Grossman explained that the comparison stems from conservatives who pointed out an incident in the early 1990s when Pope John Paul II halted a planned convent near the Auschwitz concentration camp. The nuns had every right to build the convent, but it was unwise and insensitive to do so, leading the pontiff to scrap the plan. By way of analogy, Muslims have every right to build a mosque near Ground Zero, but the insensitivity of doing so blocks from the site of the deadliest radical Islamic terror attack in U.S. history should lead Muslim leaders to call for the project to be scrapped.
But Grossman then went on to quote two liberals who reject the Auschwitz analogy as invalid before she conflated the Ground Zero mosque issue with isolated incidents across the country where other folks are raising NIMBY objections to mosques in their hometowns (emphasis Grossman's):
Bill Press is confused. He can't seem to decide whether Ground Zero is a sacred site. When he was using the memory of 9/11 as a political football to blast Glenn Beck, lower Manhattan was hallowed ground. But now that conservatives are making that claim, Press has proclaimed that the area "is not a sacred site." Make up your mind, Bill!
In June, Press compared Beck's planned 8/28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial commemorating the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech to an Al Qaeda "rally on September 11 - at Ground Zero." "Sometimes you have to stand up and say, this is wrong - the wrong place," he added. "It's a slap to the American people... There are some places where cheap political tricks should not be allowed."
But now that the right is saying virtually the same thing about the Ground Zero Mosque, Press has proclaimed that "there's only one reason to oppose this mosque, and that is to paint Islam as an evil religion and to paint all Muslims and equate them with a 19 terrorist who's flew into that building. it is wrong. it is un-American and the people against it ought to be ashamed of playing a cheap political trick" (h/t Jamas Taranto).
Not only did MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell hail President Obama's support of the Ground Zero mosque as "politically courageous," but she seemed disappointed when, on the next day, he walked back his comments a bit. On both her Monday and Tuesday MSNBC news hours, Mitchell seemed to emphasize that Obama once again kowtowed to the conservative media on an issue he was originally on the right side of.
Mitchell told Chuck Todd that Obama's remarks at the iftar dinner in support of the mosque were "politically courageous, in terms of domestic politics." She then asked why Obama then changed his tone the next day. She used the "politically courageous" phrase again, later on the show.
Chuck Todd, meanwhile, labeled the story as one "that was basically a creation of the conservative blogosphere in many ways."
In a Swampland blog post this morning entitled, "Something I Didn't Know," Time magazine's Joe Klein pointed to a New York Times article that noted the existence of two mosques "already within several blocks of the proposed [Islamic] center."
But while other folks might draw the conclusion that building an additional mosque just blocks from Ground Zero is a needless exercise in dividing New Yorkers over a highly sensitive matter, Klein ran in the exact opposite direction, suggesting that logical consistency would compel mosque opponent Newt Gingrich to want to "close those suckers down"?
"[T]his is further evidence of the true nature of this squabble: a particularly sleazy form of Nativist electoral politics," Klein insisted. [click here for a related post by Brent Baker]
Opposition to building a mosque near Ground Zero really sent Time's Joe Klein into a tirade. In a Monday night post on the magazine's “Swampland” blog, Klein began: “Shame on all those Republicans salivating over President Obama's support for the Cordoba Islamic Center...”
Then he got personal, condemning “slimeball politics” has he slimed Newt Gingrich: “This is slimeball politics, pure and simple, except for when it descends into outright religious bigotry – which seems to be what happens every time Newt Gingrich opens his mouth.” Klein disparaged Gingrich as a “demented, anger-infused doofus” – all before proving, as if that weren't already established, he didn't care about offering any reason as he simply trashed Gingrich as “a jerk.”
And liberals say talk radio and the Fox News Channel are lowering the level of political discourse.
There is a new media meme rearing its ugly head in the many discussions of the Ground Zero Mosque. A number of journalists seem to be suggesting that if critics oppose the construction of the Mosque, they should also be incensed by the presence of strip clubs, bars, and an off-track betting location in the area.
"Just How 'Hallowed' is the Ground Near Ground Zero?" asks Time Magazine's Madison Gray. "New York Doll's Gentleman's Club, and the Pussycat Lounge are two strip clubs that sit within a block of Ground Zero, but are not seen as a threat to the land's hallowed nature," Gray added. "So it seems to some, freedom of religion might be a problem, but a $10 lap dance is not."
Gee, could it have anything to do with the fact that pole dancers didn't fly planes into the twin towers? For some, the right to build a mosque and the move's moral implications are two distinct issues, and $10 lap dances have exactly nothing to do with either.
Harry Reid may have deserted Pres. Obama over the Ground Zero mosque, but PBO can count on at least one stalwart defender: Norah O'Donnell.
