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Friday, September 10, 2010
ConWeb All Over the Map on Quran-Burning Pastor
Topic: The ConWeb

The ConWeb just can't seem to figure out a consistent stand on Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones. It seems that every attempt to criticize it is countered with an instance of condoning it.

CNSNews.com: A Sept. 7 article by Nicholas Ballasy that was heavy on condemnation of Jones was followed by a Sept. 9 article by Patrick Goodenough detailing how the Quran had been burned throughout history, starting with an early caliph who ordered all rival versions burned -- thus seeming to offer tacit approval for Jones' burning, despite concluding with a pair of Christian ministers who oppose book-burning.

WorldNetDaily: As we noted, WND began the week with Aaron Klein's softball interview of Jones. It gre more conflicted from there:

  • An audio interview with anti-Islam activist Brigitte Gabriel opposing the burning.
  • A column by Ann Coulter calling the burning "a nasty thing to do," like building a mosque near Ground Zero. (Will this be the straw that finally causes WND to drop her column?)
  • A column by Craige McMillan condoning it, stating that "America's self-imagined elites should chill out about the Quran burning" and "let the god of Islam contend for himself."

NewsBusters: It also started by defending Jones, feeling sympathy for him under pointed CNN questioning. Then it moved toward being more consistently critical, mostly that it was being likened to the upcoming Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin shindig in Alaska and to "Ground Zero mosque" opponents. Brent Baker dismissed Jones as a "widely condemned Florida pastor with barely a few dozen followers." Then, Noel Sheppard blundered in to ask, "did the media negligently create this controversy?" sneering that Jones is "some unknown Pastor - with a following smaller than what's normally in line at an In-n-Out restaurant drive-thru!" Sheppard went on to pontificate:

For weeks now, the press as a result of America's opposition to the Ground Zero mosque have been trying to convince the citizenry that we are an Islamophobic nation that hates Muslims. Despite the lack of any supporting evidence, this has been the media narrative for approaching a month.

With this in mind, an attention-seeking, unknown Pastor advertising a Koran bonfire was exactly what the press needed to prove once and for all just how much antipathy there is for Muslims here.

Sadly, they gave this guy his fifteen minutes of fame without any regard for the harm that could be done to Americans living abroad, in particular those fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. More hypocritically, so-called journalists are now blaming Jones for endangering the lives of others.

Wouldn't this not be the case if they ignored him? Isn't it all the press attention he's gotten that has actually caused this controversy? If media really are worried that his actions might result in an international incident, given how few people there are in his own area that care what he's got to say, couldn't they just similarly pay him no mind?

[...]

Consider that the press are largely in favor of the Ground Zero mosque despite being in the minority concerning this matter. They base their view on the Islamic center backers having the Constitutional right to build at that location regardless of how anyone feels about it. Yet, these same people are now in an uproar over Jones without a care for his Constitutional right to burn Korans.

But couldn't the same argument be made that the "Ground Zero mosque" was ginned up by conservative media in order to push their anti-Mulsim agenda? Sheppard seems uninterested in answering that question.

Newsmax: It has largely stuck to wire stories on the controversy, and what little supplemental material it has run has been critical -- a column by Susan Estrich and an interview with its own Ronald Kessler.

UPDATE: Accuracy in Media condones Quran-burning, too.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 10, 2010 8:16 PM EDT

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