On Monday’s Tavis Smiley show on PBS, during a discussion with author Robert Putnam to discuss his book American Grace, after Putnam recounted the central thesis that various religions in America - and even non-religious people - tend to tolerate each other well compared to other countries, host Smiley made known his view that tolerance is "decreasing" in America and cited attitudes toward Muslims as a recent example. Smiley:
I'm not so sure that our religiosity these days makes us as tolerant as we think we are. Witness, you know, any number of examples of late - namely, Muslims come to mind - about how our tolerance is, it seems to me, decreasing, not increasing.
Moments later, the PBS host brought up the negative views of America held by some as being a nation that is "arrogant," "elitist," "pompous," and "nationalistic." As he analyzed the book’s title by defining the word "grace" as being "unmerited favor," Smiley continued:
And if American grace is then an unmerited favor, I’m trying to juxtapose that grace with what some see as our increasing arrogance, our increasing elitism, how it is that we could be the beneficiaries of this unmerited favor, this grace, and yet, around the world, we don’t appear to be graceful to so many other people. They see us as arrogant, elitist pompous, and not even just patriotic, but increasingly nationalistic.
A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that American television programming is making strides in the war of ideas against Islamic radicalism that far outpace any American government-backed programming in the Arab world.
A favorite among Saudis, according to the UK Guardian, is a TV channel called Rotana, which is partially owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. And yes, Rotana does broadcast the Fox News Channel.
The curator elites at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery were happily abusing the trust of the American taxpayer, with radical gay activists pushing a gay agenda, replete with the religiously bigoted, sadomasochistic and homoerotic fare, all under the auspices of “art.” Then something happened. The public complained. Now these radicals are shocked – shocked! – that the “censors” are out to destroy their “artistic freedom.”
It’s like a bad rendition of “Groundhog Day.” How many times must we relive this foolishness?
The sponsors tell us that “Hide/Seek” is “the first major exhibition to examine the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating modern American portraiture," and how these gay and lesbian artists have made “essential contributions to both the art of portraiture and to the creation of modern American culture."
But that isn’t enough. Theirs is a political message as part of a political agenda. To quote from their program, they want to strike a blow for “the struggle for justice, so that people and groups can claim their full inheritance in America’s promise of equality, inclusion, and social dignity.”
That didn’t take long. The New York Times is already forwarding left-wing and Muslim arguments alleging “entrapment” in the terror-plot case in Portland against Mohamed Osman Mohamud, caught in a sting operation planning to kill people at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
The arrest on Friday of a Somali-born teenager who is accused of trying to detonate a car bomb at a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., has again thrown a spotlight on the government’s use of sting operations to capture terrorism suspects.
Some defense lawyers and civil rights advocates said the government’s tactics, particularly since the Sept. 11 attacks, have raised questions about the possible entrapment of people who pose no real danger but are enticed into pretend plots at the government’s urging.
Appearing as a guest on Saturday’s Huckabee show on FNC, Whoopi Goldberg - co-host of ABC’s The View - complained that bloggers disseminate inaccurate information about her without the need to "fact check," and that "they poop on you and they walk away." Goldberg: "But a blogger can say endless stuff. They don't have to fact check. ... And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation... People just, they poop on you and they walk away."
After asserting that she has said "not one thing" on ABC’s The View that she regrets saying, Goldberg soon added, "And I've gotten flack for what I felt was fact as opposed to someone's speculation."
But Goldberg has her own history of helping spread misinformation on The View. Last May, she and other co-hosts repeated the distorted claims of a left-wing organization in Texas which alleged that conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to downplay or eliminate references to slavery in its grade school history curriculum. On the Monday, May 17 show, Behar misinformed viewers with sarcasm: "Remember that thing called the 'slave trade'? Remember that? Okay, it turns out, what you learned was all wrong. Because it wasn't some evil buying and selling of human beings. It was simply called 'Atlantic triangular trade.' That's what they want to call it now. It's called revisionism. People do it about the Holocaust, and now Texas wants to do it about our country."
