The hard-left Pacifica Radio network is a network of five public radio stations in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Houston. Together, these stations have regularly drawn about a combined $1 million a year in federal money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (For a while, conservative Rep. Joel Hefley would push an amendment every year to reduce the federal CPB budget by $1 million in protest.) Perhaps their signature program is "Democracy Now!" with Amy Goodman, which boasts of public TV and radio stations far beyond the Pacifica-owned affiliates. On Monday, they went on one of their pledge drives with a new premium: a DVD of celebrities reading from leftist historian Howard Zinn's "Voices of a People's History of the United States."
Celebrities included Danny Glover, Sandra Oh (of "Grey's Anatomy"), Viggo "Aragorn" Mortensen, and the one reader that really surprised me: Marisa Tomei doing a dramatic reading of Cindy Sheehan.
On the radio, Tomei, the perky, surprising Oscar winner for "My Cousin Vinny," could be heard dramatically reading Cindy Sheehan's speech from August 5, 2005 to the Veterans for Peace convention, obscenities bleeped, of course. One transcript of that speech is here. It included some lines that remind us of the vicious speech the media carefully edited out of their "Peace Mom" coverage:
But do you think George Bush will interrupt his vacation and go visit the families of those 20 marines that have died in Ohio this week? No, because he doesn't care, he doesn't have a heart. (Wild applause here from audience for Tomei on that line.) That's not enough to stop his little playing cowboy game in Crawford for 5 weeks.
...So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush, was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, he said a couple things that outraged me. Seriously outraged me. And I know I don't look like I'm outraged, I'm always so calm and everything, that's because if I started hitting something, I wouldn't stop til it was dead. So I can't even start, cause I know how dangerous that would be, but George Bush was talking, and he never mentioned the terrible incident of those marines, but he did say, that the families of the ones who have been killed can rest assured that their loved ones died for a noble cause.
And, he also said, he says this often, and this really drives me crazy, he said that we have to stay in Iraq and complete the mission, to honor the sacrifices of the ones who have fallen.
And I say, why should I want one more mother to go through what I've gone through, because my son is dead. You know what, the only way he can honor my son's sacrifice is to bring the rest of the troops home. To make my son's death count for peace and love, and not war and hatred like he stands for.
I don't want him using my son's death or my family's sacrifice to continue the killing. I don't want him to exploit the honor of my son and others to continue the killing. They sent these honorable people to die, and are so dishonorable themselves.
So, as many of you have heard, and I didn't mean to cause any problems with the convention, but I was writing an email to everybody, and I was so mad, like I said, and I just had this brainstorm, I'm going to Dallas, I don't know where Crawford is. I've been in Texas, Casey was stationed at Fort Hood. I drove from northern California to Fort Hood one time, it took like, 30 hours. And I thought, I could be driving for days to get from Dallas to Crawford!
But I don't care, I'm goin'. And I'm gonna tell them, "You get that evil maniac out here, cuz a Gold Star Mother, somebody who's blood is on his hands, has some questions for him."
...You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don't tell me my son died for freedom and democracy.'
Cuz, we're not freer. You're taking away our freedoms. The Iraqi people aren't freer, they're much worse off than before you meddled in their country.
So if you gave, for example, the station I was listening to, Washington's WPFW, $150, you received a DVD of the Zinn readings. The Howard Zinn website has more, including Viggo Mortensen promoting Zinn on Charlie Rose's interview show on PBS.