CyberAlert -- 04/15/1996 -- Hate Radio and Gingrich

Hate Radio and Gingrich

As I suggested a couple of days ago might happen, Friday night's Dateline NBC hosted by Bill Moyers did provide a platform for more of his liberal politics. Friday's New York Post quoted Moyers as promising: "I went down there [Oklahoma City] with nothing but a desire to find out what was happening. There was no agenda." Saturday I spent some time transcribing a portion of the show. See if you don't agree that Moyers was particularly sleazy in his broad swipes at "hate radio" and "politics of this season." Neither he nor those he soundbites ever define who he/they mean. He cites Liddy, but also attacks unidentified hosts on KTOK which does not carry Liddy. And the comments about "politics" seem to be euphemisms for Gingrich and the GOP Congress.
Here's my parial transcript. Please note, since the show did not have chyrons, spellings are my best guesses.

[Bud Welch, daughter was killed: "....I thought, the first few months, that there was probably going to be more unity in the country, politically."]
Bill Moyers: "That this tragedy would bring us together?"
[Welch: "Yes, that this tragedy would bring it together, but we're seeing through the elections that's going on right now, the same negative thoughts, the militia groups, the hate radio."]
Moyers: "And you think that contributed to the tragedy, the bombing here?
[Welch: "Absolutely, without a doubt. Because it justifies a lot of the angry feelings that people have. Every time I think about Julie giving her life and the fact that we haven't made any changes. It just incenses me for that to happen."]
[audio of G. Gordon Liddy on Welch's car radio which is set to 930 AM: "...handguns will never occur unless this one is taken first and even then, not for decades. More reason to repeal the phony assault weapon ban."]
Moyers: "The airwaves are still saturated with militant rhetoric. Day and night you can hear a stream of rage and insult directed with unremitting hostility at government and others. It rubs like salt in deep wounds and some of the families are trying to counter it."
[Liddy audio: "Let's get it out of there."]
[Radio announcer over video of KTOK studio: "You're listening to news/talk 1000 KTOK, Oklahoma's information source presents Carole Arnold."]
Moyers: "Emerging from their private grief, they appeal for an end of hateful talk and political invective. Their experience is their message. What a society sows, it reaps."
[Carole Arnold, KTOK talk show host to Welch in studio: "I want you to think about what you consider the biggest mistake that has been made in the aftermath of this tragedy. And what you think is the best thing we've done, so far. And I'm going to start with you, Bud Welch"]
[Welch: "Well, that's a real tough question about the best thing to come out of it. I suppose that the best thing would be the bringing together of the country as a whole and in many ways the bringing together of the world, the free world. And, of course, in other ways it's divided. We have a lot militia groups running around all over the country and we have some local support for them which I think is horrible. I directly blame politics for the bombing."]
[Arnold: "We'll take a break for headlines and be back with our guests on KTOK."]
Moyers: "This local station has given the families a forum, but it also carries several hours talk every day that they find inflammatory."
[Bud Welch to Arnold in her office after show: "Of course I think the media need to be involved a little bit in a little bit of control of the hate radio going on. I'm very disturbed about that. I'm mean where's the responsibility? The ratings doesn't tell it all Carole."
[Arnold: "The ratings tells you, unfortunately and sadly, that people listen to that crap."]
[Marsha Kites, daughter was killed: "When we have to take in so much, who are so directly effected. Where are people's feelings? Does it have to be your daughter? Does it have to be, what does it take? We have become so used to murder, to drive-by shootings, to everything else that goes on in this country and we accept it as okay. It's not okay.
We're going to be our own demise because of our lack of sensitivity. I'm tired of it. I hurt daily and they keep shoving it down my throat."]

[Reverend Robin Myers, Mayflower Congregational Church: "Words have everything to do with it and the rhetoric of hate has everything to do with it. We have been turning up the volume of hateful rhetoric for a dozen years or more. The way we do politics now is not to enter our ideas into competition with other people's ideas, but to vilify our opposition."]
Moyers: "Just as federal workers were coming out of shock from the bombing, there was another blow, this time from Washington....In November the budget battle in Washington led to a short furlough for federal employees. In January the impasse between the President and Congress led to an extended furlough that put many federal employees under serious strain."
[Bryant Gumbel on TV in home of survivor, from the January 4 Today (this was a Notable Quotable!): "We're going to look to the continuing government shutdown. Although some legislators have foolishly suggested the fact that we are going on about our business despite the absence of the workers says maybe they weren't needed anyway. We will show you how some average Americans are suffering every day as a result of what is now 20 days of the government shutdown."]

Moyers: "It's been a tough year for you federal workers here. The bombing, the furlough, you lost pay for a while. You continue to be demonized in the rhetoric of politics this season. What does that do to your idea of yourself?"
[Germaine Johnston, HUD supervisor who survived bombing: "Well it, I know myself I worry all the time. It's kind of like you are caught in the middle. The people, they don't matter, it's like a casualty of war, whatever happens to you that's the way it goes."]

end of show:
Moyers: "It will never be the same. The bombers saw to that. The tears and grief, the pain and the sorrow were all intended. Terrorism is the politics of murder. We should have seen it coming. Hate was in the air. Government had been vilified, found guilty and sentenced to die. It didn't matter who was in the way. There are lessons for us here, something to take away from the wreckage of that day, if we're listening, one year later."
Pretty slick. Who, specifically, vilified government? Which hosts produce hate radio?

-- Brent Baker