On today's Morning Joe, the MSNBC "correspondent" declared that the prez is deserving of praise for his position. Then, dancing a quantum leap further, O'Donnell accused mosque opponents of acting "like the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people."
Ironically, just minutes earlier Mike Barnicle and Joe Scarborough were heaping scorn on Newt Gingrich for having said that the mosque has no more right to be built near Ground Zero than would a Nazi site near the Holocaust Museum or a Japanese one next to Pearl Harbor. The pair were horrified by Newt's analogy. But when Norah compared mosque opponents to the 9-11 murderers, Mike and Joe were peep-less.
Subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC this evening, Cenk Uygur suggested that the roughly 70% of Americans who oppose the Ground Zero mosque are "ignorant." Uygur was debating the mosque matter with Republican strategist and former Newt staffer David Winston. Winston suggested that the people behind the mosque could, in light of the overwhelming oppposition of Americans to the plan, show sensitivity by agreeing to site it elsewhere.
That provoked Cenk's snide insult, which, as you'll see, actually revealed his own lack of knowledge on the subject . . .
Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Monday highlighted the worry that the proposed Ground Zero mosque could bring a "rising tide of Islamophobia in the country, with increasingly venomous fights over proposed new mosques in places like California, Wisconsin and Tennessee." [MP3 audio here.]
He repeated the argument of the mosque's proponents, saying, "Defenders point out that also close to Ground Zero are two strip clubs, an adult/lingerie store and an off-track betting parlor."
There seems to be a double-standard at MSNBC when it comes to upholding the Bill of Rights . . .
When people seek to build a mosque near Ground Zero, the consensus among MSNBC liberals seems to be that the exercise of First Amendment rights to freedom of religion cannot be questioned. But it was a different story at MSNBC when, hours before and blocks away from where Pres. Obama was scheduled to speak, a man exercised his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Readers will recall the case of William Kostric. He was the New Hampshire man who was part of a protest group in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in August 2009 when Pres. Obama came to town for a health care town hall.
Ironically, given the mosque controversy, Kostric was standing on . . . church property. But that made no difference to the wise men of MSNBC.
UPDATE - 6:45 pm: Greg Gutfeld discusses the bar on the Glenn Beck Show. Video below the fold.
As we noted in this morning's Open Thread, Greg Gutfeld is planning on building the first gay bar catered to Muslim men next to the impending "Ground Zero Mosque."
Gutfeld wrote at his blog, the Daily Gut, that he has "already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance."
On Twitter today, Gutfeld and the official twitterers of the Park51 project - the official name of the mosque - duked it out in what was a very telling exchange. See a full graphic of the back and forth below the fold, courtesy of Johnny Dollar (pic at right by way of Jim Treacher).
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, Willieopined that it's "always in bad taste to show the plane flying into the building." Really?
The ad was illuminating for another, chilling, reason . . .
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday Defended the building of a mosque near Ground Zero as a monument to tolerance. Talking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, he proclaimed, "This is a country founded on the notion of religious freedom. What better way to say they [the terrorists] haven't won?"
Ingraham decried the plan for being so close to the site of 9/11 terrorist attack: "And I say the terrorists have won with the way this has gone down. 600 feet from where thousands of our fellow Americans were incinerated in the name of political Islam?"
This prompted the ABC co-host to chide, "In the name of militant, radical Islam, not in the name of Islam."
It seems that not even the truth can possibly overturn the narrative that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have brought transparency to Washington.
Last Wednesday I wrote about how the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill Obama signed into law last month contains a provision exempting the Securities and Exchange Commission from Freedom of Information Act requests. Such an exemption would surely have been grounds for a media outcry during the Bush administration, yet apart from The Wall Street Journal and CNN, only blogs have been following the developments. The latter opted simply to parrot the administration's claims without challenge.
Other media ouetlets, such as National Public Radio and MSNBC, completely ignored the controversy, in stark contrast to their extensive coverage of the Bush administration's attempts to curtail the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. NPR's Don Gonyea said "When conflicts arise over what should or should not be open, the administration does not hesitate to invoke the memory of 9/11. And while it's true that 9/11 changed the security landscape, it's also true that the administration was tightening the control of information much earlier . . ."
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick refreshingly asked the developer behind the planned mosque near Ground Zero many hard questions. Feyerick bluntly asked Sharif el-Gamel, "Why not have a prayer space for Buddhists or Jews or Christians...why must it be Muslim?" The correspondent even brought up how one of the landing gear of one of the planes ended up on the site of the planned mosque [audio clips available here].
