Billionaires who back conservative Republicans are trashed on NPR when they die as “scathing TV ad” backers. But what about a black radical who wrote a poem blaming 9-11 on Israel and implying America was evil and terrorist? On Thursday night's "All Things Considered," NPR began by calling him “one of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures,” under the headline “Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful.”
The man’s invented Muslim name was Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones). He was the poet laureate of New Jersey in 2002, but they abolished that honorary office after his poem. NPR cultural correspondent Neda Ulaby found his most controversial work wasn’t too negative, it was “complicated.”
Bill Ayers isn’t the only communist insurgent who’s greeted warmly by the national media. Tuesday’s edition of National Public Radio’s black-oriented talk show News & Notes carried an interview with Frank Wilderson, a rare American accepted into the armed insurgent wing of the African National Congress. The show’s host, former Newsweek writer Farai Chideya, tried to assist Wilderson in explaining how Nelson Mandela looked like a sellout to the South African Communist Party. "We were insurgents for an ethical reorganization of civil society and political economy. And in this day and age it's too easy to mark that kind of activity as a pure terrorist activity," he complained.