The new face of the #demonicGOP
I have often times said ANYONE who goes on FoxNews is a sadist who likes self-flagellation and any Muslim who goes there is literally physically attacked and abused. It’s gotten so bad I can no longer look at that network’s programs so I was more than a bit intrigued to see this headline, 5 Times Muslim Guests Actually Got Their Points Across On Fox News. I’ll let you take a look and see if the title is accurate.
Since 2008 when he was only 12 years old, Mike Brown was doomed to his fate of lying in the middle of a Ferguson, Missouri road with his brains leaking out of his head for four and half hours while his parents wailed nearby powerless to help him. His journey towards this rather ignoble end began in 2008 when Barack Hussein Obama was elected president and white people the country over who were against the notion that an African-American should be president decided to take matters into their own hands and mete out punishment on any black male they could. As a result Mike Brown didn’t stand a chance that day in August, 2014 when he entered Darren Wilson’s world and that brief encounter which ended with his murder would set the wheels in motion of institution racism whereby it was absolutely not possible for him or his family to receive justice. Every institution that is supposed to be responsible for justice in American society was irrevocably stacked against him and every one would collude to make sure his rights would forever be trampled upon and would not see the light of day.
Darren Wilson shot Brown because he refused to be intimidated by a white police officer and Wilson seeing his authority being challenged by a disobedient black boy snapped and gave into a centuries old rage of the authoritarian class driven by the idea that no black man should ever refuse to do what a white man tells him to do. As a policeman Wilson knew he could set the rules and everything else that followed from his interaction with Brown would naturally go the way he wanted because that’s the way it always has been; there are no repercussions to come from a policeman killing a black man, none. Wilson’s department rallied around him initially refusing even to give his name to the press corp that gathered to cover this storm; Wilson himself did not write a police report for weeks after the shooting, giving him and his department and the country time to concoct a counter narrative to the one being given by the many witnesses who actually saw the execution.
The media and especially FoxNews and talk radio were willing accomplices in exonerating Wilson of Mike Brown’s murder repeating the now discredited stories first offered up by Wilson himself and eventually by others who were persuaded to give credibility to the lie through sworn grand jury testimony. (More on that in a moment.) This is the same media that has taken every chance to discredit the country’s first black president even if it meant practically swearing allegiance to an adversary. The
Ferguson police were openly scornful of the Brown family, the media who they were uncertain of would spin their lies and even the federal government, taking great pains to do any and everything they could to show their contempt for whatever it is they were asked to do or provide. In many cases they gave what was not asked, the video of Brown strong arming the items he stole from the convenience store or withheld items they were asked like information on the shooter or Brown’s autopsy. All of these machinations were done merely to allow the other parts of the white justice system to gear up and pick up where the FPD left off.
When it was finally announced there would be grand jury proceedings the prosecutor responsible for conducting it, Bob McCulloch whose police officer father was killed by an African-American refused to recuse himself from the role instead insisting he be removed by the governor of Missouri who insisted it was McCulloch’s call whether to step down. A better dance of abdication could not be choreographed and with that spectacle came the coup de grace, the complete and utter exoneration of Wilson set up by McCulloch who presented testimony from witnesses he himself said he knew they were lying and were not even present at the shooting they claimed to have seen. Instead what these witnesses did was regurgitate the story initially put out by Wilson and the press in the days immediately following Brown’s murder. To the institutions of racism, fairness is allowing known liars to lie about an event in the name of full disclosure before a court of law. So it should come as no surprise that Wilson would not be indicted but rather be sent away with a rather large sum of money….bounty money as it were, for killing an unarmed, surrendering boy. And because he wasn’t charged with a crime and resigned instead of being fired, although I doubt that would make any difference, it’s quite conceivable he could go on to find employment in another police department…possibly Cleveland, Ohio where an
officer with an equally disastrous record as Wilson was hired after being FIRED from a police department and went on to kill a 12 year old Tamer Rice……and continue his killing spree unabated.
This is how racism works in the criminal justice system…..it is systemic and widespread. Black men are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than whites and in almost all cases police are not indicted for these at times public executions of citizens. Fix this America!
Interesting reading that highlights the selective nature of FoxNews from the folks at Media Matters for America
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 ofIslamophobia 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 clinicbombings 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.
Only at FoxNews can someone look like this yet be so ugly, hateful and racist enough that people she wasn’t even talking about take offense at what she says. In a rant typical of people at FoxNews Andrea Tantaros said, referring to the latest ISIS video which features the beheading of an American:
They’ve been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years if you study the history of Islam…You can’t solve it with a dialogue. You can’t solve it with a summit…You solve it with a bullet to the head. It’s the only thing these people understand.
Of course the only thing people at FoxNews understands is the language of racism. It doesn’t matter that Muslims universally have condemned what this latest atrocity from ISIS depicts, in fact FoxNews will insist there are no voices of contempt from Muslims….something that’s been disproven time and time again. But in case FoxNews doesn’t get it, such blatant incitement is not acceptable for Americans on American airwaves…or at least not acceptable to some and especially Asian American Journalists who condemned in the strongest terms Tantaros’ diatribe and I salute them. Racism is unacceptable even if one is not the intended target, something the likes of Tantaros probably doesn’t get.
Bowe Bergdahl hasn’t even stepped foot in this country and yet members of the media are saying this?
Is he guilty of being a deserter, is he guilty of being a defector? And after five years of captivity — some people initially said, well, that’s enough — should he face the appropriate punishment if he is found guilty?
Chris Wallace of FoxNews infamy (I guess you know why such a provocative question would be posed) was asking the former Attorney General Michael Mukasey from the even guiltier, more deserving of prosecution, GWB administration who replied such a question was premature. I assert on what basis should such a question like that even be asked?!?!? It was only mere hours before Wallace went on the air with the typical FoxNews bluster that this headline appeared
U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told people treating him at an American military medical facility in Germany that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.
Now if one were to ask what proof can Bergdahl provide since there is no one to independently verify beside Bergdahl and the Taliban, if you were to pose the question where are the physical scars to indicate such torture it would have to be said perhaps the Taliban is as adept at torturing people without leaving scars as our own government under George Bush was with the countless people tortured at Baghram and other secreted sites where suspected “Islamists”, whatever that means, were held.
What we’re witnessing is the #DemonicGOP nipping at Obama’s heels like the attack dog is has become, rather than a political party, in order to generate scandal. In fact Lindsey Graham is now saying the President should be impeached because of his decision to exchange Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners. Of course impeachment won’t occur….it’s not a political reality, but the mere suggestion of it is enough to taint the Obama administration and the Democratic party in this off year election. Obama and Bergdahl are being “swiftboated” much like John Kerry who had the distinction of being the first politician to be given that dubious distinction and it’s as ugly now as it was was in 2004. Some say however this time it won’t be as effective
Republicans have been carrying out a swiftboating media operation that is being led by a former Bush administration official that is designed to smear Sgt. Bergdahl in order to create an Obama political scandal. The revelation that Bergdahl was tortured means that Republicans are not only attacking the credibility of a soldier, but they are attacking a soldier who was tortured by the enemy.
Even by the new Obama era standards for conservative hate, this is low. The possibility that Sgt. Bergdahl was tortured confirms the White House’s reasoning for making a deal to bring Bergdahl home. Republicans have painted themselves into a corner with their attacks on Bergdahl……
I don’t think however that the #DemonicGOP will look bad…they’ll simply deflect and move on to the next scandal they hope will have traction with the equally insatiably racist, xenophobic, gun toting segments of American society.
Megyn Kelly suggested in response to her latest proclamation that Santa Claus and Jesus were both white that she was just trying to inject some humor into her show saying, ‘Humor is part of what we try to bring to the show. Sometimes that’s lost on the humorless.’
I must admit it’s not lost on me, because I think FoxNews is a joke whenever it goes on the air and Kelly is just one of the comediennes in the FoxNews lineup. Every year this time FoxNews goes on the war on Christmas alert with outrageous stories and commentary about how a Christian tradition is slowly being eroded by multiculturalism or hordes of foreigners immigrating illegally to the shores of America; now however, we must conclude such stories that run on that network are meant to be humor, just as I have been thinking and writing all along.
Kelly’s latest pronouncement does give a revealing look into her psyche who I guess considers herself a Christian and her perceptions of Jesus Christ. She takes great comfort in projecting for herself an image of Christ that looks like her,
even though there is very little religiously that speaks to his color
the Bible is far less descriptive on the matter of Jesus’ skin color than we are. Christian scriptures say very little about Jesus’ physical appearance. They do not comment on his nose, eye color, skin pigmentation, or hair. The glaring exception is Isaiah 53:2, which prophesies that the messiah won’t be much to look at, another fact that places the Bible at odds with the “well-groomed surfer-dude Jesus” who’s often put forth.
