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    Default Media Deception, Propaganda , Manipulation and Fake News

    Western Media: Pro-Israel, Pro-War, Anti-Muslim

    By Tammy Obeidallah - July 18, 2009

    Western media has eroded into little more than sound bytes of celebrity gossip or inane stories about how cutting calories can help people live longer. When there is no way to get around reporting “hard news” so-called journalists build careers by regurgitating whatever they are spoon-fed by administration officials in scripted interviews.

    All cannot be attributed to sheer incompetence. Often facts are omitted or so distorted that newscasts take on the sinister feel of state-run media, serving merely as a government mouthpiece to promote a particular agenda. The majority of the time, this is accomplished in one of three ways:

    1) shoddy coverage of the dual U.S. occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan in which soldier and civilian casualties are grossly under-reported;
    2) portraying Muslims and Arabs as aggressive terrorists (conversely, events in which Muslims and/or Arabs are victimized go unreported); and
    3) blatant pro-Israel bias.

    The murder of Marwa Sherbini, an Egyptian woman stabbed 18 times in a German courtroom while police stood idle--although they shot her husband “accidentally” when he tried in vain to thwart the brutal attack--should have caused international outrage. However, much of the world was not aware of the tragedy. A comment posted to Al-Jazeera’s website correctly pointed out that it would have been a much different reaction if the situation had been reversed: imagine if a Jew or a Christian was murdered in an Egyptian courtroom.

    On a broader scale, the media has depicted the hell that was once Gaza as resulting from “Israel’s right to self-defense.” Furthermore, the detrimental effect that the U.S. alliance with the Jewish State has had on our own citizens is kept a closely guarded secret.

    On July 4, while every network was still engaged in 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson’s death, there was a crippling cyber attack on U.S. government websites, including the Department of Treasury, the Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Transportation. The same day, South Korea suffered a similar attack on the websites of the Presidential Blue House, Defense Ministry and banking institutions. It was not reported until four days later.

    Both the U.S. and South Korea came to the logical—if not overly simple—conclusion that the perpetrator was North Korea. Less-than-mediocre journalists were quick to circulate the story over the airwaves and the Internet. If they had done their jobs, they might have looked at other events reported the same day and connected a few dots. But that would have taken some actual investigative work, something foreign to today’s media.

    The same day that news broke of North Korea’s alleged attack, Reuters reported that Israel has been preparing a cyber war against Iran. A spokesperson from Technologies Institute, a U.S. consultancy, stated that Israel is the sixth biggest cyber warfare threat, after China, Russia, Iran, France and “terrorist/extremist” groups. Oddly enough, North Korea, who was behind this “unusually lengthy and sophisticated attack,” according to the Associated Press, did not make the list.

    Israeli officials admitted to successful tests of cyber attacks on an internal pipeline, and that furthermore, the same methods could be used to attack sites of uranium enrichment facilities in Iran. It only makes sense that Israel would have wanted to test their tactics before proceeding, and what better way to divert suspicion than attacking South Korea as well?

    It wouldn’t be the first time Israel attacked their largest supporter. The USS Liberty was destroyed by Israeli bombers in 1967. Thirty-four American sailors died and an additional 172 were injured. Naval personnel listening to radio relays heard President Lyndon B. Johnson say “I don’t care if the ship sinks, I’m not going to embarrass an ally.”

    The unanswered questions surrounding the 9/11 attacks have always pointed to an Israeli factor, despite government secrecy and media complicity. In the weeks prior to September 11, 140 Israelis were detained as part of a suspected espionage ring. Nearly all had served in the Israeli army with specialties in either explosives or intelligence, although Carl Cameron of Fox News quoted a senior investigator as stating "Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified.." Those cases were separate from the arrests of five Israelis who were caught filming the World Trade Center attack, laughing, giving each other high-fives and dancing as it happened. This story was verified by the Washington Post, The Palm Beach Post and ABC News. Shortly after, they returned to Israel, where four of the five filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the United States for false arrest. The media was conspicuously absent when Rachel Corrie, an American citizen, wascrushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza while trying to prevent a home demolition. She should have been a household name; yet her death was ruled “accidental” and was never investigated by Congress despite persistent pressure from Ms. Corrie’s parents and numerous fellow activists.

    Citizens must hold news organizations accountable through letters, phone calls, education and other grass roots means. If not, we may as well live with the lies that punctuate most mainstream media reporting and surrender our First Amendment right to a free press.

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    Islamophobia in the media

    Dr. Mohamed Elmasry - October 14, 2009

    Canadian journalist Heather Mallick faced an angry onslaught from the American media for an online column she wrote during the 2008 presidential campaign; in it, she maligned Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin as appealing to the "white trash vote'' with her "toned-down version of the porn actress look.''

    Fox News unleashed its full fury on Mallick, with anchor Greta Van Susteren calling her a "pig'' and commentators on Fox message boards branding her with epithets such as “insane Pakistani Muslim.”

    But even this abuse has paled in comparison to the avalanche of violent, threatening and abusive messages that have continued to come her way in the months following her Sept. 5, 2008 column on CBC.ca, entitled A Mighty Wind Blows through the Republican Convention.

    Even Canadian media organizations have been on the receiving end of negative and threatening American responses, including anti-Semitic slurs. (Mallick is neither Muslim nor Jewish.)

    Messages on the Fox News website even extended to making sweeping anti-Canadian remarks. One person wrote: "Those morons up north just can't keep their ignorant mouths shut when it's really none of their socialist business . . . the People's Republic of Canada is no friend of the USA!''

    But what if similar comments were made by a writer or journalist smearing Islam, or bashing Muslims; or what if a cartoonist was to publish a satiric sketch illustrating that the Prophet Muhammad was a “terrorist”?

    What kind of media reaction would have ensued? The answer is … none.

    Then, and only then, every Western journalist and editor would suddenly become a passionate defender of “free speech” or “free expression” and would be quick to condemn anyone suggesting otherwise.

    Why the double standard?

    Not only are present-day media organizations full of Islamophobes (which is bad enough); but an entire industry has emerged since 9/11 as part of the American “war on terror.”

    This new industry sanctions, condones and promotes Islamophobia and pays Islamophobic writers, speakers, commentators and other self-styled “experts” handsomely for their books and articles, as well as giving them wide public platforms from which to express their views.

    Many seasoned journalists will tell you “off the record” about just how much Islamophobia goes on in today’s mainstream media. But few are brave enough to write about it.

    “Media has no bounds when it comes to Muslim bashing,” says Ray Hanania, one of the brave ones, an award-winning American columnist and author.

    “Steve (Huntley) my former editor (at the Chicago Sun Times), has fashioned himself as one of the leading promoters of anti-Muslim hate,” wrote Hanania in his August 16, 2008 column. “He has company at the Sun-Times, although the ranks of Muslim bashers have been weeded out in the newspaper’s transition from bully pulpit under Racism Baron Conrad Black [and] returning to respectable journalism again.”

    “I had to laugh when I read Steve Huntley’s column in Friday’s Chicago Sun Times,” says Hanania. “Citing one of the most racist anti-Muslim newspapers in America, the Wall Street Journal, [Huntley] notes that Muslims have protested to Random House over a new book called ‘The Jewel of Medina.’ ... The protests have led Random House to not release the book. The book is about the Prophet Muhammed who led and founded the Islamic religion that ‘only’ a 5th of the people of the world observe. The book has been described as scurrilous and vicious and pure anti-Muslim hate.”

    “And here’s Huntley, arguing that it’s sad when voices are silenced because of bigotry. What a hypocrite. Huntley served on the Sun-Times board at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-Arab voices were not only silenced and prevented from being articulated, but when the hate-mongering against Muslims and Arabs was at its ugliest and most vicious crescendo. (You still see remnants in Neil Steinberg’s column, which teeters between heights of phenomenal writing ... to the lows of vicious demagoguery when his topics are Arabs and Muslims. At least he’s changing.)”

    In their book At War with Metaphor: Media, Propaganda and Racism in the War on Terror, Canadian Professors Erin Steuter and Deborah Wills document racist representations of Muslims as animals in post-911 media and public discourse, linking this to hate crimes and prisoner abuse.

    Steuter and Wills argue that “the abuses of Abu Ghraib were part of a systemic continuum of dehumanization. This continuum has its roots in our public discussions of the war on terror and the metaphors through which they are repeatedly framed. … [T]hese metaphors, if left unexamined, bind us into a cycle of violence that will only be intensified by a responsive violence of metaphor.”

    Steuter and Wills examine go on to examine compelling examples of animal, insect, and disease imagery that influence, shape, and limit our understanding of the war on terror. Tying these images to historical and contemporary propaganda through a strong analysis of media filters, At War with Metaphor shows how deeply the news media (print, illustrative, spoken and online) are invested in continuing the use of damaging, dehumanizing metaphors for “the other” in our midst.

    As one review puts it: “[By] analyzing media through the lenses of race and Orientalism, [Steuter and Wills] invite us to hold our media and ourselves accountable for the choices we make in talking war and making enemies.”

    Dr Mohamed Elmasry is Professor Emeritus of Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo.
    He can be reached at elmasry@thecanadiancharger.com

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    Why TV news in the US is utter rubbish

    It's not just that world events are ignored in favour of celebrity gossip. News anchors skew the facts to provoke debate

    Kieren McCarthy - 7 August 2008

    For years it has been a joke that news in the United States is terrible: obsessed with trivia and celebrity; fronted by Botox bimbos; forever interviewing citizens about some artefact of small-town life when a major news story is breaking elsewhere.

    Well, the truth is that it's far, far worse than that. There are a multitude of news channels - CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox. But after an hour of flipping between them during lunchtime last week, this was the sum total of information gleaned: there are two US presidential candidates; they have produced campaign ads; people have made video parodies and posted them on the internet; a US TV news host appeared on a US TV chatshow last night; and someone said something controversial (read ignorant) on a different TV show the day before.

    In the meantime, one of the most sought-after war criminals in the world had been arrested and sent for trial; several new scientific breakthroughs had been announced; Zimbabwe edged carefully toward shared government; the Indian government dealt with votes of no-confidence and terrorist attacks; and countless other real stories came and went. For millions of Americans, these events appeared as 15-word tickertapes at the bottom of their 36-inch widescreen TVs.

    It's not the absolute dearth of real news that is the problem, however. It's the fact that the news that is presented isn't news but mindless, misleading gossip. The clearest example of this is when one of the (between two and six) commentators on any given story provides their "analysis".

    This comprises of showing a video clip and then talking with the assumed voice of the person in the clip. So, for example, Barack Obama gave a press conference. A clip of around four or five seconds of what he said is shown and then the TV studio people take over.

    News anchor: "So what he's saying is 'Hey, I'm the guy in charge here - I'm the person who decides what to do, not you.' Is that right?"

    Commentator: "I think what he was saying was: 'If I become president, then I'll be the person that calls the shots.'"

    Commentator Two: "I don't agree. He's saying: 'I am going to listen to others – that's what I'll do – but make no mistake I'll be the person who makes the final decision.'"

    This goes on and on with people making up dialogue and pretending to be Obama (or John McCain or anyone else that comes to mind) rather than broadcasting what was actually said.

    But it gets worse:

    Unfair comment: The analysis of what someone has said is clearly bent by the reporters themselves along ideological lines. Unrelated facts and events are attached and then attacked, and the original news point ends up as little more than a launching pad for the experts' own political perspectives. So a sober report on, say, house prices ends up as a criticism of the Republican party's fiscal policy (without any details of that policy being provided). In the worst cases, something with no news value at all is introduced in order to score political points – such as McCain eating at a German restaurant, or Obama knocking fists with his wife.

