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CNN lets neo-nazi air Jena6 death threats

The large civil rights rally in Jena, Louisiana called for equality in schools and law enforcement in addition to justice for 6 boys receiving outrageous charge for a school fistfight (some of whom hadn't been involved in the fight at all). This received very good coverage in the national media, with some cable news stations placing several reporters in the crowd of tens of thousands, and offering 10-20 minute blocks of airtime.
The next day, the focus of the story switched to the reaction or backlash of some people in the area. Particularly, a pair of teens was shown driving near the crowds with a noose hanging off their pickup truck. It was difficult to judge how widespread the sentiment was, or whether the stations were attracting to the most flashy and offensive.
Later on this day after the rally, CNN actually let on a prominent neo-nazi, Bill White, and allowed him to broadcast a specific threat or call for attack against the Jena 6. At his '' site (creepily titled libertarian-socialist), they will be posting the home addresses of families in Jena along with a suggestion for any white person to try to bump them off.
Several questions arise here. First, was it ethical for CNN to do this? On one hand, the coverage of the Jena 6 issue was tremendous on Thursday, because this case which clearly has come to be supported by the large majority of the american population was previously only receiving coverage on Democracy Now and regional magazines. The large rally represented something larger than the specific case at hand, but indicated people's strong sentiment that racial injustice in the judicial system and schools is still too widespread and we still need to solve it. Part of full coverage of this issue would be to show both extreme racists, and moderate, stealth racists who wouldn't admit their behavior yet let this sort of case slide by.
At the same time, airing this neo-nazi with his death threats actually could have the effect of encouraging either raging or closeted racists to act on their beliefs and go to hurt some people next week. Is this legal? In California, there are several trials going on at the end of September, over 'conspiracy' indictments against environmental activists, where no crime was ever committed, and it was actually fairly clear that nothing would have happened. The Coronado trial involved a conspiracy indictment occurred three years after a speech in which an audience member had asked how he had burned something with gasoline a decade earlier. An undercover police officer recorded the question. In the mcDavid trial, an undercover officer gave three young people liquor and they smoked marijuana, and then encouraged them to fantasize about carrying out a campaign of disruption. Even though this was a private conversation where they imagined stealing a jam truck and spilling the contents on the road, McDavid is facing 20 year charges for just talking about making a bomb. Yet neo-nazis can openly do the same thing and make web sites about it and appear on CNN?
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Mon, Sep 24, 2007 8:57PM
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paul jones
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Maanami A. Owolafe
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one people's proj.
Sat, Sep 22, 2007 8:40AM
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