I’ve railed against France’s treatment of its Muslim citizens, treating them like second class citizens and rewriting the definition of equality, liberty and fraternity when it comes to Muslims. Feeling disenfranchised France’s Muslim feel any excuse will do to express their frustration at what they justifiably see as religious persecution by France…..even when there is no legitimate reason for such frustration as in the case of the latest provocation that I’ve yet to weigh in on, emanating from California.
Here is a video that is circulating among French Muslims which they think, and I do too, points out French hypocrisy. Looking at it reminds me a lot of the verbal gymnastics one encounters on FoxNews, that bastion of hypocritical tripe that infects American airwaves. One has to wonder whether this French television channel isn’t owned by Rupert Murdoch……
There I said it, if you look at FoxNews the chances are you don’t know much about anything. Sure the anchors there provide a certain amount of gratification with their quick retorts aimed at people or issues we don’t like, but the business of news is non-existent at FoxNews. Rather what we get as a society is targeted opinion that too often isn’t informative, or even remotely true.
Such is the case with the latest pronouncement made by one Eric Bolling who earlier this month uttered the demonstrably proven lie, ‘How is it every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim?’ How is it that in the year of our Lord, 2012 there are still people making such a ridiculous claim, except that they do so in exchange for a heckuva lot of money. We’ve outlined here in the pages of Miscellany101 as many instances as the number of Muslims who were charged with terrorism in 2011…that number was 20 indicted . In 2010 the number of Muslims indicted for terrorism in America was 26, and the total number of Muslims in America indicted for terrorism since 911 is 193. Yet we’re told the threat is so large that congressional committees must be held, repeatedly, expenditures of money from an already cash strapped country must be allocated and inevitably the rights of American citizens must be abridged because of a threat that represents less than 5% of all domestic terrorism in America. Did you catch that America?!?!?! Muslims account for less than 5% of all terrorism cases in America between 2002-2005…..not all of them…..5% of them. So who makes up the other 95% of terrorism in America?!?!? You do America!
Since September 11, the threat of internationally based Islamic extremist networks has dominated concerns of Homeland Security officials. And while authorities say the threats posed by homegrown Islamic extremism is growing, the FBI has reported that roughly two-thirds of terrorism in the United States was conducted by non-Islamic American extremists from 1980-2001; and from 2002-2005, it went up to 95 percent.
What’s duplicitous about Bolling and his inaccuracies is the above linked report is dated more than a year ago!!! If journalism was truly involved over there at FoxNews Bolling would have surely run across the above mentioned document, but there’s a large segment of the population that likes disinformation that reinforces Bolling’s misstatement.
Here are just a few cases we’ve mentioned that fit the definition of terrorism that Bolling probably knows about but doesn’t want you to know about. There’s the knife in the mayonnaise jar guy who tried to sneak onto an airplane in Kennedy Airport of all places; there’s the Atlanta editor who thinks President Obama should be killed because of his soft support for Israel. (As far as I know he nor anyone else who has threatened a standing president of the United States has seen the inside of a jail cell); the case of a US soldier getting on TWO planes with military grade explosives is something that would raise alarms with anyone, but Bolling, since the perpetrator was not Muslim; nor did the US park ranger killer seem alarming to Bolling; the group in Georgia accused of terrorizing America to which two of them pleaded guilty was mentioned here on Miscellany101, but probably didn’t receive a ripple on Bolling’s radar; Gary Mikulich placed a bomb next to a federal office building but according to Bolling he can’t be a terrorist because he’s not a Muslim; of course we all know of the political assassination that took place in Arizona at the hands of a deranged Jared Loughner and resulted in the deaths of six people and the termination of the political career of Gabrielle Giffords. We haven’t even begun to talk about how exaggerated and non-existent the threat of so called Islamic terrorism is to America. However, in June, 2012 FoxNews is still publicizing the canard that every terrorist on America’s soil is a Muslim and we haven’t touched on the pro-life movement and its followers the likes of Scott Roeder who believe killing abortion providers, who are operating legally in America, is a way of bringing them to justice. But it’s what Bolling doesn’t say that is as onerous as what he does….the American Muslim community has steadily refuted terror and been a source of information for federal authorities investigating terrorism in their midst. None of that matters to an organization that wants to vilify one segment of the American population and will go to any lengths to insure that. The solution is as has been said here time and time again, kick FoxNews and main stream media to the curb and embrace citizen journalism. Or you can be dumb.