    Tail-chasing and navel gazing: The media reports constantly on itself. And that really does mean constantly. Anything reported on the TV news instantly becomes something to be reported on. For an entire day the lead on most TV networks was whether the media was giving Obama too much coverage. The second day comprised of whether the coverage given to Obama was too uncritical. By the third day, much of the coverage was about the previous two days' coverage, complete with clips of how rival networks were covering the "news". News hosts also regularly appear on other news hosts' shows, and then feature that appearance on their own show.

    Never let the story get in the way: The focus is entirely on the back story, and the actual news is given lip-service. So you'll hear more about how a decision was arrived at than what the actual decision was, or what impact it might have. The idea is that you are getting the real juice. The reality is you are forced to drink a pint of conjecture concentrate. Presidential campaign ads have become lead stories. A one-second image flash of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in a recent ad implied that Obama was no more than a celebrity. It led to hours of primetime news speculation, while the ad's central claim that Obama would raise taxes if elected was ignored.

    The Jerry Springer school of journalism: There is never a neutral statement - it is always an extreme perspective. If you are the news anchor, you can speak in a third-party voice and add a question mark on the end to suggest impartiality. But otherwise, wild claims are balanced with an equally wild claim at the other end. If someone attempts to point out logical inconsistencies, they are almost always faced with personal mockery by the other commentators. Just one example of this bizarre, school-bully behaviour: When one commentator, speaking from Las Vegas, tried to point out why an offshore drilling bill (which had been misrepresented as a reason why the Democrats were responsible for high petrol prices), had not been passed by Congress, he was told by the anchor that he had clearly spent too much time at the craps tables. He was told soon after by another commentator he had spent too much time at the bar. The substance of his argument did not of course merit discussion.

    The gold(fish) rush: There is absolutely no effort to provide historical context. The news is paced so frenetically that anything beyond soundbites is not tolerated. News anchors consistently talk over the top of anyone that doesn't provide a punchy point every 10 seconds. Swooshing graphics and dance music add to the general level of pace – which effectively masks the fact that almost nothing is being provided beyond personal opinion.

    When did you stop beating your wife? Coverage is deeply cynical in the sense that people are assumed to have a hidden and planned agenda even when the connection drawn would have been impossible to predict as it doesn't follow logical reasoning. Speculation with no foundation in logic or fact is opened up as a serious news item with the simple inclusion of the phrase "Did [insert name of person] know about [insert event]?" The answer – if there was ever any attempt to actually arrive at it – will always be "No".

    Fight! Fight! Fight! There is no effort to reach a greater understanding. Instead, the sole intent is to provoke disagreement and partisan perspective - with the anchor used solely to egg on disagreement. Nearly every segment ends with the anchor shutting off argument and promoting the idea that they will have to agree to disagree.

    So where do you get your news while living in the US? News-starved Americans usually hold up National Public Radio, NPR, as the best option. But with interlude music fresh from the 1920s and a twee, kitchen-table-chat approach, this is news wrapped in a tea cosy.

    Two comedy programmes, the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, fill a peculiar niche of serious analysis with gags and are possibly the main news source for people under 30. They both viciously lampoon the news media, which pretends not to notice and runs clips from them on their own shows.

    There is hope however.
    The non-news cycle is increasingly being broken by the internet. Thanks to cheap digital technology and fast net connections, online video is a simple prospect and means it is possible to get your fix of moving images with real news thrown in.

    Not that TV news is concerned. The internet, and YouTube in particular, is a network's dream: an Aladdin's Cave of uninformed, one-sided and aggressive gossip and commentary, all of it searchable and requiring minimal expenditure of time or money. And so every day you can find news anchors running short clips of the very best the internet can offer before turning to the experts to give their views.

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    Default Western Media Deception, Propaganda and Manipulation

    Williams Defends O’Reilly’s ‘Muslims Killed Us On 9/11′ Remark: ‘I Get Worried’ With Them On Airplanes

    By Ben Armbruster on Oct 19th, 2010

    Last week, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said on ABC’s The View that “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” prompting The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walk off the set in disgust. “If anybody felt that I meant all Muslims, then I apologize,” he said later in the program.

    But now, O’Reilly, with handy assistance from his colleagues at Fox News, is defending his original claim. “There’s no question there is a Muslim problem in the world,” he said last night on his show. “The Muslim threat to the world is not isolated. It’s huge!” he said, adding, “It involves nations and millions of people.” O’Reilly asked Fox News’ “liberal” Juan Williams if he’s wrong. Surprisingly, Williams joined with the other Fox Newsers in circling the wagons around O’Reilly, citing “political correctness” and seemingly because Muslims scare him:

    WILLIAMS: Well, actually, I hate to say this to you because I don’t want to get your ego going. But I think you’re right. I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality.

    I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.

    Watch it:

    Williams justified his defense, saying that the would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad “said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.” But this kind of thinking is exactly what digs the hole that is America’s fight against terrorism deeper by letting the enemy define the terms of the struggle, as the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss has recognized:
    [B]y simply granting the religious legitimacy of Al Qaeda’s call to terrorist violence…cede[s] the ideological battlefield to [Osama] bin Laden. Worse than that, by positing a “wider civilizational” war with Islamic extremism…affirms bin Laden’s propaganda about the nature and extent of this war, letting bin Laden define us and our aims in a way that helps bin Laden, rather than the other way around.

    Indeed, a RAND study back in 2008 warned of the danger of playing into terrorists’ claims of being “at war” with the West, saying it “encourages others [extremists] abroad” and “elevates them to the status of holy warriors. Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors.” The RAND analysis also suggested that the “at war” approach “alienates the local population by its heavy-handed nature, and provides a window of opportunity for terrorist-group recruitment.”


    We get worried when we see black people like him, or skimpy dressed kuffar, get on board, but you don't see us going on media speaking like fools.

    These fools are always talking about the Time Square bomber being a Muslim, but they are silent when you ask them who it was who spotted this Faisal Shahzad and called the police; it was a Muslim that's who!

    The world get worried and nervous when anyone sees black person walking in the street because he knows that black creature cause problems and that person is unusual being living on earth with their gangs spreading violence anywhere anytime.
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    Juan Williams FIRED: NPR Sacks Analyst Over Fox News Muslim Comments

    Jack Mirkinson - 10-21-10

    UPDATE: Juan Williams spoke to Fox News Thursday morning about his firing from NPR. He defended his initial comments and said that his NPR bosses had not talked to him before deciding to fire him.

    ORIGINAL POST: NPR announced late on Wednesday night that it has terminated the contract of longtime analyst Juan Williams over his comments on Fox News that, when he is on a plane with Muslims, "I get nervous."

    NPR's media reporter David Folkenflik broke the news on Twitter.

    Williams' comments came during a discussion with Bill O'Reilly on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly asked Williams if he had been in the wrong during his now-infamous appearance on "The View" last week. (There, O'Reilly's statement that "Muslims killed us on 9/11" caused Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set in anger.)

    Williams replied that he thought O'Reilly had, in fact, been right. He continued:

    "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

    Williams did go on to tell O'Reilly that he had to be "careful" to stress that he was not talking about all Muslims when he criticized some and that America was not at war with Islam. He also compared blaming all Muslims for the actions of extremists to blaming all Christians for the actions of Timothy McVeigh. (O'Reilly responded that he was "done" being careful.)

    In a statement, NPR said that it had infoormed Williams of its decision on Wednesday night, and that his remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR."

    Williams had been a contributor and analyst at NPR for decades, but his dual role on Fox News -- where he has also been a longtime and frequent contributor -- drew so many complaaints from NPR's listeners that it asked Fox News to stop identifying Williams as an "NPR News Political Analyst" in 2009.


    Cast your vote so they know that more people support their decision to fire this bigot.

    see attachment


    Here is proof that if enough people complain then these kind of bigots can be taught a lesson. This is how the Jews got the "anti-semite" people in line and this is how the Muslims can get the Islamophobes in line. So, remember to always voice your complaaint when something like this happens. This bigot lost $2 million contract from this position, so he'll definitely think twice before opening his stupid mouth again.
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    Default Fox News people's anti-Muslim bigotry

    Fox Host Says He ‘Misspoke’ About Muslims

    By BRIAN STELTER - October 18, 2010

    A Fox News Channel host apologized on Monday for saying last week that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.”

    Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of “Fox & Friends,” said he “misspoke.”

    “I don’t believe all terrorists are Muslims. I’m sorry about that if I offended or hurt anybody’s feelings,” he said on the program Monday morning.

    A liberal group that monitors Fox News, Media Matters, was skeptical that it was just a slip of the tongue, however, because Mr. Kilmeade made the same statement twice on Friday, hours apart from each other. Media Matters said Mr. Kilmeade “has a history of offensive and inflammatory comments regarding Islam and Muslims.”

    On Friday Mr. Kilmeade was reacting to the fellow Fox host Bill O’Reilly’s spat on “The View” the prior day, when Mr. O’Reilly said “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” prompting two co-hosts to walk off the set.

    Mr. Kilmeade said, “They were outraged that someone was saying that there was a reason, there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.”

    Hours later on his radio show Mr. Kilmeade said “Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim. You can’t avoid that fact,” according to Media Matters. He called it “ridiculous” that people “equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.”

    Back on his radio show Monday, Mr. Kilmeade said, “What I should have said, and I’d like to clarify, is all terrorists who killed us on 9/11; with the Cole; and the Khobar; and the ‘98 embassies; that’s what I should have said.”


    He didn't misspoke, he got busted for being an Islamophobe and a bigot. If he thinks all terrorists are Muslims then he should look at his Christian fellows, the IRA; a terrorist group of it's own. Not only are they terrorists but their priests are involved too and the church protects them! http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/i...atholic-priest

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    NPR fires Juan Williams for anti-Muslim bigotry

    By Glenn Greenwald

    (Updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV)

    On Monday, I documented the glaring double standard in our political discourse generally and in the world of journalism specifically, whereby anti-Muslim bigotry is widely tolerated, while those perceived as expressing similar (or even more mild) animus toward other groups are harshly punished (see, for instance, Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez). That double standard suffered a very welcome blow last night, when NPR announced it was firing its long-time correspondent, Juan Williams, due to blatantly bigoted anti-Muslim remarks Williams made on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program.

    O'Reilly had created controversy last week when he went on The View and blamed 9/11 on "Muslims," and Fox's morning host, Brian Kilmeade, then exacerbated that ugliness when he falsely claimed, as part of his defense of O'Reilly: "not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." On Tuesday night, Williams went on O'Reilly's program to perform his standard, long-time function on Fox -- offering himself up as the supposed "liberal" defending Fox News commentators (and other right-wing extremists) from charges of bigotry and otherwise giving cover to incendiary right-wing attacks -- and said this to O'Reilly (the video is below):

    Well, actually, I hate to say this to you because I don't want to get your ego going. But I think you're right. I think, look, political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality.

    I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
    Now, I remember also when the Times Square bomber was at court -- this was just last week -- he said: "the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood." I don't think there’s any way to get away from these facts.

    As Andrew Sullivan wrote about Williams' attempts to preface his bigoted remarks by declaring himself not to be a bigot: "No, Juan, what you just described is the working definition of bigotry . . .What percentage of traditionally garbed Muslims -- I assume wearing a covered veil or some other indicator and being of darker skin -- have committed acts of terror? . . . The literal defense of anti-Muslim bigotry on Fox is becoming endemic. It's disgusting."

