Blame it on talk radio. That is what Washington Post reporter Michelle Boorstein accepts as the reason for an increase in the harassment of Muslims in the U.S. It has nothing to do with terrorist attacks or threats of violence against those like the Pope who dare question any aspect of Islam.
In a media ranking of all those who are capable of committing a sin, talk radio hosts are near the top, while Muslims are close to the bottom, between baby lambs and blind orphans.
Complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment registered with a national Muslim civil rights group jumped 30 percent in 2005 from the previous year, the group said today in releasing its annual report .
The 1,972 complaints made to the Council on American-Islamic Relations are the most the group has received since it began the annual reports following anti-Muslim incidents after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The group said it actually received 2,300 reports but deemed some of them illegitimate.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Diane Sawyer spoke with "Newsweek" managing editor Jon Meacham about the controversy over a centuries-old quote employed by Pope Benedict XVI in a speech on faith and reason.
Protests, violence and threats against the Vatican and representatives of the Catholic Church have erupted since the Pope’s speech, where he used a quote from a Byzantine emperor, Manuel II. The Pope has since clarified his remarks, saying that it is not his own view that the prophet Muhammad’s contribution to the world has been “things only evil and inhuman.”
Sawyer found the use the quote “baffling,” and wondered if the Pope’s decision to insert it into his speech was “an attempt at provocation” with Muslims. Meacham, for his part, found the Pope’s speech to be a “heavy-handed” and “clumsy” attempt at starting a dialogue with the Islamic community. Meacham then brought up Pope Benedict’s reputation among some as “God’s Rottweiler” as head of the Vatican office charged with enforcing of Catholic doctrine during the papacy of John Paul. (ABCNews.com carried a story with the headline "'God's Rottweiler's' First Crisis.")
You wouldn't think that someone who wrote a book condemning all religions as dangerous hokum and who favors higher taxes, drug decriminalization and gay marriage would be in danger of becoming the right's favorite liberal. But in the wake of his LA Times column of today, Head-in-the-Sand Liberals, Sam Harris might be on the way to being celebrated by conservatives and castigated on the left.
The column's subtitle really tells the story: "Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists," and Harris' essential point in that liberals refuse to recognize that fact.
Cyrus Nowrasteh, the screenwriter behind ABC's "Path to 9/11" miniseries, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal about his experience. Unsurprisingly, he has little good will for left-wing critics who tried to censor a film that portrayed Democrats in any kind of a bad light:
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my "friendship" with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on "10,000 Black Men Named George" (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration's antiterrorism policies--though critical of its successor as well--were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.
Is CBS’s new “freeSpeech” segment on the “Evening News” really free? Maybe not, as TVNewser reported Saturday (hat tip to Drudge) that Bill Maher – who had been invited on to be one of the free speakers – was told that he couldn’t discuss religion:
“On Friday's Real Time on HBO, Maher explained that CBS approached him to do a 'freeSpeech' segment on the new Evening News. He asked if he could talk about religion but was rejected and told that he would be provided with a list of 'approved' topics," an e-mailer says.
The actual transcript of what Maher said Friday night concerning this issue is as follows:
Rosie O’Donnell, the newly installed co-host at "The View," observed the 9/11 anniversary by stating that America "squandered" world support and the next day she asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam."
O’Donnell wasn’t the only media member to use September 11 as a pretext to bash America. CBS veteran Andy Rooney suggested in his "60 Minutes" commentary that America start acting in a way that "wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us." MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann went further, accusing President Bush of "impeachable" offenses and "lies."
Appearing on another network, but continuing in the same vein, Sean Penn talked to CNN’s Larry King and mused about the President bringing fascism to the United States...
As hard as it might be to believe, the liberal defense of Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-theistic comments on Tuesday’s “The View” has become almost as absurd and offensive as the remarks themselves. First a media analyst on Wednesday night claimed that "Radical Christianity" is just as bad as radical Islam because abortion clinics in the past have been attacked as reported here. Then, on Thursday’s “Scarborough Country” (hat tip to Hot Air), Huffington Post media analyst Rachel Sklar suggested that Christians opposed to abortion and condom use are just as dangerous to America as Islamic extremists (video link and full transcript to follow).