Moments later, Goldberg chimed in, "I’m sorry. Slavery was slavery. You can’t recall it." Instead of reading out the actual wording from the curriculum plan, panel members seemed only to refer to third-party accounts of the proposed changes.
And in April, the panel on the View helped feed the misinformed hysteria over Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration laws as some of her co-hosts assumed the new state law would require racial profiling and targeting of Hispanics, failing to convey that Arizona law enforcement would only check immigration documents of suspects who have been detained for some other reason. Goldberg acted more as moderator on this occasion and was not as outspoken as other co-hosts in making assertions about the new law, but she did not challenge the claims of her co-hosts and seemed to assume they were accurate. Goldberg, from the April 26 The View:
On Wednesday’s Countdown show, Keith Olbermann featured a "Worst Person" segment for the first time since indefinitely suspending it over two weeks ago as the MSNBC host decided to go after Pamela Geller, whom he called a "buffoon"; Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who committed the sin of lumping MSNBC in with FNC while criticizing cable news; and frequent target FNC’s Roger Ailes.
In awarding the first place dishonor to Geller, he linked her opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. Olbermann: "But our winner, Pam Geller. If anybody committed the original sin of stirring up the blind, stupid anger that is religious hatred in this country, it’s this buffoon."
He soon added: "Well, there is a problem with the two minutes hate:You may lose control of it, and it may come back to attack you. It spread from a proposed Islamic center in New York to an actual mosque bombing in Jacksonville to protests in Tennessee to this moronic anti-Sharia law law in Oklahoma and now Phoenix."
The thrust of McKinley’s Monday piece favored the opponents of the measure, displayed in two large photos that accompanied the story that led the paper’s National section: A photo of State Rep. Cory Williams, who narrowly won re-election after opposing the plan, and residents of a local Islamic Society in head scarves.
The Times also proved itself to be cozy with the controversial Muslim interest-group CAIR, the local branch of which successfully sued the state to block the measure from going into effect.
Greg Gutfeld on Saturday took on Dylan Ratigan and Ted Rall for advocating a violent revolution on the former's television program last Monday.
Giving the closing comment on "Fox News Watch," the "Red Eye" host also pointed out the delicious irony in a cartoonist "calling for a government overthrow with guns and violence on a network, MSNBC, that accused Tea Partiers of the same" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The other day, I sat down to breakfast. It was a normal day. Five daily newspapers were laid out before me. As I went over the front pages, I downed orange juice and a bowl of oatmeal powdered with brown sugar and flaxseed. Then I went off to my library with the newspapers and a cup of coffee. By then, incidentally, I was revolted.
The New York Times carried on its front page a perfectly disgusting story. It was not a news story, for it broke no news. It was, rather, a feature story, meant to inform and, I presume, to move me to action. It was about the prevalence of suicide in Afghanistan by women who use cooking oil and matches to do themselves in, sometimes successfully, sometimes incompetently and all the more painfully. This was brought to my attention even before my matutinal coffee!
It is not the first time the Times — or, for that matter, The Washington Post — has put on its front page appalling stories that did not have to be there. Both newspapers run such feature stories on the front page rather regularly — but not The Washington Times, not The Washington Examiner and certainly not The Wall Street Journal, my other three newspapers. They run repellent stories but usually inside. I think it tells you something about the biases of these newspapers.
MSNBC apparently doesn't have viewers in Oklahoma. If it does, Cenk Uygur just alienated about 70 percent of them.
At the close of the 3 p.m. EST hour today, the MSNBC substitute anchor mocked the Sooner State for passing into law a constitutional amendment that forbids state courts from using the principles of Islamic sharia law in court proceedings.
The measure, Question 755, also forbids laws from foreign countries from being used by judges to inform their decisions.
Previewing President Obama's upcoming speech in Indonesia during Tuesday's 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall wondered if the troop surge in Afghanistan had hurt the President's image in the Muslim world: "How much of the skepticism comes from the fact that he's added more troops on the ground in Afghanistan?"
