December 6th “Today Show” to show Mumia’s lawyer and exculpatory photos

Journalists for Mumia, Abu-Jamal-News.com),

Today Show Update: Mumia’s lawyer and new photos set to appear

Journalists for Mumia just received word that:

The Dec. 6 Today Show (at 7:40 am) will be featuring the newly discovered crime scene photos taken by Pedro Polakoff.  This is certainly good news.  It is impossible to tell at this point, whether the photos will be presented fairly, but this is certainly a victory at some level, since, for over a year now, Journalists for Mumia and others have been working to publicize these photos, and to get the mainstream media to simply acknowledge them.  It seems that today’s article by Reuters news service, covering yesterday’s “Murdered by Mumia?” press conference, was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” since this serves to give the photos much more credibility in the eyes of the mainstream media.  Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work of Mumia supporters all around the world, and particularly with the recent campaign to “ensure fairness” on The Today Show, these photos will finally be recognized.  It has been a pleasure working with so many folks in coalition on this campaign, and we’d like to thank the many supporters who have applied pressure to the mainstream media during this “newsworthy” week.  –Of course, we will still have to see if the photos, and they key facts about them, are fairly represented.

The show will also feature a new interview with Mumia’s lead attorney Robert R. Bryan, which was taped yesterday in San Francisco, to be featured on the Dec. 6 show at approximately 7:40 am.  I just spoke to Mr. Bryan this Wednesday evening and he was concerned about being taped beforehand, because this allows the producers to potentially distort what he said.  However, he consulted with Mumia about it and they mutually decided that “something is better than nothing,” and to therefore go ahead with the interview, in hopes of getting a more balanced program.  For more from Bryan, please see his official letter sent this evening

The NYC Free Mumia Coalition still urges supporters to picket at The Today Show in the morning at 7:15 AM.  Suzanne Ross, of the NYC coalition says that “we are picketing to challenge the lies they’re writing about Mumia’s case, and to stand in solidarity with Mumia.”  They will be passing out an educational flyer confronting the “evidence” against Mumia listed on the “Murdered By Mumia” website.  See FreeMumia.com

There will also be a mass-demonstration in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 8: http://freemumia.com/dec82007.html

STATEMENT FROM ROBERT R. BRYAN:

Dear Friends:

My office was notified this afternoon that NBC’s “Today Show” will air a segment on the case at 7:40 am (EST) tomorrow, December 6.  Even though the focus will be on the book “Murdered By Mumia”, it should include a small portion of a taped interview with me.  We have no control over what will be aired.  One can only hope that it will include some of my more powerful comments.  All Mumia and I ask is to be treated fairly and honestly.

I have read portions of the new book.  It is replete with half-truths and distortions.  Sadly there is an absence of concern for the true facts and that the trial was riddled by racism and fraud.  Rather, the book’s focus is on vengeance, seeing Mumia die at the hands of the executioner irrespective of the truth.  I do not intend to let that happen.

We continue to await a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.  My goal remains to win a new and fair trial for Mumia.  I will not rest until he is freed by a jury.  I intend to see Mumia go home to his family.

Thank you for your concern in this quest for justice.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

PRESS RELEASE FROM NYC:

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)
Box 16 College Station
New York, NY  10030
Hotline:  (212) 330-8029

December 5, 2007

For Immediate Release:
Contact:  Suzanne Ross  (917) 584-2135
Justin Lumumba (347) 267-8259

Picket to Be At NBC’s Today Show, December 6,
for Innocent Man on Death Row

The New York Post’s typically inflammatory language promotes  confrontation outside NBC’s Today Show on December 6  with their fabricated story (12/3/07) that the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) is “threatening to storm the streets of Rockefeller Center.”  The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) has called for a picket across the street from NBC on December 6 as part of a campaign to demand equal time on the Today Show, which is scheduled to host  Maureen Faulkner and Michael Smerconish on that day to promote their new book, Murdered by Mumia.

In writing an article highlighting the scheduled picket at NBC, the Post never contacted the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition but, instead, provided yet another platform for Maureen Faulkner to express her desire for vengeance.  Faulkner is the widow of Office Daniel Faulkner, who was killed on the night of December 9, 1981; his murder was a crime for which Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted in a highly controversial trial.  Amnesty International (AI), in a 2000 report, stated that the trial “failed to meet minimum standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings” and that numerous factors “render the verdict and sentence fundamentally unsound.”  AI called for a new and fair trial.  Michael Smerconish is a Philadelphia talk show host, long allied with the Fraternal Order of Police and its campaign for the execution of Jamal.

Pam Africa and Cortnee Anderson of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal spoke last Friday with Jaclyn Levine, who is producing the December 6 program.  They presented information dealing with the importance, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, of getting “equal time” on the Today Show.  Levine promised to get back to them, but has yet to do so.

