Geist: Showing Plane Flying Into WTC 'Always In Bad Taste'

More in sorrow than in anger, I'm about to record a personal blogging first: airing a gripe about Willie Geist.  When writing of the Morning Joe sidekick, my habit is to append adjectives such as "affable."   Willie is indeed a likable guy, patently comfortable in his own skin.  And while I don't suspect him of being a closet conservative, neither is he anything of a raging liberal, typically striking a regular-guy's middle ground on most issues.

All of which makes his comment of today that much more surprising—and regrettable.  Geist was commenting on an ad by an anti-Ground Zero mosque group to be displayed on NYC buses, which shows a plane flying into one of the WTC towers.  Although defending the anti-mosque group's rights, Willie opined that it's "always in bad taste to show the plane flying into the building." Really?

The ad was illuminating for another, chilling, reason . . .

Have a look at the screencap below showing the mosque's proposed design [note that the anti-mosque group wasn't misrepresenting the design.  See mosque architect's rendering here].  Sure looks a lot like the WTC towers themselves, doesn't it?  Hard to imagine that's a coincidence. A certain implicit triumphalism involved?

Note: Introducing the segment, Chris Jansing [subbing for Mika] said that "New York's transportation agency has approved a controversial advertisement protesting a planned mosque near Ground Zero."  True. But what Chris [who generally seems to be playing things straight] didn't say is that the MTA only approved the ad after the group sued the agency, which had demanded various changes to the ad, including the removal of the plane.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.