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Ask Fox to Stop Terrorism Baiting

Dear Media Corps member,

Below, there's a thank you note to you all from Tim Robbins, as well
as Robert Greenwald and Mike Farell, founders of Artists United to Win
Without War.  First, though, here's today's action:

Earlier this month Stephen Zunes, a professor and well-known expert on
the Middle East, appeared on the Fox News show Hannity and Colmes.
Zunes is a member of Foreign Policy in Focus, a group that seeks to
provide some balance to the currently dominant neoconservative outlook
on world affairs.

After Zunes corrected Mr. Hannity on a matter of fact regarding the
Lebanese group Hezbollah, Hannity turned on him and demanded to know
who funded his organization.  The clear implication was that the only
reason Zunes would disagree with the right-wing line was if he was
backed by terrorists. (The transcript is below.)

We may not agree with Zunes' line of reasoning, but attacks like
Hannity's undermine our public debate.  If foreign policy analysts who
disagree with the right-wing line are branded as terrorist
sympathizers, apologists, or toadies, we will lose a vital part of our
national conversation on these critically important issues.  Today,
please call Fox News and ask for an apology regarding this
implication.

You can reach them at:

1211 Ave. of the Americas 
New York, NY 10036 
Phone: (212) 301-3000 
Fax: (212) 301-4229 
comments@foxnews.com 

Attacks like Mr. Hannity's can have serious consequences.  For Foreign
Policy In Focus, they brought a wave of hate mail and threats.  (For
the record, Foreign Policy in Focus certainly doesn't accept any money
from Hezbollah.)  For the scholarly community at large, such ad
hominem attacks may quiet dissenting voices and dissuade analysts from
sharing their views with the general public.

Please call Fox today to let them know that such attacks stifle the
balanced debate they claim to promote.

And now for some notes of thanks for your work thus far.

From the founders of Artists United to Win Without War:

Dear MoveOn Media Corps,

This is just a quick note to thank you for your word of support to Tim
Robbins and Susan Sarandon and your calls and emails to the Baseball
Hall of Fame.  We started Artists United to Win Without War because we
believed it was important for public figures and entertainers to speak
out -- especially at a time when there are almost no consistent voices
of opposition that get media attention. We would have preferred that
the media cover and interview experts and others who have spent their
lives studying these issues, but since that didn't have media appeal,
we stepped in.

In a very short period of time, Artists United to Win Without War has
reached over l00 million people.  It's clear that one measure of our
success is the level of ferocity of the vicious personal and
professional attacks that have been launched at our members.  Because
it's sometimes hard to laugh off the slurs of the goon squads, your
words of encouragement mean a great deal to all of us.  We thank you,
we appreciate your support more than you can ever know, and we pledge
to keep going full steam in the days and months ahead.  There is much
work to be done as we take on the continuing efforts of the war hawks,
the neocons and those who lust for empire in the fight for social
justice throughout our society and across the world.

Sincerely,
Robert Greenwald and Mike Farell
Founders, Artists United to Win Without War

From Tim Robbins:

To MoveOn supporters:

Thanks so much for your e-mails.  I can't tell you how moved Susan and
I have been by your outpouring of affection and support.  It is
necessary to know that there are so many patriots out there.  Keep it
up.  Have faith. This is our country and we will prevail.

Tim Robbins

Thank you all for your hard work.  We are making a difference.

Sincerely,
--Eli Pariser
  MoveOn.org Civic Action
  April 24th, 2003

P.S. Here's a little more about Zunes and the script from the show.

Stephen Zunes is an associate professor of politics and chair of the
Peace and Justice Studies program at the University of San Francisco
as well as Middle East editor for Foreign Policy in Focus. He wrote
Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.

Aired on HANNITY AND COLMES, April 14th, 2003

ZUNES: I don't like [Hezbollah's] ideology, I mean, they're Islamic
extremists, but they are a legal political party within Lebanon. They
have -- Most of their fighting has been against Israeli occupation
forces and not civilians. During the '80s...

COLMES: But haven't they been -- haven't they taken responsibility for
about of terrorism, for bombings and for...

HANNITY: Yes, they have.

ZUNES: In the 1980's.

COLMES: Not in the 1980s. I'm talking about 2000, 2001, 2002. I'm not
talking about 20 years ago.

ZUNES: What are you talking about? Hezbollah? Hamas has, certainly.
Islamic Jihad but Hezbollah...

HANNITY: Steven?

ZUNES: Yes.

HANNITY: I want to know who funds your group?

ZUNES: What group?

HANNITY: Do you get any money from any of these groups? Do you get
money from Hezbollah?

ZUNES: Of course not.

HANNITY: Why would you sound like an apologist for the Israeli group?

ZUNES: I'm looking at the Institute for Strategic Studies and other
groups that are looking at...

HANNITY: I'm looking -- it's common knowledge Hezbollah is a terrorist
organization that has one of their bases in Syria, and you're sitting
here denying the truth...

ZUNES: There have not been terrorist attacks by Hezbollah since the
1980's.

HANNITY: OK. You know what? If I had enough time to investigate, I
wouldn't like -- I'd like to know who funds you and I'd like to know
why you seem to adopt this apologetic tone for that type of group.