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Nix on Michael Savage2003-04-09 11:19:20jean-b

With the conservative Fox News dominating the cable news ratings, channels like MSNBC and CNN are diving to the right in an effort to pick up viewers. It's a scary phenomenon -- channels whose mandate used to be balanced and objective reporting are relying more and more on right-wing commentators. Among these, few use rhetoric as hateful and violent as MSNBC's recent hire, Michael Savage. Here are a few of his most pungent quotes...: "We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to kill the enemy," (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/03) Speaking about kids killed by guns, he said, "They're not kids, they're ghetto slime... they're the same kids that are in Sierra Leone toting AK47s." (Savage World, 5/15/00) Savage's comments are atrocious. But the real problem is that he's a trial balloon for MSNBC's rightward shift. If viewers respond well to folks like Savage, we can expect MSNBC to be little more than Fox News II. Please take five minutes to call MSNBC and let them know -- speaking from the heart -- exactly how this kind of talk makes you feel about the network. Explain that we'd like them to be alternative to Fox News -- not another right-wing clone. You can reach MSNBC at: (201) 583-5000 When you speak with a staff member, take a minute or two to tell them who you are, what you're calling about, and why it concerns or upsets you. If you watch MSNBC, you may want to mention that as well. Remember that the people you'll be talking to probably aren't personally responsible for putting Savage on the air; polite and calm comments are always more effective. Then let us know you've made your call by going to: Let's ask MSNBC to take the high road and serve the public interest, rather than pandering to racism and hatred. Thanks for your participation.

E-mail posts distort history2003-04-07 16:41:22mrbob

Enjoyed your "Rally Round the Flag" article and also your "Propaganda/censorship" commentary. I've long been a believer that our history is being rewritten and/or distorted by the pc crowd. It was also good to hear of the support for the military in Joplin.

Propaganda/censorship?2003-04-07 09:01:23mariwinn

CHILDREN AND PROPAGANDA: From the CER Newswire ( We've offered stories in the past about the knowledge deficiency in history and civics that U.S. students continue to demonstrate. We've offered examples of how many textbooks are an inch deep, and that accountability for real standards, while making progress, is lacking. But we've just discovered one possible reason for the lack of knowledge that American students demonstrate. "Time for Kids" is a news weekly that schools purchase to distribute to kids about current events. Most of the time it's relatively harmless. But the issue that came home to families all over the country last week about the pending war in Iraq is so full of distortions and misrepresentations of fact that it not only fails in its educational mission but it actually will miseducate students. The document said that Saddam Hussein was elected by 100 percent of the people of Iraq, with no reference to the fact that there was no democratic process in place. The piece also said that the president wants to go to war, not mentioning the human rights violations or terrorist connections. Saddam's denial of having bad weapons is offered with no contradiction. Whoever at AOL/Time Warner is responsible for the publication of this weekly might consider taking a history lesson before they are permitted to issue such propaganda to kids..... Speaking of content, Historian Diane Ravitch’s new book is setting the textbook world afire, and for good reason. Ravitch analyzed the policies and practices of textbook publishers and provides a serious critique of how the agencies, review panels and policymakers have developed guidelines that embody censorship in books, sanitizing any reference to anyone or thing with differences that may (or have the potential to) offend anyone, regardless of the validity of the offense. It’s noteworthy that Ravitch’s solutions include getting rid of statewide textbook adoption procedures, which CER has criticized in the past for blocking more and better resources from reaching the schools. The book also suggests that a higher quality teacher corps would help create pressure on publishers to alter their sensitivity procedures, and of course, more information among parents and the general public about the fact that these practices fundamentally alter history for students would help to change policy. The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn is published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Updated: 2003-04-07 12:32:50