    Williams' trite attempt to glorify his bigotry as anti-P.C. Speaking of the Truth is inane, as his remarks were suffused with falsehoods, not facts: as Sullivan points out, the minute percentage of Muslims who have committed acts of terror against the U.S. -- including those on 9/11 -- were not wearing "Muslim garb." Moreover, the very idea that those who wear "Muslim garb" are necessarily "identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims" is itself noxious: does anyone who wears religious attire (a yarmulke or crucifix or Sikh turban) identify themselves "first and foremost" by their religion as opposed to, say, their nationality or individuality or any number of other attributes? The bottom line here is that equating Muslims with Terrorism -- which is exactly what Williams did -- is definitively bigoted (not to mention demonstrably false).

    NPR announced its firing of Williams last night in a statement, saying his remarks "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." NPR has been seemingly uncomfortable for some time with Williams' role on Fox, as they instructed him last year to stop using NPR's name when he is identified during his Fox News appearances. Whether these latest comments were merely the opportunity they were looking for to terminate their relationship with him, or whether it was caused solely by these disgusting comments, is unclear. But what is clear is that the anti-Muslim bigotry he spewed is both the proximate and cited cause.

    I'm not someone who believes that journalists should lose their jobs over controversial remarks, especially isolated, one-time comments. But if that's going to be the prevailing standard, then I want to see it applied equally. Those who cheered on the firing of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez -- and that will include many, probably most, of the right-wing polemicists predictably rushing to transform Juan Williams into some sort of free speech martyr sacrificed on the altar of sharia censorship -- have no ground for complaining here. Those who endorse speech-based punishments invariably end up watching as the list of Prohibited Ideas expands far beyond the initial or desired scope, often subsuming their own beliefs. That's a good reason to oppose all forms of speech-based punishment in the first place. There's obviously a fundamental difference between (a) being punished by the state for expressing Prohibited Ideas (which is isn't what happened here) and (b) losing a job for doing so, but the dynamic is similar: those who endorse this framework almost always lose control over how it is applied. And that's how it should be.

    The Nasr/Thomas/Sanchez incidents -- and countless others -- demonstrate how unequal and imbalanced our standards have become in determining which group-based comments are acceptable and which ones are not. If we're going to fire or otherwise punish people for expressing Prohibited Ideas against various groups, it's long overdue that those standards be applied equally to anti-Muslim animus, now easily one of the most -- if not the single most -- pervasive, tolerated and dangerous forms of blatant bigotry in America.


    For those objecting to Williams' firing as some sort of oppressive act of PC censorship: in addition to wanting to know whether you also objected to CNN's firing of Nasr and Sanchez, and to Thomas' forced "retirement," I'd also like to know what you did to protest CNN's firing of executive Eason Jordan in 2004 for observing -- correctly -- that the U.S. military had repeatedly attacked war journalists; and CNN's 2003 firing of Peter Arnett for criticizing the Iraq War; and MSNBC's demotion and firing of Ashleigh Banfield after criticizing media coverage of American wars, or the same network's firing of Phil Donahue for being too anti-war; or, for that matter, the University of Colorado's dismissal of Ward Churchill for arguing that the World Trade Center was a legitimate target to retaliate against American foreign policy. If you only object to speech-scriiptd firings when you agree with the ideas being expressed, then you don't actually believe in the principles you claim to support.


    Slate's William Saletan and others claim that Think Progress deceitfully edited the video of Williams' comments here in the same way that Shirley Sherrod's comments were taken out of context, and that the full context of his remarks makes clear that he said nothing bigoted. Please. The full video is here.

    Williams began by telling O'Reilly that he was "right" in his view on Muslims. I don't think there's anything wrong with candidly admitting that he gets nervous when he sees Muslims on airplanes -- even though those feelings reflect some highly distorted thoughts -- as we all have irrational reactions to various situations. But Williams was not condemning his own reaction; to the contrary, he went on to justify it by saying that people who wear "Muslim garb" are "identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims," and that "the war with Muslims" (quoting Faisal Shahzad) is one of those "facts we can't get away from." All of those comments were prefaced with the standard defense of bigotry: "political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality." What "reality" are we supposedly all afraid to address? The full context makes clear that he is not only agreeing with O'Reilly's perspective on Muslims and Terrorism, but defending the linkage between the two.

    It's true that Williams went on to say that not all Muslims are extremists and that Terrorism shouldn't be attributed to Muslims generally (just as Timothy McVeigh and Fred Phelps' actions shouldn't be attributed to Christianity). If one wants to argue that Think Progress should have included that portion of the video, that's reasonable. But it's very common for someone making bigoted remarks about, say, African-Americans to stress afterward that "there are some good ones," that "they're not all bad," etc. Those after-the-fact caveats don't mitigate the original statements.

    I want to emphasize again: I am not arguing that Williams should have been fired for these comments; indeed, I said the opposite: "I'm not someone who believes that journalists should lose their jobs over controversial remarks, especially isolated, one-time comments." The point is that if journalists are going to be fired for making remarks like this, then that standard ought to be applied equally, not in service of protecting certain groups while tolerating bigotry against others. Williams' comments -- in full context -- are easily worse than Octavia Nasr's (and worse than other journalists identified above who have also been fired), and are in the same general league as Sanchez's and Thomas'. There's no consistent way to vehemently protest Juan Williams' firing while not doing the same for these others.


    There are two lines of contrary argument from the comment section and elsewhere I want to address. The first is the assertion that -- in light of my general opposition to the firing of journalists for controversial comments -- it's wrong of me to welcome Williams' firing as a corrective to the double standard I've documented (whereby anti-Muslim comments are far more tolerated than other types). I find this objection perplexing. Permit me to illustrate why by analogy.

    Suppose there is a law that you vehemently dislike and find unjust: assume you feel that way about laws which criminalize drug usage. Further suppose that these drug laws are only being enforced against one group in the society (say, African-Americans), but not against anybody else. Obviously, your first preference is that these drug laws be repealed in their entirety, but if that's not possible, wouldn't you demand equal application of this law to everyone, rather than having it applied only to African-Americans? If you do demand equal application -- and I would hope most people would -- then you're arguing for increased enforcement of a law that you think is unjust. But that makes sense because the only thing worse than a bad standard is a bad standard that is applied unequally and discriminatorily. That's how I feel about speech-scriiptd journalism firings: I'm against them, but if we're going to have them (and we do), I'd strongly prefer equal application over unfair application (especially since equal application, by threatening everyone rather than only a minority, is most likely to end the practice).

    The second line of argument is the claim -- which is completely false -- that Williams was actually doing something commendable here by candidly acknowledging his fears in order to explain why they are illegitimate and irrational. That is simply not what he was doing. As I explained in the prior update, the full context of what he said was to justify those irrational reactions as anti-P.C. truth-telling. See Atrios and Adam Serwer in The Washington Post for more on this point. Serwer: "The problem is that it's clear from the context that Williams wasn't merely confessing his own personal fears, he was reassuring O'Reilly that he was right to see all Muslims as potential terrorists." Precisely.


    This is important: for those claiming that Juan Williams bravely talked about his fears of Muslims only in order to repudiate those fears, or that his remarks were taken out of context, not even Williams himself claims that. To the contrary: in a statement he released today, he re-affirmed his original comments as NPR understood them, citing 9/11 and the Times Square bomber's comments as justification for viewing Muslims and Terrorism as connected. There's no point in raising excuses for Williams which he himself does not even raise and which, in fact, he negates with his own statement. (And Williams was promptly rewarded today by Roger Ailes with a new $2 million contract to expand his role on Fox; anti-Muslim animus pays).

    On the issue of the double standard: when Helen Thomas was "retired," Howard Kurtz wrote a Washington Post column citing one neocon after the next insisting that her comments disqualified her from working as a journalist any longer; today, however, the same Howard Kurtz predictably argues that Williams should not have been fired by NPR (but, he insists, Rick Sanchez should have been fired by CNN). Similarly, as Emma Mustich notes in Salon, Mike Huckabee today "slammed NPR for discrediting 'itself as a forum for free speech' and solidifying 'itself itself as the purveyor of politically correct pabulum'," but the very same Mike Huckabee was one of the ring-leaders forcing Helen Thomas to resign.

    Finally, and most important: Simon Owens brilliantly demonstrates how various right-wing commentators wrapping themselves today in the self-victimizing flag of "free expression" in order to protest what was done to Juan Williams, were making the exact opposite claims when CNN fired Octavia Nasr and they were cheering it on, and they did the same in other instances where they disliked the ideas that were being punished.
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    The real danger from NPR's firing of Juan Williams
    By Glenn Greenwald - Oct 22, 2010

    (updated below)

    I'm still not quite over the most disgusting part of the Juan Williams spectacle yesterday: watching the very same people (on the Right and in the media) who remained silent about or vocally cheered on the viewpoint-scriiptd firings of Octavia Nasr, Helen Thomas, Rick Sanchez, Eason Jordan, Peter Arnett, Phil Donahue, Ashleigh Banfield, Bill Maher, Ward Churchill, Chas Freeman, Van Jones and so many others, spend all day yesterday wrapping themselves in the flag of "free expression!!!" and screeching about the perils and evils of firing journalists for expressing certain viewpoints. Even for someone who expects huge doses of principle-free hypocrisy -- as I do -- that behavior is really something to behold. And anyone doubting that there is a double standard when it comes to anti-Muslim speech should just compare the wailing backlash from most quarters over Williams' firing to the muted acquiescence or widespread approval of those other firings.

    But there's one point from all of this I really want to highlight. The principal reason the Williams firing resonated so much and provoked so much fury is that it threatens the preservation of one of the most important American mythologies: that Muslims are a Serious Threat to America and Americans. That fact is illustrated by a Washington Post Op-Ed today from Reuel Marc Gerecht, who is as standard and pure a neocon as exists: an Israel-centric, Iran-threatening, Weekly Standard and TNR writer, foormer CIA Middle East analyst, foormer American Enterprise Institute and current Defense of Democracies "scholar," torture advocate, etc. etc. Gerecht hails Williams as a courageous "dissident" for expressing this "truth":

    [W]hile his manner may have been clumsy, Williams was right to suggest that there is a troubling nexus between the modern Islamic identity and the embrace of terrorism as a holy act.

    Above all else, this fear-generating "nexus" is what must be protected at all costs. This is the "troubling" connection -- between Muslims and terrorism -- that Williams lent his "liberal," NPR-sanctioned voice to legitimizing. And it is this fear-sustaining, anti-Muslim slander that NPR's firing of Williams threatened to delegitimize. That is why NPR's firing of Williams must be attacked with such force: because if it were allowed to stand, it would be an important step toward stigmatizing anti-Muslim animus in the same way that other foorms of bigotry are now off-limits, and that, above all else, is what cannot happen, because anti-Muslim animus is too important to too many factions to allow it to be delegitimized. The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins explained the real significance of NPR's actions, the real reason it had to be attacked:

    Yesterday, NPR cashiered correspondent Juan Williams for doing something that had hitherto never been considered an offense in media circles: defaming Muslims. Up until now, you could lose your job for saying intemperate things about Jews and about Christians and about Matt Drudge. You could even lose a job for failing to defame Muslims. But we seem to be in undiscovered country at the moment.

    There are too many interests served by anti-Muslim fear-mongering to allow that to change. To start with, as a general proposition, it's vital that the American citizenry always be frightened of some external (and relatedly internal) threat. Nothing is easier, or more common, or more valuable, than inducing people to believe that one discrete minority group is filled with unique Evil, poses some serious menace to their Safety, and must be stopped at all costs. The more foreign-seeming that group is, the easier it is to sustain the propaganda campaign of fear. Sufficiently bombarded with this messaging, even well-intentioned people will dutifully walk around insisting that the selected group is a Dangerous Menace.