Media’s right wing spin machine’s attacks on Stewart’s parody of Cain was not only immature but underscores their victimology tactic when it comes to criticism they receive. They are thin skinned and emotionally immature. There was nothing ever to their claim in the beginning that Stewart was racist and so to make them not look so childish and irrelevant, Stewart lets them off the hook by pointing out some of his other dare we say “racist” parodies. Is there any reason why you look at FoxNews besides Stewart’s comic relief?
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EVERYONE has known for ages that FoxNews is not news but propaganda and most well informed people have been saying that for sometime. The insider with this latest info on FoxNews claims they were a Bush propaganda machine, but in reality they are more of a strident conservative, nationalist, tea party branch of the Republican party that has all but left behind the GWBush era and in the process forgotten history as well.
Fox News is run as a purely partisan operation, virtually every news story is actively spun by the staff, its primary goal is to prop up Republicans and knock down Democrats, and that staffers at Fox News routinely operate without the slightest regard for fairness or fact checking.
“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”
over time Fox News stopped simply leaning to the right and instead became an open and active political player, sort of one-part character assassin and one-part propagandist, depending on which party was in power. And that the operation thrives on fabrications and falsehoods.
“For the first few years it was let’s take the conservative take on things. And then after a few years it evolved into, well it’s not just the conservative take on things, we’re going to take the Republican take on things which is not necessarily in lock step with the conservative point of view.
“And then two, three, five years into that it was, we’re taking the Bush line on things, which was different than the GOP. We were a Stalin-esque mouthpiece. It was just what Bush says goes on our channel. And by that point it was just totally dangerous. Hopefully most people understand how dangerous it is for a media outfit to be a straight, unfiltered mouthpiece for an unchecked president.”
“It was a kick ass mentality too,” says the former Fox News insider. “It was relentless and it never went away. If one controversy faded, goddamn it they would find another one. They were in search of these points of friction real or imagined. And most of them were imagined or fabricated. You always have to seem to be under siege. You always have to seem like your values are under attack. The brain trust just knew instinctively which stories to do, like the War on Christmas.”
….or like Obama is a secret Muslim, or Shariah wants to take over American law, or the Muslim Brotherhood is an arm of al-Qaida and must be stopped at all costs…..and on and on it goes. A constant stream of lies and fear mongering designed to influence public policy and make way for the demagogues of the Republican party who have broken off and become the Tea Party. Fox has taken over the role of Hollywood, fashioning a tale about America and her leaders that has no basis in fact, a dream merchant or rather a nightmare merchant intent on scaring and pitting one segment of American society against another. However, because the news is presented by people who are pretty and in effect look like us who give us harrowing tales about people who look different from us it is very possible to believe what are in essence lies. In our Nation’s history, media has always played a part in being a tool for government in order to enslave foreign peoples and take their resources as well as enact laws that restrict the freedoms and liberties of its own citizens. This is FoxNews’ role the fact that another person who should know has come out and said as such while an incredulous public looks on from the sidelines means the spell FoxNews has on the public is still in place and working.
The entire cast at FoxNews, or rather the Republican Television Network, can win this award because of the constant racist rhetoric they are allowed to get away with over the American airwaves. Bill O’Reilly was owned by Whoppie Goldberg and Joy Behar who walked out on him during his appearance on their show, The View. That confrontation appears below
There’s so much wrong with what he said on so many levels…..did anyone catch his dig to Behar about learning something from him….that’s after he told her to shut up. Classy guy, eh? So O’Reilly, a Fox employee was clear why the two hosts walked out and the very next day………
Brian Kilmead, another Fox employee makes the following statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim…..You can’t avoid that fact. And that is ridiculous that we got to keep defining this — the people that equate Timothy McVeigh with the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which is growing and a threat that exists.” Of course this remark was an explicit approval of O’Reilly’s comments made on The View a day before and there we have two Fox employees engaging in racist commentary on a national platform. I had this to say in the comments section here
The double standard is in your face…I mean Sanchez gone, Octavia Nasir gone, Helen Thomas gone. None of them were given a chance to clarify their statements which were far more harmless and not pejorative as this Fox guy’s. In his one idiotic statement, ‘Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim’ substitute any other ethnic group and tell me he would survive one hour after going off the air. Let’s see, ‘not every Jew is a terrorist but every extremist, terrorist is a Jew’…or how about ‘not every African-American is a murderer/rapist but every murderer is black’. Or how about ‘not every blond woman is dumb, but every dumb woman is a blond’ or not every Polack is stupid but every stupid person is a Polack… I mean this is like looking at or hearing an episode of Archie Bunker’s Place all over again. That Kilmead moron makes his comments because he can get away with it; his bosses let him, maybe even encourage him because it’s good for ratings and perhaps even revenue and that’s the history of our country. Whatever sells works, despite evidence to the contrary. So 94% of terrorism committed from 1980 to 2005 according to the FBI, not Fox, was done by other than Muslims gets spun into 100% with a stroke on the keyboard because those people committing 94% of terrorism resemble the folks who make the decisions at FoxNews. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?
