Nightline, with Ted Koppel, has chosen this evening to review the personal and tragic recovery of those living and dead as a result of an explosion on April 19th. Reviewing the story of two children dug out of the rubble, one alive and one dead, the dead child being the object of the now famous cover of Newsweek magazine. Interviews with the doctors who found that they had to amputate the leg of a twenty year old mother who had lost her two children and her mother in the explosion. The relief and congratulations when another child was removed from the rubble, alive, late that evening.
Ted began the program by reminding us that just 32 years ago, television audiences saw no normal programming for five days as a result of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Reviewing the scene at Dealey Plaza, the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson, Jackie"s grief and the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald occupied all but the local news slot. Five days later the networks finally returned to regular programming.
The art of presentation has changed, considerably, for after just a couple of days, the revenue source of the networks, programming and advertising, are back in order. Talk shows, television equivalents of the National Enquirer, and special broadcasts have become the means of generating emotional grief in the audiences. They have also become the forum for the demonization of people who have become concerned over the more recent events of our history that have demonstrated a change in the nature of government. Militia around the country have become the target of every highly paid specialist of mis-information on every network. Somebody has to be guilty of the tragedy in Oklahoma City, and with the alleged bomber, Timothy McVeigh, hidden behind prison bars, the scapegoat has become these militia. Yes, those same militia identified in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
I spoke with a reporter, yesterday, and expressed my concern over the direction of coverage and the tension that it was creating. He said that, among other matters, he would also like some guidance in what direction should be taken to properly cover the story. Now, we don"t really believe that he was sincere in this request, but I did offer my thoughts on the matter. I suggested that the networks should DEMAND the presentation of the surveillance video the FBI has claimed to possess. The release, and broadcasting of this video would put to rest many of the unanswered questions surrounding the bombing. He told me that they have asked for the video, but the FBI has claimed that, since there is an ongoing investigation, they cannot release it.
It was clear, by this conversation, that this simple answer by the FBI was sufficient to allow the television press to cast off their concern over this evidence, and seek out yet another militia organization to demonize. It had never occurred to them that we have been exposed to video coverage of events since JFK"s assassination, with more recent events being the Rodney King beating, numerous killings during convenience store robberies, and many others acts long before the perpetrators were identified and arrested. Why doesn"t this standard apply in the present case? Is there a reason for the press to not seek this video, or, at least, a valid and specific reason for the "evidence" to remain secreted away in a vault, much like the evidence of the tragedy in Waco?
We have been told that the video shows the Ryder truck being parked at 8:56 A.M., in front of the Murrah building. We have been told that two men were seen near the truck until around 9:00. We have been told that one of the men appears to be Timothy McVeigh, and that the other may be John Doe #2, according to the renderings that have been shown nationwide. What we haven"t been told is, why the government will not release this video.
Perhaps the press needs to tell the government WHY they should release the video. There are many rumors circulating as to how many explosions, and whether the truck was actually the "device" which created the explosion. There are questions as the whether McVeigh and John Doe #2 are really the culprits in the matter. There are probably many more questions that, when answered, will relieve some of the tension that has grown to extreme proportions on both the sides, the Patriot community and the government. There appears, however, to be no concern on the part of the FBI that they have the means to, perhaps, relieve some tension. Nor does their seem to be any sense of accountability by the employees of the people to explain their reasoning for their secretiveness.
Some other points I should have made to the reporter, especially in light of the program tonight, are: Where was the press as Perry Jones lay dying because he was denied medical attention, unless, of course, he surrendered to the BATF/FBI? Where was the press when dozens of children survived fusillades of bullets tearing holes in their walls, doors and ceilings, and some of their friends bodies as the BATF attempted to serve search and arrest warrants against David Koresh? And, where was the press when nearly twenty children huddled in fear, wrapped in wet blankets, and their mothers arms, as the federal "authorities" fired tear gas into their home, and made ripe an environment which eventually, allowed their home to burn to the ground, along with those children, screaming in pain as the flames and resulting pain exceeded the hurt from the nearly six hours of gassing? Where was the press when some of the Davidians were held in jail over eleven months, as material witnesses, and then never asked to testify? Where was the press when Marjorie Thomas and Misty Ferguson lay in bed recovering from nearly fatal burns from that fire? Where was the press when America"s government succeeded in conducting atrocities on her people to an extent as severe as nearly any in the recent history of the world?
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