    "The Muslims" are currently the premier, featured threat which serves that purpose, following in the footsteps of the American-Japanese, the Communists, the Welfare-Stealing Racial Minorities, the Gays, and the Illegal Immigrants. Many of those same groups still serve this purpose, but their scariness loses its luster after decades of exploitation and periodically must be replaced by new ones. Muslims serve that role, and to ensure that continues, it is vital that anti-Muslim sentiments of the type Williams legitimized be shielded, protected and venerated -- not punished or stigmatized.

    Beyond the general need to ensure that Americans always fear an external Enemy, there are multiple functions which this specific Muslim-scriiptd fear-mongering fulfills. The national security state -- both its public and private arms -- needs the "Muslims as Threat" mythology to sustain its massive budget and policies of Endless War. The surveillance state -- both its public and private arms -- needs that myth to justify its limitless growth. Christians who crave religious conflict; evangelicals who await the Rapture; and Jews who were taught from birth to view the political world with Israel at the center, that the U.S. must therefore stay invested in the Middle East, and that "the Arabs" are the Enemy, all benefit from this ongoing demonization.

    Beyond that, nationalists and militarists of various stripes who need American war for their identity, purpose and vicarious feelings of strength and courage cling to this mythology as desperately as anyone. Republicans gain substantial political advantage from scaring white and Christian voters to shake with fear and rage over the imminent imposition of sharia law in America. And political officials in the executive branch are empowered by this anti-Muslim fear campaign to operate in total secrecy and without any checks or accountability as they bomb, drone, occupy, imprison, abduct and assassinate at will. Add that all together and there is simply no way that NPR could be permitted to render off-limits the bigoted depiction of Muslims which Juan Williams helped to maintain.

    And then there's the more amorphous but arguably more significant self-justifying benefit that comes from condemning "Muslims" for their violent, extremist ways. I'm always amazed when I receive e-mails from people telling me that I fail to understand how Islam is a uniquely violent, supremely expansionist culture that is intrinsically menacing. The United States is a country with a massive military and nuclear stockpile, that invaded and has occupied two Muslim countries for almost a full decade, that regularly bombs and drones several others, that currently is threatening to attack one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, that imposed a sanctions regime that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, that slaughters innocent people on a virtually daily basis, that has interfered in and controlled countries around the world since at least the middle of the last century, that has spent decades arming and protecting every Israeli war with its Muslim neighbors and enabling a four-decade-long brutal occupation, and that erected a worldwide regime of torture, abduction and lawless detention, much of which still endures. Those are just facts.

    But if we all agree to sit around and point over there -- hey, can you believe those primitive Muslims and how violent and extremist they are -- the reality of what we do in the world will fade blissfully away. Even better, it will be transfoormed from violent aggression into justified self-defense, and then we'll not only free ourselves of guilt, but feel proud and noble because of it. As is true with all cultures, there are obviously demented, psychopathic, violent extremists among Muslims. And there's no shortage of such extremists in our own culture either. One would think we'd be more interested in the extremists among us, but by obsessively focusing on Them, we are able to blind ourselves to the pathologies that drive our own actions. And that self-cleansing, self-justifying benefit -- which requires the preservation of the Muslim-as-Threat mythology -- is probably more valuable than all the specific, pragmatic benefits described above. All this over a "menace" (Terrorism) that killed a grand total of 25 noncombatant Americans last year (McClatchy: "undoubtedly more American citizens died overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism").

    The double standard in our political discourse -- which tolerates and even encourages anti-Muslim bigotry while stigmatizing other foorms -- has been as beneficial as it has been glaring. NPR's firing of Juan Williams threatened to change that by rendering this bigotry as toxic and stigmatized as other types. That could not be allowed, which is why the backlash against NPR was so rapid, intense and widespread. I'm not referring here to those who object to viewpoint-scriiptd firings of journalists in general and who have applied that belief consistently: that's a perfectly reasonable view to hold (and one I share). I'm referring to those who rail against NPR's actions by invoking free expression principles they plainly do not support and which they eagerly violate whenever the viewpoint in question is one they dislike. For most NPR critics, the real danger from Williams' firing is not to free expression, but to the ongoing fear-mongering campaign of defamation and bigotry against Muslims (both foreign and domestic) that is so indispensable to so many agendas.


    In 1986, Juan Williams participated in a forum in The New Republic regarding a column by The Washington Post's Richard Cohen, who had justified the practice of D.C. jewelry store owners who would "admit customers only through a buzzer system, and [] some store owners use this system to exclude young black males on the grounds that these people are most likely to commit a robbery" (h/t). Defending this race-scriiptd exclusion, Cohen argued that "young black males commit an inordinate amount of urban crime," and that "black potential victims as well as white ones often act on this awareness, and that under certain circumstances, the mere recognition of race as a factor . . . is not in itself racism."

    Responding to Cohen's argument, Williams said: "In this situation and all others, common sense in my constant guard. Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a foormula for figuring out who is a danger to me."

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    Fox News: Where you can bash Islam with impunity

    October 21, 2010

    In the wake of NPR's decision to terminate Juan Williams' contract following controversial remarks he made about Muslims on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Media Matters provides a retrospective of the many anti-Muslim statements made on Fox News or by Fox News personalities.

    Recent anti-Muslim remarks follow long history of intolerance on Fox and from Fox personalities

    O'Reilly: "Muslims killed us on 9-11." During an appearance on the October 14 edition of ABC's The View, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was asked by co-host Whoopi Goldberg why building an Islamic cultural center near ground zero was "inappropriate." O'Reilly responded: "Because Muslims killed us on 9-11." The remark prompted Goldberg and co-host Joy Behar to walk off the set. O'Reilly later said, "If anybody felt I was demeaning all Muslims, I apologize." Appearing on Fox News' Glenn Beck later that day, O'Reilly claimed that "every opinion poll in the Muslim world" shows that "most Muslims don't believe 9-11 was even committed by Al Qaeda." Following the controversy over O'Reilly's View remarks, Fox News hosts and commentators rushed to his defense.

    Brian Kilmeade: "[A]ll terrorists are Muslims." On the October 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade defended O'Reilly's View comments by claiming the show's hosts "were outraged that somebody was saying there's a reason -- there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9-11. It wasn't just one person. It was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." Kilmeade later repeated the false claim that "every terrorist is a Muslim" on his radio show. He also asked if "Americans have a right to look at moderate Muslims and say, 'Show me you're not one of them,' " referring to terrorists. On October 18, Kilmeade said: "I misspoke. I don't believe all terrorists are Muslims. I'm sorry about that, if I offended ... or hurt anybody's feelings. But that's it." He also revised his remarks on the October 18 edition of his radio show.

    O'Reilly: "[T]here is a Muslim problem in the world." On the October 18 edition of his Fox News program, O'Reilly stated that "folks are fed up with politically correct nonsense. There's no question there is a Muslim problem in the world" and "most Americans well understand the danger coming out of the Muslim world." His on-screen text read: "The Muslim Dilemma." The next day, O'Reilly repeated the claim that there is "a Muslim problem in the world."

    O'Reilly: "Our liberal media" are "buying into the genteel Islam." On the October 5 edition of his Fox News show, O'Reilly said that "our liberal media ... now are buying into the genteel Islam. You saw that with the mosque controversy. See, they now are taking the European media approach -- 'Oh, wait a minute. You have to give peace a chance. You can't be stirring up trouble because they're Muslim people. You have to give them what they want.' "

    Fox News figures scriiptlessly claimed Islamic center would be a "command center for terrorism." On the September 7 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer said of the Park51 Islamic center, "It could also be the first stop for a radical jihadist who comes to America who wants to go pray." On the August 18 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Dick Morris said of Park51: "These Sharia mosques ... have become the command centers for terrorism," adding, "So this one would be, too." The next day, Morris made similar remarks on Fox & Friends; during the show, Fox Business host Eric Bolling also claimed that Park51 "may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds -- some of the biggest terrorist minds." Kilmeade later said of Park51: "The next Hamburg cell could be right downtown."

    Peter Johnson Jr.: New York Muslims should "give up their rights" in order to be "good neighbors." Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. stated on the August 20 edition of Fox & Friends that the issue of the Park51 Islamic center is "about neighbors becoming good neighbors." He added: "Any American can assert a right. Great Americans give up their rights to help those they share nothing else with but a love of this country." On September 3, Johnson repeated that those building the Islamic center should "give up their First Amendment rights."

    Beck asked: "[A]fter you've killed 3,000 people, you're going to now build your mosque?" On his August 18 radio show, Glenn Beck said of Park51: "You look for things that are uniting, and I'm sorry, but the Cordoba Project is not uniting. If you wanted to unite people, you don't spit in their face. You don't spit in their face. On the 10th anniversary, after you've killed 3,000 people, you're going to now build your mosque on -- there, really?" Beck has repeatedly falsely claimed that Park51 was scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. He has also referred to the Islamic center as "the 9-11 mosque" and has wondered if it is "a possibility" that Park51's location is about "inoculation."

    Fox hosted Walid Shoebat, who previously called Islam "the devil." On August 18, Fox & Friends hosted Walid Shoebat, a born-again Christian who dubiously claims to be a foormer PLO militant and who has reportedly called Islam "the devil." Shoebat has also asked: "If Islam is not playing the major role in Antichrist spirit, why do you think the devil wants to appoint somebody connected to Islam in the White House?" During his Fox appearance, Shoebat claimed Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim leader spearheading the Park51 project, expresses his "support for terrorism" in the Arabic press but pretends to support peace when speaking to Americans. Two Islamic studies experts told Media Matters that Shoebat's claim was false. Fox News also hosted Shoebat to attack the Islamic center on August 23 and August 27, according to Nexis.

    Gingrich compared Islamic center to "Nazis" putting a "sign next to the Holocaust museum." On the August 16 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said:"Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

    Fox News guests opposing Islamic center outnumber supporters 35 to 11. An August 13 Media Matters review of Fox News' evening coverage of the planned building of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero found that, since May, the shows have hosted at least 47 guests to discuss the project, nearly 75 percent of whom opposed the center.

    Fox repeatedly hosted anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Pam Geller. Fox News repeatedly hosted Atlas Shrugs blogger Pam Geller to discuss the controversy over Park51 despite the fact that she has made outrageous statements about President Obama and Islam and has pushed false conspiracy theories. On the August 11 edition of Fox & Friends, Geller compared building the Islamic cultural center near ground zero to building a Ku Klux Klan "shrine" near a black church in Alabama.

    Kilmeade asked if the "Islamic community" is "gloating" by building Park51 near Ground Zero. On May 26, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said: "Six-hundred feet from World Tower 1, World Trade Center 1 stood -- is this gloating on the part of the Islamic community?" Guest Andrew McCarthy said that this was "Islamist supremacism" and that "well-meaning people would understand that this is an affront to common sense." Kilmeade had previously described the Islamic center plans as "an outrage" and accused Muslims of "taunting" 9-11 victims. Geller has a long history of making outrageous accusations and getting the facts wrong.

    Fox News figures defended Franklin Graham after Pentagon rescinded invitation due to his anti- Muslim rhetoric. Following the 9-11 attacks, evangelist Franklin Graham said:"We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. ... The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion." During an interview with The Washington Post's Sally Quinn, Graham said that he "never backed down from" his controversial comments that Islam is a "very evil and wicked religion." He added: "True Islam cannot be practiced in this country, OK? It cannot. If you were my wife, I can beat you, OK, because you didn't want to have sex with me or whatever."

