Nov
01
2008

'Secret Muslims,' Open Bigotry

Islamophobia in the 2008 presidential campaign

This article is the overview of FAIR's study, "Smearcasting, How Islamophobes Spread Bigotry, Fear and Misinformation." Visit the report's special micro-site at www.smearcasting.com or click here to download the full report. In the 1990 Polish elections a whispering campaign suggesting that Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a Roman Catholic, was a “secret Jew” attracted widespread attention in the U.S. press, as did a nearly identical rumor about the leading challenger in Poland’s 1995 election. In no uncertain terms, U.S. news reports called the rumors “ugly examples” (Washington Post, 12/31/90) of the “increasingly visible expressions of anti-Semitism” (New York Times, 1/21/91), […]

Nov
01
2008

SoundBites

A Test of Faith? “Next time you meet an atheist, tell him or her that you know a bold, fresh guy, a barbarian who was raised in a working-class home and retains the lessons he learned there. Then mention to that atheist that this guy is now watched and listened to, on a daily basis, by millions of people all over the world and, to boot, sells millions of books. Then, while the non-believer is digesting all that, ask him or her if they still don’t believe there’s a God!” — Talkshow host Bill O’Reilly, offering his career as proof […]

Oct
01
2008

Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign '08

The media-created narratives that derail election coverage

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Image Editor

I mean, there are a lot of narratives that the press bought into in this campaign. Don't forget the inevitability of the Rudy Giuliani campaign and Fred Thompson's great appeal.... I think the number of times we've been wrong in this campaign is far greater than the number of times we've been right.--Time's Karen Tumulty (CNN's Reliable Sources, 5/11/08) Corporate media coverage of election 2008 has fallen into the well-documented pattern (Extra!, 5-6/08) of reporting on the election as if it were a horse-race rather than a democratic process in which real issues were at stake. Not only do journalists […]