So, in the course of 24 hours, the definition of "Radical Christianity" has miraculously expanded to include anyone that is pro-Life and/or is against the use of condoms. Here’s the amazing exchange:
Reporter Alan Cooperman played up Pennsylvania Democrat Bobby Casey's speech at Catholic University in Friday's Washington Post as part of an exciting new trend of Democrats speaking out on religion. (Casey is seeking to unseat Sen. Rick Santorum, who is loved -- and hated -- for his passionate faith-based politics.) His other example of the religious outreach trend was the media's Tiger Beat fanzine idol, Sen. Barack Obama.
Cooperman passes several obvious tests for a balanced article. He includes conservatives and liberals in it, and labels each side. He lets the conservatives underline that Bobby has some positions that please the libertine left, including making Plan B abortifacients available to everyone, including teenagers, and backs "civil unions for same-sex couples." That's a fancy way of saying "gay marriage." But what about the ending?
Failing to call Islam a "religion of peace" can get you in a lot of trouble these days. Agence France Presse, a syndicated news service like the AP, says Pope Benedict XVI committed a "blunder" by saying, among other things, that Islam was a religion "spread by the sword."
By unwittingly angering Muslims with his comments on Islam, Pope Benedict XVI has shown that he has yet to shake off his academic theological roots and master the global media machine with the same deftness as his predecessor.
In clinging to theology and orthodoxy, the bookish Benedict has shown little regard for media management in getting his message across, unlike the communications-savvy John Paul II.
"Enlightenment absolutists like Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. van Gogh turned apoplectic at any efforts to appease or accommodate Muslims on, say, gay rights or women’s rights, and they were not alone in their fears."
Rich Muslims of the world need to unite and buy up various parts of the global media in order to force them to become more friendly to Islam. That's the message coming out of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference being held in Saudi Arabia.
As you might expect, Reuters has a reporter there who couldn't help but insert an anti-Fox News remark into the story:
Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help
change anti-Muslim attitudes around the world, ministers from Islamic
countries heard at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world's largest
Islamic body, said Islam faced vilification after the September 11
attacks, when 19 Arabs killed nearly 3,000 people in U.S. cities in
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and individuals from across the country have sent nearly 2,000 letters to The Cavalier Daily and to the University administration in response to the publication of two controversial comics Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.
Both comics were drawn by third-year College student Grant Woolard. The first comic was titled "Christ on a Cartesian Plane," and depicts the Crucifixion with a parabolic graph superimposed on the figure of Christ. The second comic is titled "A Nativity Ob-scene" and features dialogue between the Virgin Mary and Joseph about an "immaculately transmitted" rash....
The Washington Post has found an evangelical Christian it likes. Conveniently enough he's not a fan of the Christian right. Here are some nuggets from staff writer Caryle Murphy's September 10 profile of a "progressive" pillar of the "emerging church" movement, Brian D. McLaren.:
“When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels," McLaren said in a recent interview.
Brent Bozell's column on the entertainment media culture this week addressed an amazing double standard from NBC. For Saturday mornings, they've picked up a Christian-media favorite, the cartoon "Veggie Tales" -- but is cutting out the religious angles. That's sort of sad when our media's more tolerant of Islam, the "religion of peace," than they seem to be of Christianity:
The early word from producers is that NBC has grown increasingly fierce about editing something out of “Veggie Tales” – those apparently unacceptable, insensitive references to God and the Bible.
So NBC has taken the very essence of “Veggie Tales” – and ripped it out. It’s like “Gunsmoke,” without the guns, or “Monday Night Football,” without the football.
In a large color photo above the article is a man dressed in black, as a priest, surrounded by several relics and icons depicting Jesus and other Christian imagery. The caption of the photo reads, "Caretaker: Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco, Texas, is empty now. Father Thomas Flower of a San Antonio urban mission says he is looking after the place." Another color photo shows an icon of the Virgin Mary.
"Christ of the Hills," "Monastery," "Father," "urban mission," "monks," "Virgin Mary" ... Another example of abuse in the Catholic Church, right? At first glance, it would appear so. But it isn't.Buried more than halfway through the article is the fact that the monastery was affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and they cut ties with the monks seven years ago. Why are these facts practically hidden in the article? Deception, anyone?
