The Queen of Distortion
Record of her attacks, and my responses (Basu is an "opinion" writer for the Des Moines Register) reprinted from the Prayer & Action News, which was a weekly magazine through 1996 with the four weeks of each month designated "Aug/A/94", "Aug/B/94", etc.
First Contact (Aug/A/94) "Hoping for the best; a vain hope"
Introduction to first article: analysis of the interview itself (Aug/B/94) "Correction! Basu's "Olive Branch" was Laced with Acid"
Basu's First Article where she points out "The Inconsistency of condemning abortion as 'murder' and condemning those who stop it" Basu's 8/7/94 article, reprinted Aug/B/94 P&A
Response to Basu's article "Basu Analyzed" Aug/B/94 P&A)
Basu's 1999 Blast "Uncle Ed. Responds to Media Uncoverage" March 16, 1999 AD
Other Responses to Basu's Blast (from other readers)
Response to Basu's 3/19/2000 attack on prolife legislation "Opponents Unite in Correcting Basu"
"Yes, this abortion foe is serious" (June 5, 2000)
First Contact: "Hoping for the Best; a Vain Hope"
August/A/1994 Prayer & Action News
My first contact with Basu was like a vacation in Jurassic Park. But when her article didn't appear before my own publication time, I wondered if she really meant what she said, that she "only" wanted to write if it would save my reputation from any "misquotes" about me in the previous Register article. But her article came out a couple of days after I printed, so in my August/B/1994 issue I had to correct my kind report in my August/A/1994 issue. Here is my first report:
August/A/1994, Prayer and Action News: excerpt from my article about media "Kindnesses"
...REKHA BASU called me after Phoebe's article came out. I was really concerned after she hung up, because she had asked a lot of aggressive questions and wasn't interested in sitting through answers of any complexity. For example, she asked if I were willing, right then, to renounce Paul Hill's infamous statement.
I was worried she was going to write some slam dunk opinion piece about me without really understanding my position.
I challenged her to hear me out, by such appeals as holding the media partly responsible for the violence by refusing to report Hill's questions, thus suppressing the dialogue that could have resolved the tensions.
She said my statements seemed consistent with what Phoebe Wall Howard had reported, [see general record of Des Moines Register media coverage] and she had just wanted to see whether my statements had been taken out of context. As if her only motive were to salvage my ruined reputation, in case she could determine that Phoebe had pounded me unfairly. As if she wouldn't write anything at all, unless it were to build me up.
Well, she didn't write anything about me at all!
My aggressive challenges to her were based on the assumption she would write something. But once she had determined she wouldn't, it was appropriate for her to decline to sit through long, tedious explanations, when she had a deadline by which she needed to develop another story idea.
"Correction! Basu's 'Olive Branch' was Laced with Acid"
Prayer & Action News, August/B/1994
In our last issue, I (Uncle Ed.) incorrectly classified Rekha Basu's handling of the "storm", of which I have found myself the "center", under the heading of "kindnesses".
The correct classification should have been "Criminal Assaults". The error occurred because she did not use the article until the 3rd day after she called me. I had watched for it the first and second days after she called me, but then I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and take her at her word that her only motive in calling me was to clean up my reputation in case I had been quoted out of context.
I should have monitored her column just a little longer. But it's so hard to look at. Even a quick glance gives my eyes acid burn. She is so caustic, she makes me look like a glad-hander!
Anyway, when I thought she wasn't going to trash me, I decided not to be hard on her by reporting my notes of my conversation with her. But now I get to. So here they are, followed by her column, in turn followed by some analysis of her column by Uncle Ed.
The surprise telephone interview was conducted August 4, 1994, Thursday, and was finally over at 3:30 PM. It probably lasted 5-10 minutes.
Rekha Basu wanted to know if I believed I was the reason U.S. Marshals were posted at Planned Parenthood. I read her my statement of what Uncle Ed. had to say about it -- how their answer, to a threatening word processor, was armed guards in a parking lot.
She responded only, "That's all?"
She offered me the chance to simply renounce, on the record, "the murder of doctors". I declined, pointing out how inconsistent that would be with statements I had made.
She wondered how I felt about the possibility of my name on Paul Hill's list getting into the hands of "unstable" people who might admire me.
I said the greater responsibility for triggering unstable people lies in the failure of the media to report the questions that are the real issue. I declined to take responsibility for the distorted impression people may get of my positions through incomplete reporting of them in the media!
She thought I was putting too heavy an "onus" on the media to report those questions. It's not the media's responsibility, she said.
I said that when a man has asked the world a particular question for a year, upon which his decision whether to shoot an abortionist rests, and not received an answer, and then he finally shoots an abortionist, and the media still won't report the question, that is not a very thorough job of reporting!
[The "question" referred to had for its context Paul Hill's 10 page theological position for the use of force, summarized in his 3 paragraph "Defensive Action Statement" which I had signed, and which was the reason I was now being interviewed. See the transcript of my interview with Phoebe Wall Howard, under general Register coverage, for how I presented the question to the reporters. In a nutshell, the question boiled down to something like, "If it is right to save your daughter from an attack, is it wrong to save your neighbor's unborn daughter?"]
She said the question to which I referred isn't a legitimate subject of a news report because the question accepts the premise that the unborn are human, which is not a premise assumed by all readers.
I said half our nation accepts it, so if she wants to serve the information needs of half the population, it's a question that de- serves to be addressed.
I said it wasn't the media's failure alone, but also the failure of courts, to address the Necessity Defense arguments which 100,000 Christians have raised in court.
She said Roe has already decided the unborn are not human, but I told her Roe specifically declined to comment on that issue.
She said she understands my position, to which I responded skeptically. I said I would be glad to explain more, but she decided we were going around in circles. However, my statements now were, at least, consistent with what had been reported of my positions earlier, she said, and she just wanted to make sure I hadn't been quoted out of context.
I think Geneva Overholser thought Phoebe was too gentle with me, so she sicced Basu on me. Even the picture of her that goes in the paper with her daily column shows her with an uncomfortable posture of her head, as if irritated by the pain from the chip on her shoulder.
And now, for her version:
"The Inconsistency of condemning abortion as 'murder' and condemning those who stop it" Basu's 8/7/94 article, reprinted Aug/B/94 P&A
Rekha Basu - Violence and doublespeak
Des Moines Register, August 7 (?) 1994
Dave Leach is carrying on a reckless game of doublespeak amid a rising tide of anti-abortion violence.
Leach is the editor of Prayer and Action Weekly News, a Des Moines-based newsletter that boasts association with some of the most unseemly and dangerous national anti-abortion figures. His name also appears on a list of people pledged to support forceful anti-abortion measures. The list was distributed by Paul Hill, who stands accused of the latest Pensacola murders of a doctor and his escort.
Thanks in large measure to Leach and his connections, U.S. marshals have been guarding Des Moines' Planned Parenthood clinic around the clock since July 30.
The man at the center of the storm will talk to anyone. He'll answer questions with hypotheticals. But he will not denounce murders committed in the name of "life."
"I have not taken an editorial position on Paul Hill's actions," Leach said demurely in a letter to media last week. Instead, he threw out a counter question about defending a neighbor's daughter if she were being murdered.
"...until I can see that wise men and women have no better answer to this question ... I am keeping an open mind," he wrote.
An open mind to what, exactly? David Shedlock already knows the game of doublespeak. The Operation Rescue spokesman plays it each time he's interviewed under similar circumstances. After Dr. David Gunn was murdered last year, Shedlock said, "Keep in mind that the man was a mass murderer. Unborn babies that would have died survived the afternoon."
After the latest shootings, Shedlock advocated non-violent measures to stop abortion but added, "Paul Hill, a godly Christian, apparently did what he thought he should do to protect children scheduled to die today."
