Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Monday slipped in an aside about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck that seemed to link the two conservatives to both violence against Muslims and a Florida minister's plan to burn on the Koran on 9/11.
Harris asserted, "It is but a preview of the anger we'll be seeing on the upcoming ninth anniversary of 9/11, now just five days away, which will include an event in Alaska featuring Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, a protest at Ground Zero and a Koran-burning ceremony at a church in Florida." [MP3 audio here.]
After the curious remark, Harris then played a clip of Pastor Terry Jones and added, "Critics say all this rhetoric is fueling anti-Muslim violence."
On Tuesday's American Morning, CNN's Kiran Chetry used General David Petraeus's denunciation of a planned Koran burning by a church to blast the church's pastor for any subsequent deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan: "Are you willing to have the blood of soldiers on your hands by this demonstration?" Chetry also lectured Pastor Terry Jones over his apparent lack of "refined" Christianity.
Chetry interviewed Pastor Jones 41 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. After asking him why he and his church were planning to burn Korans, the anchor launched into her critique of the minister: "I wanted to let you say your piece, because when I first read this story, I thought there's no way that this could be as bad as it sounds. It appears that it is. You're saying that you're going to burn the holy book of another religion to send a message to the radical elements of that religion, with no thought to the fact that you'd obviously be highly offending everyone in that religion. How do you justify that?"
Later in the segment, Chetry turned theologian and quoted Scripture to Pastor Jones as she continued to question his planned action: "What about turn thy cheek? I mean, this is- you know, Christianity at its most- you know, refined. It's that you just don't act out in violence. You don't act out in any manner of hate, that you turn thy cheek, that you don't rise to the nastiness or the level of payback that your perceived enemies do. I mean, isn't this the exact opposite of what Christ taught all of us to be and to do?"
National Public Radio is strongly urging America to get over its apparently rabid case of Islamophobia. On Sunday night's All Things Considered newscast, anchor Guy Raz played audio clips of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin opposing the Ground Zero Mosque, and then launched into how much this resembles historic anti-Semitism:
In his column today, New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof points out that in 1940, 17 percent of the population considered Jews to be a menace to America. Almost every ethnic group in this country has gone through a period of transition when they had to fight to prove that, indeed, they were Americans.
Rabiah Ahmed and a group of Muslim leaders thought their community had to do the same today. So this week, they launched an online video campaign called "My Faith, My Voice."
If you believed the media, you would think that hate crimes against Muslims was a growing epidemic in America.
Just Monday, the New York Times had a front page story hysterically noting a "torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism."
"The knifing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City has also alarmed many American Muslims," wrote Laurie Goodstein in the second paragraph of her article titled "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?"
Unfortunately, as Michael Doyle reported on August 28, the most recent data concerning hate crimes in this country paint a very different picture than what Goodstein and others in the media have been dishonestly portraying of late:
A new poll released by the New York Times Friday is sure to rock the liberal media's world: "Two-thirds of New York City residents want a planned Muslim community center and mosque to be relocated to a less controversial site farther away from ground zero in Lower Manhattan."
Another finding likely to particularly upset the shills at MSNBC:
One-fifth of New Yorkers acknowledged animosity toward Muslims. Thirty-three percent said that compared with other American citizens, Muslims were more sympathetic to terrorists. And nearly 60 percent said people they know had negative feelings toward Muslims because of 9/11.
On Thursday's American Morning, CNN's Deborah Feyerick continued her network's promotion of the charge that "Islamophobia" is growing in the U.S. All but one of Feyerick's sound bites during her one-sided report were from those who agree with this charge, with the sole exception being used an example of someone using "Islam...[as] a political wedge issue."
Anchor Kiran Chetry and substitute anchor Ali Velshi introduced the correspondent's report just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. Chetry stated that "attempted terror attacks aimed at the U.S. have come mostly from Muslim extremists born outside of America" and then claimed that "America's Muslim community though has been quick to warn law enforcement about these potential threats." Velshi added that "the question is, why does it appear that more and more that all Muslims are being portrayed as potential terrorists or as targets of hate."