Brian Kilmead, one of your racist Islamophobes on the Fox channel. Do we really want an America where we are all at one another’s throats because of the lies of people in the media. For an excellent analysis of who’s doing what in the world of terrorism, run over to the thread here. It’s very revealing about who is and isn’t a terrorist in the real world.
Everyone has their breaking point for hate speech and racism. Mine came when I watched the video you can find here, where what started out to be a “decent” interview between a Fox reporter, Megyn Kelly, and a representative of the Media Research Center and Council of American-Islamic Relations ended with the Fox reporter shouting ‘that’s way out of line, that’s way out of line’ at the CAIR representative as if to imply he had no businesss making the assertion that more abortion clinic personnel have been killed by members of the Christian right who protested what is a legal right women have to abortion than people who’ve been killed by Muslims protesting depictions of the Last Messenger and Prophet. Evidently that fact doesn’t fit into Fox News’ ideas of domestic terrorism and who the adherents of terrorism are especially if they are white Christians and not brown skinned bearded, covered and menacing Muslims.
Glen Greenwald’s breaking point must have come when he read a New York Times editorial by one Ross Douthat a rather nasty Islamophobe who has been featured in the pages of Miscellany101 before here. Douthat’s piece put forth the premise Muslims can intimidate artists who live by poetic license into not offending Muslim sensibilities but law abiding Christians who supposedly don’t engage in the same polemic are offended by artists who are not afraid of them nor have any respect for Christian religious beliefs. Greenwald pretty much slams the door on Douthat and by extension the visibly upset FoxNews reporter’s argument thusly:
It looks like Ross Douthat picked the wrong month to try to pretend that threat-induced censorship is a uniquely Islamic practice. Corpus Christi is the same play that was scheduled and then canceled (and then re-scheduled) by the Manhattan Theater Club back in 1998 as a result of “anonymous telephone threats to burn down the theater, kill the staff, and ‘exterminate’ McNally.” Both back then and now, leading the protests (though not the threats) was the Catholic League, denouncing the play as “blasphemous hate speech.”
I abhor the threats of violence coming from fanatical Muslims over the expression of ideas they find offensive, as well as the cowardly institutions which acquiesce to the accompanying demands for censorship. I’ve vigorously condemned efforts to haul anti-Muslim polemicists before Canadian and European “human rights” (i.e., censorship) tribunals. But the very idea that such conduct is remotely unique to Muslims is delusional, the by-product of Douthat’s ongoing use of his New York Times column for his anti-Muslim crusade and sectarian religious promotion.
The various forms of religious-based, intimidation-driven censorship and taboo ideas in the U.S. — what Douthat claims are non-existent except when it involves Muslims — are too numerous to chronicle. One has to be deeply ignorant, deeply dishonest or consumed with petulant self-victimization and anti-Muslim bigotry to pretend they don’t exist. I opt (primarily) for the latter explanation in Douthat’s case.
As Balloon-Juice’s DougJ notes, everyone from Phil Donahue and Ashliegh Banfield to Bill Maher and Sinead O’Connor can tell you about that first-hand. As can the cable television news reporters who were banned by their corporate executives from running stories that reflected negatively on Bush and the war. When he was Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani was fixated on using the power of his office to censor art that offended his Catholic sensibilities. The Bush administration banned mainstream Muslim scholars even from entering the U.S. to teach. The Dixie Chicks were deluged with death threats for daring to criticize the Leader, forcing them to apologize out of fear for their lives. Campaigns to deny tenure to academicians, or appointments to politicial officials, who deviate from Israel orthodoxy are common and effective. Responding to religious outrage, a Congressional investigation was formally launched and huge fines issued all because Janet Jackson’s breast was displayed for a couple of seconds on television.