Set aside, for the moment, the thought that such words are intended to incite violence. Say they're merely expressing a philosophical opposition to abortion. What happens when they fall into the hands of unstable characters amidst this already incendiary climate? Surely David Shedlock and Dave Leach are smart enough to understand their responsibility as spokespeople for a cause.
Interviewed by a Register reporter, Leach was circumspect. "I don't know of anyone in Des Moines who has the heart to do something like that - kill an abortionist," he said. "I can't imagine Dave Shedlock would do it. And I know I'm not planning to..."
But flip through Leach's newsletter, and you find the editor's prayer "that God will judge Des Moines' Planned Parenthood with fire." Rifle through the references to Paul Hill, the reports from John Brockhoeft - who's doing federal time for the 1985 firebombing of an abortion clinic in Cincinnati - and the letter of prayer from "Shelley" that "God will close Des Moines' Planned Perversionhood." Shelley Shannon is in prison for shooting Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan., last Aug 19.
Also note the unsigned article in a late June newsletter urging the formation of militias by stockpiling arms and ammunition, among other things.
Seven abortion doctors or associated personnel have been shot in the past two years, by one estimate. There have been 25 arsons, two bombings and 254 acts of vandalism targeted at abortion providers. In 1993 alone there were 628 Incidents of harassing telephone calls or hate mall, 78 death threats and 188 Incidents of stalking logged by the National Abortion Federation.
In the Des Moines area, Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, and Dr. Herbert Remer, an area obstetrician, have been harassed, threatened and called murderers. Just days before the latest shootings, a man was jailed after phoning Des Moines' Planned Parenthood with threats of showing up and killing everyone there.
But If men like Leach and Shedlock don't see the need to repudiate violent anti-abortion tactics, they're certainly not getting much guidance to do so from the top leader of state government. Gov. Terry Branstad also hasn't issued a single denunciation of the
Pensacola murders or voiced concern about abortion-clinic safety. Instead, he has questioned the cost of federal marshals In Des Moines.
Well it's time for everyone~- religious, political and civic leaders included - to give up the doublespeak. It's time to stop hiding behind hypotheticals and ambiguities, and unequivocally denounce terrorism. Or accept responsibility for how that silence might be heard.
REKHA BASU is a Register columnist. Copyright 1994, The Des Moines Register and Tribune Company. Reprinted with permission.
"Basu Analyzed" (Response to Basu's article, Aug/B/94 P&A)
Basu's editorial took a couple of sentences out of my August 2 fax to Des Moines media. Here is the entire fax, so you can judge for yourself whether my message was veiled: Dear media friends,
Gary Barrett of WHO reported this morning that I was unavailable for comment to his speculation that my name on a 6-months-old endorsement of a statement drafted by Paul Hill was the reason Janet Reno assigned federal marshals to Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa.
Although my number is published every week in the P&A, (and Barrett surely has noticed my news box in the basement of the state capitol), perhaps Barrett sought my number in the phone book, where it is listed under the name of the person with whom we share our phone. At any rate, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am hiding.
So here is my home phone number, (above), and my work number, at Miller Music, is 244-3711: hours, 9:30-5:30 T-F, close at 4 on Saturday; Mondays, 11:30-8.
And here is my "comment":
Although, as an editor, I sometimes take positions, as a reporter, (one of only half a dozen from Des Moines listed in "Who's Who in the Midwest", which is a story in itself that I would like to get to the bottom of), I ask questions rather than answer them: I report other's positions rather than my own.
I have not taken an editorial position on Paul Hill's actions. But I have reported the questions he has asked.
Paul Hill kept asking a question that no one would answer: "What if YOUR daughter were being stabbed before your eyes, and you had a gun: would you use it? If it is right to defend your own daughter, how can it be wrong to defend your neighbor's daughter?"
I watched TV personalities evade this question by answering instead, "Well, if that's what you really believe, WHY DON'T YOU GO OUT AND SHOOT AN ABORTIONIST YOURSELF?"
That wasn't much of an answer, was it?
A year after he began asking that question, Pam Colson died, along with her baby, at the hands of abortionist John Britton. (I corrected that in later reports: Pam died under the care of another Pensacola abortionist. However, at least one other mother died under Britton's care.) That was June 25. Hill shot Britton July 29.
But Britton might still be alive today, and Paul Hill might be free today, if someone had just taken the trouble to answer Hill's question for him.
I am not ready to draw my own conclusion about Hill's question until I feel sure Iowans have had an opportunity to hear and consider the question, and to explain to me the correct answer. But so far the question itself has not even been reported, that I am aware, in Iowa, other than by myself. Please believe I am sincere in telling you that until I can see that wise men and woman have no better answer to this question than the answer it has been loaded to evoke, I am keeping an open mind.
And no, as I told Geoff Greenwood on his 10 o'clock news Friday night, "I don't know of anyone in Des Moines that has the heart to do a thing like that. The Lord has given me an opportunity to do quite a bit which I would not be able to do sitting in jail the rest of my life."
Formation of Militias
Another surprise in Basu's piece was the news that I'm starting an army: "Also note the unsigned article in a late June newsletter urging the formation of militias by stockpiling arms and ammunition, among other things."
The only thing I could find like that was an article reprinted as part of "The Brockhoeft Report" called "The Patriot Movement", in our Jun/C issue. The introduction to the anonymous letter said the purpose for reprinting it was to show what a poor job the mainstream media is doing, that such a large movement could thrive without its existence or its issues ever being reported. Another reason was to show that the movement should not be dismissed as a bunch of inarticulate fools, because the article was well written. Another reason given was sympathy for the complaints against government expressed, though not for the methods proposed of redressing them.
If it weren't for those disclaimers, I would be nearly as unsettled by the article as Basu. I worry about Patriot groups that know how to shoot but not what to shoot. If you take the number of people it would take to offer meaningful military resistance, and just yank that many people away from their TV sets long enough to discern effective political strategy from finger-pointing baloney, it is still well within their grasp to take back the reins without having to shoot the horse!
Without such discernment, what will they be able to rebuild from the ashes of confrontation, even if they win?
But Basu, if reporting a view constitutes espousing it, why, you've just espoused my views!
Uncle Ed. Sez:
["Uncle Ed. Sez" is a folksy way Dave Leach had of saying "Ed.", which stands for "editorial comment". But in this article, which was printed right after Basu's article in the August/B/1994 issue of the Prayer and Action Weekly News, Leach humorously treats the name as if it were a separate person from Leach, and who is reconsidering his association with him.]
I may have to reconsider my association with Dave Leach. I don't know if just getting my columns in his silly newsbook is worth the possible harm to my writing career of being publicly linked with the likes of Dave Shedlock and Governor Branstad.
But that's not the worst of Leach's questionable associations! Rekha Basu (that's a person) says Leach will talk with anyone! Even reporters!
But when I read that Leach is "playing a reckless game of doublespeak", I thought, "That's just awful! That's just -- why, I'm going to go look up 'doublespeak' right now to see what it means!"
It means ambiguous and deceptive talk. Basu wishes, apparently, that Leach would just come right out and say what he means, for once!
??? Is that what she really means?
Let's reconstruct, from her context, how she defines some of her terms:
She wants everyone to "unequivocally denounce terrorism." By "terrorism", she means assaults on abortionists, not assaults by abortionists. By "unequivocally", she means denouncing the assaults on abortionists, while ignoring the assaults by abortionists.
Using Shedlock as an example, she defined "doublespeak" as advocating nonviolent measures to stop abortion, but then saying the violence against the abortionist at least ended the violence by the abortionist.
By calling those two positions, side by side, "doublespeak", she is saying they are incompatible. If you really believe abortionists murder babies, how can you believe it is wrong to kill them before they kill more? That's "doublespeak"!
At best, that "logic" is so unpersuasive that she fears what will happen if it should "fall into the hands of unstable characters amidst this already incendiary climate".