Feyrick conducted her hardball interview of el-Gamel at his New York City office. The CNN correspondent almost immediately launched into her prayer space question. When the real estate developer initially replied, "There are Jewish community centers all over the country," Feyerick interrupted with a sharp retort: "But the Jews didn't take down two towers." El-Gamel continued that "there are YMCA's all over the country," but she gave a similar reply: "But the Christians didn't take down two towers."
The journalist followed up with the issue of the planned mosque's proximity to the Ground Zero and mentioned the plane wreckage that ended up on the site: "For those who are so- still sensitive and so raw to this, their question- their overriding question is, why here? Why so close? It's two blocks, but it was close enough that landing gear ended up on the roof. Why?"
Rick Sanchez stumbled again on-air on his CNN program on Monday, getting the year of the famous Kennedy-Nixon television debate wrong by a margin of two years. Sanchez, who was trying to describe South Carolina Democratic senatorial candidate Alvin Greene's first public speech as the "converse" of the debate, initially guessed 1962 as the year of the debate, but then broadened his answer to "early '60s" [audio available here].
The anchor, who misidentified the Galapagos Islands as Hawaii during CNN's live coverage of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake, and "joked" that it was too cold in Iceland for volcanoes on April 15, brought on correspondent Jessica Yellin to discuss Greene's speech. Twenty-one minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, Yellin mentioned how she had "talked to the audience [at the speech] beforehand....Every single person I spoke to was a skeptic before, and almost all of them said they'd vote for him afterwards or support him."
"For ABC to be giving aid and comfort to these lies is absolutely disgraceful," Bozell argued on the July 16 "Media Mash" segment on FNC's "Hannity."
Also discussed on Friday's appearance was how the media persistently insisted that ObamaCare would not allow for federal funding of abortion and that conservative critics were misleading the public by claiming as much. Now, months after Democrats strong-armed generally pro-life Democrats into scuttling their objections and voting for the health care overhaul, MRC's CNSNews.com is reporting on how abortion will be covered on health insurance in at in at least two states under ObamaCare provisions.
"The reality is Doug Johnson and the National Right to Life Committee nailed this one right on the head.... It was true, it's perfectly true," Bozell noted of conservative warnings of taxpayer-subsidized abortion under ObamaCare.
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon conducted a confrontational interview of a black tea party member and disputed his assertion that the U.S. is "more divided now, racially, than any other time in modern history." Lemon bizarrely reached back to the Confederacy to challenge his guest's claim: "Some of the reasons for the Civil War....was racism....How can you say the country is more divided now?"
The CNN anchor brought on the Reverend C. L. Bryant during a segment eight minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recent condemnation of the tea party's "racism." After playing a clip of Bryant from the 2009 9/12 tea party rally in Washington, DC, where the tea party leader accused the Obama administration of "building walls of racism... [and] class-ism," Lemon first asked, "What do you think about this new resolution from the NAACP?" Bryant replied, "Well, unfortunately, those types of statements...are echoes of the left at this point in time."
It has become clear that the Democratic establishment does not have as much of an interest in press freedom as they would have the public believe. But what is even more telling is the media's spotty response to censorship efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Wednesday, House Natural Resouces Democrats rejected an amendment that would ensure press transparency in the Gulf. The amendment came mere days after the Coast Guard rescinded a policy keeping journalists at least 65 feet from "essential recovery efforts."
Offered by Rep. Paul Broun, pictured right, the amendment stated: "Except in cases of imminent harm to human life, federal officials shall allow free and open access to the media of oil spill clean up activity occurring on public lands or public shorelines, including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
Since the amendment's defeat, the response from the mainstream press has been a deafening silence.
A local NBC News Washington DC correspondent emceed an event Tuesday night honoring former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones.
Jones, for those who don't remember, was forced to resign from the White House after it came to light that he had signed a 9/11 "Truther" petition. He apparently ascribes to a number of radical ideologies, including Marxism and Black Liberation Theology. He was a notable defending of convicted cop-killer (and leftist cause celebre) Mumia Abu-Jamal, and insisted that "white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color communities because they don’t have a racial justice frame."
WRC News 5's Wendy Rieger hosted the event honoring this man. "Her involvement is simply to help support the organization," a network spokesman told the Daily Caller, "and she had no involvement in choosing the attendees or award recipients."
While the media have apparently given up -- if they ever seriously attempted -- on holding the Obama administration to account for its handling of the Gulf oil spill cleanup, Republican governors in the Gulf are a different story, particularly Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.
In a short post at Time.com entitled "Battlefield General: Is Bobby Jindal Making Sense?", writer Alex Altman cast doubt on Jindal's handling of the oil spill cleanup while suggesting the conservative governor is hypocritical for his complaints about Obama's handling of the disaster at the federal level:
Today is Move America Forward's third annual Troopathon. NB's own Noel Sheppard will be live-blogging the events, which will include talks by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Laura Schlessinger.
Over its first two years, MAF's Troopathon has raised over $2 million for our men and women in uniform. According to its website, MAF "is the largest grassroots pro-troop organization in the United States, committed to supporting the brave men and women of our military and their efforts to defeat terrorism." Click here to send a MAF care package.
Please join NewsBusters in saluting all of our men and women in uniform, and check out the live video stream of Troopathon and Noel's live coverage of the event all below the fold.
It's well known liberals don't particularly care for Fox News host Glenn Beck, but wouldn't be comparing him to al Qaeda be a bit much?
On Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center claimed the lives of over 2,700 people. So what does that have to do with Glenn Beck? Well according to liberal talker Bill Press, Beck's plans to hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 are somehow akin to al Qaeda's worldview. Press demanded the National Park Service revoke permission for Beck to hold a rally where Martin Luther King had given his "I have a dream" speech 47 years earlier. (h/t Outside the Beltway)
"In a slap at both President Lincoln and Dr. King, not to mention the American people, the National Park Service has given Glenn Beck permission to hold a Tea Party rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 - 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King gave his magnificent ‘I Have A Dream' speech," Press wrote in a June 16 post on his blog. "If you ask me, that's like granting al Qaeda permission to hold a rally on September 11 - at Ground Zero. What the hell were those bureaucrats at the Park Service thinking?"
CNN's Carol Costello and Jim Acosta revealed their disdain for a federal judge's decision to overturn the Obama administration's 6-month moratorium on offshore drilling when the expert they interviewed on the June 25 "American Morning" made a convincing case against the moratorium.
Tom Bower, an author who has written extensively on the oil industry, tried to explain the devastating economic impact the moratorium would inflict on an already beleaguered industry, but Costello and Acosta were blinded by ideology: "But isn't safety more important than money?" queried Costello. "Because, I mean, these oil companies make massive amounts of money each day."
Bower, author of "Oil, Money, Politics and Power in the 21st Century," drew the ire of Costello and Acosta for calling the Gulf oil spill an "aberration" and noting the oil industry's "phenomenal" overall safety record.
"But that's what they say, it is just an aberration, but the BP disaster happened," argued Costello. "Nobody thought that could happen either. So, it's just not logical, is it, that argument?"
"The media, for like five seconds, those with thrill up and down their legs, they were a little critical of the Anointed One and what was one of the worst speeches in the Oval Office... but as soon as he fired McChrystal and hired Petraeus, they went nuts," Sean Hannity observed last night at the beginning of his recurring "Media Mash" segment with NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell.
The Fox News host then rolled a montage compiled by Media Research Center (MRC) analyst Kyle Drennen which showed the mainstream media hailing Obama as "brilliant" for the personnel move.
After the montage, Bozell noted that the same media that proclaimed Obama sacking McChrystal as "brilliant" were claiming that the president really had no choice but to fire the Afghanistan commander. "If he had no choice, then it really wasn't really altogether all that brilliant," the MRC president observed.
Bozell and Hannity also discussed the media's double standard in bashing BP CEO Tony Hayward -- who had been relieved of duty for overseeing the cleanup operation -- for yachting over the weekend, while ignoring President Obama's weekend golfing excursion and MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski admitting she was parroting White House talking points to defend the administration's handling of the ongoing crisis.
On the June 24 "American Morning," CNN's Carol Costello trumpeted a "revitalized" environmental movement that is hoping the Gulf oil spill will "change the way we feel about oil" and is aggressively lobbying Congress to pass radical climate change legislation.
Previewing the "Gut Check" segment, Costello gleefully teased, "Coming up next, environmentalists are revitalized and it's over the Gulf oil spill. Could this disaster be what we need in this country to change the way we feel about oil?"
In lockstep with the Left's environmental agenda, the fill-in anchor pondered whether the Gulf oil spill would crystallize support for a climate bill or would "it be back to business as usual?" Costello articulated the same phrase environmental groups frequently employ to manufacture a false sense of urgency around their liberal initiatives.
Interviewing David Rauschkolb, founder of Hands Across the Sand, a liberal group opposed to offshore drilling, Costello praised the forerunner to Rauschkolb's new group – Earth Day – for "strengthening the Clean Air Act and helping President Nixon create the Environmental Protection Agency." Costello did not reach out to conservative critics who argue that draconian environmental regulations stymie economic growth and breed unemployment.
Yesterday, Joe Scarborough and Jack Welch ribbed Mika Brzezinski for her reading of White House talking points on the oil spill. But after bloggers including this one reported Mika's admission that she was "working with the White House" on the matter, Scarborough has this morning gone all Sir Galahad.
The Morning Joe host said he wasn't going to "call them names," but then proceeded to mockingly imitate bloggers fulminating through their Cheetos.