Feyerick began by citing unnamed "experts will tell you that there's a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to what Islam is all about. Add on politicians spreading rumors that Sharia law- Islamic law- is coming to the United States simply because a group of Americans wants to build a mosque. It's time to ask, what's really going on?" She then noted that the "Islamic center and mosque to be built near Ground Zero is not the only mosque drawing fire. About a dozen others across the country are also under attack, from angry protests and suspected arson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Temecula, California. American mosques, in some cases, [are] being portrayed as monuments to terror or terror training centers."
Earning applause from the audience inside Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater for Wednesday's Late Show, Donald Trump gave David Letterman his take on placing a new mosque near Ground Zero: “I think it's very insensitive to build it there. I think it's not appropriate, a I think it's insensitive and it shouldn't be built there.” Letterman frowned, prompting Trump to point out to the audience: “I don't know if he agrees.”
Letterman eventually asked “what about the notion” of when the “pilgrims came over...looking for religious expression? And as far as I've always known, that's a fundamental building block of what makes this country great.” Trump agreed, but “it's caused such a storm that the people doing it would make so much good will” if they moved it to a different location.
When Trump repeated his point, to more applause, about how “it's very insensitive to build it there and I think they should go someplace else,” a befuddled Letterman wondered: “Describe for me what insensitivity is manifested if it's built there?” And Letterman fretted: “Does this suggest that we are in fact officially at war with Muslims?”
To which, Trump observed: “Well, somebody knocked down the World Trade Center.”
Could Scott Pelley possibly be this naive, or was he willingly playing the role of MSM cheerleader for the developer of the Ground Zero Mosque?
In the course of a chummy interview of GZM developer Sharif El-Gamal aired on Sunday's 60 Minutes, Pelley produced a pearl. Instead of asking a probing question, the CBS "reporter" served as an advocate for El-Gamal's position when it came to the siting of the mosque.
Pelley, on his own initiative, asserted:
"You don't have your choice of putting this anywhere you want to. There aren't many spots."
President Barack Obama sat down recently with NBC's Brian Williams to reinforce his support for the Ground Zero mosque. He also took the time to blame the media for the initial misunderstanding of his comments when he first weighed in on the issue.
Yet in the interview broadcast on August 29, there was no mention by the "Nightly News" anchor of how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is at odds with Obama over the proposed location.
On Thursday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, substitute host Cenk Uygur -- also of the Young Turks -- blamed conservative opposition to the Ground Zero mosque for acts of violence against Muslims, and charged that the Republican party is the "party of hate." He soon added: "Then there's the vitriolic fight against immigrants, undocumented ones and in Arizona just people who happen to look undocumented. And, of course, there's the grand daddy of all prejudice, fear and hatred stoked up against Muslims in this country. Now, it's gotten so bad that a young man stabbed a cabbie in the neck and face Tuesday after finding out that he was Muslim."
He eventually asked: "What black person, gay guy or girl, immigrant or Muslim-American in their right mind would vote for the Republican party? They might as well hang a sign around their neck saying I hate myself."
Uygur also recited a list of violent events from the past couple of years, while also running clips of conservatives like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Bill O’Reilly in an attempt to prove that they were responsible for inciting specific violent incidents. At one point, he even used edited clips of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in such a way as to suggest that they had encouraged people to shoot Muslims or other minorities.
After recounting recent episodes of violence against Muslims, he tied in Palin and Bachmann:
This past weekend, intrepid journalists at the New York Post and NorthJersey.com released information they unearthed about proposed Ground Zero Mosque "organizer" Sharif El-Gamal and frontman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, respectively, that the wire services, the New York Times and the national TV networks would likely have run with by now had the items related to a major church or synagogue.
But since the news has to do with what has turned into the PC crowd's cause celebre and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's personal pet project, you may not see the stories covered anywhere else.
