Michael Moore: An Open Letter to Juan Williams

An Open Letter to Juan Williams from Michael Moore

Dear Juan,

Sorry to hear you got fired by National Public Radio for saying on Fox that you get nervous when you see Muslims on a plane with you. It was dumb to say such a thing, but I don’t think saying one dumb thing should be a firing offense. (I DO think an NPR journalist wanting to take money from Fox News to be a regular commentator should be a firing offense, but that’s another story).

But there’s more to this — and some important things that everyone is missing.

For instance, what you said about Faisal Shazad, the Pakistani immigrant who wanted to bomb Times Square. When he was being sentenced this month, he claimed, according to you, that his attempted attack was just “the first drop of blood.” We can’t let political correctness blind us to this, you explained.

I guess Shahzad made a big impression on you, because after being fired you went back on Fox and told them, “You can’t ignore the fact what has recently been said in court with regard to ‘this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war against America.'”

Sadly for you (and this is also why you shouldn’t be working for a real news organization like NPR), Shahzad never said that. If you were a real journalist, you would have quoted him accurately. What he actually said was that he was the “first droplet of the flood,” not blood. But I know how easy it is to mishear things when scary Muslims are talking. And I guess it’s not a huge difference anyway.

What really matters is that you’re 100% right: We shouldn’t let political correctness stop us from paying close attention to what people like Shahzad say. The problem is you just haven’t taken it far enough.

Juan Williams

So Juan, I’m asking you to join me on a crusade — whoops! scratch that, let’s call it a “mission” — to publicize these statements by Faisal Shahzad as widely as possible. Because most of the media have not spent much time on what he had to say.

Here’s what he said at his recent sentencing (after talking about being a droplet in a flood):

“[Saladin] liberated Muslim lands … And that’s what we Muslims are trying do, because you’re occupying Iraq and Afghanistan…So, the past nine years the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam. We are only Muslims trying to defend our people, honor, and land. But if you call us terrorists for doing that, then we are proud terrorists, and we will keep on terrorizing until you leave our land and people at peace.”

And this is what Shahzad said when he pled guilty back in June:

“I want to plead guilty, and I’m going to plead guilty 100 times over, because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.”

Then there’s email that Shahzad sent to a friend in 2006:

“Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World… Friends with peaceful protest! Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and else where.”

And then there’s what Shahzad was telling friends and relatives even before that:

Mr. Shahzad had long been critical of American foreign policy. “He was always very upset about the fabrication of the W.M.D. stunt to attack Iraq and killing non-combatants such as the sons and grandson of Saddam Hussein,” said a close relative. In 2003, Mr. Shahzad had been copied on a Google Groups e-mail message bearing photographs of Guantánamo Bay detainees, handcuffed and crouching, below the words “Shame on you, Bush. Shame on You.”

So what do you say, Juan? Now that you have a new $2 million contract with Fox, let me come on with you for some in-depth discussions about the terrorists’ real motivations. We can’t let another day go by letting the PC brigade stop us from telling the truth: Terrorists aren’t trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They’re killing us because we’re in their countries killing them.

Yours,

Michael Moore

P.S. If you want to understand suicide bombings, be sure to read the new book that studied every instance of it for the past 30 years. It’s been used by many groups of many religions, not just Arabs and not just Muslims. And almost all such terrorism has one motivation in common: occupation by foreign militaries.

P.P.S. Here’s something else that I’d sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can’t let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Does it drive you crazy that they say this without even being conscious of the history of far greater violence by white people toward blacks? And do you maybe understand now how those middle-aged white guys get it so wrong?

UPDATE: Juan, you probably remember in 1986 when the Washington Post Magazine ran a Richard Cohen column defending jewelry store owners who wouldn’t buzz in young black men. It caused such a big controversy that the New Republic ran a bunch of responses to it, including one by you. You might find it interesting to go back and read what you wrote then — for instance, “Racism is a lazy man’s substitute for using good judgment … Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me.”

Follow Michael Moore on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MMFlint

original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/juan-williams-is-right-po_b_772766.html

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Glenn Beck & Alex Jones: Inspiration for White Supremacist 580 Freeway Shooter

580 Freeway Shooter Byron Williams claims he was inspired by Glenn Beck

Were Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck and 9-11 Conspiracy expert Alex Jones the inspiration for Byron Williams the 580 Freeway Shooter?

