subject: [Fwd: !*Protest CNN's "Reliable Sources" Mumia Smear]
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>The following transcript is from CNN's socalled Reliable Sources
>program.  They think Pacifica has been "to left for to long."
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>From: Marpessa Kupendua <>
>Subject: !*Protest CNN's "Reliable Sources" Mumia Smear
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>>Return-Path: <>
>>Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 23:55:54 -0500
>>Organization: Community
>>To: (Marpessa Kupendua)
>>Subject: Protest CNN's "Reliable Sources" Mumia Smear
>>Content-disposition: inline
>>e-mail CNN at <>
>>or fax to   404 827 1593
>>or phone  404 827 0234
>>On March 9th CNN's "Reliable Sources" ran the following program.
>>BERNARD KALB:  Welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES.  Topic Number Three,
>> You Are The Editor.
>>A couple weeks ago, Pacifica Radio's public affairs program, "Democracy
>> Now" began airing commentaries by Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former reporter
>> convicted in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.
>> Abu-Jamal has been on death row for the past 15 years and has become a
>> cause celebre in some liberal intellectual circles.  After weeks of
>> promoting the insiders look at death row and running one of the
>> commentaries as part of a pledge drive,  Temple University's WRTI in
>> Philadelphia canceled its contract with Pacifica on the day the
>> station was to begin airing the commentaries.  WRTI is Pacifica's only
>> Pennsylvania subscriber and it feeds its programs to its 11 affiliates
>> in the state.  A university spokesman said the decision to drop
>> Pacifica was based on a change in format.
>>Ellen, you are the editor or rather producer of a radio network.  Would
>> you have run the story?
>>ELLEN HUME (PBS):  I believe in free speech. I'm interested in some of
>> what he has to say and a lot about what the family of the policeman
>> that he was convicted of killing has to say about any issue of our
>> time.  I believe in a diversity of voices.  It's a matter of
>> packaging.  I think this was not done properly.   They've given him a
>> platform without giving the a comparable sense of the commentary from
>> the other side. and I don't think that's fair.  Thirteen programs or
>> what ever it was of his view of life, death, and happiness,  I think
>> that it was inappropriate.
>>MARTIN SCHRAM (Scripps Howard News Service):  That's a no, right?
>>HUME:  Right.
>>SCHRAM:  All right, yeah.  I'd say I wouldn't have him as a spokesman
>> for that point of view.  I'd go find someone else and if I were
>> running the radio station and I would have to change and not have
>> Pacifica as my outlet any more.  They've been too far to the left too
>> long.  I used to hate it when I heard the Reverend Farrakhan's
>> speeches time and again on Pacifica here in Washington,  which I
>> listened to all the time because I love jazz.
>>JOHN PODHORETZ ("The Weekly Standard"):  Well,  I mean I don't think
>> that the -- Temple University has the right to decide whether or not
>> somebody whom it pays to supply it with information is being
>> responsible or irresponsible.  Mumia Abu-Jamal is a cop killer and
>> it's shameful that he should be on the air anywhere.  He is not, we
>> all believe in diversity of views, but he is somebody whose views
>> extend to using a gun to kill somebody and that's beyond the pale.
>>HOWARD KURTZ (Media Reporter,  "Washington Post"):  Well,  Abu-Jamal
>> certainly has first amendment rights to speak out about his case, but
>> there is no corresponding responsibility to put him on the air not
>> just to talk about his case, but to try to piggy back on the celebrity
>> or notoriety that  he's already gotten and put him on to talk about
>> rap music and other subjects?  I don't want to here what he has to say
>> about rap music.
>>HUME:  But wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  Hold it.  He is a former
>> radio journalist.
>>KURTZ:  Right.
>>HUME:  Now,  I want to just be a little bit of a  devil's advocate
>> here,  because I think there may be a role for essays from a talented
>> radio journalist who happens to, perhaps, have been a terrible cop
>> killer at the same time.
>>KURTZ:  Who happens to be a convicted murderer.
>>HUME:  -- who may have some insight into death row,  into criminal
>> justice, into what his life is like now.  that is not necessarily off
>> limits for information for our culture.
>>KALB:  Let me come up with another  word that's been used in this case.
>>  the word has been censorship.  Is that an accurate word to
>> characterize the way this story has evolved?
>>HUME:  I think it's political correctness.  I think that the public is
>> screaming and yelling.....
>>KALB:  Political correctness....
>>HUME:  We don't want to here from a cop killer.  Why do we constantly
>> interview....
>>KALB:  Is it automatic.
>>HUME:  -- the Jeffrey Dahlmer types of the world and we consider that
>> fair play for news but the voice of this guy, who talks about what
>> it's like to be in jail and so forth, why is he automatically out of bounds?
>>PODHORETZ:  He's automatically out of bounds because that, I mean that
>> is what a civil society does.  If you go around killing cops you are
>> not then given a vehicle and a forum to express your opinions in that
>> way.  I mean it's shocking and it's not censorship for a radio station
>> management team to decide that it is inappropriate for it to  be
>> paying money for that purpose.
>>KALB:  Mixed views then, mixed views.  When we come back, the good, the
>> bad, and the ugly -- the best and worst of American journalism in this
>> past week.
>>e-mail CNN at <>
>>or fax to   404 827 1593
>>or phone  404 827 0234
>>Free Mumia.
>>               Pete Mathis

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