The arguably more important story of the two concerns the tax problems of Mr. El-Gamal (pictured above via the Post) and his company, because they directly related to the GZM's property. The story by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein went up early Sunday morning:
Chris Matthews this weekend actually invited a real conservative on to the syndicated program bearing his name, and what transpired was a thing of beauty.
National Review's Reihan Salam did such a fabulous job of educating Matthews and his guests - especially Time's Joe Klein - that I imagine him quickly becoming a NewsBusters favorite.
The initial topic of discussion was Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally scheduled to occur after this was taped.
Between Matthews' disrespectful introduction, and Klein calling the conservative talk show host "a paranoid lunatic," one had the feeling this would have devolved into a full on hate-fest if not for Salam's presence.
Fortunately, the National Reviewer was there to set the record straight (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
Defenders of controversial imam Feisal Abdul Rauf have been touting his past efforts in offering counterterrorism advice to the FBI as a way to illustrate his bridge-building intentions. Much like other reports, they tend to gloss over the more controversial aspects of Rauf's statements. But, as is typical with the Ground Zero mosque imam, it can be demonstrated that he is frequently speaking with a forked tongue.
There is no doubt that Rauf has made some questionable and incendiary comments regarding America and her role in the Muslim world. Perhaps these statements fit the imam's overall rhetoric involving U.S. complicity in the attacks of 9/11. As does the following statement to the FBI, which is conveniently omitted from media reports defending Rauf.
Bridge-building imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was giving a crash course in Islam for FBI agents in March of 2003. When asked to clarify such terminology as ‘jihad' and ‘fatwa', Rauf stated (emphasis mine throughout):
"Jihad can mean holy war to extremists, but it means struggle to the average Muslim. Fatwah has been interpreted to mean a religious mandate approving violence, but is merely a recommendation by a religious leader. Rauf noted that the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks could be considered a jihad, and pointed out that a renowned Islamic scholar had issued a fatwah advising Muslims in the U.S. military it was okay to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan."
Howard Kurtz on Sunday smacked down liberal talk radio host Bill Press for saying the Park Service allowing Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" event at the Lincoln Memorial was like "granting al Qaeda permission to hold a rally on September 11th at Ground Zero."
Towards the end of the opening segment of CNN's "Reliable Sources," Kurtz surprisingly brought up last Friday's disgraceful editing job by ABC's "Good Morning America" that Beck himself said was like something Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would have done.
When finished with this admonishment, Kurtz went right after Press who was seated directly in front of him (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Judith Miller on Saturday marvelously smacked down Time magazine and Ellis Henican over the contention that America is Islamophobic.
As the discussion on "Fox News Watch" turned to Time's cover story about the nation's view of Muslims, Henican said that he attended the protests in New York last week and "there were some views expressed that I think everyone at this table would find a little troubling."
This led Miller to ask, "But, is that America?"
She continued, "That's some people who turned out to protest."
Miller then asked a question that should be posed to every liberal media member accusing Americans of Islamophobica, "Where is there any indication that America as a country is beating up on Muslims or denying them their rights?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It will be “very difficult for Democrats to demonize” George W. Bush “again” during this campaign season, liberal nationally syndicated columnist Mark Shields despaired on Friday’s Inside Washington, because he’s “a circumspect and discreet former President.” Quite unlike, he didn’t say, the often boorish Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Reacting to Vice President Joe Biden’s indictment of the supposed disastrous results from the Bush administration’s economic policies, Shields fretted:
The problem for the Democrats is this, that the energizer bunny for the 2006, 2008 campaigns has disappeared because of George W. Bush’s being a circumspect and discreet former President it makes it very difficult for Democrats to demonize him again. He’s become a non-person. He shows up at a ball game once in a while, he greets soldiers coming back. He hasn’t said anything controversial and that makes it a tougher fight for Joe Biden to make.
Charles Krauthammer is a regular on the weekly program, so I’ll use that as a hook to highlight his latest column, “The last refuge of a liberal,” which includes this well-framed observation:
Promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.
In recent days, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has become a beloved press figure as a result of his unshaking support for the Ground Zero mosque.