What will satisfy her, then? To renounce the personhood of the unborn! She wants abortionists safe and regal! She wants everyone to sing in chorus, "it's wrong to shoot abortionists for merely cutting out blobs of potential out of wombs!"
Hey lady, if there weren't real babies in those wombs, it would not only be wrong to shoot doctors for removing those blobs, it would be the stupidest event in human history since the Egyptians ignored God!
Imagine, half the population of the greatest nation on earth, upsetting their entire political system, just to stop doctors from operating on tumors!
That's what the whole issue rides on, isn't it? A news story, or an editorial, that tries to get to the bottom of this issue, without talking about what it is that's growing in all those wombs, will have limited intellectual appeal.
Want to hear something intelligent? For $169 a year, you can get one subscription to the Dsm Register, or 6 gift subscriptions to the P&A News!
"Uncle Ed. Responds to Media Uncoverage"
March 16, 1999 AD (As of web posting, I haven't determined whether I published this in the P&A. I shared it on my Uncle Ed. Show on channel 15. As explained below, I was forced to dispose of my copy of her unedited article; I suppose if you really want to see it, you can check any Iowa library's archives.)
Uncle Ed. Sez:
The other day (specifically, March 14, 1999 AD) while thumbing through "The Newspaper Iowa Wraps Depends In", I involuntarily shuddered as my eyes slammed against the picture of Wreck 'em Basu on a smeared section that was starting to smell bad.
Normally I just spray her article for vermin and then dispose of it safely. Poor Wreck-'em just doesn't understand a lot of very basic facts of life. Such as the sovereignty of God. And she is quite determined that no one teach her, either. I know this from an earlier time she interviewed me, after which I watched what she did with the facts I provided.
(Actually her name is spelled "Rekha". But that spelling is as humorless as she is, and I didn't want that to have to spoil this article. Actually I feel that in limiting myself to "Wreck 'em", I showed restraint.)
But this time the headline really intrigued me. It said:
"GOING TOO FAR WITH FREE SPEECH"
Why, naturally, I was excited. Could it possibly be? Had Wreck-'em actually been reached by her conscience? Was she actually going to confess?
Just one of many possible subjects for confession that sprang into my mind was when she sarcastically crowned conservative newspaper columnist Cal Thomas, but two days earlier, as "the arbiter of morality", for portraying Monica Lewinsky as a "slut", etc, rather than "understanding" her as a woman who hasn't done anything not paraded before her on TV all the time. The poor dear is simply "a product of our culture", goes the Wreck-'em theory.
Not my culture, lady. You can claim it as proudly as you like.
I would think that if you want a test of who is an "arbiter of morals" in this little cast of characters before us, you would look for someone who steers the definition of morality a new direction, and then calls upon others to follow. How can you say, of a man who says nothing that hordes have not already said for millenniums, that he is some sort of "leader" making profound decisions about the course of the morals movement?
Although Cal Thomas doesn't say it as openly as I do, the only "arbiter of morality" he respects is God. He feels confident in what he says only to the extent that he thinks he is in agreement with what God says. When it comes to morals, there isn't an original thought in Cal Thomas' mind.
But now Wreck-'em. Now there's an original moral thinker for you. I think that is fairly avant-garde ethics, to say one is innocent, deserving "to be understood" as an alternative to being condemned, if the crimes one commits are merely a caving in to the worst temptations laid before us! And in Wreck-'em we find a lass not too shy to ask the world to follow her!
Yes, I think there is an "arbiter of morals" on this stage. And it isn't Cal Thomas.
"Surely this is what she will confess", I thought. "Surely she cannot go two entire days without recoiling from 'Going too far with free speech', in her Cal Thomas smear. So surely this is what her article today is about!"
With great anticipation I read her lead sentence:
"At 10 PM last tuesday, Holly Kilborn was flipping TV channels when she landed on something that at first looked funny."
What a letdown. Wreck-'em wasn't going to talk about her own abuses of free speech at all. She was just going to climb all over everybody else for what she does more than anybody else. Just the usual fare, for Wreck-'em.
But at least this time Wreck-'em was going to talk about a mutual enemy: TV smut. I was astonished last year when TCI took MTV off for scheduling reasons, but when party-timers protested, and parents counter-protested, objecting on moral grounds, TCI sided with the party-timers and put it back on! I have been astonished in the past at the determination of TCI to air Dirty-Old-Man channels, despite Christian protest! But could Wreck-'em possibly share my concern?
"But very quickly Kilborn went from curious to disgusted to sickened and outraged.
"Made crudely, with a hand-held camera, the video on the public access channel (Channel 15) showed five people sitting around a living room with paper plates or bags concealing their faces and talking (and laughing) about a form of hunting."
Hey wait a minute, I thought. That sounds like MY show she's talking about! (If you discount her lack of sensitivity for talented camera handling.) "Prolife Humor", I called that particular show. I regard the show, in its entirety, as one of the most important shows I have done.
But wait, didn't Wreck-'em say her friend tuned in at 10 PM? Why, the show started at 9:30! She missed the whole long introduction I gave to that particular segment. I took about 40 minutes to explain the context, and the allusions made during the segment. Actually if she tuned in during this scene, she tuned in somewhat after 10. I guess I would expect godless liberals, and even some Christians unfamiliar with the issues, to be "disgusted, sickened, and outraged" by the segment she tuned in during, without the long introduction. That's why I provided the long introduction.
That's the classical problem of Christians in a Satan-driven media. They give you 5 seconds to tell your story, and they pick which 5 seconds, of your one-hour interview driven by hostile leading questions, they are going to show. There is a lot of truth that just won't fit in 5 seconds. So what do we do, stop trying to tell the truth? Or keep on telling the truth as well as God grants us the ability, and pray those who care about learning the truth will figure out they need to dig deeper than a newspaper?
"'I thought they were talking about boars,' said Kilborn, 25, a Des Moines resident, who was horrified by the graphic references to blood and torture, using steel traps to break legs, strangulation deaths, skinning and mutilating and slicing the back of the spine with a scissors."
This lady is ruthless! SHE'S MAKING ME LOOK AS PERVERTED AS CAL THOMAS! How can my reputation survive such an association?
"And then Kilborn realized it was people they were talking about. People they called 'borts' which was code for abortion doctors."
Interesting choice of words. "People", she calls them. Of course, the whole issue got started because the "Supreme", it calls itself, "Court", in a ruling about as credible as declaring the sun to be black, said unborn babies aren't "persons". Well, naturally, if you are able to tell yourself that unborn babies aren't persons, while their killers are, guess who is going to win, in your little world? I can never expect sympathy from people able to tell themselves such a thing. Of course they will rant and rave at positions like mine, and all the more so, to the extent my positions are truly and openly founded on the Bible. It is only from people who realize babies are innocent persons, and that their killers are persons determined to continue killing until they are stopped by force, that I might expect a little sympathy.
Did you notice the similarity between the measures which the sack-clad "hunters" joked they would use against "'borts", (after their lobbying efforts succeeded in legalizing it, they clarified), and the measures which 'borts don't just joke about, but actually use, against innocent unborn babies? The scissors? The broken legs? The skinning alive?
The comedy sketch really was quite hilarious. But I will never expect you to think so, if you (1) believe babies are not people, and that their killers are innocent; or if you (2) are worried what people, whose thinking is that confused, will think of you.
"'I just started shaking', said Kilborn. 'I was horrified. I could not believe what I was hearing or seeing.'"
"What Kilborn was seeing was a segment of "The Uncle Ed Show", which has aired twice a week on public access TV since about 1994. It's produced by David Leach of Des Moines, who made news two years ago for reprinting in his newsletter, 'Prayer & Action', instructions for making bombs from household items to destroy abortion clinics. He also aired them on the show."