    When the Pentagon rescinded Graham's invitation to speak on the National Day of Prayer, numerous Fox News figures came to his defense,and Fox & Friends hosted Graham to respond. During the show, Graham urged Muslims to convert to Christianity and said: "I want them to know that they don't have to die in a car bomb; they don't have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God, but it's through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone."

    Fox News' Crowder: "The truth is that Muslims tend to be more violent than Christians." In discussing the Army's decision to rescind Graham's invitation to speak on the National Day of Prayer, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder declared:"The truth is that Muslims tend to be more violent than Christians."

    Fox hosted Michael Graham, who previously called Islam "a terrorist organization." To comment on Franklin Graham and the controversy over his attacks on Islam, America's Newsroom hosted conservative radio host Michael Graham despite the fact that he was reportedly fired by WMAL-AM "after he refused to soften his descriiption of Islam as 'a terrorist organization' on the air." The Washington Post reported on August 23, 2005: "According to WMAL, Graham said 'Islam is a terrorist organization' 23 times on his July 25 program. On the same show, he also said repeatedly that 'moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews' and that 'the problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam.' "

    Fox & Friends baselessly suggested two Muslim scholars are "terrorists." On March 30, Fox & Friends scriiptlessly suggested that Muslim scholars Tariq Ramadan and Adam Habib -- who were both denied entry into the United States under the Bush administration but had the ban lifted by the Obama administration -- are "terrorists." However, both have denied engaging in terrorist activity, neither was ever charged with any crime, and media accounts have noted that they "were denied admittance after making statements counter to U.S. foreign policy." Co-host Steve Doocy said: "President Bush banned these two guys from the United States because of alleged ties to terror, but Hillary Clinton invited them back and now they're speaking to college kids about their life story. What's that about?" An on-screen graphic included the text: "Terrorist to Lecture?"

    Coulter: "If all Muslims would boycott airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether." On the March 25 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, frequent Fox News guest Ann Coulter claimed that "if all Muslims would boycott airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether." Coulter defended her position on racial profiling by saying "it's insane, when you have limited resources, to be searching every single person at airport security."

    McInerney: "If you are an 18- to 28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip-searched." On the January 2 edition of America's News HQ, Fox News contributor retired Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney saidthat "we have to use profiling. And I mean be very serious and harsh about the profiling. If you are an 18- to 28-year-old Muslim man, then you should be strip-searched. And if we don't do that, there's a very high probability we're going to lose an airliner." After host Julie Banderas noted that profiling would be "essentially singling out people because of a religious group," McInerney responded, "If that age group doesn't like it, then what are they doing to stop this jihad against the West?"

    Kilmeade: Muslims "have to understand" being profiled because of "the war that was declared on us." On the November 10, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade said to Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham: "You get a chance to talk to a lot of Islamic experts, and Muslim experts, and people who understand the Quran, and I asked him one time, off camera, I said, 'How do you feel about the extra scrutiny, clearly, you're getting at the airports?' And he said, 'I'm all for it, because I want to get home to my family, too.' And that's really got to be the attitude. So, if you're Islamic, or you're Muslim and you're in the military, you have to understand."

    Peters: "I am sick of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace. ... I haven't seen a lot of Southern Baptist suicide bombers." On the September 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly claimedthat "the elite liberal media in America does not want to continue to whip up anti-Islamic fascism sentiment." Fox News contributor Ralph Peters responded: "No, they'd rather whip up anti-Israeli sentiment." Peters added: "I am sick of hearing that Islam -- well, Islam is a religion of peace. Well, if Islam is a religion of peace, fine, start acting peacefully. But I haven't seen a lot of Southern Baptist suicide bombers lately, and I will not stand for moral relativism. 9-11 wasn't our fault -- it was fanatics who attacked our country because they hate what we stand for."

    Peters on Fort Hood shooting: "It's clear that the problem is Islam." On the November 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Peters criticized Obama's remarks on the Fort Hood shooting, in which Obama called the act "incomprehensible," saying: "No, it wasn't hard to comprehend and it's not now. It was the act of an Islamist terrorist" who "believed he was doing the will of Allah in accordance with the Quran. Not hard to understand -- the evidence is there." Peters concluded: "It's clear that the problem is Islam." Peters also alleged that the shooter was a "protected species" who was "running around in his little Islamist suit."

    Fox hosts, guest blame Fort Hood shooting on "political correctness," call for "special debriefings" of American Muslims. Right-wing media figures used the shooting at Fort Hood as an excuse to attack Islam and American Muslims, in particular. Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin blamed the shooting on "political correctness"; Gretchen Carlson asked: "Could it be that our own military is so politically correct right now ... to be careful about treatment of Muslims that they would have allowed this to go by?" and Kilmeade suggested that "it's time for the military to have special debriefings" for Muslim American soldiers to prevent future attacks.

    Doocy: "All of the people who try to blow airliners out of the sky pretty much look alike." On the February 16, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, foormer Homeland Security research analyst Michael Hoffman claimed that "if you want to prevent another airline being blown up, you're gonna have to do full-body imaging or full-body patdowns, coupled with profiling. Otherwise, we're going to blow another airline up." Doocy responded: "Every time we go through, my wife and I, go through airport, she gets a full-body patdown ... even though she does not look like what we have presumed the people who want to blow up airlines look like." He added: "Critics argue, when you think about it, for the most part, all the people who try to blow airliners out of the sky pretty much look alike."

    Bo Dietl: We have to profile "guys that look like Aba Daba Doo and Aba Daba Dah." On the August 7, 2007, edition of Fox News' Your World, Fox News contributor Richard "Bo" Dietl asserted:"We know there's a war by fundamentalists and terrorists to kill us. So we have to be able to profile. And I'm sorry, if I see two guys that look like Aba Daba Doo and Aba Daba Dah, I'm gonna pull 'em over, and I wanna find out what you're doing." Dietl had previously said that if a Muslim detonated a nuclear bomb in the United States "you think the president of the United States would make a statement if there's another nuclear bomb, we're going to bomb Mecca, we're gonna bomb the most religious places. This is a holy war." He has also said on Fox News that "Muslim Turks" are trying to "overpopulize" Germany.

    Hannity suggested Rep. Ellison's use of Quran for swearing-in was like using "Nazi bible" Mein Kampf. On the November 30, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes, host Sean Hannity claimed that Rep. Keith Ellison's reported intention to use a copy of the Quran during the ceremonial photo op on the day he was to be sworn in "will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones." He also suggested that using the Quran for a swearing-in is comparable to using "Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is the Nazi bible."

    Doocy: "Islam turned violent" and "proved the pope's point" about "Islam and violence." On November 28, 2006, Doocy asserted that when "Islam turned violent" following controversial commentsby Pope Benedict XVI's about the religion, it "essentially proved the pope's point." In a speech, Pope Benedict quoted "the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus," as the pope described him, saying, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Pope Benedict later apologized,saying "he was 'very sorry' about the reaction to his remarks," adding: "In no way did I wish to make my own, the words of the medieval emperor. ... I wished to explain that not religion and violence, but religion and reason, go together."

    Beck to Rep. Ellison: "[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " On the November 14, 2006, edition of his then-CNN Headline News program, Beck interviewed then-Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, who became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress on November 7, and asked Ellison if he could "have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards up on the table." After Ellison agreed, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

    O'Reilly advocated profiling of all "Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45," but not "racial profiling." On the August 16, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly argued extensively for "profiling of Muslims" at airports, saying that detaining all "Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45" for questioning "isn't racial profiling," but "criminal profiling."

    Beck: Muslims who have not "lin[ed] up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head" will face dire consequences. On the August 10, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Beck warned that "[t]he world is on the brink of World War III" and that "Muslims who have sat on your frickin' hands the whole time and have not been marching in the streets" will face dire consequences. Beck directed his comments toward Muslims who he claimed "have not been saying, 'Hey, you know what? There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. We need to be the first ones in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head.' "

    Beck presented segment mocking Egyptian students' names. On the August 9, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck aired asegment mocking the names of several missing Egyptian students in which the announcer said that one "may or may not be accompanied by his camel." The segment showed pictures of crowds and pointed to random, unidentifiable people as the missing Egyptians. It ended with a reading of the students' names in quick succession followed by the announcer pretending to gag as he struggled to pronounce them. The announcer then said: "If you know the whereabouts of these men, please call the FBI immediately. If you know how to correctly pronounce their names, well, call us."

    Coulter: Islam is "a car-burning cult." In a column commenting on the recent violence linked to the Danish cartoons that satirized the Prophet Muhammad, Coulter suggested that Islam is "a car-burning cult" and wrote that Muslims have "a predilection for violence."

    O'Reilly: Closing public schools for Muslim holiday "absurd in a Judeo-Christian country." On the October 27, 2005, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly called the idea of closing public schools for the observance of Muslim holidays "absurd in a Judeo-Christian country." O'Reilly was discussing the decision by the Hillsborough County, Florida, school board to keep public schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-2007 school year following a request by Hillsborough County Muslims to close schools on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr. Instead of giving students the day off on Eid Al- Fitr, however, the school board voted to keep schools open on Yom Kippur and Good Friday during the 2006-2007 school year.



    Of course they can bash Islam with impunity any where! Who is going to defend Islaam or Muslims? While a Zionist Jew like Rubert Murdoch utilizes his media empire including Fox News to attack Islaam and bash Muslims, Muslim leaders and hundreds of Muslim satellite stations are not rising in defense of Islaam but are busy instead tearing it apart!.

    Hateful Zionist government officials and media demonize Islaam and incite hate and violence against Muslims on a daily bases, feeding anti-Muslim sentiments and spreading fear and hate for Islaam and Muslims worldwide. No Muslim is safe to travel around the world without being exposed to demeaning stares, remarks or treatment at airports; profiling, humiliating searches, ejection from flights and even detention. Muslims living in Zionist-Christian havens: Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia, live in constant fear, encountering daily harassment, hate speech, mistreatment, physical attacks and murder. Last week two Somali women were attacked in a gas station and almost ran over by a car.

    World Zionism is not only the enemy of Muslims but of all mankind. There is no question there is a Zionist problem in the world. So far only Muslims understand the danger posed by World Zionism and its surrogates, and it is our utmost duty to expose it to the rest of the world.

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    Dear CAIR Supporter:

    As-salaamu alaykum. (Peace be to you.)

    If you haven't had a chance yet to see these two videos, please take a few minutes to watch these recent national television interviews of CAIR staffers on the issue of NPR's firing of Juan Williams for saying on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor that airline passengers in "Muslim garb" make him "nervous."

    When you responded to CAIR's action alert calling on NPR to address the issue of religious profiling -- and the radio network later fired Williams -- right-wing commentators went wild.

    [UPDATE: Williams’ comments may already be having a negative impact on ordinary American Muslims. Yesterday, a family wearing “Muslim clothing” was ejected from a flight in Memphis, Tenn.]

    Watch Fox's Megyn Kelly's unprofessional questioning of CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper and her defense of Williams' effort to legitimize profiling.

    Also watch CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab challenge a right-wing guest on CNN's The Situation Room.

    As a major Tennessee newspaper reported in an investigative article published on Sunday, Muslim-bashing is a well-financed growth industry. Steven Emerson -- one of many “self-proclaimed experts who spread hate toward Muslims” -- has 15 employees who help him spread "hate toward Muslims in books and movies, on websites and through speaking appearances.”