Isn't it fascinating how in this environment where rich people are being demonized at every turn all you need to do is a support a popular liberal cause and your financial sins are instantly forgiven?
With this in mind, the good folks at Big Journalism have uncovered some rather startling financial connections between this media mogul and the Arab world that haven't raised any eyebrows from journalists that love to follow the money when there's a conservative at the other end of the smoking wallet.
Consider the uproar last week surrounding News Corporation's contribution to the Republican Governors Association.
As you read Mondo Frazier's marvelous piece "Follow the Money: Could Mayor Bloomberg's Media Business Interests in the Middle East Have Anything to Do with His Support of the Ground Zero Mosque?" ask yourself why the seemingly always curious press have ignored any examination of this billionaire's motives:
"Protesters use 'sharia' as a slur and rallying cry against Islam," reads the dismissive print edition headline for Michelle Boorstein's page A5 August 27 story. The Washington Post's online edition used different wording: "For critics of Islam, 'sharia' a loaded word."
Boorstein cited "controversial" conservative scholar Daniel Pipes warning that pro-sharia Muslims "want to implement sharia in every detail on everyone in a stringest way." For an opposing view, the Post religion writer also cited Imam Yahya Hendi, a Muslim chaplain for Georgetown University and "spokesman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America," who argued that more moderate Muslims see sharia as more like a set of guidelines to guide personal and family life than a rigid code of law which must supplant secular governance.
Fair enough, yet Boorstein put her thumb on the scale by lamenting that "the word has become akin to a slur in some camps... an alarming development to many religious and political leaders."
On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann tied together Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, the Ground Zero mosque, and illegal immigration, as he charged that "the Republican method" for electoral success is "hate." The MSNBC host opened the show: "The Republican method for winning elections is hate. Hate somebody. Anybody will do. We have seen it this year with immigrants and now, Muslims. And now, in our fifth story tonight: for the first time, we have a former head of the Republican party confirming that, yes, his party does it. They do it to win and did it in 2004 and 2006 against gay Americans. He said this even though he himself is no longer denying that he, too, is gay."
Without evidence, Olbermann also blamed the stabbing of New York City cab driver Ahmed Sharif on those who oppose construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Although he later admitted that the mosque was not mentioned by the suspect, the MSNBC host suggested a link as he teased the show:
With the eager help of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others, the liberal media have warned of and bemoaned an anti-Muslim backlash since 9-11. Unfortunately for them, the evidence never bore that out.
Now they think the wait is finally over, and they're hitting the anti-Islam hate meme with gusto. Case in point: the front page of the Washington Post's Metro section on Aug. 27. "Hostility across U.S. jars young Muslims," read the headline.
Author Tara Bahrampour focused on Muslim students at local D.C.-area colleges and their reaction to the "swelling hostility that many of these students had scarcely known was there ..."
"This is one of those ever more obnoxious teaching moments that we're getting from the left-wing press," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained on last night's "Hannity" after watching a clip of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell lament that Americans need to be more sensitive to minorities, not for the "burden" to be on Imam Feisal Rauf to assauge concerns about the planned Ground Zero mosque.
Noting that polls show 70 percent of the American people oppose the Park 51 project planned just two blocks from Ground Zero, Bozell argued Mitchell's complaint is just more evidence of the liberal media's "worldview that is completely contrary" and out-of-touch with the American public.
Besides Ground Zero mosque bias, The Media Research Center founder also reacted to NBC's Chuck Todd passing along an unnamed "observer" who told him the 2010 midterms would be the "fear" election in contrast to the 2008 "hope" election:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might consider checking out the polls. He's under the impression 100 percent of 9/11 families support building the Ground Zero Mosque at the current planned location.
"The family members, they do care," Bloomberg told "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart Aug. 26. "And the family members that I've talked to - and I'm chairman of the board of the World Trade Center Memorial - 100 percent in favor of saying, ‘These people, if they want to build a mosque, can build a mosque. The lives of our loved ones were taken because the right to build a mosque or say what you want to say was so threatening to people.'"