Not that ridiculous charge again! I'll bet everyone in town has forgotten that nutty story, except for Wreck-'em, and Planned Barrenhood's anti-baby baroness Jail-'em 'till June.
I was just about as criminal as reporters covering the Oklahoma bombing, who told the world where to find the recipe for making bombs out of fertilizer. Except that I told a relatively few people the relatively inoffensive nature, compared with government literature available at surplus stores, of an anonymous prolife booklet which Janet Reno's grand jury had actually been confiscating from prolife witnesses for an entire year!
TV-13 boiled this down to: "This book tells you how to build bombs! And the scary thing is, anyone can buy one!"
In a subsequent Uncle Ed. Show, I showed pages of a U.S. Army manual, which had been "declassified" decades ago and sold by the millions, to show how innocuous the silly little "Army of God Manual" was by comparison. You can imagine what TV-13 and "The Newspaper for Iowa Depends" did with THAT one. They portrayed me as daring to reveal military secrets, and boy, I was just pushing that "free speech envelope" right off the edge!
Some kid even complained to the City Council. So the city lawyer got up and ranted against my show. But she had to admit the details of bomb recipes were not legible on the show. I just flashed through pages quickly, to show their general content. Councilman Tom Vlassis finally pointed out that I didn't give any information that wasn't readily available elsewhere.
He said, May 6, 1996: "The information is available, my understanding of what was on the program, and I didn't see it, my understanding was that there was a government pamphlet that told exactly where to get the materials. This is put out by our government!
"But for this, and I fully understand what you're saying, but I would have a hard time asking this council to get involved in something, censorship and violation of constitutional rights." (Because the City Council would then have to arrest the U.S. Government.)
Despite Vlassis' perspective, the council actually authorized its entire legal department to cooperate with the entire TCI legal department (the numbers of attorneys in the two departments were actually provided, to show they had enough resources!) to figure out how to take my show off the air!
That has been nearly three years ago! Now, I will not be presumptuous and assume they are not still working on my case. But I think it is not too forward to point out that if they had a very strong case, they would not have waited this long to contact me.
Here's more Wreck-'em:
"From the name and the innocent intro shots (a kid with a balloon, a band), you might think you were watching a knockoff of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
"But then you hear things like this:
"'They're hanging in terror and eventually they're choked to death.' 'We plan to grind them into sausage and give them to missions, politicians' dinners, and send some to China.'"
You do remember, don't you, news headlines about unborn babies served for soup in China? You remember, surely, the protests that began over a decade ago over American cosmetics companies using "fetal tissue" to make your skin look beautiful? Surely you have not stopped up your ears to the history of friendship between Margaret Sanger, founder of Banned Parenthood, and Adolph Hitler? To the history of abortion under Nazism? To even the like legal approach of declaring Jews "non-persons", which made the production of lamp shades out of their skin "safe and legal"?
You know all these things. But try to explain that to poor, unhappy, humorless Wreck-'em!
"'This is a relatively new sport. We expect it to catch on soon.'
"'We're planning to recycle bort blood as we kill them.'
"'We love to mount the...heads on our walls. People say,'Look at the points on that man's ears'..."
"'Make lampshades with the skin.'
"'Free spike nails with each expedition you sign up for. Call 555-kill-a-bort.'"
"Humor, Leach calls it."
Well, at least here she acknowledges that I call it "humor". But Wreck-'em forgets herself three paragraphs later, where she portrays me as literally "planning cold-blooded murders of health-care professionals"!
Part of that 40-minute introduction to the "'Bort Hunt" sketch was an interview with Henry Felisone, who during the '60's, before he was a Christian, worked for people like Abbie Hoffman. Felisone said Hoffman was hilarious. He could have made it as a stand-up comic. But then raving liberals "came to power, and became humorless. That always happens to people who come to power." Part of the rest of the introduction was interviews with people who have been tortured by police for trying to protect babies. It showed some of their jokes about what they had experienced, and their discussion of how they could joke about their own suffering, and how humor is sometimes an effective vehicle for truth. And how it is the truth itself, not its packaging, that really makes killers and their supporters angry.
"In the last 10 years, anti-abortion terrorism has resulted in seven murders, 38 bombings, 146 cases of arson and 733 cases of vandalism. Last October, it claimed Dr. Barnett Slepain, an Amherst, N.Y., obstetrician."
Notice how reporters who trot out these statistics never compare them with the numbers of innocent babies tortured to death.
"Kilborn, who works in publishing and says she's 'riding the fence' on the abortion issue, wrote to TCI in protest."
I understand how you can "ride the fence" on whether women should wear bonnets in church. But abortion? What more facts does she need to have before her?! I have to question the sincerity of someone who tries to tell you they are "riding the fence" on the most profound evil in the world today! If they are "riding the fence" on abortion, how heartily are they embracing much less heinous crimes, like child prostitution or bank robbery or running drugs?!
"'I am absolutely horrified that this program is on all-access cable television,' she said. 'Never mind your views of abortion -- these people weren't talking about abortion. They were planning cold-blooded murders of health-care professionals.'"
There's that statement I warned you about. No one was doing any "planning". The most they were doing was "dead-panning".
But how can you expect anyone to comprehend this distinction, who thinks you can leave "your views of abortion" outside, as you meditate on the phrase "cold-blood murders of health-care professionals"?
What is cold-blooded about giving your life to stop a man who kills 40 babies a day? What kind of "health care" is it which abandons a woman to bleed to death rather than promptly call one of those embarrassing ambulances? Since when has the career of abortionist been regarded, within the context of health care, as very "professional"? How do real health care professionals feel about sharing their job description with abortionists?
What about the "cold-blooded murders" by self-proclaimed "health care professionals"? At least common murderers regard their victims as "people"! Not so abortionists! How much more cold-blooded can it be to kill not just one, not just a thousand, but ten thousand innocent babies, and not even regard your victims as people, or what you have done as murder?!
How much more cold-blooded can you be, than to not even regard slain babies as people, or the killing of them as murder?!
"Differences in opinion and politics should be open for debate in the media, but the perpetuation of terrorist agendas have no place on television during prime time," she said.
Well, it's nice that she agrees debate in the media is OK. But if it is perception like hers that governs what sort of debate "perpetuates terrorist agendas", and if bureaucrats like her are ever hired to enforce it, there won't be much debate left in any media. And if that happens in America, it won't be the first time it has happened in the world.
"She wasn't the only one calling to complain Wednesday. Jane Colacecchi-Padilla called it 'the single most offensive program I have ever seen on television.'"
Where does Wreck-'em manage to find so many losers? Here she has gone and found TWO women, out of a mere 300,000 metropolitan area, who agree with her! That is phenomenal!
"On Thursday, Debora Blume, TCI of Iowa's communications director, Mike Giampietro, general manager of TCI of Central Iowa, and I sat down to watch the show at their studio. They hadn't seen it yet.
"Blume and I felt sick. Giampietro said he wouldn't want his 3-year-old or 11-year-old watching it.
"They're checking with lawyers, but they think their hands are tied. The same episode was to air again Saturday at 4 PM. The best they could do was maybe move it to a later time slot."
I wonder how many video games Giampietro has bought for his 3-year-old and 11-year-old wherein they actually practice killing people?
The folks at TCI are nice folks. They've never said an unkind word to me. That doesn't necessarily mean they like my show -- after all, these are the same folks who defend MTV and Dirty Old Man channels -- but you just have to understand that when you are the middleman between parties to a controversy, you are going to do your best to be polite to both sides. You are going to try to sound agreeable to whoever happens to be ranting and raving in front of you.
I wouldn't care about my 3-year-old or 11-year-old watching my show, either! The Uncle Ed. Show is not geared to children. It is typically a heavy-thinking show about complicated aspects of boring things like laws and court actions. It is difficult to imagine very many children watching for long.
