Now that the film has been released, has anything changed with regard to the ATF or the media in terms of how they view this event? ^ I think a lot has changed with how people view the event. When we made the film we were in a search for the truth. We were fortunate in that we had complete creative control. There were three people on the core of the production team. We were all very concerned about details and confirming everything. We pretty much knew when we were done with the film that we had accurate material in the can. What we didn’t know was, would anybody believe it or even be interested in it? And what we found was that people were interested in it and in what we had to say. ^ I think this film has played a significant role in changing people’s perspectives on this event on both sides of the political spectrum. That’s one thing I’m very proud of, is that it bridges the political camps. Both conservatives and liberals responded to this. And this was built into the project. We talked at length about liberal and conservative ideology while we were making it. I tried very much to not put things in the film that were indicative of either the conservative or liberal philosophy. I tried to stay with sort of universal morals, precepts or ideas, that transcended political ideology. And it worked. People did respond. ^ What has not changed is that the mainstream media is still only willing to go so far. People like O’Reilly at MSNBC. They saw the show but they wouldn’t cover it in their shows. They wouldn’t go the distance. They would rather make a novelty out of the whole thing than look at the real issues or implications.
After having seen so much information about David Koresh and his so-called cult, do you have a personal opinion about him? Why do you think he had all those weapons? ^ I think that Koresh was no different than many, many people in this world — there have been a lot of David Koresh’s around. I think he was a shit-kicking manipulative Texas evangelist. I think he believed his own rap as well. He believed his own fantasy about who he was. The people around him believed in him. One of the opinions we came to was that they were all true believers. The two things that stood out in the press about him were sex with under aged girls, and the weapons. They are both really hot buttons in terms of the media. Weapons-wise, they were weapons dealers- they sold weapons at gun shows. And in Texas, everybody’s got guns. They were steeped in the political ideology we now call the “patriot movement”, with a heavy emphasis on individual liberty and the constitution (as seen through the ideology of the Bible). In terms of the sex, Koresh’s whole thing was: from his seed would come the inheritors of the new world. The parents of these young girls thought that what they were doing what was their religious obligation. That’s how much they believed. If you look at history, globally and in a very broad sense, in many cultures it’s not that outrageous. Not that what happened was healthy or moral- it just wasn’t that unprecedented (but it could be hammered on daily by the FBI press officers). ^ The other thing about Koresh is that it wasn’t really all about Koresh. The focus on him as a “cult leader” was to a certain degree a media fabrication. The group of people who were with him were very bright, and not anywhere near the glassy-eyed cult followers so commonly portrayed in the media. These people were smart and had minds of their own. (one Wayne Martin- killed in the fire- was the first black graduate of the Harvard School of law) The real core motivator for them was as much their personal Christian beliefs as it was David Koresh. They were all true believers.
Why do you think the mainstream national news media so blindly accepted the ATF’s vilification of Koresh without even questioning it? ^ It was the easiest route. The mainstream media jumped on this because it was a salacious novelty. The underlying issues didn’t come out until way later. “Federal law enforcement officers killed.” It was a big deal with the tanks and the FBI and all that drama. But the FBI also kicked out of the news conferences anybody who dissented, or raised any questions that might be embarrassing to law enforcement. That’s really the point. It looks like the mainstream media accepted it. If they objected, they were ejected out of the news conferences and denied access to the FBI.
Get the rest of the interview in part four of WILLIAM GAZECKI UNDER FIRE>>>
Posted on January 14, 2001 in Interviews by Chris Gore
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