Temple Pulls Democracy Now! as it Airs Mumia Abu Jamal

February 25, 1997


Rev. Al Sharpton

civil rights leader, former presidential candidate and founder of the National Action Network.

Maretta Short

president of the National Organization for Women–New Jersey.

Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, yesterday
unilaterally canceled Democracy Now! and pulled all
Pacifica programming, including the Pacifica Network News,
from its radio station WRTI. Also affected were 11 other
radio stations across Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and
Delaware — all part of the Temple University radio network.

The sudden decision was made as Democracy Now! began to air
commentaries from Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-
Jamal. University administrator George Ingram said that the
university was planning to change programming on WRTI, but
he added that the airing of Mumia’s commentaries hastened
the decision to cancel Democracy Now! and Pacifica Network
News. Ingram said the commentaries were "inappropriate."

The decision by university administrators sparked immediate
protest from listeners and the university community who
branded the move censorship and an attack upon academic

TAPE: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, a prisoner on Pennsylvania’s death
row comments on Mad Cow Disease.


BEN BAGDAKIAN, formerly the dean of the School of
Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley,
California, and author of the Media Monopoly. Before hitting
the national spotlight with the publication of the Pentagon
Papers, Bagdakian published two books on the prisons,
including The Shame of America’s Prisons.

MARK MCCLAIN TAYLOR, the coordinator of Academics for
Mumia Abu-Jamal, a national group of some 700 academics. He
is a professor of religion and culture at the Princeton
Theological Seminary.

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