(Herr Furher Abu-Jamal)
For the past couple of years, Michael Schiffman
of Germany, and a self-professed reporter, has been goose-stepping his way to the top of the "Free Mumia" food-chain.
He has written a book on Jamal’s case and has traveled extensively throughout Europe stumping for Mumia and was in Philadelphia back in May for Jamal’s recent court hearing.
I have written some on this blog about Schiffman’s distortions of the truth in his fallacious assertions in the past and more recently on his self-serving and generally inaccurate interpretations of the crime scene photos taken by Pedro Polakoff, whom I recently interviewed for this website.
To be blunt, I have found Schiffman to be intentionally misleading with regards to his advocacy on behalf of Jamal, his motivations clearly tainted by his political allegiances and personal gain.
His "stunning new evidence" that was neither, was ignored by the media, which has apparently finally grown weary of the long train of pro-Mumia stunts that his supporters have been pulling for the better part of 25 years.
Recently, it occurred to me that I had yet more evidence of Schiffman’s lack of respect for the truth.
I have found that inveterate liars who grow accustomed to mouthing the big lies acquire some kind of sick addiction to the act and find themselves lying about just about everything, even when there is no apparent point in doing so (on a personal note, I once had a personal relationship with someone who had this problem and can attest to it’s infuriating nature.)
Take for instance, the finding of the Polakoff photos by Schiffman.
During a 2006 "interview" with fellow "journalist" Hans Bennett, Schiffman claimed the following about the discovery of the pictures:
"Guess where I found the pictures – it was on the website of former 100% MOVE adherent turned 100% MOVE hater Anthony Allen who posted them in the context of one of his endless rants against the "unrepentant cop killer" Mumia Abu-Jamal."
It is safe to say that Schiffman is not a fan of mine.
So, with that statement from Schiffman concerning the photos, I was surprised to hear from Pedro Polakoff something completely different. In an email from Polakoff, I was told that
"Actually Michael found the photos in the archives of the Philadelphia Daily News & Inquirer where they had been published originally and also found them on my photo site where I had published them".
I have no reason to believe that Polakoff would lie about such a thing, and given Schiffman’s shady nature and pattern of deception, I have every reason to believe that he purposely misled Polakoff. As it was, Schiffman kept his extremist political ideology a secret from Polakoff until he was finished obtaining the information and photos that he wanted from Pedro. This according to Mr. Polakoff. Had Schiffman been straight with Polakoff about where he first saw the photos, he ran the risk that Polakoff could have ran across my earlier writings concerning Schiffman’s pro-Jamal slant. This would have alerted Polakoff that Schiffman had a clear agenda and it certainly wasn’t getting to the bottom of the Jamal case.
Taken by itself, this clear example of Schiffman’s duplicitous nature doesn’t mean a whole lot. But as someone who is attempting to obtain a book deal here in the United States that has as a subject, what is arguably the most controversial death-penalty case in the world, Schiffman should be held to a standard of high-mindedness and intellectual honesty.
If he displays a clear bias, a looseness with the facts, a penchant for deception, and a proven disregard for truth, than I think it can easily be argued that he is not one that should be taken with any degree of seriousness.