Opinion Pages Wake Up to ‘Ugly Innuendo’ on Islam

Declaring (10/22/08) that “it’s hard not to read all the editorial plaudits for [Colin] Powell as something of an indictment of the opinion writers complimenting his courage,” Lester Feder also chides his own CJR.org for relative silence until,

in his Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, Powell cited the persistent right-wing “Barack Obama is a secret Muslim” rumors as one of the reasons that he is withholding support for Senator John McCain. “Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” Powell asked indignantly, “The answerâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s no, thatâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s not America.”

Maureen Dowd amplified Powell’s comments in her New York Times column today. “It was a tonic to hear someone push back so clearly on ugly innuendo,” she writes. But her praise raises the question–couldnâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t someone with a New York Times op-ed column have provided that tonic without Colin Powell’s prodding?

Feder’s disdain is apparent when noting that, “while ‘secret Muslim’ rumors have been circulating for two years, it’s only after Colin Powell goes on television that the opinion pages wake up.”

See FAIR’s new report Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation