The Quran-Burning PR Pastor: Blame the Media

If you own a television or read a newspaper,you may have heard by now that a pastor in Florida plans to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday. The only reason you know anything about this is because the national media have decided, for reasons that are entirely unclear, to give this guy a platform. As Michael Calderone noted at Yahoo!, this pastor appeared on the front page ofover 50 different newspapers…on Wednesday.As Calderone pointed out, he doesn’t even have that many members of his church.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas put the blame where it mostly belongs–on the media:

I ask you: If a sad little man burns some Qurans in the woods, and the media aren’t there to film it, is it news?

Now, predictably enough, we are in the next cycle of coverage, with TV shows booking their “Should We Even Be Covering This Story?” segments. I know this because we’ve been calledto appear on such programs. The funny thing is when you tell a producer that your comment on this story is thatit isn’t worth talking about, the response is inevitably something along the lines of, “Well come on and say that!”

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.