Henican On Mosque: Pundits Shouldn't Be As 'Ignorant' As Other Americans

Talk about your teachable moments, the Ground Zero mosque controversy has taught us in just what contempt some in the liberal media hold their fellow Americans.

As I noted here, last week on MSNBC, Cenk Uygur accused Americans who oppose the mosque of being "ignorant."  Washington Post blogger Joel Achenbach upped the ante, calling Americans "numbskulls, dumb, ill-informed, paranoid, gullible and goofy." This weekend on Fox News Watch, Ellis Henican also used the i-word, saying that when it comes to the mosque, pundits shouldn't be as "ignorant" as other Americans. Jim Pinkerton pounced, pointing out the MSM's preening moral superiority that Henican had illustrated.

Henican had opened the mosque segment by saying that those such as himself who live in lower Manhattan are more receptive to the mosque than people who live farther away, speculating that in Idaho are 99% against it. Later came this exchange . . .

JIM PINKERTON: This whole exercise, for the media, let's just focus on the pundit sector.  It's been a chance for them to demonstrate their moral superiority over the average American by taking this "enlightened," multi-cultural position.

ELLIS HENICAN: At the risk, Jim, of sounding enlightened, it is not the role of us in the punditocracy to be as quickly as ignorant as the least ignorant [sic--presumably meant "most ignorant"] member of the public. There are some complex principles here that don't get played out easily in a left-right angry exchange on cable television, and I think frankly we have some responsibility to remember what those principles are.

PINKERTON: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant has just convicted himself.

HENICAN: Of enlightenment! I plead guilty as charged, sir.    

Note: This week's News Watch was quite the treasure trove.  Brad Wilmouth earlier noted the shout-out Pinkerton gave Tim Graham for his observation of the way the New York Times buried the news of the Justic Department's dropping of its investigation of Tom DeLay, and Noel Sheppard reported the way Rich Lowry aced  Henican regarding the liberal media's coverage of the Iraq war.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.