Wednesday, April 17, 2002

NPR-INDUCED HEARTBURN: I'm having another "Why do I keep listening to NPR?" day. First there was this morning's report on American agricultural sales to Cuba, which briefly quoted Assistant Secretary of State saying that Castro's was a "murderous regime", but countered it with a long interview with a farmer who wants to sell his produce to Cuba and can't figure out why anyone wouldn't like Castro. That dear sweet man -- how could you not like him? Especially if you stay in nice hotels that cater to foreigners and never ever let you see Cuban political prisoners ... But it was an essay this afternoon that nearly induced vomiting. Askia Muhammad, Washington correspondant for Final Call -- the Nation of Islam's paper, a fact NPR didn't mention -- explained that American Muslims are living in a police state. Really. He complained that the government has imprisoned that poor, blind, diabetic Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman for seven years -- you know, the guy who instigated the first World Trade Center bombing, i.e. the attempted murder of 50,000 people and the actual murder of a half-dozen. Even worse, the government is now prosecuting the poor old man's lawyer -- the woman who allegedy help conceal the sheikh's communications with other terrorists, thus allowing him to run his terrorist organization from prison. But the very worst thing, he explained, is that Muslims (of all people) have become the target of terrorism investigations after September 11th! Oh, the injustice of it all! Now, he allowed -- at least twice -- that he wasn't a conspiracy theorist, but he went on to tell listeners why they should believe conspiracy theories based on the various evils committed by the United States. Needless to say, NPR aired this "essay" without comment or a counter-opinion. It's not so much the stupidty that makes my blood boil, but that I can't ship such fools and whiners to a real police state -- say, Cuba -- to show them just how good they have it here.

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