Even Stewart, who takes Bloomberg's side in supporting the mosque and has mocked opponents in several episodes of the hit comedy news program, couldn't let Bloomberg's exaggeration go unchecked.
"I think the difficulty always is, unfortunately, I'm sure there are veterans who fought over there who feel we shouldn't," Stewart said. "I'm sure there are family members, maybe you haven't heard of them, who feel we shouldn't."
CNN's Deborah Feyerick joined the media guessing game as to the motivation behind the stabbing of Muslim taxicab driver in New York City, emphasizing the possibility it may have been "connected to this big Ground Zero controversy, where we're hearing so much anti-Muslim sentiment." Feyerick raised this hypothesis during reports on Thursday's Rick's List and The Situation Room.
The correspondent's first report on the attack aired 12 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Rick's List. Anchor Rick Sanchez played a clip from victim Ahmed Sharif's press conference on Thursday before introducing Feyerick. She began by stating that when "Michael Enright, the suspect, was arrested, he had numerous journals and notebooks on him, all of them filled with writings, some of it completely illegible. That is now with authorities, all of that being vetted and looked through to see whether, in fact, there was anything indicating that he had undergone some sort of a mental or emotional change."
Feyerick did mention that Enright "ironically...was a volunteer working for a non-profit organization that promotes peace," but didn't mentioned that the organization, Intersections International, actually supports the planned mosque near Ground Zero. She continued with the speculation over the possible motivation of the attack, including the "anti-Muslim" charge:
ABC News sure wanted to paint Michael Enright, the 21-year-old charged with stabbing Muslim cab driver Ahmed Sharif in Manhattan, as a bigoted hate crime perpetrator who is the inevitable result of Islamophobic opposition to the mosque near Ground Zero. And the network didn't let the facts get in the way of their agenda – though they were confounded by how he “has a baffling profile” since “he volunteers with a church group that promotes peace and understanding” which “actually support[s] putting that Islamic center down here near Ground Zero.” Sighed Diane Sawyer: “Really confounding, the story of that suspect.”
Sawyer, who made the incident her top story (CBS ran a short item, Katrina-obsessed NBC skipped it and most other news), led the Thursday World News by imparting great meaning: “This might have been a small story in another time, but it's touched on a deeper wave of concern because of all the tension over that mosque and cultural center planned near Ground Zero. At the center of the story, a Muslim cab driver, stabbed two days ago.”
Reporter Jeremy Hubbard also saw a larger significance as he played off the weapon used: “It is the knife attack that's cut deep into a national debate over faith and fear.”
ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Early Show on Thursday both speculated as to whether the stabbing of a New York City cabbie was prompted by a climate of anti-Islamic anger. At the same time, GMA and NBC's Today both ignored the fact that the attacker, Michael Enright, volunteered for a charity supporting the mosque.
ABC's Jeremy Hubbard wondered if the violence was "proof the rhetoric surrounding the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero has created a heightened fear and prejudice against Muslims." Early Show's Chris Wragge bluntly asserted, "And this ongoing debate may have led to a brutal anti-Muslim attack here in New York City."
However, only CBS's Elaine Quijano pointed out this salient piece of information: "Now, as for Michael Enright, he had volunteered for a group that promotes interfaith dialogue. The group Intersections International has supported the controversial cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero."
Newly uncovered audio recorded at a forum in 2006 shows Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque, reaffirming his belief that U.S. 'terrorism' fostered Islamic terrorism. (h/t Ace)
So AP writer Allen Breed begins his recent mosque piece by defining the word, "tolerance." It's a traditional rhetorical device, one learned back in sixth grade while plagiarizing the Encyclopedia Britannica.
His piece focuses on religion, of course, - but not Islam, Christianity or even my favorite, "the universal life force of the Grand Unicorn."
His all powerful religion? Tolerance.
Of course, for him, tolerance can only play one way. As Yanks we must kneel before the alter of acceptance, while everyone else uses us as a footrest.