First it was "asian men" behind the plot to blow up British airlines headed for America, now it seems "men under the age of 30"
were plotting terrorist attacks in Denmark, at least according to the
BBC where informing readers of the religious identity of fanatical
Muslims seems to be taboo.
Danish police have arrested nine suspected terrorists, the country's security intelligence service says.
The suspects, believed to be all men under the age of 30, were picked up during overnight raids in Odense, Denmark's third largest city.
The country's Justice Minister, Lene Espersen, said it was likely they were planning an attack in Denmark.
According to less-timid news sources, the men arrested were Islamic fundamentalists.
The BBC knows this as that information is public domain. It could
easily have been included in the article linked above when it was
written or updated subsequently. I guess it's about the public's right
not to know. (Hat tip: LGF.)
Bill Maher on HBO’s September 1 “Real Time” went on quite an anti-theistic rant that clearly demonstrated his utter disdain for Christians as well as conservatives. To be sure, this wasn’t the first time Maher went so atheistically ballistic as reported by NewsBusters here.
In this instance, Maher suggested that, “If converting to Islam is all it takes to get the terrorists off our backs, then all I have to say is, ‘Lalalalalalala!’” He referred to Americans as “Christians in name only,” asserting that "the best part is that nothing that really matters to you will be different. It’s not like we’re asking you to change your e-mail address." And, he stated that converting to Islam would make conservative Christians happy: “You mean we can stone homosexuals instead of just bitching about them on talk-radio? Thank you Jesus…I mean, Allah.”
To fully appreciate the level of the vitriol – albeit disguised as comedy with some admittedly humorous moments – one must see the video here (go to minute two). Hat tip to our old friend Ian Schwartz who now works for Hot Air. A full transcript follows:
In a September 1 piece for the "Today" show, NBC reporter Keith Miller sought out Jerry Coyne, a University of Chicago professor, to discuss the struggle between science and religion, since it's now being debated in front of Pope Benedict XIV. NBC labeled him simply as a "evolutionary biologist." This is what he had to say about the mixing of faith and science:
Jerry Coyne: "The scientific way of looking at the world, which defends on evidence, and the religious way of looking at the world, which depends on faith, are fundamentally incompatible."
Coyne: "And if there is anything the history of the church should show, it's that if they fight scientific advances, they lose."
Who is Jerry Coyne really? He’s a leftist professor who attacked Ann Coulter for her new treatise on liberals and religion, "Godless." Writing in the "New Republic," he called her a "beached flamingo" and went on to compare Coulter to a zoo animal, saying:
"This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid."
Florida senatorial candidate Katherine Harris drew a voluminous amount of media attention for her recent comment that the separation of church and state is "a lie." Another Republican Senator, the liberal Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island, made this liberal error during an August 26 debate with his conservative primary opponent:
Lincoln Chafee: "Rhode Island was founded on separation of religion, separation of church and state....‘Full liberties of religious discernment,’ I think is in our charter and, uh, when we wouldn’t sign the U.S. Constitution, 1789, until we got the same liberties, the same separation of church and state, that we had here in Rhode Island, in the federal Constitution. It took us 13 months as Rhode Islanders, until we got in the First Amendment, first words of the First Amendment in the Constitution, separation of church and state."
Not only is the phrase "separation of church and state" not the first words, it’s not in the First Amendment at all. (Presumably Mr. Chafee was attempting to refer to the Establishment Clause, which is not the same thing in word or meaning.) Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s "Countdown," had this to say about Katherine Harris and her comments on August 24:
That might be the only way to explain Carlson's odd defense of Warren Steed Jeffs, the polygamist leader arrested today. On his MSNBC show of this afternoon, Tucker was outraged that Jeffs had been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list:
"His crime was wanting to enter into life-long arrangements with women, or facilitating that between a man and . . . was this guy trying to undermine America, destroy our way of life or murder our citizens? No! What the hell was he doing on the Top Ten list?"