Hall asked that question of Time magazine's deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh, who agreed and even went further: "There's certainly a lot of that, the troops on the ground, the drone campaign in Pakistan, which, unfortunately, from time to time kills innocent people. That certainly gets a lot of play around the world."
"This is the type of direct democracy people say they want. Sometimes you wonder," MSNBC's Chuck Todd editorialized after a segment about conservative ballot initiatives that passed into law on Tuesday.
Towards the bottom of the 9 a.m. EDT hour of "The Daily Rundown," reporter Mara Schiavocampo looked at a handful of state ballot initiatives that voters had considered at the polls on Tuesday. [Video after page break]
According to novelist Salman Rushdie, Comedy Central star Jon Stewart appears to be unapologetic for featuring Muslim extremist folk singer Cat Stevens (a.k.a. Yusuf Islam) at his Rally to Restore Sanity last Saturday. Stevens has previously supported a long-standing Islamic death sentence against Rushdie.
Standpoint magazine’s Nick Cohen spoke to Rushdie this morning, who told him that: “I spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam's appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing.”
After Rushdie penned The Satanic Verses in 1988, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him, claiming that the book was “blasphemous against Islam.”
Stevens, a Muslim convert, has reiterated his support for the death sentence on multiple occasions, most recently in 1997. When asked during a 1989 interview whether he would take part in a protest that burned Rushdie in effigy, Stevens replied that “I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.” The singer has never apologized for endorsing the fatwa.
On a special edition of Sunday’s Hannity show, FNC host Sean Hannity informed viewers that Restoring Sanity Rally participant and singer Cat Stevens - who converted to Islam in the 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam - several times declared that Salman Rushdie should be killed after Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeni, issued a fatwa on the British author in 1989 for publishing his book the Satanic Verses.
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.
Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Juan Williams's firing from National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this week was not only animated in part by the liberal George Soros-backed radio network's disdain of Fox News, it also reeks of a double standard, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told viewers of Friday's "Fox & Friends" program.
"If [Juan Williams] had said those words on the Charlie Rose show, it would have been seen as provocative or thoughtful.... This is the same network that featured Nina Totenberg hoping that Senator Jesse Helms would die or one of his grandchildren would die of AIDS because of his position on gay rights and nothing ever happened to her."
Why, exactly, was Juan Williams fired from NPR? The Council on American Islamic Relations' Ibrahim Hooper appeared on Fox News, Thursday, and proclaimed that the "right"-leaning Juan Williams wasn't a "good fit" for the "more liberal viewpoint" of NPR.
During the extremely contentious interview with America Live's Megyn Kelly, the host pressed Hooper, the national communications director, as to why the organization pushed for Mr. Williams' firing. Hooper admitted, "And I think everyone is recognizing now that perhaps it wasn't a good fit between the network and Mr. Williams..." [MP3 here. Click on blog for video.]
He added that the commentator "was increasingly leaning towards the right and NPR obviously has a more liberal viewpoint and there wasn't a good fit there, so perhaps this was the breaking point." (Williams was fired Wednesday night after saying that he gets "nervous" when Muslims in traditional garb are on planes with him.)
At NPR, you cannot admit your prejudices, even in the context of disavowing them. You can, however, suggest that a U.S. Senator and his grandchildren should be infected with the AIDS virus, claim the world would be a better place if everyone who believes in the Christian rapture did not exist, claim that Newt Gingrich seeks "a civil way of lynching people," and, as long as you are just a freelancer, call for Rush Limbaugh's death.
That is National Public Radio's editorial (double) standard. NPR fired analyst Juan Williams, an 10 year employee of the organization, for admitting that he gets "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. But NPR employees (and a freelancer in one case) have made each of those statements above without suffering the swift action brought against Williams.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl fretted over the possible expansion of Israeli settlements near an important archeological site in Jerusalem: "So archeology is being used as a political tool....indoctrination, almost." She claimed that "organizations that move Jewish settlers into Arab areas have infiltrated" the surrounding Arab neighborhood.
