Democracy Now! June 6, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! June 6, 2003
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Hour 1: Rachel Corrie was Crushed by an Israeli Military Bulldozer, Tom Hurndall was Shot in the Head by an Israeli Soldier. Today on the 36th Anniversary of the Occupied Territories, we Speak with the Parents of these Two International Peace Activists. Corrie s family is supporting resolution HCR111 which calls for an independent investigation into Rachel s death and for the U.S. to work with the Israeli government to ensure the safety of activists in the Occupied Territories; Rafeef Ziadah, who Lost her Parents in the 1982 Massacre at the Shatilla Refugee Camp, Speaks About Life as a Palestinian Refugee. Rafeef hid under a bed while the massacre went on around her. She was four years old. She now works for SUSTAIN - Stop U.S. Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now. Hour 2: The Two Top Editors of The New York Times Resign. Yes - The New York Times is at a 152-year low but is it thanks to Jayson Blair? Or is it because the paper has become the Pentagon s most effective mouthpiece?; Latino Lawmakers Demand the Resignation of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, Charging he Transferred Sexually Abusive Priests to Latino Neighborhoods. The sinister part of this is that church officials know that many in the Hispanic community don't question the church. Many are undocumented immigrants who don't speak English."

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:58 Rachel Corrie was Crushed by an Israeli Military Bulldozer, Tom Hurndall was Shot in the Head by an Israeli Soldier. Today on the 36th Anniversary of the Occupied Territories, we Speak with the Parents of these Two International Peace Activists Today is the 36th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. On June 6th 1967, Israeli forces captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. 36 years later, the brutal occupation continues. In less than a month, Israeli forces killed or seriously injured three peace activists working in the Occupied Territories. On March 16th Rachel Corrie attempted to block a bulldozer from demolishing the home of a Palestinian doctor the Gaza town of Rafah. Eye-witnesses say Rachel was sitting directly in the path of the bulldozer holding a megaphone and wearing a fluorescent jacket as the driver advanced towards her. The bulldozer continued forward and ran over Rachel, crushing her with the lowered bulldozer blade. She was 23 years old. A US congressional resolution demanding an independent inquiry into Rachel s death has been buried in committee, leaving the Israeli military's investigation - which cleared itself of any wrongdoing - as the only official investigation. Corrie was set to graduate from Evergreen State College in Olympia this spring. Just weeks later 24-year-old Brian Avery of New Mexico, was shot in the face in Jenin. He has regained consciousness and is able to communicate by writing messages. But his face is said to be shattered, with his tongue split in two. He remains in critical condition and may never speak again. Eyewitnesses and members of the ISM say Avery was shot by an Israeli tank. Israel said the shooting is under investigation. A week later, British peace activist Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Wearing a bright orange vest, he was trying to help Palestinian children out of the line of Israeli fire. Tom is now in a coma and suffers severe brain damage. The Israeli military announced on May 10th that all foreigners entering the Gaza Strip will be required to sign waivers absolving the Israeli army from any responsibility if the army shoots them. * Craig Corrie, Rachel Corrie s father. * Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie s mother. * Anthony Hurndall, Tom Hurndall s father. * David Rovics, musician playing live in the studio. Link: Rafeef Ziadah who lost her parents in the 1982 Massacre at the Sabra and Shatilla Refugee Camps speaks about life as a Palestinian refugee On September 18, 1982, the Lebanese Christian militia forces allied to Israeli forces began slaughtering up to 2,000 unarmed Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside Beirut. The massacre unfolded over three days when Israel allowed its Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia allies into the refugee camps. Many of the victims were stabbed and a large number of women were murdered after being gang-raped. The man who is now the Prime Minister of Israel, General Ariel Sharon, was in overall command of the Israeli forces at the time. Then, he claimed there were 2,000 "terrorists" in the camps. But the subsequent Israeli Kahan commission reported that Israeli troops surrounding the camps knew what was happening. The Israeli inquiry also found Sharon "indirectly responsible," and he was forced to resign. * Rafeef Ziadah, Palestinian living in the U.S., she works for SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now) and is a survivor of the 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon where her parents her killed. Link: 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 The Two Top Editors of The New York Times Resign The two top editors of the country s most influential newspaper resigned yesterday after a series of scandals