Writer/author Christopher Hitchens on Friday night gave the finger to the Los Angeles studio audience of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. As he laid out the case for how it's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who wants World War Three, not George W. Bush, Hitchens cited how Ahmadinejad “says the Messiah is about to come back.” Maher quipped: "So does George Bush, by the way.” That caused a loud eruption of audience applause and cheering, which led Maher to clarify: “That's not facetious.” The crowd continued to applaud as Hitchens remarked, about those in attendance who had earlier cheered and laughed as Maher called Bush an “idiot” repeatedly: "That's not facetious. Your audience, which will clap at apparently anything, is frivolous.” Loud oohs and groans emanated from the audience, prompting Hitchens to give them the finger as he castigated them, “Fuck you, fuck you,” while the groans continued. (Transcript follows)
Here's a story you're not likely to see covered by today's MSM TV: the story of a Palestinian boy band who made it big...by writing up a song praising Hezollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Click here for an MP3 of it.)
The song, "Hawk of Lebanon," is mostly a 10-minute repetition of the phrase "Yallah, Nasrallah" along with other delightful lyrics such as "I hope we can destroy your life and make you worry, Zionism and Zionists are the biggest poison in Arab land."
It's taken the Palestine by storm. AP reporter Sarah El Deeb has more:
They were struggling in a boy band, working the West Bank wedding circuit and dreaming of stardom.
Now the five singers who make up the Northern Band have come a little
closer to their goal, with help from an unwitting ally — Hezbollah
guerrilla chief Hassan Nasrallah.
At the height of the
Israel-Hezbollah war, the band wrote new lyrics, in praise of
Nasrallah, for an old tune. The Hawk of Lebanon song tapped into
Nasrallah's huge popularity among Palestinians and became an instant
The song is being played on Arab TV networks, used as a
ring tone for cell phones, passed around on e-mail and distributed on
pirate CDs and tapes.
San Diego talk-radio host Mark Larson blogs on a typical newspaper fumble on religious sensitivities with the San Diego Union-Tribune. They ran an advertisement for the "GLAAD-Award-Winning Masterpiece" play called "Southern Baptist Sissies" (starring Delta Burke!) The ad features a photo of a man in some kind of skimpy black underwear with his arms outstretched in front of a cross. Might that offend a few Christians? The Union-Tribune issued a statement that they would review the decision to accept the ad. Here's the latest from Larson:
For the second time in four days, the Los Angeles Times has reported about the illicit and invalid "ordination" of women who call themselves Catholic. The latest effort is by Times staffer Robin Fields, "Female Priest Defies the Catholic Church" (Monday, August 14, 2006). Fields profiled Jane Via, of San Diego, one of several bogus "priests" who have been falsely "ordained" and recently presided over a "Mass." Far from being a balanced piece, the article directly quoted four vocal supporters of Via (including Via herself) and not one dissenting voice of her actions. Balanced reporting at the Times? Not even close.
The subhead in this Time magazine article promises enlightenment, but fails to deliver: "Why do so many young British Muslims turn to violence against the land where they were raised?"
Unfortunately, Time's leftward slanted editorial policies don't allow an honest answer. Rather than exploring the root causes of Islamic radicalism, which is, after all, the root cause of British Muslim radicalism, Time offers a sterile hodgepodge of random observations and politically correct standbys; they actually cite "disaffection" with Britain's foreign policy, as if that were a cause rather than a symptom of the disease.
Buried within the article is the symptom that identifies the illness:
The Washington Post continues to display enthusiasm to wring the last drop out of Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic drunken rant at a cop in Malibu. But the headline over the story on the front of today's Style section is misleading: "Evangelical Clergy on Mel Gibson: Judging Not." A reader might think evangelicals excused Gibson's rant. The story which follows by religion specialist Alan Cooperman makes it very clear from the beginning that the evangelical leaders all denounced his outburst to police, but none of them had re-evaluated whether there was anti-Semitism in his movie "The Passion of the Christ." (A listing of most popular articles on washingtonpost.com suggests it used to have a more accurate headline: "Evangelicals Hate Gibson's Sin But Love His 'Passion'.")
Last week, in this NewsBusters post, we took issue with the anti-Catholicism in an August 5, 2006, column from Los Angeles Times media critic Tim Rutten. In an especially ugly and vitriolic piece, Rutten capitalized on the arrest of Mel Gibson to imply that orthodox Christians and supporters of Gibson's The Passion of the Christ film were anti-Semitic. Rutten's column builds the case that anti-Christian and anti-Catholic prejudice is alive and well at the Los Angeles Times.