After quotes Noam Chomsky and Julian Bond, NPR let the droll voice of right wing activist David Horowitz to spew from my radio and as one person put it “symbolically spit on Zinn’s grave.” This is what he had to say “There is absolutely nothing in Howard Zinn’s intellectual output that is worthy of any kind of respect. Zinn represents a fringe mentality which has unfortunately seduced millions of people at this point in time. So he did certainly alter the consciousness of millions of younger people for the worse.”
NPR! You should not have done that! So I wrote a nice little note to All Things Considered and other names at NPR in which yes, I used the world codswallop. It seemed appropriate. I encourage you all to write notes of a similar tone.
Dear All Things Considered, NPR staff, etc. etc,
NPR did a great kindness when it ran an obituary for my father, the late folk musician Utah Phillips. It was a sweet, sentimental obituary done by another folk musician. I still have it saved on my computer should I want to listen to it.
My father was a radical, a leftist and like Howard Zinn, not in the party way but in a fierce and independent way. Both men strove to be a part of social movements for change and in turn became many of those movements de facto historians and teachers. There are so many individuals mourning the loss of Howard Zinn. His life’s work is a treasured volume to so many working to right the wrongs in the world. Not to mention that his work is also tirelessly researched, accurate and damn well written.
David Horowitz contribution to our society is codswallop and shouldn’t be given more the second glance when all is said and done. When those who have mattered to the world are measured against those who merely worked to be a distraction to what is really going on we will see the likes of Howard Zinn and not David Horowitz rise to the top.
How could you allow that vapid man to speak a rebuttal to an obituary? Political ideology aside Howard Zinn deserves to be mourned.
I do not think his family will have the great pleasure of book marking his NPR obituary to listen to in the future as I have. That is a shame NPR should carry and feel greatly uneasy about. You missed an excellent opportunity to not only retain some semblance of class but to also convey to your listeners the meaning of the death of Howard Zinn.