"TCI's rules (crafted around federal cable TV law) prevent censorship or editorial control over any public-access user unless there's obscene or indecent material. But who's going to judge that? Not TCI, says Blume. Not the city, says city legal staff. And not the Federal Communications Commission, says a spokesman there. A judge or jury could, but someone would have to take Leach to court. Three years ago after Leach's bomb-making show, someone appealed to the Des Moines City Council, but nothing happened."
So Wreck-'em is appealing to the whole metro area. C'mon, won't someone step forward to sue this guy?
Why not herself? She's got the venom for it. No, I don't want to goad her to do it. But she makes it sound as if my show is so vulnerable to court action that almost anyone can take me to civil court and win.
Look, I'm a poor, weak little crybaby that wonders, every time the phone calls and I hear a friend's voice, if my friend is going to say "I read Wreck-'em's article about you and I don't want to associate with you any more." So no, I have no desire to be defiant in the face of the threat of overwhelming legal action. I care what happens to me. But I care about the Truth, Who is the Son of God (John 14:6), more than I care what happens to me. I cling tightly to God's offer to act as my lawyer. (Isaiah 9:6)
Meanwhile, if you are going to be the one to sue me, keep in mind that Wreck-'em lied a little bit when she said "nothing happened" when a young kid "appealed to the Des Moines City Council". Plenty happened. The entire city legal department was authorized to cooperate with the entire TCI legal staff, to try to take me off the air. It was after that that nothing happened. So if you want to build a case against me, you will have to think faster than all of them could.
Not that I'm saying you can't! But please, I'm just a tired old trumpet player. Please, why don't you pick on someone who matters? Like Wreck-'em?
"Most of us think of the First Amendment as sacred for its protection of unpopular speech. But even speech has its limits. In February, an Internet Web site that created "wanted" posters for doctors who perform abortions, and checked their names off when they were killed, was shut down after its operators lost a $107 million lawsuit."
Wreck-'em here betrays the extent of her journalistic skills by believing what she wants from newspapers, without checking out anything or even carefully reading the articles. The website operators weren't even defendants in the lawsuit which so many newspapers said they lost! All the judge had jurisdiction to do was tell the defendants not to contribute to the website any more! Yes, Neal Horsley's website was knocked off the web. But not because of the lawsuit, as Wreck-'em implies. It was simply because his server didn't want the negative association any more. Horsley is gearing up to become his own server, so no server will have to worry about associating with him any more.
"'The Uncle Ed Show' literally gives new meaning to the term obscene."
Here comes that great Arbiter of Morals again, redefining "obscene" not as the Playboy Channel, not as MTV, not as HBO, not as Younkers' full page brazier ads in "The Newspaper Iowa Wraps Depends In", not as the 20 foot statue of a bare-breasted woman holding up her bosoms, as children file past to admire the pretty flowers on the south grounds of the State Capitol, and certainly not as her own incendiary hate-journalism: but as the Uncle Ed. Show! And after enacting her redefinition of the word "obscene", she commands, nay expects, the world to follow along!
"Though it's a little hard to believe this is what anyone had in mind when public-access TV first cropped up some 20 years ago to empower communities, Leach seems to have found a tightrope across the law.
"But you have to wonder what kind of converts he's winning this way: people who value life, or those with morbidly twisted minds? Religious people, or those who distort the name of religion to spew hate and violence?
"Anyone who's genuinely pro-life would be revolted. As to the abortion-rights community, it probably couldn't have made up a more effective way to discredit its foes."
Who does Wreck-'em know who is "genuinely pro-life", to have any inkling of what revolts them?
Wreck-'em knows very well that when Cable Access was first developed, there was plenty of talk about the extremes of programming that might result. Not that I acknowledge my own work as extreme. Plenty of others talk about the Bible. Plenty of others talk about politics. The only extremely unusual thing I do is talk about them both, as if one were relevant to the other. And among the many issues I thus address, one is the powder keg of abortion, and particularly the issue of what God says about how far men should go to prevent abortion. I address it because I believe one does not "take a stand" for the Bible, if one is not willing to "take a stand" at the risk of criticism. And just as physical armies gather where the enemy seems most likely to break through, even so in spiritual battle, an issue where people most strongly resist the Authority of God seems to be the most important for Christians to defend.
OK, I'm extreme.
Notice her phrase, "those who distort the name of religion to spew hate and violence". That's a phrase liberals use a lot. When you analyze their context to try to figure out who they're talking about, it usually turns out to be Bible believers. The context before us is no exception. Obviously she excludes from her "religious" tent anyone who proclaims, as the Bible proclaims, that abortion is murder. So if the "religious" in her tent reject the Bible for their authority, what "Bible" do you suppose they acknowledge? Ah! Could it be that Bible which that Great Arbiter of Morals, Wreck-'em Basu, is publishing, an editorial at a time?
So even Planned Barrenhood could not have thought of a better plan, than my show, to discredit its foes? Well then, if that is what my show is doing, why is Wreck-'um tampering with that dream-come-true for pro-murderers like her? This is like Democrats telling Republicans, during impeachment, "If you keep hammering on our leader's wickedness, the people will stop liking you and will vote you out of office." This was not just an occasional barb delivered with a smirk, but was a constant drumbeat delivered with righteous indignation! If they really believed that, why did they try so hard to stop the Republicans from losing the next election?
Could Wreck-'em's reckless attack on this answered prayer for baby killers indicate she actually believes my show, "Prolife Humor", is an effective tool for God?
Wreck-'em does not say anything to indicate that her Moral Definition of "people who value life" includes people who value the lives of unborn babies. Wreck-'em does openly urge us to value the lives of those who torture to death unborn babies. Her alternative category to "people who value life", (viz. "people who love abortionists") is "people with morbidly twisted minds".
I'm just curious about something. Maybe there is someone out there who has the stomach to read more of Wreck-'em than I can. About one article every two years is my limit. Has Wreck-'em ever written about anyone she loves? Is there any indication that she, indeed, loves anybody? If you have an article of hers on your refrigerator that indicates such a thing, could you please send me a copy? I would really like to see it. I just don't have the strength to wade through all the rest to find it.
Personal note to Wreck-'em: I haven't written you off as unredeemably corrupt. The Bible says (1 Timothy 1:12-16) the greatest sinner in the whole world was not you, after all, but Saul, but even he repented and became Paul the Apostle, and I like him a lot. I'm not saying I feel any assurance that you will submit, in time, to that eternal Arbiter of Morals, God, but I have no reason to assume you will not, and I do long for your fellowship in the Lord some day.
Note to everyone else: If you want to see a copy of show Wreck-'em says is such a gift to abortionists, send $20 for a copy of not just that one hour-long show, but of six entire great shows.
REGISTER COLUMNIST REKHA BASU can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515)284-8208.
OTHER RESPONSES to Basu's Blast
March 24, 1999 dated, not published
On March 14, of this year, you ran an article on Bort Hunt which the writer claimed consisted of threats against 'Borts (or abortionists). This was from a Public Access TV show by David Leach.
The article was headlined "GOING TOO FAR WITH FREE SPEECH." The intro [of the public access show] had a quote from me on the lack of humor of those now in power. I, in fact, was one of those on P.A. Channel 15 who were masked in this satire [which Rekha Basu vilified]. The concept of killing Borts seems to be catching on, and the question then arises; what is to be done with the meat?
We wish to assure all who were concerned that it will not be wasted. We are planning a chain of diners around the country called "Bortkill Cafes". These will feature such items as "Roasted Bort" served with Molotov Cocktails, Fried Bort (piping hot from our own electric chairs); we also have Cold Pressed Bort (run over by an ice truck) as well as Stewed Bort (drowned in whiskey) and so on.
In a serious vein (if you will excuse the expression) abortion is mass murder of thousands of babies every day. That is not amusing. (I think that Stuffed Bort, by the way, jammed with cash, would also be a nice addition to the menu.)
