I want everyone to write your PBS station and ask them to repeat a “Frontline” program called “The Man Who Knew,” which aired on KQED in San Franciso on October 3, 2002. The two-hour report is about the FBI’s top counter-terrorism agent John O’Neill, who, beginning in the early nineties, understood the threat posed by Al Qaeda and was relentlessly pursuing Osama bin Laden. O’Neill was forced out of the job he loved by the politics of the agency and conflicts with his superiors. He took a job as head of security at the World Trade Center just weeks before September 11, and was killed there. Richard Clarke, who has been so much in the news, figures prominently in the film, and it is full of evidence about the use of planes as weapons, the foiled millennium plot and much more that is currently being “debated.” It certainly exposes the “lying liars” Condi Rice, Dubya Bush, Cheney, et al. I’m so glad I recorded it from Channel 9 two years ago and was shocked to see its relevance upon last night’s second viewing. (We should all be taking our ginkgo to remember better.) Incidentally, the high production values, the intriguing personality of John O’Neill and the life-and-death circumstances make “The Man Who Knew” as exciting as any good spy flick. Congrats to PBS for doing the show in the first place. Make them stand behind it! Yes, pester your stations to air it soon.
And while I’m on the subject of media, tune in via your computer to airamericaradio.com to hear three hours of Al Franken’s talk show and much more. This new liberal radio network is an attempt to counterbalance the hold the right wing has on radio. I understand AirAmerica will have a San Francisco station affiliate in the future. Right now, it’s broadcast in New York, Chicago and other selected cities. Enjoy, and be hopeful.