Bill Bennett — Reagan’s former Secretary of Education — declared on his satellite radio show today that “you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”

Bennett was discussing the decline in the crime rate — apparently inspired by “the claim that legalized abortion has reduced crime rates, which was posited in the book Freakonomics (William Morrow, May 2005) by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.” (Media Matters)

Addressing a caller’s suggestion that the “lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years” would be enough to preserve Social Security’s solvency, radio host and former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett dismissed such “far-reaching, extensive extrapolations.”

[Bennett instead declared] that if “you wanted to reduce crime … if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies “would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do,” then added again, “but the crime rate would go down.”

Listen to the actual audio — at the risk of your own sanity. MM also has a transcript.

Media Matters reports that “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America airs on approximately 115 radio stations with an estimated weekly audience of 1.25 million listeners.” (Thanks to Keith Olbermann for first alerting me to this story, and to Media Matters for its usual, impeccable work in fact-checking the news.)

Bennett’s show is run through Salem Radio Network (SRN): “SRN is a full-service satellite radio network based in Irving, Texas. We serve Christian-formatted and general market news/talk stations through affiliate partnerships.” SRN’s phone number is 972-831-1920. Ask for Charles Mefferd, Operations Manager. The new/existing sales numbers are 972-402-8800 and Fax:972-402-8200. And, use the network’s online contact form to send them a message.

So this is the programming of Christians? I wonder what Jesus would listen to in today’s radio markets.

Update [2005-9-29 11:13:5 by susanhu]:
Civil Rights Lawyer Constance Motley Baker Dies at 84

Reports Amy Goodman on this morning’s Democracy Now!:

The first African American woman to serve as a federal judge has passed away. Famed civil rights lawyer Constance Baker Motley died Wednesday in New York. She was 84.

As a young lawyer, Motley represented Martin Luther King Jr. After a brief political career, she began a distinguished four-decade span as a judge in 1966, becoming the first black woman appointed to the federal bench. Motley earned her degree in economics in 1943 from New York University, and three years later, she obtained her law degree from Columbia Law School. In 1945, she became a law clerk to Thurgood Marshall, who was then chief counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

In the late 1950s, Motley took an interest in politics and by 1964 had left the NAACP and become the first black woman to serve in the New York State Senate. In 1965, she became the first woman to serve as president of the borough of Manhattan, where she worked to promote integration in public schools.

In her career, she worked on some of the nation’s most famous civil rights cases, including preparing the draft complaint in 1950 for what would become Brown v. Board of Education. From 1961 to 1964, Motley won nine of 10 civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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