[Marxism] Fwd: Cynthia McKinney Confronts Corporate Media Malice in Court
steffie.brooks at gmail.com
Sun Aug 5 20:22:34 MDT 2007
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Cynthia McKinney Confronts Corporate Media Malice In Court
Posted to ActionGreens yahoo group by
"Don DeBar" dondebar at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 3, 2007 5:41 am
Cynthia McKinney Confronts Corporate Media Malice In Court
By Black Agenda Report.
The American judicial system is not the place to seek Black liberation
or redress, but it can serve to put our grievances on the record. The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a corporate rag if there ever was one,
has for many years defamed, libeled and maliciously harmed former
Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, their nemesis in the campaign
to prove that Black voters are moving to the Right - a universal
objective among corporate media. The newspaper's point person in this
assault is another Black woman, editor Cynthia Tucker, a pet of her
bosses and one mean pit bull. McKinney's suit targets Tucker's and her
corporation's crimes against truth, but also illuminates the general
offensive against Black self-determination. It's gonna be a long war.
In a suit filed in Georgia state court, former congresswoman Cynthia
McKinney charges the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and its parent
company, Cox Enterprises, a multi-national corporation, with waging a
libelous, defamatory and malicious vendetta resulting in the loss of
her congressional seat, last year. The case is a window - albeit a
narrow, legal one - on the general corporate campaign to penetrate and
reshape Black politics in the United States, to impose a docile class
of corporate-friendly Black "leaders." Media is key to accomplishing
At the core of the suit is Cynthia Tucker, the Black editor of the
AJC's editorial page, who has for years been incapable of uttering
McKinney's name without sneering. Tucker, the corporate owners' Black
pit bull, depicted McKinney's March, 2006, encounter with a Capitol
Hill policeman as an unprovoked assault, pure and simple. "She slugged
him with her telephone," wrote Tucker, in a column that appeared
barely a week before McKinney faced challenger Hank Johnson, the
favorite of most whites and the corporate establishment, in a
Democratic primary runoff. Tucker "tried to spin this incident into a
felony," said McKinney, in her suit. "This false and libelous
allegation is not supported by any witness or other evidence."
McKinney was never indicted for any crime, and says the incident was
the result of racial and political harassment by the Capitol Police.
Tucker made McKinney's defeat a priority project. "Tucker falsely
attempted to attribute what she interprets as anti-Semitic statements
by Cynthia McKinney's father by stating that 'her father, [is] a
spokesman for the campaign,'" the suit states. "Her father was not a
spokesman for the campaign or for her."
McKinney has long been targeted by the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC), possibly the nation's most powerful lobby and
attack dog group, for her failure to tow the Israeli line in Congress.
Although McKinney's father, a former Atlanta police officer and state
lawmaker, has indeed made indiscreet comments, no one has ever claimed
Rep. McKinney has uttered anything that could remotely be deemed
anti-Semitic. "The attempted attribution was false, defamatory and
libelous," states her legal brief.
McKinney labels as "malicious" Tucker's repetitive assertions that
"She suggested that President Bush had known in advance about the
Sept. 11 attacks but did nothing to stop them so his friends could
profit from the ensuing war." That's not what McKinney said, back in
the Spring of 2002, and her questioning of the conduct and motives of
the Bush regime have since proved prescient.
Cox Enterprises' Atlanta radio outlet, WSB, piled on in racist frenzy.
McKinney looks like a "ghetto slut," shrieked talk show personality
Neal Boortz - a "slander," according to McKinney's suit.
Cox did nothing to rein in their radio personality, and Cynthia Tucker
won a Pulitzer Prize for her columns, including the one that savaged
McKinney. A Cox spokesman called McKinney's suit "preposterous." (For
further details on the legal action, see Atlanta Progressive News,
Newspaper as Serial Liar
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution worked in tandem with corporate money
and AIPAC to first unseat Cynthia McKinney in the 2002 Democratic
primary election. The paper, like its corporate siblings across the
nation, was anxious to prove that a political sea change had occurred
in Black America. Gone were the days of "civil rights-style" rhetoric
and confrontation - or so the theory went. Middle class African
Americans like those in McKinney's district, centered in Dekalb
County, the second most affluent Black majority county in the nation,
were becoming more conservative, it was said. According to the new
paradigm, hatched in rightwing think tanks and universally adopted by
corporate media, the Cynthia McKinneys of Black America are out of
date, passé, and no longer appealed to an upwardly mobile class of
African American voters. Dekalb County would tell the tale.
While AIPAC and corporate donors stuffed the coffers of Black
challenger Denise Majette - a former Republican and protégé of
pro-Republican Democratic Senator Zell Miller - the Atlanta Journal
Constitution provided Majette with millions of dollars in free
publicity and attack-dog services. Cynthia Tucker growled and sneered
at the head of the local and national corporate media pack, intent on
making a fait accompli of their own analysis, that Blacks were sliding
to the Right. Tens of thousands of white Republicans prepared to cross
over to vote as Democrats in the "open primary," eager to put the
uppity McKinney in her place. The Designated Negro, Majette, outspent
the McKinney by 40 percent.
Majette won. Corporate media rejoiced, nationwide. As their local
representative, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution claimed to conduct a
study that showed Majette had assembled a "biracial coalition of
voters" to win victory, ushering in a new age of "centrist" Black
politics. The prophecy had been fulfilled.