that have severely undermined the paper s credibility. The resignations of New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd come after reporting scandals involving journalistic fraud, plagiarism, and pandering to the U.S. government. Five weeks ago, the New York Times discovered that 27-year old reporter Jayson Blair had fabricated details in more than 30 articles. The paper referred to the incident as a new low in its 150-year history. Then, one of the paper s star reporters, Rick Bragg, resigned after he acknowledged he d relied heavily on young stringers who did not receive byline credit. The paper announced the formation of an internal investigation that vowed to restore the trust of the readership. Finally, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz published an internal email communication between Baghdad Bureau Chief John Burns and veteran, star Times reporter Judith Miller. In recent months, Miller had written several stories about alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They relied heavily on unnamed sources. In perhaps her most remarkable front-page story, Miller suggested that the main reason US forces have failed to find WMDs is that they were destroyed just before the invasion or sent off to Syria. The story conveniently met the Bush administration s needs as it was facing increased questioning about the whereabouts of the alleged WMDS, and as it was ramping up the rhetoric against Syria. In the email to Burns cited by the Washington Post, Miller admitted that the main source for all of these articles was Ahmad Chalabi. Ahmad Chalabi is the exile leader who the Pentagon and the Bush administration had hoped to install as the new ruler of Iraq. The national and international media have treated these three journalistic scandals in starkly different terms. The New York Times itself published an extraordinary four-page account detailing how Jayson Blair had defrauded the newspaper. Executive Editor Howell Raines formed a committee to investigate how Blair was able to commit such repeated journalistic fraud. He convened a two-hour long meeting of newsroom staff and accepted blame for the allowing Blair s fraud to occur. But there has been no news of meetings regarding the Judith Miller scandal; indeed, The Times has given little or no mention to it at all. Even as the Times was faced with one of the biggest challenges to its credibility in its history, the rest of the U.S. media continued to follow its lead. Jayson Blair become the subject of major news exposes and talk shows for weeks, and graced the cover of Newsweek. The revelations about Judith Miller s reporting had minor reverberations. Jayson Blair reported on stories that had few if any global, geo-political implications. But Miller s reporting seemed to provide the Pentagon and the Bush administration with an excuse for the U.S. invasion of a sovereign country. Race is also central in this story. Jayson Blair is black, Judith Miller is white. After the Blair scandal erupted, columnists and talk shows debated whether Blair s fraud was a case of affirmative action gone awry. <sum> Condace Pressley, President of the National Association of Black Journalists Contact: <sum> David Nasaw, Professor at the CUNY graduate center and the author of The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst <sum> John Rick MacArthur, Publisher of Harper s Magazine 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 New York Times CONT D 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 Latino Lawmakers Demand the Resignation of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, Charging he Transferred Sexually Abusive Priests to Latino Neighborhoods A group of Latino lawmakers is demanding the resignation of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas O'Brien. On Monday, an Arizona prosecutor said O Brien signed an agreement admitting he knew of accusations of sexual abuse by priests but transferred them without telling their new superiors or parishioners. In exchange for his admission of guilt, O Brien will avoid prosecution. Phoenix democrats say O Brien sent many of the abusive priests to predominantly Latino neighborhoods. The Arizona Republic reports Rep. Robert Meza said: "The sinister part of this is that church officials know that many in the Hispanic community don't question the church. Many of these parishioners are undocumented immigrants who don't speak English." But O Brien told the paper he will not step down. Not one bishop involved in the Roman Catholic sexual abuse scandal that rocked the nation last year, has been indicted. <sum> Ben Miranda, is a Democratic Representative in the Arizona State Legislature and one of nine lawmakers who is calling for the resignation of Bishop Thomas O Brien. O Brien allegedly sent many priests accused of sexual misconduct into predominantly Latino neighborhoods, without informing parishioners. <sum> Shari Roy, victim of sexual abuse. Raped by one of the priests who was indicted last week. <sum> Paul Pfaffenberger, leader of the Phoenix chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Link: Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
June 6, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 6, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 6, 2003
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