Whose side was she on? ‘American Heiress’ revisits Patty Hearst’s kidnapping

Author Jeffrey Toobin describes the 1974 kidnapping and its aftermath in a new book, “American Heiress.” Terry Gross interviews Toobin on the Fresh Air podcast:

Hearst was eventually captured by the FBI, convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to seven years in federal prison. She served 22 months before President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence. Later, President Bill Clinton pardoned her.

Toobin calls the presidential actions on Hearst’s behalf an example of “wealth and privilege in action.”

“The fact that she got these two presidential gestures of forgiveness is the purest example of privilege on display that frankly I have ever seen in the criminal justice system,” Toobin says.

Civil war

In 1979, the Ku Klux Klan murdered members of the American Communist Workers Party at a rally in a North Carolina small town. Police looked the other way.

39 Shots – Criminal

In 1979, a group of labor organizers protested outside a Ku Klux Klan screening of the 1915 white supremacist film, The Birth of a Nation. Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller-Foxworth remember shouting at armed Klansmen and burning a confederate flag, until eventually police forced the KKK inside and the standoff ended without violence. The labor organizers felt they’d won a small victory, and planned a much bigger anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina. They advertised with the slogan: “Death to the Klan” and set the date for November 3rd, 1979.

As protestors assembled, a caravan of nine cars appeared, and a man in a pick-up truck yelled: “You asked for the Klan! Now you’ve got them!” Thirty-nine shots were fired in eighty-eight seconds, and five protestors were killed. The city of Greensboro is still grappling with the complicated legacy of that day.

Donny & Marie Osmond sing Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years” on their 1978 TV variety show.

“Reelin’ in the Years” is a fine song, but it really needed Vegas showgirl ice-dancers wearing giant bunny tails, to make it complete.

Via Boing Boing and reddit.com/r/ObscureMedia.