Jewish World Review June 8, 2001 / 18 Sivan, 5761
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- HOW many families do you know that live in a "compound?"
My dictionary defines a compound as "an enclosed area used for confining prisoners of war." But in the liberal media handbook, "compound" means any dwelling where God and guns are present. It's a loaded word used to conjure up images of white separatists and religious sects. In New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., city-slicker journalists live in estates and condos. In flyover country, the unwashed masses live on farms and "compounds."
"Compound" has a way of conveniently dehumanizing the people who live in the place being described. CNN anchors and reporters endlessly invoked "compound" to describe the [ital]home[ital] of the 76 Branch Davidians who were killed during the Clinton-Reno government siege at Waco, Texas, in 1993.
And now the word has been resurrected again.
Over the past week, I heard "compound" used repeatedly by CNN correspondents who left their posh East Coast digs to cover a five-day "standoff" in rural America between armed government agents and a frightened family.
The McGuckins of Garfield Bay, Idaho had fallen on hard times since the head of the household, 61-year-old Michael, took ill. The family's 40-acre property was auctioned off to pay back taxes. Then Michael died last month. Wife JoAnn, widowed with six children living at home, was in an understandably fragile state. The family turned inward and relied on each other and their faith to survive. They rejected welfare. But on May 29, Mrs. McGuckin reached out.
Local deputies told her she could obtain Social Security benefits if she left the house to make a phone call. It was a cruel ruse. The deputies picked her up, and instead of helping her, they arrested her on a suspiciously flimsy charge of felonious child abuse.
Down swooped the CNN camera crews to cover the aftermath. The children, afraid of being split up, reportedly took up the family guns and sent some of their dogs out to defend against law enforcement officials who had surrounded their home. Eileen O'Connor, a bewildered CNN national correspondent who looked like she had just been dropped off in Kuala Lampur, stood outside the "compound" during the "standoff" and regurgitated whatever local authorities told her:
"The state needs to learn its place -- and that is not in family business," Mrs. McGuckin said in a powerfully lucid statement from jail where she remains today. "I do not accept the charges to begin with. It will be up to them to explain their behavior to everyone because it affects us all. May the public demand some answers as well."
Don't expect any from CNN. Their "compound" interest is in ratings and
sensationalism, not in accuracy or