Race / Ethnic Issues

Sleeping with the GOP

A Republican effort to suppress the black vote may be linked to black preacher Al Sharpton's campaign in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. Sharpton has postured as a radical firebrand, accusing other Democratic candidates such as Howard Dean of racial bias. According to reporter Wayne Barrett, "Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton. ...


Neo-Nazi Hoax Exploits Iraqi War Bias

An anti-Semitic web site called the "Barnes Report" is distributing fake whistleblower memos on media bias in the Iraq war that attempt to exploit public skepticism about the accuracy of U.S. news coverage. Excerpts from the alleged memos appear on a series of web pages titled "Controlling the News." The "memos" instruct reporters to avoid showing scenes of violence from the war and to stress images that depict U.S. policy in a favorable light.


Republicans Seek a Few Good African Americans

Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten feels "sorry for African American Republicans. They've never had it real good ... So I was heartened when I happened on a Web site last month run by a group called the African American Republican Leadership Council. ... The honorary chairman of the panel is listed as former U.S. senator Edward W. Brooke III, a Republican from Massachusetts. So I called up Brooke, who confirmed the important fact that he is black. Alas, he is not in any way associated with the group.


Lott Got Blogged

"The momentum that ended in Trent Lott's resignation yesterday as the Senate majority leader did not, primarily, come from the traditional behemoths of the US media - the New York Times, the Washington Post and the main TV news networks," observes Oliver Burkeman. Those publications initially failed to report on Lott's racist comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party. "In the interim, writers on numerous weblogs, or 'blogs,' were condemning the remarks - and swiftly uncovering evidence of a pattern in Mr.


Anti-Semitic 'Elders of Zion' Gets New Life on Egypt TV

"An Egyptian satellite television channel has begun teasers
for its blockbuster Ramadan series that its producers
acknowledge incorporates ideas from the infamous czarist
forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." That
document, a pillar of anti-Semitic hatred for about a
century, appears to be gaining a new foothold in parts of
the Arab world, some scholars and observers say."


Round Up the Japs

For an interesting example of propaganda during wartime, check out "A Challenge to Democracy," a 1944 documentary produced by the U.S. government about the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. "This weird film -- the U.S. government's view of life inside its World War II Japanese-American internment camps -- is an early exercise in political damage control," writes reviewer Ken Smith. "One of its more enjoyable aspects is its baldfaced use of pleasant-sounding euphemisms to recast the nasty things it shows us. ...


The Small Lie

Bob Somerby examines recent media furor over three detained Muslim medical students in Florida and shows how "little lies" can be used to make the innocent look guilty of larger things. After the three students were arrested, the media widely broadcast a false claim by police that the students had illegally blown through a toll booth without paying the toll. "Over and over, pundits and reporters repeated the charge that one of the students' two cars blew through the toll," Somerby writes. "The assertion was used to build suspicion that the men were up to no good. ...


Inventing a Terror Hoax

No one really knows what police tipster Eunice Stone heard Ayman Gheith and two other Arab-American medical students saying at a Shoney's restaurant in Georgia. The evidence now suggests that the whole sorry episode was based on a misunderstanding, but that hasn't stopped pundits from simply assuming that the medical students were perpetrating a deliberate hoax. "Almost uniformly, the cable press corps simply assumed that Gheith and his colleagues had behaved inappropriately," writes Bob Somerby.



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