the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 17, 2005

Freedom Walk: Arlington Cemetery Out, Hatemonger WMAL In


As promised I’m keeping an eye on the Freedom Walk site. Today there were a couple of further changes.

First, on the “About” page the phrase “cross Arlington National Cemetery” has been dropped from the sentence “The America Supports You Freedom Walk is a two-mile walk that will begin near the Pentagon crash site, cross Arlington National Cemetery, proceed over the Memorial Bridge, pass several National memorials, and conclude adjacent to the National Mall and Reflecting Pool.” Not sure what that means.

Second, the Washington Post’s decision to drop its sponsorship (after heavy criticism) left a gap in the list of sponsors. Local right-wing news-talk radio station 630 WMAL has stepped up to do its duty.

WMAL makes no secret of its political leanings, as you can see by a visit to its website (don’t miss the citizen scoreboard). The station has been in the news lately because its talk show host Michael Graham (a veteran of the “Truth Tour”) made various anti-Muslim statements, including “The problem is Islam” and “We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam.” Far from retracting or apologizing, when confronted Graham responded with further Muslim bashing and was supported by WMAL management, who described his words as simply “rattling the cage”. Eventually, under pressure, WMAL suspended him.

Graham’s substitute host, Mark Williams, promptly carried on the theme of attacking minorities by whipping up listeners into a frenzy against illegal immigrants and getting them to flood the mayor of Herndon with hate calls about a proposed gathering site for day laborers:

You need to help … Mayor O’Reilly understand he’s advocating breaking the law … and assisting criminal aliens who are in this country destroying this country, stealing jobs, running drugs, raping people. This is not an approved activity for the mayor of Herndon, Virginia.

Is getting WMAL involved really the best way to make the Freedom Walk look less partisan?

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