    Help make sure CAIR has similar -- or greater -- resources to counter the "Islamophobia machine." Donate to CAIR today. All donations are zakat-eligible and tax-deductible.

    Thank you, and may God bless you.


    Nihad Awad
    CAIR National Executive Director

    P.S. Please send this appeal to your friends and family and post on Facebook, Twitter, and other such sites. Follow up with them to make sure they take action.

    To learn more about us, visit our website to see our vision, mission and core principles as well as CAIR at-a-glance detailing infoormation about CAIR. You can also read about CAIR national board and key staff and see the leaders of each of our 35 chapters.


    If we don’t put a stop to this constant daily hateful incitement against Muslims, no Muslim or Muslimah can travel around the world in peace or walk the streets of American, Australian or European cities in safety and dignity!.

    Muslim population in the Arab and Muslim worlds must rise up to the rescue of Muslims living in constant fear and under rising siege in the Western World. Hold rallies and demonstrations in front of Western embassies. Start Boycott campaigns against countries that allow harassment and attacks against Muslims.
    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

    Smearcasting documents the public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation in the media. Offering a fresh look at Islamophobia and its perpetrators in today’s media, it also provides four snapshots, or case studies, describing how Islamophobes manipulate media in order to paint Muslims with a broad, hateful brush.

    Unmasks the Smearcasters - How Islamiphobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation

    [download full report]

    VISIT: http://www.smearcasting.com/
    Attached Files

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    US Media Lies & Norway Attacks

    Fox NEWS Bigotry(pic)

    Last edited by islamirama; Mar-10-2015 at 05:29 PM.

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    Yahoo publishing propaganda lies against Muslims

    [LIES] - Woman murders husband, then tries to cook his body parts

    Nov 26, 2011 at 04:08

    Pakistani police on Thursday arrested a woman who had killed her husband and was attempting to cook his body parts after he planned to marry another woman without her permission.

    The police arrested Zainab Bibi, 32, and her nephew Zaheer, 22, in the Shah Faisal colony of Pakistan's southern megacity Karachi, and recovered the bowl of flesh she planned to cook, said police chief for the area Nadeem Baig.

    "They killed Ahmed Abbas, Zainab's husband, and chopped his body into pieces and were about to cook the flesh in a bowl," he told AFP, adding that the knife with which they killed the man had been recovered.

    Television networks showed gruesome footage of the human flesh in a bowl ready for the stove.

    A neighbour had alerted the police and investigations were ongoing, said Baig.

    "There could be two factors behind her intention to cook the husband. One is to destroy the evidence and the other could be her immense hatred against him," over his plan to marry another woman, he said.

    According to family law in the Islamic country, a man has to get permission from his first wife before his second marriage, but the law is rarely observed.
    User Comments

    First BBC was busted publishing a fake story about the guy marrying his cousins (they were) calling it an arranged and a love marriage, now yahoo has been caught lying about Muslims. This is nothing new, this is their normal strategy: to vilify Muslims and make them look bad. These people also post false information about Islamic laws to mislead Muslims. In this article (like many others) they say the man has to get permission from the first wife to get a second wife, this is not true.

    Nov 26, 2011 at 17:52
    Yahoo always makes propaganda against Muslims and Muslim countries.....THIS IS CALLED YELLOW JOURNALISM.....the real story is: the lady admitted in an interview over the media that she killed her husband caz he was sexually harrasing her daughter from first husband and repeatedly she had been warning him but he didnt stop harrasing her daughter

    By: soul healer - Posted: Nov 26, 2011 at 16:16
    my lord this is the 2nd news this week which iread in yahoo and found manipulative...and both were personally known too me ,, i am not starting to beleive not to read or beleive the other stories here or whatever i had been reading here must be fake GOD HOW FAKE U PPL..............the lady admitted in an interview over the media that she killed her husband caz he was sexually harrasing her daughter from first husband and repeatedly she had been warning him but he didnt stop harrasing her daughter................ GOD THIS IS CALLED YELLOW JOURNALISM....

    By: w!kY - Posted: Nov 26, 2011 at 15:56
    Yahoo always makes propaganda against Muslims and Muslim countries, I personally see the news on Pakistan News Channel, There is other story behind the Murder and the women admit the crime. Yahoo should verify the news and be careful while make such remarks below. Thanks

    Last edited by islamirama; Mar-10-2015 at 05:26 PM.

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    Fox News Islamophobe attack Muslim Scholar the Audacity To Write A Book About Jesus

    By Adam Peck on July 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    On Friday, Fox News invited renowned religious scholar and prolific author Reza Aslan onto the air, ostensibly to discuss his latest book on Christianity, ‘Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.’

    But instead, host Lauren Green launched into an Islamophobic attack on Aslan’s credentials and expressed incredulity that he, a self-professed Muslim, would be able to write about Christianity in a fair and honest way.

    Throughout the nearly 10 minute interview, Green inaccurately sought to portray Aslan as a religiously-motivated agitator with a hidden agenda out to discredit the very religion that he himself once practiced:

    GREEN: This is an interesting book. Now I want to clarify, you’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?

    ASLAN: Well to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees — including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades — who also just happens to be a Muslim. So it’s not that I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am an expert with a Ph.D in the history of religions…

    GREEN: But it still begs the question why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?

    ASLAN: Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.

    Undeterred, Green continued by reading aloud from an equally Islamophobic FoxNews.com column by John Dickerson in which he dismissed Aslan’s academic pedigree, referring to him simply as “an educated Muslim” with an “opinion” about Jesus.

    Green would pivot back to Aslan’s religion at least seven more times during the interview, simply refusing to accept that a Muslim could also be an impartial scholar of Western religion.

    As Aslan pointed out towards the end of his interview, many scholarly works have been written about Islam by Christian academics. Those authors, he noted, are rarely if ever asked to defend their credentials or explain why they chose to cover a religion apart from their own, certainly not on Fox News, which regularly provides a platform to hate-mongers like Pamela Geller and Frank Gaffney and passes them off as experts on Islam.



    Sherry Wachter · Owner at Freelance Graphic Designer
    The irony here is that Christians feel no qualms about evaluating (and dismissing) all other religions. If christians are qualified to speak authoritatively on non-christian religions, why would it be such a surprise that a Muslim scholar (with advanced degrees in New Testament history, no less) might decide to write a book about his subject? I haven't read his book, don't know if I'd find his thesis compelling--but I just don't understand why a news anchor who is NOT an authority in ancient languages OR religion would find it so startling that a non-christian might be.

    Fox News to Scholar: Why Would a Muslim Write a Book About Jesus?

    By Daniel Politi - July 28, 2013

    It’s got plenty of competition but this may just be the single most cringe-worthy, embarrassing interview on Fox News. At least in recent memory. Fox News anchor Lauren Green had religious scholar Reza Aslan on her FoxNews.com show Friday to talk about Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, his book that has been stirring up some online controversy recently.

    And right off the bat, Green gets to what is important: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?Aslan seemed a little flabbergasted: “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.” But Green just wouldn’t let it go: “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?Aslan then starts talking to Green slowly, as if she were a child: “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.”

    But Green insisted, accusing him of failing to “disclose” that he’s a Muslim and at one point asking him about a stupefying claim on whether a Muslim writing a book on Jesus isn’t sort of like a Democrat writing a book on former president Ronald Reagan.

    Aslan has become the target of anti-muslim rhetoric this past week as he’s made numerous media appearances to publicize his book.

    Author and pastor John Dickerson harshly criticized media outlets on FoxNews.com, saying reporters have failed to mention [Aslan] is a devout Muslim.” In a piece for WorldNetDaily, Pamela Geller writes that jihadist operatives like the vicious Reza Aslan are carried on the shoulders of the media and intelligentsia like a football hero at the end of an impossibly fought game.” Many who share these views have taken to Amazon to give the book one-star reviews. Aslan is a Muslim and not a historian,” reads one of the one-star reviews.


    Reza Aslan And How Fox News Islamophobia Comes From The Top

    ARI RABIN-HAVT - July 29, 2013

    While the segment itself was jarring, particularly when Green falsely accused Reza Aslan of hiding his Muslim faith -- a ridiculous charge implying devotion to Islam is something that must be hidden -- and furthermore as the author points out, he noted it on the second page of his book and in countless interviews.

    It should surprise no one that Islamophobia has a home on Fox. From the top on down, the network's attitude could be at best described as hostile to Muslims. In Zev Chafet's hagiography of Ailes, published earlier this year, he quotes Fox News' boss explicitly stating his hostility to Muslims (emphasis added):

    "He donates upward of 10 percent of his net income to charities, many of them religious, including an annual fifty grand to the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and another fifty grand to Catholic charities." He told me he'd be glad to give to Muslim charities, too, 'if they disarm'."

    A Rolling Stone profile of Ailes quoted a source close to the Fox boss who claimed he "has a personal paranoia about people who are Muslim - which is consistent with the ideology of his network."

    These beliefs have been reflected by a number of the network's on-air personalities.

    Bill O'Reilly implied collective guilt among those who adhere to Islam, while discussing the proposed Park51 Islamic community center being built several blocks from the World Trade Center site, declaring on that the project was "inappropriate" because "Muslims killed us on 9-11."

    This view was also articulated by Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade who claimed you "can't avoid th[e] fact" that "every terrorist is a Muslim."

    Eric Bolling made the same false claim on The Five, telling the audience "every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim."

    Fox host Lauren Green exhibited a second attitude endemic of Fox News' broadcast philosophy. Attempting to defend her absurd position that a noted religious scholar who is Muslim could not write about another religion, she asked, "why would a Democrat, want to promote democracy by writing about a Republican?"

    In the strange world of Fox News, we can learn nothing by looking into the perspectives of others.

    Muslims, one can deduce from Green's questions, are incapable of viewing the world from outside the perspective of their faith. Or perhaps this is simply a case of countertransference, because at Fox, all human motivations can only be viewed through a one-dimensional lens.


    Why the Fox News Scandal Is Good News for Reza Aslan

    Connor Simpson - July 28, 2013

    Religious scholar Reza Aslan recently appeared on the FoxNews.com show Spirited Debate and the host insisted that his being a Muslim somehow affects the quality of his new book about Jesus. The whole ordeal was embarrassing for Fox News, but things are only going to get better from here for the author.

    Aslan appeared on the online show on Friday to promote his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, about how the environment Jesus grew up in shaped him. But host Lauren Green didn't want to talk about the book so much as she wanted to talk about how Aslan is a Muslim. "You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" was Green's very first question. "Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim," Aslan politely replied. Green doesn't give up, though, the interview goes downhill from there.

    At one point Green goes so far as to accuse Aslan of hiding his religion, as if he was trying to be sneaky, or as if it matters. "Ma’am, the second page of my book says I’m a Muslim," he tells her. "Every single interview I have ever done on TV or in print says I’m a Muslim."

    The whole ten minute appearance is embarrassing for the news network, even if it was an online show, for a number of reasons. As Uproxx's Josh Kurp points out: "At no point does Fox News realize the irony of persecuting someone over their religion in a discussion about Jesus." That's probably the biggest one.

    But after the interview started to get passed around quietly on Saturday, and then exploded late last night after Buzzfeed called it "The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done," the outrage train was off and running. The reaction fell somewhere between praise for Aslan and disbelief at Fox News' horrible behavior. "This Fox interview with Reza Aslan is absolutely demented (& he handled it with remarkable calm)" said The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum. Wired's Steve Silberman simply called the interview "embarrassing," as did many others. "Please, please watch this if you haven't yet. It's amazing," urged Digg editorial director David Weiner. "How fitting to watch that [Aslan] clip during a commercial break from Idiocracy," he added later. Buzzfeed's Raymond Sultan called it "the greatest thing" he's ever seen. "The level of stupidity and ignorance here is bewildering," said writer Chris Addison. "My patience would have vanished within a few minutes if I was being asked these questions," said Deadspin's Samer Kalaf. "Reza Aslan is superhuman."

