Pro-Jamal "Journalist" Slanders Faulkner's Widow
("Journalist" Dave Lindorff)
In 1994, Maureen Faulkner asked herself whether she would publicly respond to the swell of support for Mumia, or whether she would sit idle as the spectacle gained momentum. The answer came when she learned that National Public Radio was planning to air Mumia’s commentaries. "I believe they were going to make him their poster boy," she says. "That was the beginning of it."
She couldn’t have been more precise in her assessment.
Now, over a decade later, the Mumia machine, although diminished, still creaks onward.
It is a movement that purports to decry bigotry, the right to speak, respect for life, all of the things that are great in America. The reality is that it is force for, not against, all of the things it claims to be.
The heroes of the Mumia cause are often those who are most vociferous and over-the-top in their rhetoric and proclamations.
To be sure, if you want to be a true Mumia supporter you better be skilled in the art of personal attacks, because in reality that is all that the movement has left in it’s failing arsenal.
And while it is usually the Fraternal Order of Police and various politicians who bear the brunt of these ad-hominem attacks, also on the list is Maureen Faulkner, Officer Faulkner ‘s widow.
Now one can expect such cruelty from the likes of MOVE members such as Pam or Ramona Africa and nobody should be surprised when MOVE members engage in such a vile enterprise.
But when "respected journalists" make an all out defamatory offensive against victims of crime, than it is the place of people of conscience to speak out.
Recently, in an interview about Jamal’s case, "journalist" and author Dave Lindorff again took it upon himself to take a crass swipe at Maureen Faulkner.
If Lindorff was just some hack from a Marxist weekly with a circulation of three, than it might not be so big a deal. But Lindorff, in addition to writing a pro-Mumia book that was reviewed favorably by the Philadelphia Inquirer, has also written for the paper as well as other "mainstream" media outlets in the city. He has also written for Salon magazine (http://www.salon.com/), Businessweek, The Nation, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Forbes, The London Observer and the Australian National Times.
In the interview, Lindorff made the claim that Maureen Faulkner had gone all around the country saying things that were "simply not true" about the case, and worse still, was pandering to bigots as she was purportedly working to "appeal to the worst instincts of white racists". Lindorff cited no proof of his claim, and being that it was pro-Mumia Pacifica Radio doing the interview, no proof was asked for.
I challenge Lindorff to provide one sentence or utterance when Maureen Faulkner exploited the race of her husband or that his killer as a means of inciting animus towards Jamal. Providing he cannot than I fully expect him to apologize. Not to me, but to Mrs. Faulkner who has had to endure enough abuses at the hands Jamal supporters that she need not be subjected to contrived allegations of racial exploitation.
For if any group of people in this equation has exploited the racial dynamics of the case it is the "free Mumia" crowd, of which Lindorff is a happy participant in, despite his own delusions of somehow being "independent", and above the fray. This is also not the first time that Lindorff has gone on the offensive against Maureen Faulkner. He also did so in his deeply flawed book on the case "Killing Time".
As a reviewer from the far-left website counterpunch.org , which itself has published some disturbingly inaccurate articles on the case noted, "None escape the scythe of Lindorff's truth-finding pen, not even the widow Maureen Faulkner, who lied to the media about a devilish gesture that Abu-Jamal could not have made at her."
In this instance, both Lindorff and the reviewer were wrong in their re-counting of an incident that has become part of the mythology of the Mumia movement. At issue was the fact that former Jamal attorney, Leonard Weinglass had led people into believing that Mrs. Faulkner was making impossible statements when she claimed that Mumia "turned and smiled at her after her husband’s blood stained shirt was displayed". Weinglass denied that Jamal was even in the courtroom when the shirt was put on display, but that was not the case. Court transcripts and media reports prove that Mumia was in the courtroom and so was Maureen Faulkner.
It is true that Lindorff and other apologists for Jamal have made half-hearted and obviously obligatory statements expressing sympathy for Maureen Faulkner, but their false acts of concern never deter them from unleashing their repugnant attacks.
And, of course by stepping into the public arena Mrs. Faulkner had to know that she would face critics who take issue with her position on the death penalty and opposition to all things Mumia.
But there is a distinct and clear-cut line between articulating a difference of opinion with someone and unfairly branding them as the leader of a racist lynch-mob as Lindorff did during his interview.
It should also be noted that Lindorff has repeatedly represented himself as an "objective journalist" and his book on Jamal's case an independant investigation into the murder of Officer Faulkner.
Even a cursory examination reveals that neither of Lindorff's claims regarding his journalistic integrity will prove that he is certainly partisan. He is decidedly pro-Jamal, and that his assertions to the contrary are but examples of his attempts to work within the contemptible "mainstream" media, as he did recently with the Philadelphia City Paper where he wrote an article about Jamal.
Back to Mrs. Faulkner, during one of Jamal’s many appeal hearings, as Maureen Faulkner was in the hallway, out of the courtroom, a supporter of Mumia, no doubt a courageous "revolutionary" spat upon her.
Obviously, it is not enough for Mumia supporters like Dave Lindorff ,that her husband was murdered. They expect her to be silent about it. And when she dares to speak out against the multitudes who are either ignorant or willfully deceitful with regards to the case, she is either spat upon or defamed by pro-Jamal zealots posing as objective journalists.
That she continues to act as a true "voice of the voiceless" in the face of such abuses is a testament to both her courage as well as her confidence that Mumia was without a doubt the man who killed her husband.