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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
AIM's Kline Confuses Critical Thinking, Partisan Attacks
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Academia's Malcolm Kline asserts in a June 9 Accuracy in Media column: "Critical thinking seems to have eluded the media and academic elites in their mostly gushing reaction to the President's speech on the Middle East, given in Cairo. Fortunately, the people who really know something about the issues involved are attempting to fill the void." But the people Kline calls upon to "fill the void" -- that is, to attack Obama -- have their own problems, and Kline offers no evidence that they "really know something about the issues involved."

Kline first cites Frank Gaffney, who complains that "There was not one reference to terrorism, let alone Islamic terrorism." At no point do Kline or Gaffney acknowledge that Obama made numerous references to "violent extremism," let alone explain why that is not a reference to terrorism.

Gaffney stated that Obama "referred four times in his speech to 'the Holy Koran,'" adding, "It seems unimaginable that he ever would ever use the adjective to describe the Bible or the Book of Mormon." In fact, Obama did reference the "Holy Bible" during his speech.

Kline and Gaffney also take Obama out of context, highlighting Obama's statement that "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear" but failing to note what Obama said immediately after that:

But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.  (Applause.)  Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.  The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known.  We were born out of revolution against an empire.  We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words -- within our borders, and around the world.  We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept:  E pluribus unum -- "Out of many, one."

Further, Kline fails to mention a separate attack by Gaffney on Obama that calls his so-called expertise into question and highlights the partisan nature of his critique. In a June 9 Washington Times column -- reprinted by Newsmax -- Gaffney wrote:

During his White House years, William Jefferson Clinton -- someone Judge Sonia Sotomayor might call a "white male" -- was dubbed "America's first black president" by a black admirer. Applying the standard of identity politics and pandering to a special interest that earned Mr. Clinton that distinction, Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.

This is not to say, necessarily, that Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim any more than Mr. Clinton actually is black. After his five months in office, and most especially after his just-concluded visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however, a stunning conclusion seems increasingly plausible: The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich.


In the final analysis, it may be beside the point whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim. In the Speech and elsewhere, he has aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah -- notably, the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood -- to a degree that makes Mr. Clinton's fabled affinity for blacks pale by comparison.

Kline's other so-called expert is Jim Kouri, whom he describes only as "vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police." Kline, who presents Kouri as someone with expertise on the Quran, offers no evidence that Kouri is among "the people who really know something about the issues involved." Indeed, as we've detailed, Kouri is an Obama-hater who has made numerous unsupported attacks against the president; Kouri has also mounted a bizarre defense of the Branch Davidians.

Kline's selective quoting of Kouri conveniently hides the screed-like nature of the rant from which Kline is quoting. Unmentioned is Kouri's assertion that Obama "needs to be educated about Islamofascism, terrorism, and religous radicalism," his reference to "the sycophants who call themselves reporters," and his utterly unsupported claim that "I've heard some liberal-left newsman on a radio show say that Israel was engaged in 'state terrorism' against the Lebanese people."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:07 PM EDT

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