Stahl described the dig site: "...more and more Israeli settlers have moved east into the Arab-populated areas. One place where it's gotten especially complicated and volatile is the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The complication in Silwan involves an Israeli archeological dig called the City of David." She worried about the religious implications: "It's controversial that the City of David uses discoveries to try to confirm what's in the Bible, particularly from the time of David, the king who made Jerusalem his capital....There's an implicit message that because David conquered the city for the Jews back then, Jerusalem belongs to the Jews today."
On Friday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann called FNC host Brian Kilmeade an "un-American bastard" during his show’s regular "Worst Person" segment because Kilmeade recently complained about the political correctness of the left's desire to avoid identifying Muslim terrorists as Muslims.
Picking up on comments Kilmeade made on Fox News Radio in which he overstated the reality that an overwhelming majority of terrorists are Muslims as Kilmeade asserted that "all" terrorists are Muslims, Olbermann went ballistic in attacking the FNC host. Olbermann: "Not every un-American bastard is Brian Kilmeade, but all Brian Kilmeades are un-American bastards and tonight's ‘Worst Person in the World.’"
This Thursday, October 14, 2010, glam rocker Adam Lambert has a concert scheduled in Malaysia. However, there’s a catch: Homosexuality is a crime in Malaysia, where Muslims are in an uproar because Lambert is a poster-child for gay flamboyance. (The penalty for engaging in homosexual acts in Malaysia can be as much as twenty years in prison.)
Thus, although Malaysian authorities have given Lambert the green light for his coming performance, “Malaysia’s Islamist opposition party…[has] demanded that” it be canceled. And where is the outcry over this? In particular, where is the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) when it appears homosexuals traveling to Malaysia need them most?
They are silent, and because of this they appear to be cowering to a group of anti-gay protestors who live in a country that many Americans couldn’t even find on a map.
Wiley Miller's comic strip Non Sequitur is not a conservative strip. Right before the 2008 election, one of his characters was told that making up the news was illegal, and she replied "You don't see Rupert Murdoch in prison, do you?" But Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander reported Sunday that the Post censored Miller's "Where's Muhammad?" Sunday strip for October 3 -- even though there was no image of the Muslim prophet in the art work.
Alan Gardner of The Daily Cartoonist (who has the image) reports the Post was apparently not alone: readers also reported a substituted strip at many major dailies, including the Arizona Republic, Arizona Star, Austin American-Statesman, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Salt Lake Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, and Syracuse Post-Standard.
The joke caption for "Where's Muhammad?" was "Picture book least likely to ever find a publisher." The Post ombudsman said editors were wrong to pull the cartoon:
UPDATE: Do New York Times reporters read NewsBusters? NYT stealthily inserts a reference to 9/11 without informing readers of an update. The updated version appeared in Friday's print edition.
In the latest installment of its pro-bono PR campaign for the Ground Zero mosque, the New York Times attempted to draw parallels between opposition to the mosque and opposition to the construction of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, built in lower Manhattan in 1785.
But somehow in his discussion of the mosque opponents, Times reporter Paul Vitello neglected to explicitly mention the September 11 terrorist attacks - you know, the events that form the entire basis for that opposition. The omission allowed the Times to continue drawing false parallels, and to implicitly perpetuate the notion that objections to the mosque are unfounded, dishonest, or bigoted.
More fundamentally, the article avoided mentioning 9/11 since doing so would have required the reporter to address the one monumental disconnect between the two cases: Catholics did not slaughter 2,852 innocent civilians in God's name two blocks from St. Peter's Church.
"Ever since 9/11, the media have been telling us that we shouldn't be judging all Muslims and blaming all Muslims for 9/11, which is absolutely fair and true. But [the media] can turn around and blame Christianity for any opposition to Muslims," lamented NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on this morning's "Fox & Friends."
