The blog of Frederick Clarkson

What to Do About the Racist Remarks of William Bennett?

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Sarah Posner has published a well-researched piece at The Gadflyer, about the Salem Communications radio empire that carries a vast array of conservative programming. Here is an excerpt:

“Michigan Democrat John Conyers has written a letter to the Salem Radio Network,” writes Posner, “requesting that it suspend Bill Bennett’s program for his outrageous remarks that ‘[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”‘ But who owns Salem, and what do you think they’re going to do about Bennett?”

“Salem Radio Network’s parent company is Salem Communications, a publicly traded media company which openly claims its programming is from a conservative Christian perspective. The company owns over 100 radio stations in major metropolitan markets and syndicates its programming to 1,900 stations around the country.

“Salem’s principals, CEO Ed Atsinger and his brother-in-law and Board Chairman Stuart Epperson (himself a radio host), are long-time patrons of the Christian right and its favored Republican candidates and causes.”

Much more.

Written by fred

September 30th, 2005 at 10:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'What to Do About the Racist Remarks of William Bennett?'

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  1. If you look at the context of his remarks, what happened was that a guy said that if we hadn’t aborted anyone over the past 30 years, we probably wouldn’t have any problems with a social security deficit. Bill Bennett then said that that was like saying if you aborted all black babies the crime rate would go down – true, but a patently absurd scenario. Yes, it is true – as Matt Yglesias noted, if we aborted all non-white, all male, all non-affluent, and all Southern babies, the crime rate would also go down – but nobody is advocating that.

    I can’t stand Bill Bennett for a multitude of reasons – but this is much ado about nothing.


    1 Oct 05 at 9:27 am

  2. Well, Ken. We do not agree. Bennett makes the clear, and repeated assertion that if you aborted black babies the crime rate would go down. I don’t think context helpd Bennett on this one. His repugnant view comes across loud and clear. But let’s let the chips fall where they may. Media Matters for America has the whole transcript and the video.

    Frederick Clarkson

    1 Oct 05 at 12:29 pm

  3. It’s repugnant because he makes the link between blacks and crime, as if it’s just a given.

    As Media Matters points out, the example he was basing that on, from the book Freakonomics, had no racial aspect to it at all. That was supplied by the mind of Bill Bennett.

    And given the rash of race-baiting specifically targetted at African American survivors of hurricane Katrina by other right-wing talkers, it smells even worse than it already did. Was he intentionally feeding that trend? Was it just his innate sense that black people=criminals?

    Either way: repugnant.

    Dr. Laniac

    1 Oct 05 at 1:52 pm

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