Press reviews of the book have already referred to Jamal, an author of five published books and a recipient of hundreds of honors and awards, including Honorary Citizenship of Paris in 2004, as a “thug.”  Given ABC’s widely denounced 20-20 “hatchet job” of Jamal in 1998, Jamal supporters anticipate a similar presentation on the Today Show.  Faulkner played a key role in the 20-20 program, as well, working closely with the Fraternal Order of Police, as the producer of that show acknowledged in writing.  In several interviews in the past week, Faulkner has stated unequivocally that she wants to see Jamal dead, nothing short of that, and has given a hint of the distortions and lies that are to come by stating that he had “a jury of his own choosing.”  Racial bias on the part of the prosecutor in the selection of the jury is a critical issue being given serious consideration by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, where Jamal’s case is current being reviewed.  If racial bias is judged by this federal court as present in the selection of the jury, Jamal would be granted a new trial.

Journalistic fairness and accuracy call for “equal time” for those who have information that refutes the view that will be aired when Faulkner and Smerconish are on the show.

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition will have a picket across the street from NBC in support of Jamal, in support of evidence that challenges what Faulkner and Smerconish regularly promulgate, and in support of fair  media that allows the public to hear important information rather than only a very biased  and distorted picture in a campaign for executing someone regardless of guilt or innocence.

For additional information see:  http://www.freemumia.com or http://www.journalistsformumia.com

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3 Responses to “December 6th “Today Show” to show Mumia’s lawyer and exculpatory photos”


  1. 1 mlyon01 December 9, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Hans Bennett, co-founder (with Michael Schiffmann) of Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (http://www.abu-jamal-news.com/) describes the December 6 “Today Show”:

    Some excerpts (without links):

    Today’s December 6 broadcast of NBC’s Today Show, the highest rated morning news show in the country, featured the newly discovered Mumia Abu-Jamal / Daniel Faulkner crime scene photos taken by press photographer Pedro P. Polakoff. The photos had been completely ignored by the mainstream media (only published by The SF Bay View), until a Dec. 4 Reuters article reported on a press conference in Philadelphia where the photos were presented by several prominent journalists, along with other evidence of both an unfair trial and innocence, as was also reported by The Black Commentator.

    The photos were presented on the Today Show segment featuring Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner, marking the release of their new book titled “Murdered by Mumia.” The show followed a massive media-activist campaign that was launched weeks before by supporters of Abu-Jamal to “ensure fairness” on the Dec. 6 program. A large group of Mumia supporters gathered outside the show, and passed out flyers challenging the statement made at the “Murdered by Mumia” website that he “was unanimously convicted of the crime by a racially mixed jury based on: the testimony of several eyewitnesses, his ownership of the murder weapon, matching ballistics, and Abu-Jamal’s own confession.”

    As the report progressed, it became clear that this was not the typical report from the mainstream media, as expressed in several ways:

    1. NBC honestly reported how Abu-Jamal remains in his death-row cell despite the 2001 federal court decision overturning the death penalty.

    2. The recognition that “to this day he maintains his innocence” was atypical. Often coverage repeats as fact, the false claim that Mumia has never proclaimed his innocence.

    3. The footage of various demonstrations and supporters for Mumia was fairly extensive, and not presented in a demeaning way (as is usually done with labels like “Hollywood Chic,” which serve to trivialize supporters as ignorant or naive dupes. They recognize that Mumia does have strong support around the word, and there is footage of Pam Africa, coordinator of Mumia’s international support network (ICFFMAJ), speaking at a demonstration: “It’s a righteous cause. That’s why you see people here from Belgium, France, Germany, and South Africa.”

    At this point, Matt Lauer brings up the new evidence: “There are some photographs that have been released by supporters of Mumia, and they were taken by a freelancer named Pedro Polakoff. The supporters say that these photos show a policeman holding two guns in his bare hand, contradicting the officer’s trial testimony that he had preserved ballistics evidence. Another shows you husband’s hat on top of a car, and not on the sidewalk as it is in the official police photo of the crime scene. A third shows a blood-stained sidewalk where the shooting took place, but does not show any signs of the marks in the concrete that might have occurred if your husband had been shot from above as prosecutors contended. The defense attorney says that he can ‘have a field day’ with these photographs if a new trial…”

    Cutting off Lauer, Smerconish makes no attempts to challenge any of these stated facts. He says “This is the outrage. For 26 years, these canards have enabled the manipulation of the process. It’s as reliable as the fact that Christmas is on the 25th of December, that they will come up with something every year. One year it was a guy who stood up and said, ‘I know who murdered Danny Faulkner–I did it,’ and the defense lawyers thought he was preposterous. Another year, there was a guy who said he was there and that the dying words of Danny Faulkner were “get Maureen, get the children,” when everyone agrees that he died instantly, and unfortunately she never had the chance to have children with Danny. Where does it stop?”

    For a complete description of the show, see
    http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=5100

  2. 2 pdcsupporter January 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    There’s a great fact sheet responding to the Faulkner/Smerconish book here: http://partisandefense.org/pubs/articles/factsheet1231.html


  1. 1 Books News » Blog Archive » December 6th “Today Show” to show Mumia’s lawyer and exculpatory … Trackback on December 7, 2007 at 5:51 am

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