Last week, author Salman Rushdie was attacked while on stage preparing for a lecture in New York. Rushdie has been the subject of death threats since the publication of his 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses.” In February, 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death.
On January 22, 1996, under tight security, Rushdie visited the WGN Radio studios to talk with Milt Rosenberg about living life under constant threat of attack as well as his most recent book at the time, “The Moor’s Last Sigh.” Rushdie told Rosenberg, “There’s a tendency for some people to think that, because I wasn’t killed, it meant there was nobody trying to kill me.”
During the WGN interview, Rushdie commented on the topic of politicians shaping messages in media to serve their needs: “I find that one of the things that is happening in our age is that as politicians understand the power of information, the power of the information media, to shape, if you like, truth to their particular needs and whims, power has become more and more and more interested in deforming the truth to serve its own needs.”
Rushdie continued: “I’ve always felt that there is a paradoxical situation these days, when so much of the world of power seeks to tell us lies, it becomes the function of the writer, who’s admitting he’s telling you lies because he’s telling you his work is a work of fiction, to try and tell you the truth.”