Nikki Craft Not Linked to Portland Osama bin Laden Terrorist Threat
The Willamette Week in Portland ran an irresponsible and sloppily researched article by Chris Lydgate about an Osama bin Laden terrorist threat, linking Nikki Craft by denial. Then, typically, WW did not publish the rebuttal letter.
Several weeks ago the Willamette Week ran an article about a terrorist threat related to Osama bin Laden. Chris Lydgate, using astoundingly unethical journalistic tactics and no research into his subject matter, linked me--only by my denial--to those threats. I was the only person he contacted in writing his story.
My reply, which they have not published is reprinted below.
Dear Willamette Week Editor:
My "Wake Up Amerikkka" letter, written ten years ago in protest of the Gulf War, was co-authored, a fact not mentioned by Chris Lydgate. I stand by what I wrote as to that topic at the time.
Lydgate can only turn up 31 entries in his search engine? If you put "Amerikkka" into my favorite you get 6,850; "Wake Up Amerikkka", you get 574, 70 related to Iraq; "by any means necessary" you get 31,200.
The most interesting link I've found points to a Willamette Week hop-hop review, January 1999, entitled Allah's Math, a tribute to gangsta rap visiting Straight Outta Compton, Fuck Tha Police, Ice Cube, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Death Certificate, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, G-funk, Death Row, Tupac's and Amerikkka's Most Wanted. Now, that's what I call a slew of death threats. Advocating, threatening, and practicing violence (read: terrorism) in Amerikka isn't a sin; it's a religion. Flag wag all you want, but Osama bin Laden doesn't have anything on you.
Lydgate has no evidence it was one propagandist, nor a "leftist, either, Amerikkka is used by many including right wing extremists, conspiracists, black separatists, hemp activists, anarchists and others. The phrase 'wake up america' is used for a myriad of causes as well, from sleep disorders, to chemicals in the environment and all kind of political issues. It's very good advice.
Why single me out as a "radical feminist" except to imply that I am an extremist who wrote the new flyer calling for Jihad? Inserting my denial makes me appear deceptive as well as defensive.
Lydgate asked if it was "fair" to call me a "radical feminist," if I lived in Portland. I wrote immediately saying I didn't live in Oregon, would rather be called a long-time political activist concerned with justice issues. Hot on the trail of his story, my lack of involvement didn't deter this reporter, who wrote back less than thirty minutes later saying his editor said no changes could be made.
Lygate said he didn't consider the leaflet a threat, didn't even inform law enforcement; if so, why consider it newsworthy? Undoubtedly newsworthy, it deserved more investigation than contacting only me with a couple of questions via email, especially in the context of another article in the same issue about the press being under attack by Anthrax. (Gosh, why would anybody hate the media?)
The only linkage to Portland's Osama bin Laden leaflet and my letter is Chris Lydgate's shoddy research and irresponsible McCarthyesque red-bating of an activist working against war, US imperialism and globalization; and WW's editorial policies that would allow such a lapse. Spare us the lectures to other newspapers about journalistic ethics, won't you? --Nikki Craft
To read the original letter, read the complete text of my email conversation with Chris Lydgate, sign the Willamette Week Rage Page, or more information see:
The Willamette Rage Page is for for gripes or disagreements related to shoddy media tactics in general or the Willamette Week, general or specific. This Rage Page is especially for Portlanders who have had their rebuttal letters censored on any topic, which apparently happens frequently. Please freely pass this letter and/or url to related area lists and interested individuals.
Thanks for maintaining this alternative media site!
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