We sat down and spoke with Pacifica Radio investigative reporter John Hamilton about his story which first appeared on Media Matters called Progressive Hunter which details what led to the shootout in the wee hours of the morning on July 18th 2010 between 45 year old unemployed white supremacist named Byron Williams and California Highyway patrol last summer.

According to the article Glenn Beck and Alex Jones of prison planet/ infowars were key inspirations for Williams. On the night in question, Williams was enroute to San Francisco where he planned to shoot workers at the Tides Foundation which is an organization that helps distribute funds to left leaning non-profits and political organizations.

When all was said in done that fateful night 3 police officers were left lying in the highway injured. Williams who was wearing body armor had more firepower than the police who eventually subdued him.

Williams in his own chilling words said he was inspired by the attacks exposes put out by Fox News TV host Glenn Beck. We also come to learn that Jones has an even bigger influence.

In the interview below we hear clips from both Beck and Williams who is currently locked up in Santa Rita jail, 20 miles outside of Oakland awaiting trial.

We also talk about the leniency afforded to people like Beck while many others including rappers are shut down and material removed from public airwaves for fear of inciting violence.
This is the first of two parts
In the video below we continue our interview w/ investigative reporter John Hamilton who goes into more detail about the failed assassination plot carried out by Byron Williams.
We hear more about the influence Fox TV host Glenn Beck is having on domestic terrorists. We also focus on the influence Alex Jones had Byron Williams.

Media Matters: Sherrod: I’m a Victim of Breitbart, Fox ‘Racism’

Sherrod: I’m a Victim of Breitbart, Fox ‘Racism’

by Joe Strupp

Original story: http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201007210037

Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department Georgia Director of Rural Development, says she is a victim. A victim of poor reporting and, as she contends, clear bias and racist coverage from both Andrew Breitbart and Fox News.

“When you look at their reporting, this is just another way of seeing that they are (racist),” Sherrod told me about Fox in a lengthy interview Tuesday night. “But I have seen that before now. I saw their reporting as biased during the Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration.”

Sherrod was forced to resign on Monday after a portion of a taped speech she gave last March was posted at Breitbart’s Biggovernment.com.

In the edited tape, she spoke about how she had not initially helped a white farmer as much as she could have in 1986 when he was going to lose his farm. In the posting, Breitbart made it appear as though the story had occurred during her time as a federal official and not 24 years ago when she worked for a non-profit organization.

Breitbart also did not include the entire context of the speech, in which she later explained that she learned from the situation and ended up helping the farmer, Roger Spooner and his wife. Both Spooners spoke out several times Tuesday to support Sherrod and voice that they would have lost their farm if not for her help.

Breitbart has since posted the full version of the tape, but his original posting also remains.

“It was a time when I realized that they did some of the same things to white farmers that they did to black farmers,” Sherrod said about the speech. “I thought that all white farmers got the best treatment, but I found out in this case that was not so.”

Explaining the speech further, Sherrod said, “I am trying to say to the people there that it is time for us to move forward. We do not want to forget the past and be in a position that racism is there and we don’t see it. We want to move together. Our area of the state cannot grow and thrive until we learn to get along.”

But after Breitbart posted the video clip, Sherrod said the lack of context and explanation sparked anger against her. She said she found out about the clip when someone e-mailed a link to her and asked about it.

“I couldn’t believe it. I found this out when someone sent me (a link to) the tape, people who follow him, who put it out there,” Sherrod said about Breitbart. “I got crank calls right away. Someone sent me an e-mail and link and said ‘shame on you’ and other stuff. I was sitting in a meeting and I was really upset.

“I texted back that they were so wrong and that they need to know the message and they got it wrong.”

Sherrod said Cheryl Cook, USDA deputy undersecretary, called her Monday and said she had to be on administrative leave.”

She adds: “People were calling and writing the Department of Agriculture in Athens, Ga., and Washington to tell them about it. That I needed to be fired. That a racist like me had no business working for the department. That is the way they intimidate people and it worked.”

By the end of the day Monday, she was forced to resign.

