Your Tax Dollars at CPB: Pacifica Radio Airs Radical Saying 'bin-Ladenism' Lives On at White House, Pentagon

Taxpayer-funded Pacifica Radio receives around $1.5 million a year in funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It has a nasty habit of being especially radical on conventionally patriotic occasions. On Memorial Day 2010, Pacifica brought on radical Noam Chomsky to denounce "the great killer and torturer" and "grand criminal" Ronald Reagan. The morning after Independence Day in 2010, Pacifica brought on Michael Moore to declare that Americans will be turned away from Heaven for U.S. war crimes. So it's not surprising Pacifica added another outrage after Osama bin Laden was killed. Democracy Now hostess Amy Goodman brought on her old friend and radical journalist Allan Nairn to suggest Osama bin Laden was a smaller killer than the U.S. government, the global center of bin-Ladenism:

But if we recognize that someone who is willing to kill civilians en masse, someone who is willing to send young people out with weapons and bombs to, as President Obama put it, see to it that a family doesn’t have a loved one sitting at the dinner table anymore, see to it that a child and a parent never meet again, if we say that someone like that deserves to die, then we have to follow through on that idea, and we have to recognize, OK, if these things really are so enormous, we have to stop them. Killing bin Laden does not stop them. Bin Laden is dead, but the world is still governed by bin Ladens.

People cheer because they thought they saw justice, but this was not justice delivered by—a kind of rough justice delivered by victims. This was one killer killing another, a big killer, the United States government, killing another, someone who’s actually a smaller one, bin Laden.

And the bin Laden doctrine that, to take out the CIA office that was at the World Trade Center, it’s OK to blow up the whole World Trade Center, to teach Americans a lesson, it’s OK to slaughter thousands of Americans—that doctrine lives on in the American White House, in the American Pentagon. You know, every day—and in seats of authority all over the world.

Every day, the U.S., directly with its own forces, or indirectly through its proxy forces, its clients, is killing, at a minimum, dozens of people. I mean, just since Obama came in, in the one limited area of drone strikes in Pakistan, something like 1,900 have been killed just under Obama. And that started decades before 9/11. We have to stop these people, these powerful people like Obama, like Bush, like those who run the Pentagon, and who think it’s OK to take civilian life. And it doesn’t seem that they can be stopped by normal, routine politics, because under the American system, as in most other systems, people don’t even know this is happening. People know the face of bin Laden. They know the evil deeds that he’s done. They see that he is dead, and they say, "Oh, great, we killed bin Laden." But they don’t see the other 20, 30, 50, 100 people who the U.S. killed that day, many of them children, many of them civilians. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be out in the street cheering about those deaths.

Nairn compared Obama's America to Mubarak's Egypt and Ben Ali's Tunisia, just another vicious dictatorship that needs to be overthrown by the people:

We’ve got to stop this practice. And Americans aren’t doing it. Egyptians, Tunisians are doing their part. They’ve risen up against the repression they face. I think we need an American uprising, if we’re to put a stop to this kind of killing of innocent people. And we need an American Romero, someone like Archbishop Romero of Salvador, who, in the face of massacres, of daily massacres of what in the end was more than 70,000 Salvadorans, stood up and said to the army of his country, "Stop the repression. Defy your orders to kill, because there’s a higher principle."

About a little more than a week ago, I was in El Salvador and visited Romero’s old home, which I had never been to before, and saw that on his bookshelf he had Why Not the Best?, a campaign book by Jimmy Carter, which he had apparently been reading. Romero wrote to Jimmy Carter in his capacity as the archbishop in 1980, asking Carter to stop supporting the Salvadoran military that was slaughtering his people. And from what I know of Romero, he probably really believed that Carter would respond. He didn’t. Carter kept sending the aid. And within weeks, Romero himself was assassinated by death squad, that had originated from U.S. backing. Writing letters didn’t work in that case. And it doesn’t work here. You know, we’ve got to put a stop to this. Bin Laden is dead. And bin-Ladenism, if you want to call it that, should die also.

Goodman also welcomed her friend Nairn to Pacifica for an entire hour at the end of 2010 to sing this same anti-American anthem: "Well, now, as the U.S. is losing its edge economically, it has one clear comparative advantage. And that’s in killing. And it’s using it."

Nairn found the same need for an overthrow of the U.S. government: "There’s not that much difference between the choice that an American has and the choice that a person in repressive Burma or repressive China or repressive Indonesia has. In none of those countries, including the U.S., can you choose to alter the basic policies. You vote for Democrat, you vote for Republican, you get the same thing on state murder, on preventable death. But we here have the right to rebel. We have to use it."

The next time public broadcasters and their liberal allies have a press conference with Big Bird or Arthur the Aardvark, outrages like this ought to be what the journalists should press them to explain. Why do our tax dollars go to this kind of radical propaganda?

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