Over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has posted what he says is the substance of his entire email exchange with James Brooks of the Associated Press in the wire service's coverage of the UK Home Office's decision to ban Spencer and fellow Stop the Islamization of America leader Pamela Geller, so we can compare what actually transpired to what was published.
Brooks apparently did not contact Geller (or if he did, he didn't report any of it), and gave no indication that he tried. He gave 14 words of his report to his exchange with Spencer in his seventh of 11 paragraphs, and the AP's headline writers chose to call the pair "US anti-Islam activists" (bold is what AP included):
US anti-Islam activists banned from entering UK
... Spencer said in an email that the Home Office's decision amounts to "craven capitulation."
Here is the full exchange posted at Jihad Watch:
AP tells a tiny part of the story
... What’s your response to Hope Not Hate’s open letter to UK Home Secretary Theresa May?
It is frankly and repeatedly libelous. We never called all Muslims "savages." It relies on lies to make its case, and reflects a fascist imperative to forcibly silence and demonize those who defend freedom against an authoritarian and oppressive system.
Do you think yourself and Pamela Geller speaking in the UK could intensify anti-Muslim sentiment?
With the recent Woolwich murder in mind, what’s your view of the current situation concerning Islamic extremism in the UK?
"Islamic extremism" is growing bolder, and the authorities are in terror and full appeasement mode rather than confronting the problem.
Can you give me your reaction to the home office decision please? Is this stopping free speech?
This is a craven capitulation on the part of British authorities to fascism and Islamic supremacism. My work is in defense of the freedom of speech and equality of rights for all. If that is too hot for Britain now, the UK is in bad shape. ...
Geller had what amounts to a response to the AP's headline at her Atlas Shrugs blog this morning (bolds are mine):
Further, not once in all of the media accounts were we identified accurately. We oppose jihad. We are counter jihad. Despite all the column inches, not once is that even mentioned. We are not anti-Muslim. We oppose an ideology that calls for holy war, misogyny, persecution and oppression of non-believers. I don't care who or what you worship. You can worship a stone, just don't stone me with it. This is very clear. But the media's twisted and colorful descriptions of us include "anti-Muslim," "anti-Islam," "anti-Ground Zero mosque campaigners," "right wing activists," "hatemongers," "islamophobic bloggers," "anti-Muslim pair."
Repeat after me: C O U N T E R J I H A D.
And yet the fascists who oppose freedom and seek to destroy our very way of life are fawned over. The vicious Goebbels-inspired cogs in a hate machine that manufactures smears and libel and destroys the names and reputations of good, decent people are showered with descriptions like "anti-race hate group," "anti-fascist" (by the venerable NY Times, no less) "anti-extremist," and given reams of column inches. Their nefarious ties and terror-linked connections are never mentioned. It is Orwellian and worse, evil, because they are clearly racist and fascist and extreme. Facts are irrelevant in pursuit of their vicious agenda.
Brooks owed it Spencer and Geller to include a statement of their beliefs instead of only including others' mischaracterizations. He failed. That failure is disgraceful -- and all too typical.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.