Sherrod, 62, said her first reaction was shock that, after a career working for civil rights and as the daughter of a father murdered by racists, she would be seen in such a terrible light.

“To have people say that I was such a racist was unbelievable,” she said of the fallout from the video and Fox coverage. “My whole life, if you look into what I have done, my father was murdered in 1965. If you look at all of us, we all hurt with that and we got involved into the movement and channeled our effort into good, instead of hating.

“I am getting hate calls and e-mails at this point. I got one call last night at my house at 12:30 a.m. that said ‘you lost your job, good for you’ and ‘bitch’ There are people out there who will believe that I am a racist person, even though the story is getting out there.”

She said her husband, Charles, and her two children, who also live nearby in Athens, Ga., were surprised, but have been toughened by years of seeing her work in the civil rights movement: “They had to grow up in the movement so they have had to deal with stuff like this through the years. We did not always take the easy road. They have some thick skin as a result.”

But the clear damage to Sherrod comes from Breitbart, who posted the tape without context, and Fox, which ran with the story and did not seek to confirm it.

“The news media should tell it like it is and not the way they want it to be,” she said.

Sherrod said Breitbart never contacted her before posting the video clip to ask about it.

“I never heard that name until a few minutes ago,” she said Tuesday night about Breitbart. “He never contacted me. I think they intended it to be what it ended up being, a racist thing that could unite even more the racist people out there who follow them.”

She also said Fox News never checked the facts with her before posting a story and the video clip.

“Not before they reported it,” she said of Fox’s negligence. “They have called me today and initially I had said yes (to an interview), but I thought about it and I did not think they intended to be fair in their reporting. They are going to say what they want to say regardless of what I say.”

She said Fox showed no professionalism in continuing to bother her for an interview, but failing to correct their coverage.

“I think they should but they won’t. They intended exactly what they did. They were looking for the result they got yesterday,” she said of Fox. “I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person.”

Still, Fox continued to push for an interview with her, Sherrod said.

“It was unbelievable. I am refusing to be on there. They have been calling me and calling me. I have refused to do an interview because they are biased,” she explained. “I don’t think Fox News does it fairly. It is worse so now. I have sat and listened to the way they cover the news even before this administration and I saw what was going on.”

Sherrod said this situation has worsened her view of racism in media coverage.

“I think it is race. You think we have come a long way in terms of race relations in this country, but we keep going backwards,” she said. “We have become more racist. This was their doing, Breitbart put that together misrepresenting what I was saying and Fox carried it.”

Sherrod said she has gotten no future job offers and believes this will scar her reputation forever, even if all the facts come out.

“There will be people who always think of this,” she said. “I can see in the future whatever I do, this story will be recounted, no matter what. This will be brought up. People will constantly be trying to point out negative things.”

Have other job offers come up? “No, no one. People are afraid of me now, I guess, with all of this. That is the other fallout from this. Anyone would be afraid of me, maybe I am a troublemaker, a racist.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he is reviewing the matter, hinting that Sherrod could possibly get her job back.

Asked if she would return if asked, she said: “I think I would have to go back for a short time, even if I did not stay for a long haul. I would need to prove a point, that I can be bigger than them. I was doing a lot of good things. People had access to that office that never did before. I had reached out to the poorest counties.”

Despite that, she plans to carry on.

“I will go back to doing what I was doing before, working with people, trying to build,” she said. “There are a lot of projects in Georgia I have been involved in creating. I will get busy with that again.”

Sherrod said she is considering legal action, perhaps against Breitbart, Fox or the federal government:

“I don’t know enough to know. I wish I did. I would love to sue. I am going to talk about it. I have been getting calls from all over the country. I don’t want to leave one stone unturned.”

Sherrod said she has been helped by many media outlets, such as CNN and others that have allowed her to explain the truth, enough so that the NAACP retracted a statement Tuesday that had denounced her.

She said that has convinced her to trust some media outlets, noting she had plans to be on Good Morning America and NPR Wednesday.

“The only one I refused to do is Fox,” she said, adding the fair coverage by others “makes me think highly of some of the media, but not any better about Fox. It is a bad taste in my mouth dealing with them. It would help some if they apologized and say they were wrong, but I don’t see that happening.”

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