Wednesday, October 30, 2002

a message from michael moore

we got this email from michael moore forwarded to us by a friend, and we pass it on to you:

October 25, 2002

Dear friends,

Yesterday, Larry Bennett, a 16-year old, was shot in the head after he was involved in a minor traffic accident. You probably didn't hear about it because, well, how could he be dead if he wasn't shot by The Sniper?

Yesterday, an unidentified woman was shot to death in her car in Fenton, MI. You probably didn't hear about it because she had the misfortune of not being shot by The Sniper. Two nights ago, Charles D. Bennett, 48, an apartment security guard, was shot to death after confronting two teenagers in his parking lot in Memphis, TN. \

You probably didn't hear about it because the sniper was too busy sleeping in his car that night, and thus, poor Charles was not shot by The Sniper. Yes, The Sniper has apparently been caught, so we can go back now To NOT reporting the DOZENS of gun deaths that occur every day, the ones that just aren't newsworthy because they happen in all those old boring ways
--
unlike the ways of The Sniper, who was interesting and creative and exciting and scary! He played so much better on the news. Of course, had Congress not caved in to the NRA we would have known after the first HOUR of the first day of the killings three weeks ago that those bullets were coming out of a rifle that belonged to John Williams/Mohammad.

How would we know this? It's right there in the state records in New Jersey: this gun was purchased this past July, under the name of John Mohammad!
Many more people died needlessly in the days and weeks after that First hour of the shootings, and every one of their deaths could have probably been prevented had we had a national ballistics fingerprinting data base.

Thank you, Mr. Heston for this unnecessary carnage.

Thank you, Mr. Bush, for supporting Mr. Heston and his group's agenda -- which protects only the criminals.

And thank you, Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., for providing the gun used to shoot the 13 people in the DC area. Bushmaster's president, Richard E. Dyke, was the Maine finance chairman of George W. Bush's 2000 Presidential campaign. According to Business Week, Dyke had to step down as Bush's finance chair "after reporters began quizzing him about his business dealings. Bushmaster Firearms Inc., is notorious for using loopholes To sidestep a 1994 federal ban on assault rifles." Bush and Bushmaster. Too tragically perfect.

If everyone reading this letter (and you now number in the millions) would share this fact with just one person who is thinking of skipping going To the polls on Nov. 5th, I believe that on Nov. 6th, Mr. Bush will have neither the Senate nor the House doing his or Heston's bidding.

Americans don't like people who assist serial killers in being able to ratchet up their kills because The Sniper knows that his bullets are prohibited by law from being traced to his gun.

That, in a nutshell, is what the NRA is all about -- and I implore all responsible gun owners and hunters to join with me in putting an end To the NRA agenda once and for all. Don't give Bush his majority on November 5th. He's already seen to it that his cronies in big business have wiped Out your 401 (K), and they are doing their best to see that you are left with no pension at all. That alone should be reason enough to NOT pull a Single lever for a Republican on Nov. 5th. Send a message. Do something brave.

Yours,

Michael Moore
mike@michaelmoore.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

how many protesters does it take to get screwed in the media?

we got the following emai from fairness & accuracy in reporting, so we thought we'd pass it on to you:

FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism

ACTION ALERT:
NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists

October 28, 2002

National Public Radio and the New York Times arrived at the same conclusion about the anti-war rally in Washington, DC this weekend: The turnout was disappointing. But neither report matched reality.

The Times account on October 27 was vague, reporting that "thousands of protesters marched through Washington's streets," adding that "fewer people attended than organizers had said they hoped for." The report, which was under 500 words, appeared on page 8 of the paper.

On the October 26 broadcast of Weekend Edition, NPR's Nancy Marshall went even further to disparage the turnout by offering an estimate on the crowd's size: "It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000."

While a turnout of less than 10,000 might have been a disappointment, NPR's estimate is greatly at odds with those of other observers. The Los Angeles Times (10/27/02) reported that over 100,000 participated in the march, while the Washington Post's page A1 story (10/27/02) was headlined "100,000 Rally, March Against War in Iraq." The Post added that Saturday's march was "an antiwar demonstration that organizers and police suggested was likely Washington's largest since the Vietnam era." While both the Times and NPR reported the apparent disappointment of the organizers, none were named or quoted directly. Those who spoke to other news outlets expressed just the opposite; organizer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard told the Washington Post the march was "just extremely, extremely successful."

Perhaps someone at NPR noticed: The next day Weekend Edition anchor Liane Hansen introduced a report about anti-war demonstrations by saying that
"organizers say 100,000 protesters were gathered." The New York Times did not run any follow-up article updating its estimate of the crowd size.

ACTION: Contact NPR and the New York Times and ask them why they did not provide more substantive reports about the anti-war demonstrations in
Washington, DC on October 26.

CONTACT:
National Public Radio
Ombudsman
Jeffrey A. Dvorkin



New York Times
Toll free comment line: 1-888-NYT-NEWS

As always, please remember that your comments are taken more seriously if you maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair@fair.org with your correspondence.