We use parody here since nothing else seems to penetrate the closed minds of Choicers. They differ not from those who could not see the humanity of the people in Nazi concentration camps or Soviet slave labor camps.
Sincerely, Henry Felisone, Administrator, EM Church
(Evangelical Mission Church, 2520 SW 22nd St. Ste#2, rm 305, Miami FL 33145)
Critics' outrage misplaced published 3/29/99
So Rekha Basu and others are outraged at a recent public-access TV program, the "Uncle Ed" show, that satirized the liquidation of abortion providers ("Going Too Far With Free Speech," March 14).
Basu even hinted that the free-speech protection afforded to those with whom she agrees should possibly be taken away from those with whom she disagrees.
The program was a bit over-the-top. A better idea would have been to show a partial-birth abortion on the "Uncle Ed" program.
[Ed: to those who missed this sarcastic jibe, prolifers know networks won't allow paid infomercials of "The Silent Scream", a sonogram of a living unborn baby, and police frequently intimidate, and sometimes arrest, prolifers holding still pictures of slain unborn babies! Can you imagine any abortionist making available to me a video of himself jabbing scissors into the skull of a full term baby half-way to the outside world?!]
To those who couldn't, or wouldn't, see the satirical parallel of abortion doctors going through the agony and torment their victims undergo, it probably was intensely disturbing, but not nearly as disturbing as the real death resulting from an abortion.
I do not know any participants, organizers, producers or anyone having anything at all to do with the "Uncle Ed" program, but if they struck a nerve in the hearts and minds of abortionists and their supporters, good for them.
Cal Stout, 5515 SW McKinley, Des Moines 50315
Convenient Being Liberal Published 3/30/99
Rekha Basu's March 14 column on an anti-abortion show on public access television is a magnificent example of the hypocrisy of liberal attitudes.
According to liberals, free speech is essential as long as it doesn't oppose their agendas. "Freedom of speech" means that the government cannot tell us what is permissible to say. In Basu's world, however, the government would regulate our speech.
Examples of liberal double standards abound. Recently, actor Alec Baldwin got away with saying that Henry Hyde's family should be dragged out and stoned to death. Clinton henchman James Carville got away with stating that he'd "bury the hatchet - in Ken Starr." And of course, there are the enviro-Nazis organizations that have often proposed the same basic treatments for hunters and industrialists that the gentleman on the cable show proposed for "borts." Hmmm.
Evidently, it's all right, even encouraged, to show no tolerance for anyone who opposes liberal views. But for conservatives to express their views, well, that certainly can't happen!
Basu's column, as most of her others, makes it so easy (and I mean so easy) for anyone who thinks on their own to see the true hypocrisy of liberalism. It would be nice to read, see and hear only what you want, Ms. Basu, but welcome to America - where everyone gets their chance to be heard.
Janet Strunk, Rt 2, Box 2, Farmington Iowa
In The Name of Horror published 4/6/99
Regarding the Rekha Basu column, "Going Too Far With Free Speech," March 14 Register: While I would never advocate, much less contemplate, the murder of a "bort", her statistics regarding the acts of violence directed against "abortion providers" are very interesting when one gets the proper perspective. On the unborn children's side we have 15 million (and counting) murders, and on the "abortion providers" side we have seven murders. Pretty lopsided, huh?
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun died recently, and he either already has or will stand before the righteous judge (Jesus Christ). It would not surprise me one bit that Blackmun saw or will see every aborted child that his decision affected standing at Christ's right hand when the Lord pronounces Blackmun's eternal destiny, (i.e. the lake of fire). If every "abortion provider," those who support it and even those who do not speak out against this atrocity, would take just a minute to contemplate the eternal consequences of their actions, I'm sure many would shudder in horror.
Michael J. Boyd, 5116 Wistful Vista Dr, West Des Moines, Iowa
March 23, faxed, Not published.
Rekha Basu's column "Going Too Far With Free Speech," shows that if anyone has gone too far with free speech, it is she, not David Leach and The Uncle Ed Show. Ms Basu used her free speech and the Des Moines Register's ink, to try to silence and condemn the free speech of those with whom she disagrees.
The Uncle Ed Show is a fine program. Whenever I visit Des Moines, I usually watch it on channel 15 and find it quite entertaining and informative. I also enjoy the program's tongue-in-cheek humor.
Ms Basu should get a life. I recommend she follow the same advice other liberals constantly dish out. If you don't like the show, change the station. No one is forcing you to watch it.
"Reverend Donald Spitz
March 23, emailed to Basu, Not Published
While reading your article, "Going Too Far With Free Speech," I saw you wrote, "anti-abortion terrorism has resulted in seven murders, ... Last October, it claimed Dr. Barnett Slepain..."
You may want to contact the FBI immediately. You will become a millionaire. The reward for information regarding this babykiller's death is well over one million dollars; the FBI is looking for information on who shot him.
Since you seem to know, it would be in your financial interest to inform them and take the reward. Of course, we will all be interested in knowing how you know who shot the babykiller Slepian.
Reverend Donald Spitz
Director Pro-Life Virginia
Response to Basu's 3/19/2000 attack on prolife legislation
Opponents Unite in Correcting Basu
(Letter to the Editor of the Register which was, surprise, not published. It was jointly submitted by me and my opponent for State Representative, Ken Richards)
We are opponents for the June 6 Republican primary, but we are so united, in our desire to set the record straight which Rekha Basu has slanted, that we are jointly submitting our responses.
By Ken Richards, Republican candidate for State Representative, district 67, Des Moines' South Side
(I don't have his text)
By Dave Leach, Republican candidate for State Representative, district 67, Des Moines' South Side
It's always encouraging when one of your staff's bitterest opponents of innocent life cannot make a case without misstating facts. Distortions comfort the ignorant who care more that their doctrines are applauded than that they are right. But victims of distortions take them as further evidence that truth is on their side, for their enemies dare not use it.
Staff Demagogue Rekha Basu (3/19) could not make her case that the "Women's Right to Know Act" unreasonably prejudices mothers against aborting their babies, without distorting the extent of information mothers would be required to be told. The Act only requires abortionists to certify that each mother be told three simple things: (1) medical services may be provided (if she won't kill her baby); (2) the father will be liable for child support (if she won't kill her baby); and (3) the Department of Health has more information for her if she wants to see it.
(Sorry about calling them "babies" instead of "fetuses", which Basu considers more "scientific". If Basu would inform America of the "science" which proves they are not real human babies, we could finally lay to rest a very divisive issue.)
That's it. That's all an abortionist has to say. And then the woman has 24 hours to get the Department of Health information, if she wants it. Basu incorrectly said mothers would be required to review the information prepared by the Department of Health. If mothers don't choose to see it, they likely won't even learn the subjects it covers.
Yet how strange that Basu would protest, even if mothers were required to review it. It seems no more than the information any ordinary doctor would already provide, without the pressure of any law.
The Department of Health information would show what an unborn baby looks like. Basu calls such information "factually questionable, emotionally manipulative propaganda".
It would list "the possible detrimental psychological effects of abortion". Basu calls this "at best a highly subjective topic, which it's hard to trust would be objectively explored." Basu cannot trust the Department of Health to objectively list known side effects? Yet she literally closes her article, "Trust ME"!
Basu says "no other doctors are forced to (counsel patients to think such decisions over) under threat of criminal penalties." Actually every doctor is subject to Iowa 147.137, requiring "informed consent", for which the penalty, according to Iowa 147.86, is "a serious misdemeanor."
The controversy over the right to kill a baby is much like the historical controversy over the right to own a slave, about which Abraham Lincoln said: "Judge Douglas says that whoever wants slaves, they have a right to have them. He is perfectly logical, if there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is wrong, he cannot possibly say that anybody has a right to do wrong."
