By: Mark Fitzgerald
Jim Traficant — the former Ohio Democratic congressman likely remembered as much for his elaborate hair style and Star Trek references in speeches as for his conviction on bribery — is out of jail with a new job: newspaper columnist.
Fittingly, Traficant’s new outlet, American Free Press, is not exactly part of the mainstream media, but a Washington, D.C.-based weekly that proclaims “the media is the enemy.”
Traficant takes up the theme in his first column, entitled “Quarterback, Congressman — and Now a Convict.”
The mainstream media, he declares, “distorts the truth” and “in many instances is controlled and influenced by foreign entities.”
“I even question the loyalties and politics of some of their owners and publishers,” he writes.
“I read the mainstream print medium with much skepticism. Quite frankly, I don’t trust the major newspapers. I do not believe their propaganda. It should be of no surprise to know of my support for American Free Press, even though I may disagree with the AFP on some issues. The AFP reports the truth — the unvarnished truth, regardless of the pressures that are brought to bear against them, and there are many.”
In future columns, Traficant writes, he will be taking on the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC “and its control over our very lives,” and calling for the elimination of the progressive income tax and Federal Reserve. He writes that he hopes to testify on behalf of John Demjanjuk at the trial in Germany of the alleged concentration camp guard.
Traficant, who served in a district that included Youngstown, Ohio, before being expelled from Congress, was released from prison Sept. 2 after serving a seven-year sentence on federal convictions for bribery, filing false income tax returns, forcing aides to perform personal chores and racketeering.