Bruce Dixon, now Black Agenda Report's managing editor, did his own
study of the election data and found that Majette could not have won
more than 19 percent of the Black vote. The key to Majette's victory
was an abnormally high white turnout, 90 percent of which she won.
Majette was not the Great Black Centrist Hope - she was the white
candidate, and the Black community had overwhelmingly supported
McKinney. There was no history-shaking "split" among Blacks in
relatively affluent Dekalb County; it was a fiction.
More than half a year after Dixon proved that the Atlanta Journal
Constitution's "study" was bogus, the paper's own favorite political
scientist and quote-man, University of Georgia Prof. Charles Bullock,
declared Majette's "bi-racial coalition" a myth. His research showed
Majette garnered no more than 17 percent of the Black vote. (See Bruce
Dixon, June 12, 2003.) "What Majette needs to be doing is getting out,
courting in the Black community, trying to broaden her coalition
because she did so poorly in her community," wrote Prof. Bullock.
What Majette did was get out of the district, embarking on a Quixotic,
hopeless quest for Zell Miller's vacating Senate seat. With no time
for AIPAC, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and corporate capital to
vet a Designated Negro of their own, Cynthia McKinney won her seat
back in 2004.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found defamatory manna from heaven in
the last year of McKinney's term, when a Capitol Hill policeman
confronted her as she attempted to do the people's work. Editor
Cynthia Tucker revved up her defamation machine, recycling old lies
and libels with the new. We commend Cynthia McKinney for challenging
Tucker and the Cox corporate giant that is Tucker's only backbone, in
court, while fully understanding that the chances of judicial success
are slim, to say the least. If deliberate distortion of reality by
corporate media could be effectively prosecuted in the United States,
the entire industry would be behind bars or bankrupted. McKinney is
putting their crimes against truth on the record, and we salute her.
The assaults against McKinney's character and seven-term career are
but one skirmish in a nationwide corporate offensive that was sketched
out by rightwing strategists in the mid-Nineties and fully implemented
in the early years of the Bush regime. For the first time, corporate
American would make a concerted and coordinated effort to cleanse the
African American polity of what remained of the Black Freedom
Movement. The year 2002 was their D-Day for invasion of Black
politics. They came strapped with millions in cash, and the supporting
artillery of corporate media. AIPAC acted as cavalry, ranging across
the country and terrorizing Black politicians into submission.
The first target was Newark, New Jersey, where Hard Right Bradley
Foundation Black acolyte Cory Booker, a 31-year-old second term city
councilman and private school voucher advocate, raised millions in his
mayoral campaign and won endorsements from every New York region
corporate media outlet, thanks to the skills of the Bradley-funded
Manhattan Institute. I am proud to say that my research and writings,
exposing him as a Trojan Horse for the Right, forestalled Booker's
ascension to City Hall for four years. Booker was beaten, but remained
on the A-list of corporate-designated "new Black leaders" until he
finally won the mayor's office in 2006.
The corporate juggernaut rolled on, in 2002, vastly overspending (by
60 percent) and ousting Black Alabama Congressman Earl Hilliard, who
had resisted the pro-Israel lobby and corporate demands. He was
replaced by the pliant but deviously skilled Artur Davis. Then it was
Cynthia McKinney's turn, later that summer.
At the end of the 2002 offensive, the corporate blitzkrieg had
installed Artur Davis, Denise Majette, and the obscure but thoroughly
bought-out new congressman from the Atlanta-area, David Scott, in the
Congressional Black Caucus. They joined Columbus, Georgia's Sanford
Bishop and the rapidly Right-rushing Harold Ford, Jr. (TN) to form a
corporate faction within the Caucus, along with Maryland's Albert Wynn
and shaky members who trembled whenever the winds blew rightward. The
Congressional Black Caucus was finished as a coherent political force
on Capitol Hill, unable to resist corporate capital as represented in
its own ranks.
The Black masses have not undergone any political sea change; they
have simply been abandoned by their representatives, who have been
suborned or terrorized by money and concentrated media and lobby
power. Corporations have embraced "diversity" as a weapon. About a
decade ago, they realized that their vast wealth empowered them to
create an alternative Black political structure, and that there were
plenty of Black opportunists eager to be recruited. At this point,
corporate victory is all but complete, having neutered Black electoral
and traditional institutions in lightning speed.
The disaster puts in graphic relief the failures of legal strategies,
which are so narrow that nine people on the Supreme Court can thwart
the will of 40 million African Americans, and the impotence of
conventional electoral strategies, which are negated in Dekalb County,
Georgia, and everywhere else in the nation through sheer force of
There is no substitute for a mass movement in opposition to the cages
that capital erects around us. Cynthia McKinney represents the
overwhelming majority of Black people in her district. They are
inspired by her courage and defiance of Power - and are no different
than African Americans, everywhere. The corporate project uses its
media to invent a fantasy Black polity, and then deploys its media
muscle and money to make it so. Some of us believe the constantly
repeated lie. If it goes unchallenged long enough, it becomes a
received truth - and progressive politics, with its base in Black
America, will be over.
African Americans must press for self-determination, not mitigated by
money or the power of white voter "democracy" - a democracy from Hell,
as we have known throughout our entire sojourn on this continent. Only
WE affirm ourselves, not corporate media, not the millions that Barack
Obama gathers from his rich friends. But that means we must organize.
It is a lifelong project, as it was for our ancestors.
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