    The disgust and glee and outrage stemming from the interview should actually help Aslan. Controversy like this usually drives book sales through the roof. Remember what happened with J.K. Rowling's pseudonymous mystery novel? The same thing will likely happen with Aslan's book, too, and plenty of people have mentioned buying the book after watching the interview. But the nice thing about this controversy is Aslan's book was selling well without the help. While Rowling's book had sold less than 2,000 copies before the big reveal -- leading some to suspect it was a promotional work -- Aslan's Zealot debuted at the number two spot on The New York Times' Best Seller list behind Mark Leibovich's This Town this morning. Just wait until the post-scandal numbers come in.


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    Default Western Media Deception, Propaganda and Manipulation

    Leading German Journalist: CIA Media Pushing for World War


    Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of largest newspapers in Germany, admits he worked for the CIA. His fears for a war in Europe, lead him to his decision to tell the truth about corporate media being controlled by the financial class.

    “I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I’ve been educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public,” Ulfkotte told Russia Today. “I was supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. Why? Because I am pro-American.”

    “The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say… it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia.”

    Ulfkotte said most corporate media journalists in the United States and Europe are “so-called non-official cover,” they work for an intelligence agency. “I think it is especially the case with British journalists, because they have a much closer relationship. It is especially the case with Israeli journalists. Of course with French journalists. … It is the case for Australians, [with] journalists from New Zealand, from Taiwan, well, there is many countries,” he said.

    “The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia,” he told RT. “This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say … it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe. … I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too. … We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war. … I don’t want this anymore; I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic, and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom.”


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    Propaganda and Manipulation: How mass media engineers and distorts our perceptions


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    A Cop Killing And A Beheading: How Fox News Picks And Chooses Its "Terrorism" Targets

    September 30, 2014

    Fox News is increasingly fixating on the gruesome workplace beheading last week in Moore, Oklahoma by a recent Muslim convert, suspect Alton Nolen. Perhaps sensing a way to once again fan its patented flames of Islamophobia while simultaneously blaming President Obama for being indifferent to the threat of terrorism, Fox is treating the murder as a national story with sweeping political implications.

    Sounding the jihadist alarms, Fox News and the right-wing media are eager to label the ghastly crime an act of Islamic terror. Law enforcement officials, however, aren't in the same rush, noting that the attack came immediately after Nolen was fired and stating that they've yet to find a link to terrorism. While that story continues to play out, it's worth noting that an actual act of political terror remains in the news. It's just not a priority for Fox.

    On the night of September 16, 31-year-old marksman Eric Frein was allegedly laying in wait outside the Blooming Grove police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, preparing to assassinate state troopers. Shortly before 11 p.m., Bryon Dickson was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his overnight shift, trooper Alex Douglass was shot and seriously wounded by a bullet fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

    Described as a "survivalist," Frein disappeared into the Poconos Mountains woods where he's been hiding ever since, eluding law enforcement and its massive manhunt, which includes hundreds of law enforcement officers with assistance from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    Considered "extremely dangerous" and possibly armed with an AK-47, officials were forced to close local schools in fear Frein might attack again. Lots of businesses in the area were ordered to stay dark, and some U.S. mail deliveries were suspended out of fear postmen might be exposed as possible targets for the shooter.

    And what was the possible motivation for the killing spree?

    "He made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and to commit mass acts of murder," state police commissioner Frank Noonan warned the public at the time. Another official noted the shooter has a "longstanding grudge against law enforcement and government in general" dating back to at least 2006.

    A friend was even more explicit. "He was obviously a big critic of the federal government," a friend name Jack told CNN. (The friend did not give his last name.) "No indications of really any malice towards law enforcement in particular. Most of his aggression was (toward) the federal government."

    Sounds like homegrown, anti-government terrorism, right?

    "We have a well-trained sniper who hates authority, hates society, hates government, and hates cops enough to plug them from ambush. He's so lethal, so locked and loaded, that communities in the Pocono Mountains feel terrorized," wrote Philadelphia columnist Dick Poleman. "He kept camouflage face paint in his bedroom. He toted the AK-47 on social media. He collected, according to the criminal complaint, "various information concerning foreign embassies.""

    But turn on Fox News and you don't hear much about Eric Frein from the channel's high-profile hosts. You don't hear much about the anti-government zealot who murdered a cop, while trying to assassinate two. And you don't hear evening hosts diving into Frein's background trying to figure out what sparked his murderous streak.

    There's simply no interest.

    In two weeks since the shooting, the Fox programs monitored by Nexis have mentioned Frein's name in just six reports, and most of those were simply news updates that consisted of one or two sentences. Only one segment, which aired on On The Record With Greta Van Susteren, featured an extended conversation about the killing and the subsequent manhunt. In none of the six Fox reports however, were Frein's vocal anti-government leanings mentioned, nor was there any suggestion Frein was a domestic terrorist.

    Hosts Neil Cavuto, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity have all ignored the shocking cop-killer story. In general, Fox has provided almost no commentary, no context, and certainly no collective blame for the execution.

    By contrast, in the days since the Oklahoma killing, Fox programs monitored by Nexis have flooded the zone with coverage of the beheading, totaling hours and hours of coverage. Most of Fox's reports offered extended, overheated commentary, and most of them dwelled on the fact the killing may have been an act of terror.

    Cavuto, O'Reilly, Hannity, and Megyn Kelly have all hosted extensive coverage of the killing, with Kelly and Hannity devoting nearly their entire September 26 and September 29 programs to the Oklahoma story ("Terror In The Heartland"), allowing guests to make all kinds of unproven connections between the crime and to Islam and, of course, to politicize the tragic killing.

    In other words, on Fox News a Muslim who killed a co-worker in Oklahoma and who remains in police custody represents a much bigger story than a suspected anti-government assassin who killed a cop and remains on the run, eluding hundreds of law enforcement officials while terrorizing a Pennsylvania community.

    Note that one of the renewed right-wing talking point this week has been how Obama refuses to acknowledge the looming threat of Islamic terrorism. (His FBI is being "politically correct.") Of course, a similar charge could be made of Fox News and its purposefully blind spot to homegrown, gun-toting, anti-government terrorists. It's a deadly topic that the right-wing media refuse to grapple with.

    As CNN's Peter Bergen noted earlier this year, since 9/11, "extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."

    If the Pennsylvania ambush was politically motivated, it represented just the latest sad chapter in a long string of recent extremist acts of violence in America. From neo-Nazi killers, to a string of women's health clinic bombings and assaults, as well as bloody assaults on law enforcement from anti-government insurrectionists, acts of right-wing extreme violence continue to terrorize victims in the U.S.

    Just this spring in Las Vegas, a premeditated gun rampage unfolded when Jerad Miller and his wife Amada executed two policemen who were on their lunch break. The killers, who months earlier traveled to Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch to join the militia protests against the federal government, reportedly covered the slain officers with cloth that featured the "Don't tread on me" Gadsden flag, which has recently been adopted as a symbol of the tea party movement.

    That ambush came just two days after Dennis Marx, member of the "sovereign citizen" anti-government movement, tried to lay siege to a courthouse outside of Atlanta. Sovereign citizens are militia-like radicals who don't believe the federal government has the power and legitimacy to enforce the law. The FBI has called the movement "a growing domestic terror threat to law enforcement."

    As mentioned, Greta Van Susteren was the only evening Fox host who addressed the Pennsylvania cop-killing story in any detail. But even she whitewashed the story, omitting any mention of Frein's anti-government bias and his clear embrace of terrorism. Right after the Frein segment ended on her September 22 program, Van Susteren urged viewers to stay tuned for a report about the "nightmare" looming from the threat of jihadist fighters inside the United States.

    Note to Greta: Eric Frein represents another type of "nightmare" terror that looms in America. Fox News should stop ignoring that threat.



    From all that mentioned above it should be obvious to anyone by now that more Christian, White, Home-Grown Terrorists have killed and continue to kill Americans than any "Muslim" terrorist; and that more Americans have been killed at the hands of domestic white Christian terrorists than any Muslim terrorist. Their White, Christian fellowmen continue to protect them in the media while scaring the public with lies about Muslims.

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    Jan 2007


    BBC backs report that omitted killings of Palestinians during Gaza truce



    The BBC’s obliviousness to the reality of Israeli aggression against Gaza has been staggeringly highlighted in a BBC Trust ruling issued at the beginning of October that endorses a report that completely ignored Israeli violence against Palestinians, including multiple killings of civilians.

    The ruling relates to a BBC Online article published on 22 November 2013. The date marked a year and a day since the signing of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which ended an eight-day Israeli assault on Gaza.

    On the anniversary of this agreement, BBC Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell wrote an article headlined Tensions high between Israel and Gaza a year after truce.”

    The article begins: “One year on from a ceasefire that ended eight days of violence between Israel and Islamist militants in the Gaza Strip, the truce often looks shaky.”

    “There are frequent breaches of the agreement,” the article continues, before going on to give Israeli army figures for the number of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel during the twelve months under examination.

    Knell also notes the fears of Israeli civilians as they are “forced to run for cover whenever the ‘red alert’ siren sounds,” and she quotes Israeli army officers who claim that “Hamas is digging tunnels, putting IEDs [improvised explosive devices] near the fence, trying to get over to harm civilians here in Israel.”

    She also notes their concerns that “militant groups in Gaza have managed to rearm since last year’s conflict.”

    No mention of Israeli attacks

    What Knell failed to do in the original article was to give even one mention of Israel’s own frequent breaches of the agreement, despite the fact that two days after signing the truce Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian in Khan Younis.

    Between 22 November 2012 and 7 July this year, the date Israel’s latest assault on Gaza began, Israel violated the ceasefire far more frequently than Palestinians and with far more lethal effect.

    Out of Israel’s 191 violations, ten percent resulted in death and 42 percent in injuries or detentions; while out of the 75 Palestinian violations, just four percent resulted in injuries and none in death.

    During the first three months of the ceasefire alone, four Palestinians were killed and 91 were injured in Israeli attacks in Gaza. During the same period, not one rocket was fired from Gaza.

    Hiding Palestinian fatalities

    When challenged on this by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), BBC Online added this single line to the nine-hundred-word article: “Palestinians point to air strikes and other military action by Israel since the truce was signed as evidence that it has breached it multiple times.”

    There is no more on the Israeli violations of the ceasefire and even that one line is inserted nearly five hundred words into the report and comes across as a Palestinian claim rather than hard, verifiable fact.

    And yet, during the first twelve months of the so-called truce, Israel’s numerous breaches had included the killing of ten Palestinian civilians in Gaza. That is, ten clear violations of the truce during the twelve months under the BBC spotlight.

    And while concealing this information, Knell included this self-congratulatory quote from Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner: “This year has seen a great improvement as far as the security and safety of the Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip.”

    PSC has spent the last ten months contesting with the BBC over this travesty of an article which presents itself as looking at why tensions are high a year on from the signing of a truce, but only gives readers one side of the story.

    And, as usual, the side of the story given is the Israeli one. The Palestinians are positioned as aggressors, the Israelis as defending their civilians. The killing of Palestinian civilians doesn’t warrant a mention and Knell even downgrades Israel’s land blockade of Gaza to mere “border restrictions.”