Actually this quote doesn't apply very well to the subject, for two reasons:
(1) Although Basu insists the Women's Right to Know Act challenges the "right" to an abortion, (she calls it "How to Undo Abortion Rights the Back-door Way"), its only concern is that the "Choice" Basu so treasures be "informed".
(2) Even if we could stop abortion from being wrong, that would not make Basu "perfectly logical".
I accused Basu of never writing about someone she likes. Well, the true facts flew up and smacked me in the face a couple of weeks after the above exchange.
Basu was writing about a sodomite graduation prom, and she really liked the people she wrote about. She made the event seem quite glamorous and romantic.
"Yes, this abortion foe is serious" (June 5, 2000)
By Rekha Basu, Sunday, June 4, 2000, "Opinion" page
Basu really outdid herself with this "opinion". She made her previous attacks on me seem lucid by comparison.
I must tell you, before we go into it, that she gave me an amazing quote during her interview of me. She said "I am not a Christian, I don't subscribe to the Bible, I don't know the Bible." She was not only not ashamed to say that, but she said that to challenge me for daring to tell people the Bible is the basis for my political positions! Her idea is that she doesn't want any law to come into being inspired by a God she rejects! As if nonacceptance of any law by anyone who breaks that law invalidates the justice of that law!
If she not only is contemptuous of God and of His Laws, but doesn't even KNOW them, and is proud of it, perhaps we should not be surprised that she shows so little respect for the laws of mere men, other than as a source of something to twist. Perhaps we should not be surprised that she has even less reverence for facts.
Ordinary politicians have a saying about news reports, "I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right." In other words, negative news is better than no news, because it gives you "name recognition". With Basu's article coming out Sunday, only two days before the Primary Election, I will have an indication of whether such "name recognition" is beneficial. Personally, however, I am much more interested in seeing some "truth recognition" than in personally benefitting from "name recognition". I trust the Lord to time all this for the benefit of my labors for Him. But I will not deliberately encourage liars.
Here is her article:
"Six years ago, Dave Leach's association with the accused killer of a Florida abortion doctor helped persuade U.S. marshals to guard the Planned Parenthood clinic in Des Moines."
This lady doesn't respond to correction!
See my report on general 1994 media coverage, under "Kindnesses", for the statement by Geoff Greenwood, TV-8 reporter, that the marshals on duty privately thought the whole thing was overblown, but their agenda was driven from higher up.
See the end of the transcript of my interview with Phoebe Wall Howard of the Register, for her admission that abortionist Herbert Remer didn't think I, personally, would take physical action; see the Register's own article for the statement that the U.S. Marshall who ordered the posting of marshals didn't think I would take action! But it was my "advocating" which I fear. They said it wasn't me they feared, but some "unstable" person who reads what I write! In other words, it isn't me, but YOU READERS for whom Marshals were posted outside Planned Parenthood 24 hours a day for nearly a year! During that year, each front cover of my P&A News carried the notice: "XX days since U.S. Marshals were posted 7/29/94 in the Planned Parenthood parking lot 24 hours a day to stop the P&A's threatening word processor. XX days since our 8/15 invitation to any abortionist in America willing to refute, in free P&A space, the P&A's threatening distortions."
This lady doesn't learn!
She also neglects to remind readers that Clinton's proabortion troops were not just ordered to Des Moines, but to a number of abortion temples across America.
"Two years later, Leach was fired from his job for reprinting the Army of God Manual's instructions for making bombs and incendiary devices that could be used to blow up abortion clinics."
"My job" was something I had started a month earlier, in addition to my regular job, repairing band instruments, which I have had for the past 28 years.
Basu is an artist at cramming distortion into every phrase! The job was reporter for Ankeny Today, a weekly paper which offered mild competition to the Register. My "firing" was a mutual decision. It was not because of what I had done, but because of what the Des Moines Register and TV-13 had said I had done. As I explained in my farewell article, "Some charges are so serious it almost becomes irrelevant whether they are true." I simply could not continue reporting on fun events at elementary schools, with those images over my head. My employer even specified that the only reason he could not keep me was not what I had done, but the high profile way in which TV-13 had connected me with Ankeny Today.
During the interview I reminded Basu of what I had told Uncle Ed. Show viewers 4 years ago, that the anonymous, low circulation book I reprinted contained all of two bomb recipes, compared with hundreds of bomb recipes in just one of the books printed by the millions by the U.S. Army and sold for decades in army surplus stores. I reminded her also of my reason for publishing, that the Virginia Grand Jury had, for the previous year, subpoenaed prolifers from all over America and "commanded" them to bring this humble little book if they had one. No one had ever bought one, since it had only been mailed out anonymously to prolife leaders and journalists. But seizure of these relatively harmless little books, containing a tiny fraction of the destructive information sold for profit by the U.S. Government, intimidated many of my friends, who wondered if the government was going to begin prosecuting people for owning a book!
But alas, what could Basu want of such perspective? "Context", to her, is just something else to twist.
"Last year, Leach outraged some TV viewers when people on his cable program, 'The Uncle Ed Show,' discussed hunting, skinning, mutilating, strangling, slicing the spines of and breaking the legs of abortion doctors. He said it was parody."
My complete response to her blast of me at the time is part of this article. These particular practices were brought into the parody because they are the practices which abortionists perform every day upon unborn babies. Just so Basu could not plead ignorance, I emailed her my complete earlier response, two days before her "opinion" was published. In addition, I pointed out to her, on the phone, the reason these elements were included in the parody. I wonder if she was this hard to teach in kindergarten?
"Now he's running for the Iowa Legislature.
"Ain't democracy great?
"On Tuesday, if his prayers are answered, Dave Leach could become the Republican nominee for state representative from House District 67 on Des Moines' south side.
"This could mean one of two things, depending on how optimistic or pessimistic you're feeling: A) That an extremist has decided to give up the holy war and go mainstream, or B) That the mainstream itself has shifted so far right that the things he says and does are now acceptable campaign fodder.
"The problem with the first theory is that it assumes Leach has renounced violent, illegal means to, as he puts it, 'save children.' But he said Thursday his position hasn't changed.
"As to the second theory, I guess we'll find out Tuesday."
I actually take encouragement that someone like her takes my campaign that seriously. The choice, as I have presented it, is between two candidates with nearly identical positions, but I quote the Bible as authority for my positions, and the other candidate, like all other candidates, fears that is the way to lose.
Even if I lose tomorrow, I will take encouragement from Basu that the choice of the people to glorify God is close enough to make a liberal flinch.
In 1994, Leach's name appeared on a leaflet distributed by Paul Hill's group, Defensive Action. Hill at the time was accused, but since has been convicted, of killing a doctor and his bodyguard in Pensacola, Fla. Leach was one of about two dozen abortion foes around the country referred to in the statement: "We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life, including the use of force. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child."
I am grateful Basu included the wording of this statement. Can you fault its logic? I could not, so when a friend asked me to sign, I could not, in good conscience, refuse.
To this day, I have never heard anyone even try to attack the logic of this statement, though I have heard many attack its conclusion. Obviously nobody should be surprised when nonChristians attack the statement, because they attack its premise, that the unborn are just as human as the born. But to accept this premise, and yet reject its conclusion, seems quite strange. It seems inconsistent to liberal journalists, too, including Basu. (See my analysis in this article, "The Inconsistency of condemning abortion as 'murder' and condemning those who stop it".)
Paul Hill had published these very statements for an entire year, and I watched with him as the nation vehemently attacked its conclusions but nobody, NOBODY, attacked its logic, before he was finally moved to take action himself to kill an abortionist who was killing about 30 babies a day.
"It went on to justify one particular abortion doctor's killing, 'provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children.'
"As of last week, Leach had no regrets about signing it. He said justification can be found in the Bible.
