Christian evangelist Franklin Graham made some comments about President Obama on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday that have liberals across the fruited plain hopping mad.
So angered is MSNBC's Chris Matthews that on Tuesday's Hardball he said, "I think we should stop inviting this guy to talk about politics...he ain’t his father’s son" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller wrote a story on "The Fight Over Billy Graham's Legacy," but the most notable thing that comes out of it is Miller's loathing of Rev. Franklin Graham (no relation). Miller clearly believes he's mangling his father's moderation, especially when it comes to Islam:
Franklin — who’s been accused of being a rhetorical and theological bully, saying, for example, that Islam is “wicked and evil”— agrees with the assessment that he is less gentle than his dad. “We preach the same Gospel,” Franklin says, but “Daddy hates to say no. I can say no.” Franklin adds that he is much more engaged in the day-to-day management of the BGEA than his father ever was, and through the efforts of his humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse has much more experience on the front lines of global conflicts, such as those in Rwanda and the Middle East. This perspective, he argues, justifies his harder edge. “I’ve been doing a different kind of ministry,” he says. “That has shaped my views on a lot of things.”
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik erroneously claimed that NBC's Meredith Vieira "notably failed to contradict Donald Trump or others casting doubt on where Mr. Obama was born. Vieira...acknowledged those remarks passively." In reality, the Today show challenged the billionaire about the birth certificate issue, twice asking, "Do you believe he's [Obama's] lying?" [audio clips available here]
The media correspondent began his report by noting how "there comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief." After playing two clips from President Obama's press conference earlier in the day regarding the release of his birth certificate, he continued, "Mr. Obama said that for too long, the nation has been distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers. Notice, however, the President's words didn't criticize the carnival barker. He criticized those who get distracted, like the press corps sitting in front of him."
[View video clips from Vieira's April 7, 2011 interview of Trump below]
The secular-left stronghold of National Public Radio dumped on conservative Christians again last week. On the August 25 edition of the nationally distributed talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the topic was Christianity vs. Islam in northern Africa. Gross's guest was author Eliza Griswold, who Gross explained was the daughter of Frank Griswold, "the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America in 2003, when Gene Robinson became the first openly gay person ordained as a bishop in the church."
With those PC credentials established, Gross asked about Griswold accompanying Rev. Franklin Graham to Sudan in the Bush years, when Graham asked the Muslim dictator there for the right to preach the Christian gospel, and he was refused. But NPR's Gross was most worried that "very extreme" Graham was ruining America's reputation in the Third World:
GROSS: I guess, you know, I'm wondering, when Franklin Graham, who was perceived in the United States by a lot of people as very extreme, when he goes to a place like Sudan, establishes hospitals there, meets with the president, is he seen as representative of what Americans believe?
[Updated] Good Morning America co-host Bianna Golodryga on Saturday chided the Reverend Franklin Graham, complaining that "one of the country's leading evangelicals is adding to the confusion" over Barack Obama's religion.
Reporter Jake Tapper then played a clip of Graham being interviewed on CNN: "He was born a Muslim. His father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father. He's renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ."
Yet, the New York Times struck a very similar tone in a May 12, 2008 op-ed. Contributor Edward Luttwak wrote, "As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant."
CNN's T. J. Holmes brought back Time's Bobby Ghosh on Friday's Newsroom for more promotion of his "Islamophobia" cover story, and added two Muslim guests who largely agreed with his thesis that anti-Islamic sentiment was "coming into the mainstream," and how this was apparently a "reason for alarm." Holmes asked softball questions, and no one with an opposing viewpoint appeared during the segment.
The anchor had the three on for a panel discussion at the bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour about Ghosh's "Is America Islamophobic?" article, as well the controversy over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Before introducing his guests, Holmes held up two examples of apparent "Islamophobia" in the country and seemed to sympathize with the apparent plight of Muslims in the U.S.:
HOLMES: Two-and-a-half million Muslims live, work and pray in America- not always easy. Case in point: protests in California- check that out- marching against a proposed mosque in their area, holding signs with slogans such as, 'Muslims danced for joy on 9/11'- or how about the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's Ground Zero? More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to that center being built. But the scope is bigger than that, according to a Time magazine poll. More than 3 in 10 Americans would say no to a mosque in their neighborhood. Then there are statements like this one from evangelical leader Franklin Graham.
Christian evangelist Franklin Graham's unkind words for Islam spurred some typical abuse last week from rabid leftist radio host Mike Malloy, the former CNN employee. As usual, on Thursday, Malloy wanted his hate object to commit suicide:
MALLOY: Somebody ought to lock this guy up and give him a bag of cocaine and just let him blow his own brains out. He really, I mean...it's common knowledge that Franklin Graham is a cokehead of the worst kind...
Kind of like George W. Bush; look what happened to George W. Bush; Bush became this delusional, dry-drunk God talked to him, told him to invade countries...Jesus!
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."