Thursday, August 12, 2010

NYT On The So-Called Ground Zero Mosque.

This New York Times piece on the protests regarding the Ground Zero mosque is simply remarkable.

Adam Serwer skilfully takes it apart:

The Times report, however, descends into a kind of "liberal" media known-nothingism when it comes to how this became a controversy, suggesting that " a combination of arguable naïveté, public-relations missteps and a national political climate in which perhaps no preparation could have headed off controversy." This is a remarkable formula that manages to place the blame everywhere except where it belongs -- on a right-wing smear machine that went into overdrive in an effort to portray Rauf and Khan as terrorist sympathizers, an experience no one outside of contemporary partisan politics could have possibly been prepared for. The conservative media lied about the location of the project, they lied about Rauf's background, they lied about the project's funding, they lied about when the project would be built, and they lied about Rauf's political beliefs. And it would have been one thing if it had just been a small group of people lying, but they had an entire cable news station to lie for them, and politicians who were willing to amplify their smears. This controversy isn't about the "political climate." It's the fruit of a conscious, deliberate, and sustained effort.

I'm sure that the intensity of emotion shared by some of the projects' opponents are sincere. But where they hold Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of a few extremists, they are mistaken, and where their feelings are the result of falsehoods spread by the conservative media, they are misguided, and where they believe the First Amendment does not extend to American Muslims, they are simply wrong.

Why do so called "liberal" newspapers embrace so much right wing bullshit and feel the need to lay out their case as if it has validity? Why was it the responsibility of the people proposing building the mosque - not to build bridges with Christian and Jewish groups, which they did - but to negotiate what they were proposing with "likely opponents"?

Does the New York Times seriously believe that one can ever find common ground with the Palin's and the other right wing loons noisily arguing that religious freedoms should not extend to the Islamic community?

Their position is an extremist one. The notion that the builders of the mosque should have consulted them is simply preposterous.

Although the Times do leave themselves a get out clause by stating "perhaps no preparation could have headed off controversy", nevertheless the article does indulge in what Serwer rightly sees as '"liberal" media known-nothingism", which seeks to avoid attaching the blame where it rightly belongs.

It's the exact same thing which their article on Abbas does.

Click here for full article.

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