"Shelley Shannon burned down several abortion buildings before she was caught,' he added, in reference to another abortion opponent convicted of shooting another abortion doctor. '...The actions saved the lives of many hundreds of children. Can you say that destroying one building was not worth saving those hundreds of lives?"
The statement Basu left out was the confirmation I gave that hundreds were indeed saved. Idaho had a statistical reporting law, so Shelley was able to see how many were killed both before and after she burned the building. Before, the number ranged from about 400 to 600 per year in each of three counties: the county of the abortionist, and the two adjacent counties. The next year the figures had dropped to 4-6 per county per year!
This evidence is important because many critics allege lives aren't really saved at all; mothers just go somewhere else.
"He supports people who blow up abortion clinics or kill provers the way one would support troops in war, he explained, but has no plans to do it himself: 'I hope God never puts me in that position. That's not my talent. I don't know anything about guns.'
"This is Leach's fourth try for office. The last was 10 years ago. So does he think south-side voters would embrace his views on killing doctors and blowing up clinics? He wasn't planning on making a campaign issue of that until it was dragged out by the media, he says."
I'm pretty sure Basu knows she is lying here, too, and not merely being clumsy with the facts. I was speaking of the coverage in 1994 when I said I never expected it to be an issue. I never spoke of "intention" of making it an issue; I just saw what a non-story the whole thing was, had it been reported accurately, and I didn't foresee the media frenzy to distort the facts sufficiently to make it into a story back then.
As for my expectations during this campaign, I had been waiting for Basu since I first announced. I'm only surprised she waited so long. One reason for waiting, of course, is to give me no opportunity to respond on my TV show before the election. The down side, for her, is that liberals have too little time for their word-of-mouth to reach fence-sitting moderates before the election. We'll see.
"But he has made his positions public in his newsletter, Prayer and Action, and on his Web site."
Here is a bit of an internal inconsistency in Basu's own paragraph. First she says I was "forced" by the media to deal with this issue during this campaign, (though not until the last 2 days of it!), but then she acknowledges it's still on my web site! Isn't a candidate's campaign web site part of his campaign?! At least I thought it was! Had she studied a little, she would also have found discussion of the controversy in my campaign literature, and on my TV show.
I have dealt with it so much more voluntarily than Basu alleges, that now I feel the need to explain why I have harped on an issue so damaging to conventional political prospects.
It is because I know there are people like Basu who will never let Des Moines forget why she hates me. Pretending I never had any such position isn't even a temptation, because it is not an option. My only hope of getting through these elections is, by God's grace, explaining my position.
Not that my position is that difficult to explain. What seems nearly impossible is how difficult my conclusions are to accept. Just read the Defensive Action Statement again, if you don't remember how this works. Truth is always much easier to explain, than it is to accept, much less obey.
"'Certainly the reporting has portrayed me as much more extremist than I am,' he said, naming me a chief offender."
I think this is the most profound statement in her article! I think it made it worth talking to her, that she actually included that statement!
"Actually, Leach thinks he's more in sync with mainstream pro-lifers than they might let on. 'I say things which mainstream pro-life leaders will not say and which they publicly distance themselves from,' he said, adding, 'There's more sympathy under the surface than you find on the surface.'
DID YOU CATCH IT? An ultra-liberal staff writer actually called us "pro-lifers"! (Instead of "anti-abortionists"!) Did the tide turn sometime back and I missed it, or is there a break with tradition here?
(Actually I often specify that I am "pro-innocent-life", so as not to confuse those Christians who confuse "killing" with "murder".)
"It would be unfair to characterize the 54-year-old Leach as a one-note Johnny. Gays are also on his agenda. 'Forcing Christian employers to hire sodomites in full regalia who are recognizable sodomites goes far beyond restricting the freedom of religious expression,' he said quoting from his campaign literature. 'In biblical terms, it is an abomination. It is repulsive blasphemy.'"
Well, while we're on it, here's the correct quote, which I thought I dictated slowly enough for her to get it right, but I guess not: "Forcing Christian employers to hire sodomites in full regalia (who are recognizable as sodomites) goes far beyond restricting the freedom of religious expression. It is, in Biblical terms, blasphemy. Or in Supreme Court terms, 'fighting words (or actions)'. It is abomination. It is repulsive, like killing a cow in India, throwing lard into a mosque, yelling 'nigger' at a Civil Rights rally, using American taxpayer funds to immerse a cross in urine, or sentencing prolifers to pay huge fines to abortionists. They are actions designed to elicit rage, to foment cultural war."
"And then there's divorce. He'd make it harder to get one, going beyond what last session's failed covenant marriage bill tried to do."
Basu at her best, again. She had no patience for details of my proposal, cutting me off early. I had concerns about the Covenant bill because there were certain marriage problems it did not adequately address, causing potential unreasonable hardships for some.
I tried to point out that the existing law actually doesn't allow automatic divorce if only one party asks, but requires the spouse asking to present "competent evidence" that the "legitimate objects of matrimony" have indeed broken down. Legislators in 1970 had no intention of creating automatic divorce! It was courts who turned the law into a rubber stamp. I would like to see the legislature "explain to the judges" that children, and family finances, are "legitimate objects of matrimony". The way the law already reads, if evidence can be presented that the children will not suffer from continued marriage, but will suffer if divorce is granted, that would constitute a legal reason not to grant the divorce.
"It was his own divorce in the late '70s that got him into politics, he says: 'I don't think her [his ex-wife's] desire to get a divorce had any depth. It was a cool thing to do, her friends were saying how neat it was and the rock songs were promoting infidelity.'
"Whoever wins Tuesday will run against Democrat Frank Chiodo, who's held the seat for two terms. On his Web site, Leach claims the main difference between him and his Republican opponent, Ken Richards, is his reliance on the Bible to justify his views, while Richards limits his references 'to an occasional God Bless America at the end of a speech.'"
Thanks again, Basu! My description of the "occasional God Bless America at the end of a speech" was of Republican candidates in general, not Ken.
"Like I said, there's a good news/bad news aspect to Leach's candidacy. The bad news is, if elected, he'd be looking to make his views law. The good news is, if he's sitting in the state Capitol, it's less likely his fellow soldiers will be blowing it up."
Well, now, I'll have to stop accusing Basu of being humorless. I wonder, though, how much coaching she had in her punch line?
For the final submission to this article, which I include only because I don't want to take time now to decide whether to throw it away, is my cover letter to Basu, after my oral interview with her, containing my earlier responses to her articles.
I have a record of other responses I have made to you and to Phoebe, and the reporter who trashed me in 1996, but I will need more time to find them. I've had in the back of my mind posting them on my website, but it hasn't been enough of a priority.
The article about me last week was a refreshing exception to Register coverage of this subject, and I gave credit on my show. It dealt with the controversy, but with as much precision as space would allow.
Below is the response which Ken Richards and I collaborated on, to one of your "opinions" earlier this year. Below that is my response to your "opinion" last year, followed by the responses of others -- both my friends, who submitted letters the Register declined to publish, and those few letters which the Register DID publish.
You asked about the level of support I sense: If I thought earlier Register accounts of me were true, I wouldn't even vote for myself! Considering that most Register readers don't have access to the truth about me that I do, and considering the venom in early Register articles, I have been frankly amazed that reactions to my TV show, and to me as I go about conducting retail business, have been so positive. I am very grateful for every expression of support the people of Des Moines have offered me. Now that we have almost completed a literature drop to some 10,000 homes, featuring strong positions about sexual orientation rights and about quoting the Bible in the course of political debate, I count the insignificance of opposition as one of God's little miracles to encourage me. Only four have called to say they didn't want to see my literature in their doors any more! Many more than that have expressed encouragement, including requests to post my yard sign in their yard.
Why don't you consider being a guest on my show?
In Jesus' Name (Col 3:17)
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