Just because "there is some fanatic somewhere in Tennessee who desecrates a mosque somewhere, Gary Bauer is being held responsible for it. This is the double standard," the Media Research Center president argued, responding to a clip from Sunday of a testy exchange ABC "This Week" host Christiane Amanpour and the president of the social conservative group American Values.
"Christiane Amanpour was supposed to be the moderator" of the townhall forum, not a participant, Bozell complained. "She doesn't understand that," instead seeing herself in the role of an "educator" to her television audience.
For the full segment's video, click the play button on the embed above or click here to download the WMV video. For the MP3 audio, click here.
American Values president Gary Bauer on Monday said the audience at ABC's "Holy War" special edition of "This Week" was stocked with people that support radical Islam and the building of the Ground Zero mosque.
As NewsBusters reported after Sunday's program, host Christiane Amanpour presented a tremendously skewed view of so-called American Islamophobia cueing up advocates of the premise while attempting to discredit skeptics.
One of those in attendance was Bauer who in a radio interview with WOR's Steve Malzberg the following day said the audience was also stacked to support the Islamophobia view (audio follows with transcript and commentary):
After two shows featuring six advocates of the Ground Zero mosque, including Iman Faisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan, but not a single guest to counter Christiane Amanpour’s contention opposition “has raised profound questions about religious tolerance and prejudice in the United States,” ABC on Sunday decided to air a pre-recorded and edited “special This Week town hall debate, Holy War: Should Americans Fear Islam?” Amanpour promised: “We air the issue from all sides.”
While twelve guests in total from both sides of the question earned air time (six on stage, three more in the Manhattan studio audience and three via satellite), Amanpour was more hostile to those who answered in the affirmative than she was toward those in the negative, cuing up advocates to correct critics, culminating in Amanpour trying to discredit critics by proposing “you think Daisy Khan is al Qaeda?”
She accused Gary Bauer of “blurring the lines between those who killed and the rest of the religion. Why are you deliberately blurring the lines?” And she charged: “So, Gary Bauer, as you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center, have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns.” Raising the vandalism at the site of a proposed mosque in Tennessee, Amanpour asserted: “After some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer. Do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro?” Bauer was incredulous: “Are you serious?”
You have to wonder what on earth ABC’s “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour is thinking by holding a so-called town hall meeting this close to a pivotal midterm election.
On the Oct. 3 broadcast of “This Week,” the brainiacs at ABC determined it would be appropriate to pitch Christian leaders against moderate and extremist Muslims. This choice of programming comes at a time when many conservatives have been chastised for being outspoken over the placement of an Islamic worship center near the Sept. 11 Ground Zero site.
However, perhaps the most alarming statement on Amanpour’s program came from Anjem Choudary, a former British solicitor, Muslim cleric, and spokesman for the group Islam4UK. Choudary contends eventually you'll see global Islamic rule, including here in the United States.
Last week, on the Thursday, September 23, The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz touted inflammatory Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson as an example that other Democrats should be following, and, apparently oblivious to the history of partisan polls being notoriously inaccurate, treated with credibility a poll conducted for Grayson’s campaign which showed the Democratic incumbent 13 points ahead of his Republican challenger, Daniel Webster, as evidence that other Democrats should learn from the Florida Congressman. Notably, a Sunshine State/VSS poll released this week finds Grayson trailing Republican Webster by seven points, 43 to 36 percent.
On his radio show Monday, Schultz even praised Grayson's controversial ad that compares Webster's religious views to the Taliban, declaring, "I love it," and, during a panel discussion on Monday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, Schultz played a clip of the ad without noting its blatantly dishonest distortion of the Republican’s words. The MSNBC host, who introduced the ad by calling it a "blockbuster," ended up claiming that Grayson’s activities were no worse than those of Republicans as he debated conservative talk radio host Michael Medved.
Back to the September 23 Ed Show, Schultz plugged his interview with Grayson at the top of the show, contending that the Florida Democrat "is a loud and proud progressive, and it’s working with voters in his district," and later introduced the segment declaring his belief that Grayson's alleged success offered "hope" for struggling Democrats: