Program Notes for Left Out (February 17, 2004)

Welcome to Left Out on WRCT 88.3FM. Left Out is a public affairs program dedicated to presenting news and views from a perspective left out of the mainstream news. The program is co-hosted by Danny Sleator and Robert Harper. Today's program is produced by Jay Thurber. Listeners are welcome to call us at 412 621-WRCT (9728) or 412 268-WRCT (9728).


The movie "Uncovered" from (which we talked about last time) will be shown in McConomy Auditorium in CMU's University Center on Tuesday March 2, at 8pm (2 weeks from today). Admission is free and open to the public.

Longwall Mining

Our guest today via phone is Terri Taylor, a Pittsburgh-based freelance reporter and filmmaker. She investigated Longwall mining, and its effects on communities and the environment. Her documentary Subsided Ground ... Fallen Futures was funded by the Raymond Profitt Foundation

Judith Miller and the NY Times

Judith Miller of the NY times played a key role in promoting the false story that Iraq had WMD and was a threat to the US. Finally, this story is getting some traction in the mainstream media.

Michael Massing has researched and written a detailed article in the NY Review of Books exposing Miller and the NYTimes. Massing also did a hard-hitting radio interview on Democracy Now on Febuary 11. (You heard it here on WRCT.) In the interview, Amy Goodman points out the irony that around the same time the Times did a huge "confession" piece about Jayson Blair, but has done absolutely nothing about the Miller fiasco.

Things even got worse when Miller tried to defend herself, as explained here by Jack Shafer of slate. "Miller Time (Again) The New York Times owes readers an explanation for Judith Miller's faulty WMD reporting".

US Dilemma in Iraq: How to have Democracy and block Islamic Law?

From a February 17 NYTimes story:
On Monday, U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer said he would move to block any effort by Iraqi leaders to put Islamic law as the foundation of legislation in the interim constitution, which is supposed to take effect at the end of February.
Bob Harper's comment on this:
I am not in favor of fundamentalist religious law, no matter what the religion, but the fact is that if Iraq is a DEMOCRACY, then this is what will happen. This was completely and totally predictable, and represents a SERIOUS retrograde step for the Middle East. If the majority rules, it will be Iran all over again.

US and Britain Blocked UN Attempt to Avoid War

The UK planted spying devices in the UN, and used the information gained to obstruct a last-ditch effort to extend inspections and avoid war in Iraq.

O'Reilly's Apology gets no Publicity

Here's a story that got almost no play in the mainstream media. "Pundit O'Reilly now Skeptical about Bush", Reuters, February 10, 2004

CMU Announces Branch Campus in Qatar

Yesterday CMU announced agreement with the middle eastern country of Qatar to operate of a branch of CMU there. Qatari students will be able to get CMU degrees in computer science and business. Here's an article in today's Post-Gazette.

The information that has been released to date is light on details. Primary among the questions is what, specifically, is CMU getting out of this deal? Is the degree going to be indistinguisable from a CMU degree from the Pittsburgh campus? How is CMU going to staff the operation with top-notch people? How do we ensure that this burden on CMU will not damage the main campus?



Listen to the broadcast (requires MP3 player).
Robert Harper
Last modified: Tue Feb 17 18:06:06 EST 2004