All that’s to say nothing of the endless examples of religious-motivated violence by Christian and Jewish extremists designed to intimidate and suppress ideas offensive to their religious dogma (I’m also pretty sure the people doing this and this are not Muslim). And, contrary to Douthat’s misleading suggestion, hate speech laws have been used for censorious purposes far beyond punishing speech offensive to Muslims — including, for instance, by Christian groups invoking such laws to demand the banning of plays they dislike.
It’s nice that The New York Times hired a columnist devoted to defending his Church and promoting his religious sectarian conflicts without any response from the target of his bitter tribalistic encyclicals. Can one even conceive of having a Muslim NYT columnist who routinely disparages and rails against Christians and Jews this way? To ask the question is to answer it, and by itself gives the lie to Douthat’s typically right-wing need to portray his own majoritarian group as the profoundly oppressed victim at the hands of the small, marginalized, persecuted group which actually has no power (it’s so unfair how Muslims always get their way in the U.S.). But whatever else is true, there ought to be a minimum standard of factual accuracy required for these columns. The notion that censorship is exercised only on behalf of Muslims falls far short of that standard.
(1) Several people are insisting that the problem of violence and threats by Muslims is far greater than, and thus not comparable to, those posed by Christians and Jews. This is just the same form of triabalistic, my-side-is-always-better blindness afflicting Douthat. Who could possibly look at the U.S. and conclude that brutal, inhumane, politically-motivated, designed-to-intimidate violence is a particular problem among Muslims, or that Muslims receive special, unfairly favorable treatment as a result of their intimidation? Do you mean except for the tens of thousands of Muslims whom the U.S. has imprisoned without charges for years, and the hundreds of thousands our wars and invasions and bombings have killed this decade alone, and the ones from around the world subjected to racial and ethnic profiling, and the ones we’ve tortured and shot up at checkpoints and are targeting for state-sponsored assassination?
(2) There’s no question that violence or threatened violence by Islamic radicals against authors, cartoonists and the like is a serious problem. But (a) simply click on the links above — or talk to workers in abortion clinics about the climate in which they work — and try to justify how you can, with a straight face, claim it’s not very pervasive among extremists and fanatics generally, and (b) avoid exaggerating the problem. The group that threatened the South Park creators is a tiny, fringe group founded by a former right-wing Jewish-American settler in the West Bank who converted to Islam and spends most of his time harrassing American Muslims (the former “James Cohen”; h/t Archtype); they’re about as representative of Muslims generally as Fred Phelps and these people are representative of Christians. Moreover, numerous blogs displayed the Mohammed cartoons and plan to do so again; the notion that the Western World is cowering in abject fear from Muslim intimidation is absurdly overblown.
(3) Sarah Palin recently defended the Rev. Franklin Graham’s statement that Islam is “a very evil and wicked religion.” That barely caused a ripple of controversy. Imagine if a leading political figure had said anything remotely similar about Christianity or Judaism. The claim that Muslims receive some sort of special protection or sensitivity is the opposite of reality.
I might add everywhere you see The New York Times and or Ross Douthat in Greenwald’s piece above, you can safely insert FoxNews and Megyn Kelly, or any other corporate media type and their corresponding lackey/reporter….the rhetoric is essentially the same and equally perverse. If you want to really get a flavor for Greenwald’s piece read it in its entirety here.
What is common about these two media encounters, mine and Greenwald’s is how it appears media wants to inflame public passions against a group of people who are 0.00067% of the Muslim population (548 members of Revolution Muslim out of an estimated population of 6 million Muslims) of the US in such a way as to imply they can possibly limit or even do away with the freedoms of speech we hold so dearly when it has been the government’s response to this minuscule number that poses a greater threat to that freedom than anything the Revolution Muslim can conjure. Such is the rhetoric which drives media and government ever closer to the precipice of destroying the social order in a way no amount of terror, Islamic, foreign, domestic, militia driven or otherwise could ever do and yet the general public seems alright with that notion that freedom and liberty are ok to forfeit or lose at the expense of persecuting minorities, the opposition, but certainly for now Muslims. It is a notion we have embraced to readily in our past and it’s time to forgo it now.