    Staggering lack of impartiality

    Some of the most astonishing replies from BBC executives over the course of 2014 related to PSC’s argument that omitting Israel’s killing of Palestinians during the truce while detailing Palestinian rocket fire gave a false and inaccurate picture of the twelve months being reviewed.

    On 27 February, Richard Hutt, the BBC’s director of complaints, sent PSC an email to say: “Reviewing the matters which you have said should have been included, I am afraid I do not feel able to conclude that in their absence the piece was materially misleading.”

    Hutt’s belief that a BBC article about “frequent breaches of the agreement” which fails to mention ten fatal breaches by Israel, or any Israeli breaches at all, while highlighting Palestinian breaches, is not “materially misleading” was backed up in May by the BBC’s senior editorial strategy advisor Leanne Buckle.

    In an email to PSC on 28 May, Buckle “concluded the article gave due weight to the scale of the breaches on each side and the number of Palestinians killed in the 12 months would not in itself be a material fact which required to be included.”

    So, despite the fact that the scale of Israeli violations over twelve months was incomparably greater than Palestinian violations, Buckle feels that “due weight” has been achieved by adding a single sentence about Israel’s breaches in an article which devotes paragraphs to what is presented as Palestinian aggression.

    The lack of impartiality is staggering, but perhaps not surprising. It is Buckle after all who has previously told PSC that Israel’s de facto control over Jerusalem entitles BBC journalists to refer to it as an Israeli city, notwithstanding international law.

    BBC vindicates journalistic failings

    Buckle’s apparent deep internalization of the Israeli government’s narrative also comes across in her email of 28 May. Responding to PSC’s argument that Knell’s article should have made clear that Gaza is under Israeli occupation and siege — as opposed to “border restrictions” — Buckle claims that “given the long-standing nature of the conflict, there would be likely to be a pre-existing knowledge by the audience of some key facts.”

    One of these key facts, she says, is that “Hamas and other militant groups fire rockets into Israel and … Israel has retaliated with considerable force on an ad hoc basis and occasionally with sustained campaigns.”

    But this is not a “key fact.” It is Israel’s version of events that Palestinians fire rockets first and that Israel merely retaliates. For a senior BBC executive to cite this Israeli propaganda as fact is highly disturbing.

    In September 2014, following a final appeal by PSC, the Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust upheld Hutt and Buckle’s findings, and published the ruling three weeks ago.

    Knell’s journalistic failure to paint the whole picture of the twelve months she was writing about and her inability to reflect the true state of the ceasefire were vindicated at the highest level of the BBC.

    And, tellingly, the one question the BBC failed to answer during ten months of correspondence with PSC was this: if ten Israelis had been killed in Palestinian attacks during the twelve months in question, would Knell have left that fact out of her article?

    The answer is fairly obvious – Palestinian fatalities can be ignored with impunity by BBC journalists; Israeli fatalities never are. That, unfortunately, is what the BBC must mean by balance.


  19. #19
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    Jan 2007


    Western Media Turn Blind Eye to Shameful Vote at UN on Nazism by Anglo Nations


    In short, US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and Europe, aka the ANGLO Nations either voted NO or abstained from voting in world body to combat racism and xenophobia in all its forms. The non-Anglo nations voted YES. The resolution was proposed by 30 countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Vietnam, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. One hundred and seventeen countries voted in favor.

    A big yawn. And "delete." That's how editors at the world's mainstream media have reacted to the news that Canada, the United States and Ukraine voted against a resolution at the United Nations on Nov. 21 committing the member countries of the world body to combat racism and xenophobia in all its forms.

    These were the only three countries to vote "no," but 55 countries abstained, including the member countries of the European Union, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

    News of the vote on the resolution has been suppressed in most mainstream media outlets in the West. One of the few to report it was the National Post daily in Canada.

    The resolution (full, seven-page text here) was presented to the "Third Committee" of the UN General Assembly. It is the committee charged with examining and making recommendations on social, cultural and human rights issues. The resolution was proposed by 30 countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Vietnam, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. One hundred and seventeen countries voted in favor. The "yes" vote by the majority means the resolution will be presented to the General Assembly.

    The resolution is titled, "Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance." The first clause reads:
    (The General Assembly):

    Reaffirms the relevant provisions of the Durban Declaration and of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, in which States condemned the persistence and resurgence of neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial and national prejudice and stated that those phenomena could never be justified in any instance or in any circumstances. [1]

    The resolution (clause 5) calls for a universal adoption of the 1969 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Many nations, including the US, the UK, China and India, signed the convention but did not recognize a mechanism it establishes for individuals to make complaints. This makes the convention unenforceable in their jurisdictions.

    Kiev's representative at the Nov. 21 session, Andrey Tsymbalyuk, said that while Ukraine did condemn Nazism and neo-Nazism, it could not endorse the Russian resolution because Ukraine has suffered historically not only from Nazism, but also from Stalinism.

    "As long as Stalinism and neo-Stalinism are not condemned as strongly as Nazism, neo-Nazism and other forms of hatred, Ukraine would not be able to back this document," the diplomat said. [2]

    The U.S. government issued an official explanation of its vote on the same day. It said the main sponsor of the resolution, Russia, was driven by "overt political motives" rather than protecting human rights. It notes that similar resolutions are proposed each year at the UN. "We are alarmed by its [Russia’s] recent efforts to vilify others by loosely using terms such as "Nazi" or "Fascist." The government of Russia has employed this rhetoric during the current crisis in Ukraine, including against the current Ukrainian government, and has used it in this very Committee to condemn the Baltic States. This is offensive and disrespectful toward those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis and other Fascist regimes, and it should not be tolerated."

    A spokesman for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs is quoted in the National Post as saying Canada supports the fight against racism and against glorification of Nazism, but it voted against the resolution because it, "includes references which are counterproductive to this goal, including by seeking to limit freedom of expression, assembly and opinion."

    Huffington Post Canada received an additional reason from Lasalle. He said Canada also did not support the resolution because it refers to the "highly politicized and anti-Semitic outcomes" of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

    The official is likely referring to clauses 28, 29 and 30 of the resolution. They state the following:

    (The General Assembly):

    28. Reaffirms article 4 of the Convention, according to which States parties to that instrument condemn all propaganda and all organizations that are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or that attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to that end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of the Convention, inter alia:

    (a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, and incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;

    (b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and organized and all other propaganda activities, that promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;

    (c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination;

    29. Also reaffirms that, as underlined in paragraph 13 of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law, that all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts, shall be declared offences punishable by law, in accordance with the international obligations of States, and that these prohibitions are consistent with freedom of opinion and expression;

    30. Recognizes the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information, including through the Internet, can play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

    So racism and glorification of Nazism are bad things, but please don't ask us to do anything about it. Oh, and please don't mention the contemporary rise to prominence and influence of far right political parties and militias in Ukraine.


    1. The Durban Declaration (62 pages, text here) was adopted by the United Nations' initiated World Conference Against Racism ('Durban 1') that took place in Durban, South Africa, in Aug.-Sept. 2001. The declaration was approved by the UN General Assembly on March 27, 2002. That same day, a resolution to implement the decisions of Durban 1 was approved by the General Assembly with two countries voting against - the United States and Israel - and two abstaining - Australia and Canada.

    2. Writer Daniel Lazare wrote a powerful essay in September that reviews Timothy Snyder's praised 2010 book Bloodlands. Lazare called it a "bad" book reflective of the growing trend by intellectuals and political figures of "relativization" of the crimes of Nazism by equating them with the human rights crimes committed in the Soviet Union of the same period. Lazare calls this a rising "double genocide movement."


  20. #20
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    Jan 2007


    Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

    Medea Benjamin

    Fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The mainstream press just sold another American war

    A war-weary American public that a year ago resoundingly rejected US military intervention in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime now is rallying behind the use of force to destroy the so-called Islamic State (Isis). In just three months, from June to September, support for US airstrikes in Iraq soared from 45% percent to 71%, and to 65% for airstrikes in Syria.

    How did such an astounding turnabout occur? Certainly it wasn’t due to the persuasive powers of President Obama, who seems to have been reluctantly dragged into a conflict that he once acknowledged has no military solution.

    The credit for selling Obama’s war on Isis must go to the mainstream American media.

    Day after day, night after night, the press relied on propaganda from both Isis and the US government to whip up fear and a thirst for revenge in the American public. Gruesome beheading videos distributed by Isis were played over and over. The media not only regurgitated official US messages but packaged them better than the government itself ever could.

    And then, as if Isis wasn’t enough to whip up public fear itself, the Khorasan Group suddenly appeared as the US media compliantly latched onto the new script leaked by anonymous officials, just a few days before Syrian air strikes were set to begin. Khorasan, they told the public on the administration’s behalf, is a group of hardened terrorists more dangerous than Isis because it plans to attack commercial planes using flammable clothing or exploding toothpaste.

    The imminent Khorasan attack justified the ensuing U.S. bombing. However, it was later reported that Khorasan – if it even exists – is just a handful of militants whose plans were not so imminent. Few media bothered to follow up on that aspect of the story.

    Why has the media pushed the Obama administration’s war frame instead of playing the role of skeptic by questioning official assertions, insisting for corroboration on “anonymous leaks” and seeking alternative points of view? After years of government lies – from claims of WMDs in Iraq to zero civilian casualties in drone strikes – you’d think the members of the fourth estate would have learned a lesson.
    But the mainstream US media plays the role of government lapdog more than watchdog.

    They sensationalized the supposed threat from Isis even as intelligence agencies insisted that the group poses no immediate threat to the United States. A chorus of fearmongers, Republicans and Democrats alike, appeared on TV to insist that the American way of life is at stake. The hysterical Senator Lindsey Grahamclaimed that Isis is out to murder each and every one of us. Senator Bill Nelson advocated cutting off the “head of the snake” before Isis could fly its black flag over the White House. Former CIA and Pentagon chief Leon Panetta warned Americans to brace for a 30-year crusade. The media even trotted out “experts” on war – or at least war-mongering – like John McCain, Dick Cheney and even former presidential envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer.

    Obsessed with maintaining access to power, the mainstream media just keeps handing their megaphone to the powerful and self-interested. Rarely do we hear from people who opposed the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq or rightly predicted the chaos that would result from NATO intervention in Libya. The few anti-war voices who manage to slip into the dialogue are marginalized and later silenced.

    Let’s face it: fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The vicious Isis beheadings, discussed ad infinitum, attracted large audiences. So did talkabout exploding toothpaste. People whipped into a state of fear always want to know more.

    Sadly, the public is not getting what it deserves: a well-rounded debate about the pros and cons of military action. Why has a decade of support for the Iraqi army and years of covert CIA support for the Syrian opposition been so fruitless? How much might this intervention cost? (So far, the bill has been more than $1bn.) How will Middle East monarchies that funded extremists suddenly become exemplars of democratic values? What is the endgame in Syria? Will Bashar Assad still be in power? What are the unintended consequences of expanding American military action in the Middle East? (The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the US bombings already have attracted 6,000 more recruits to Isis.) And most important of all: what are the alternatives to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians? The voices of people proposing political solutions other than slaughter are the voices the public deserves to hear.

    Wars usually start with overwhelming public approval once the White House and the national security apparatus get the media to beat the war drums. It’s only after people tire of war that the media really begin to seek answers to questions that should have been asked before the bombs were launched.

    But instead, once again, the US government and the US media establishment is embracing a military policy of airstrikes to strengthen local capacity despite a regional landscape – from Yemen to Libya – littered with the wreckage of this approach. Smoldering in the detritus of war is also the fourth estate.



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