Media Frenzy Nushawn Williams Telecasts

The Nushawn Williams case has made extensive national media hoopla. The news media has labeled Williams: "The One Man AIDS Epidemic." This media coverage results in an escalating hysteria calling for mandatory names reporting of HIV infected individuals [in spite of Williams operating under a half-dozen different aliases] and increasing legislation criminalizing the exposure of HIV. [Nettie Mayersohn­the successful legislator of mandatory Maternal/Infant Testing and Reporting in NY State­is proposing immediate legislation incarcerating convictions of "knowingly exposing a partner to HIV" to 15 years in prison.]

The most heinous of recent telecasts occurred September 5, 1997 on CNBC with Geraldo Rivera.

Geraldo Rivera opens his television program:

Geraldo Rivera"The AIDS assassin, so-called, ah...alleged, Nushawn Williams. The latest on his story and what his story has done to effect confidentiality in the midst of the AIDS epidemic."

[segment Title] "PRIVACY FOR PREDATORS, WE ASK?? (Rivera sighs)."

"Nushawn Williams, the nightmare of the 90's, the Willie Horton of the AIDS epidemic, the alleged AIDS assassin who has allegedly been spreading the HIV epidemic across a 300-mile swatch of NY State, probably infecting dozens of women."

"What about syphilis? What about tuberculosis? Why is AIDS so different, especially now that it has become a treatable condition. Why have we, because of political pressure, singled out this one disease as having special privileges?"

"AIDS has lost the reason to be treated differently, that is my belief. There is no difference between AIDS now than any other chronic condition. And for people to suggest that there IS still a difference does a disservice to people living with HIV and who are doing their jobs in not infecting anybody by casual contact. By giving it this patina of being something exotic, you you make the people with it different. You alienate them. You isolate them."

Rivera asked of his guest, Ann Coulter (a 'constitutional' lawyer at the Center for Individual Rights ):

"I cannot believe that you even laughingly suggest tattoos on the genitalia of people HIV infected."

To which Ms. Coulter replied:

"No, actually I haven't. But Buckley has...and later apologized. Though, I think, other than peoples' fears of homosexuality and homophobia...um...and of course the Nazi associations...in a way it actually deals with alot of the concerns: having your employers know, having your friends know, having your family know...um...really, the only person who know is the one point of contact where you can transmit a deadly disease and considering the sort-of...um...totalitarian government we have in the area of 'truth in advertising'...um...there are labels on mattresses, on hamburger meat, on cigarettes.... Um...I'm just saying this actually deals with the public health crisis and concerns actually being raised. But as long as this is out of the question, it seems that you're not being honest saying 'let's go after Nushawn Williams'."

 

The best 'good-guy' one-liner was from Jeffrey Reynolds, Long Island Association for AIDS Care:

"It's not privacy versus public health; our position is that confidentiality IS public health!"

 

 


see also:

 

_"Negotiating Sex in an Age of Panic"

_ DIVA TV NETCAST

 

 


see also:

Editorials: The Nushawn Williams Infection Panic

Nushawn Williams Newspaper Excerpts

and talk about all the Media hoopla about:

NAMES REPORTING...

Myths and Facts about HIV Names Reporting

see also:

MEDIA IRRESPONSIBILITY: The New York Times

20/20 MEDIA CRAP: "AIDS Gets Too Much Money" Monday, Oct. 11, 1999

And sometimes AIDS Rags can be the worst...
see for yourself > > > A&U Editorial (April 2001)

"Give them dirty needles and let them die" -- Judge Judy

see also: