40 Years Later, (The Late) Martin Luther King Still Silenced
by Jeff Cohen
Soon after Martin Luther Kingâ€™s birthday became a federal holiday in 1986, I began prodding mainstream media to cover the dramatic story of Kingâ€™s last year as he campaigned militantly against U.S. foreign and economic policy. Most of his last speeches were recorded. But year after year, corporate networks have refused to air the tapes.
Last night NBC Nightly anchor Brian Williams enthused over new color footage of King that adorned its coverage of the 40th anniversary of the assassination. The report focused on the last phase of Kingâ€™s life. But the same old blinders were in place.
NBC showed young working class whites in Chicago taunting King. But there was no mention of how elite media had taunted King in his last year. In 1967 and â€˜68, mainstream media saw Rev. King a bit like they now see Rev. Jeremiah Wright.