Why Words Can Hurt You
(Page 3 of 12)
DS: You mentioned that since you've been with the magazine, you guys have expanded out to include right wing groups, or a broader agenda. How long have you been with the magazine and why did you make that decision?
MP: I came here in the middle of '97, and my own background was such that I had been a reporter for 20 years, but I came after a rash of covering the radical right—the Waco events, the militia movement that had grown out of that, the Oklahoma City bombing, the trial of McVeigh afterwards. In fact, I remember when I gave my notice to USA Today I was literally standing at a roadblock at a standoff in east Texas with a group called The Republic of Texas, who were facing off with the Texas Rangers.
I got here and it just seemed like the publication was narrower than what we could really do. And we had been, at times perhaps, superficial in our handling and examination of certain groups. There was also, I feared, sometimes a little bit of an element of hypocrisy in the sense that for instance we wrote extensively about anti-abortion extremists who targeted individual doctors and their helpers by doing things like printing their names and home addresses and pictures of their children, and what car they drove to work, and that sort of thing. But at the same time we said nothing about groups like the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, which are not right-wing groups in any sense, but employed exactly the same kind of tactics—that kind of targeting of individuals, holding them up for real, physical assault.
And then there were areas that were not much covered at all, but really did deserve coverage. Things like the tax protestor movement. You know, certain sectors of the militia movement that were not much understood—common law courts, sovereign citizens, and so on. Basically, I wanted the magazine to be everything it could be, and I certainly was not alone here. We wanted to create a magazine that essentially would become the magazine, the definitive publication covering the American radical right.
DS: Are there any groups or sorts of things that you don't track that one might confuse with what you do??
MP: Well, the big hole, if it is a hole, is that we don't really cover radical Islam. Now, we do in a sense. We've always covered black nationalists, which have always considered part of our bailiwick. And what I'm talking about is what I've always considered right black nationalists. In other words there are these groups like the New Black Panther Party, which talk about whites being evil and gay people being evil, and they're into the Jews, as well, and so on. So we cover that narrow band but we didn't cover radical mosques in Jersey City and that kind of thing.
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 | 4
| Next >>