Who Are ABC's Racism Witnesses? Possibly Leftist, Even A Black Panther

<p><img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="/media/2005-12-07-ABCGMA.jpg" />ABC continued the racist-Katrina-response news angle this morning by interviewing two of the witnesses at yesterday's House hearing, requested by Rep. Cynthia McKinney. The taped and edited interview segment (no need for really wild conspiracy theories on air) featured &quot;Good Morning America&quot; co-host Charles Gibson interviewing Doreen Keeler and Leah Hodges. I decided to play the Google game. Are these women's backgrounds available on the Internet? Are they perhaps....left-wingers? Here's what I found:</p><p>A woman by the name of Doreen Keeler is listed as a plaintiff for the <a href="http://www.crlp.org/pr_03_0624laplates.html">Center for Reproductive Rights</a> fighting a &quot;Choose Life&quot; license plate in Louisiana since that apparently &quot;infringes on free speech rights&quot; (or at least upsets abortion advocates). That might match, considering Keeler is listed in today's <a href="http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/washington/index.ssf?/base/news-1/113394183... Orleans Times-Picayune</a> as an AIDS activist &quot;who works for the NO/AIDS Task force in New Orleans and manages the Louisiana HIV/AIDS hotline.&quot; Might someone with socially liberal views be especially supportive of suggesting the Bush administration response was inadequate?</p><p>A look for Leah Hodges and New Orleans had a slimmer sample, but I had to look twice: an article on criminal defense attorneys in <a href="http://publications.neworleans.com/no_magazine/33.4.-DEFENSIVESTARTERS.h... Orleans magazine</a> featured a Leah Hodges:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right: 0px;"><p>Glass landed his first major case while still at Legal Services. It turned out that several of the clients, whom he and fellow lawyer Ernest Jones had been representing through that agency, were members of the Black Panther party.</p><p>“When they were indicted during a shootout with the police, we remained as their lawyers,” he says. Glass and Jones ultimately won an acquittal for <strong>lead defendant</strong> <strong>Leah Hodges</strong> and several others on the charge of the attempted murder of five policemen. “It was an extremely tense and ultimately wonderful experience,’ he says. “It’s great to win your first case.”</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">There's another sampling of Leah Hodges/Black Panther activity on this site <a href="http://www.prisonactivist.org/angola/noprisoners.shtml">fighting the &quot;pigs.&quot;</a> If the Leah Hodges of Cynthia McKinney's hearing and Leah Hodges the Black Panther of the Vietnam era are the same person, it would certainly explain her stories about being targeted by the racist police. </p>

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis