In 2011, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein wrote a number of smear pieces on Vartan Gregorian, attempting to portray a respected scholar who has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom as a radical Muslim who's working to undermine America.
Klein can't leave well enough alone -- he uses a Jan. 24 WND article to repeat those smears and add new ones.
Klein's dubious hook this time is that Gregorian is on the board of Qatar Foundation International, which is working with the federal government "to facilitate an online program aiming to connect all U.S. schools with classrooms abroad by 2016." Klein claims that the foundation "is close to the Muslim Brotherhood." His evidence? "In January 2012, it launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics under the guidance of Tariq Ramadan, who serves as the center’s director. Ramadan is the grandson of the notorious founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna."
In fact, Ramadan is no terrorist, and he has condemned terrorism as being against the teachings of Islam. Klein offers no evidence that Ramadan plays any role whatsoever in the Muslim Brotherhood today.
Klein goes back in time to repeat the false and baseless guilt-by-assocation smears that marred his earlier reporting:
- He claimed that Gregorian "was appointed by Obama in 2009 as a White House fellow." In fact, he was named to the board of the organization that oversees the White House Fellows program.
- He claimd that "Gregorian was central in [Bill] Ayers’ recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers." In fact, The New York Times reported that, "according to several people involved," Ayers "played no role" in choosing Obama.
- Klein claimed that "Gregorian is closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind the controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks" because he is on the board of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. And so is Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, all four living former presidents, and 9/11 widow Debra Burlingame, to name a few.
- Klein repeated criticism of a book on Islam by Gregorian issued by the Middle East Forum, without explaining that it's an anti-Muslim group or that the quotes of Gregorian being cited are misleading and out of context.
We wrote about Klein's falsehoods and smears a year and a half ago, yet he couldn't be bothered to correct the record. Copying-and-pasting is for bad and lazy reporters -- which Klein apparently is.
A special shout-out to Danette Clark and Brenda J. Elliott, who contributed "additional research" to Klein's article. Apparently, they're just as slovenly about facts as Klein.