By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
Or pray on people, depending upon your interpretation.
A few days after Thompson's peaceful visit, a much larger batch of protesters gets rowdy, approaching patients closely and yelling. The Phoenix Police Department steps in. Finkel does, too. Forgetting his promise to avoid the protesters, he tells a few to "blow me" and "kiss my ass."
Finkel has no patience for religion.
"I believe in the eternal darkness of death," he says. "My Garden of Eden and my heaven is right here on earth.
"And I intend to live to my very best here in my environment that I have crafted for myself. I intend to live within the secular laws of my community, and I expect the people that I pay tax dollars to to protect me from these people.
"I expect ATF to keep the bombers away. I expect the FBI to keep the nationally recognized terrorists away. I expect the Phoenix Police Department to maintain the quiet enjoyment of the community so my patients can get in and out of the building without being harassed. I expect the Phoenix Fire Department to come to my office if it gets set on fire. I expect the Arizona Bar Association to protect me from miscreant members of the bar who are abusing their position of trust to extort away from my ability to practice medicine. I expect my peers to recognize that the health care I'm providing to the women they've refused to help is quality health care.
"I'd like to be left alone, just like my patients would like to be left alone. And if I don't talk to the media, nobody's gonna talk with a voice of reason and objectivity on behalf of my patients."
He's wrapped himself up in this mantle of moral superiority, but when you strip it off his shoulders you find his swastikas. He's a fascist. He's a religious zealot. . . .
Well, it's obvious that this man has a very obvious ongoing anti-social personality disorder, and I think he needs to increase his medication. . . .
The FBI needs to follow him around.
--Brian Finkel discussing his co-guest, Reverend Donald Spitz, director of Pro Life Virginia, on Cochran & Co., October 26, 1998
"I just want to be left alone," Finkel insists repeatedly. "You know, I don't see any railroad tracks coming up to Auschwitz Finkel at 1710 East Indian School, okay? I'm not forcing these people into my office. I'm just making myself available, and it's (knock knock--he bangs on the table, adopts his falsetto) 'Can I come in, please?' (knock knock) 'Can I come in tomorrow?' (knock knock) 'Can I come in today? I just got off the plane from San Diego, can I come in now?'
"'Do you have the money now?' 'Yes.' 'You can come.'"
But every time another abortion doctor gets killed, another clinic bombed, there's Finkel, on national television. He relishes the chance to perform, cherishes the memories of the interviews, retells the tales over and over again.
He digs up a copy of U.S. News and World Report, circa 1995, flips the pages, holds it up.
"Two full pages, color picture, U.S. News and World Report. That's me!"
"Did you ever see me on Cochran and Co.? I did Johnny Cochran's show, and Cochran was laughing so hard it was amazing," he says, chortling. Then there's the 1994 radio exchange with national pro-life movement leader Joseph Scheidler.
"The tape is actually fantastic. . . . It's so funny, I kick his ass up and down the street for two hours straight," he says.
And on and on it goes.
Ron Fitzsimmons, director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers in Washington, D.C., confirms that Finkel is one of only a half-dozen abortion providers nationwide he can tap at a moment's notice to appear on television.
"The anti-abortion movement is quick to try to portray our doctors in a negative light, so they're out saying negative things, and half the time we don't have doctors responding, so it kind leaves a void there," Fitzsimmons says. "So I like the fact that Brian is not shy and [is] rather aggressive, I'd say, when it comes to the media."
Finkel explains his mediaphilia: "I'm not hard to look at. I'm articulate. And I really believe what I'm doing's right. The media kept sticking their fish eyes in my face, and I kept talking to them, and after a while I got real good at it. And then a bunch of women started calling me up and thanked me for talking to the media."
Finkel calls the pro-lifers who seek attention media whores. He doesn't think the label applies to him.
"My enemies would tell you that I'm a media whore," he says. "My enemies would tell you that I seek out publicity, and my opponents would tell you that I deserve it. . . . I think of myself as a crime victim. A crime victim while I'm taking care of disenfranchised women. Disenfranchised women who don't have lobbyists. Disenfranchised women that don't own their legislators, 'cause they're not making payments to them for their positions. And I got tired of getting pilloried in the media."