Vanity Fair Published "Hit Piece" on Mumia Abu-Jamal
Author Is Publicist for Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell

Revolutionary Worker #1014, July 18, 1999

The RW received the following press release from the International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal:

The August issue of Vanity Fair magazine contains a lengthy article attacking Mumia Abu-Jamal and his supporters. It repeats the tired and false claims of the Fraternal Order of Police, then adds one new one: Yet another person has suddenly "remembered" that they heard Mumia "confess" to killing a Philadelphia police officer.

The new "witness" is one Philip Bloch, who now claims that years ago, when he was a Pennsylvania prison aid worker, that Mumia indirectly indicated to him that he was "guilty." This is yet another flagrant attempt by FOP and the Philadelphia establishment to manufacture evidence for the public, while refusing a new trial where real evidence can be examined.

Not surprisingly, the author of this new hit piece, Buzz Bissinger, is a long time publicist for Mayor Ed Rendell. Bissinger has even published a book of lyric praise of Rendell. With Rendell now gearing up to run for higher office, it is very important to Rendell's career to have Mumia's case discredited. After all, Rendell was District Attorney at the time of Mumia's railroad onto death row.

What follows is a statement by Mumia:

Once again we hear about a so-called confession, but instead of two months later this comes over a decade later. We don't hear it from a priest, from a lawyer, or from a personal friend but from an official Visitor of the Pennsylvania Prison Society; over ten years later. A lie is a lie, whether made today or ten years later. But I suppose Mr. Bloch wanted his fifteen minutes of fame in which case I hope he has received it. I find it remarkable that this rumor turned lie was never brought to my attention by the author, by Mr. Bloch himself or by Vanity Fair magazine which never contacted me. Welcome to snuff journalism.

I look forward to the state producing this witness, Mr. Bloch, after I am granted a new trial! The only thing worse than "a forgotten confession" is one allegedly born on the "false wings" of harassment. If ever one needed proof of the state's desperation here it is. I thank Vanity Fair, not for their work but for stoking this controversy, because controversy leads to questioning and one can only question this belated confession.

Ona Move! Mumia Abu-Jamal
July 9, 1999

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