Oct
29
2010

Clarence Lusane on Juan Williams, Chris Rogers on Pakistan

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The firing of Juan Williams from NPR might seem like an inside media story; it's become more as Williams, who was let go after saying people in "Muslim garb" on planes make him nervous, has become something of a cause celebre for the right. We'll talk about what it all says about the present moment with Clarence Lusane, professor at American University and author of the forthcoming The Black History of the White House. Also on CounterSpin today: The U.S. war in Afghanistan is nearly a decade old. But U.S. military actions in neighboring […]

Oct
01
2010

The Media's Construction of the 'Ground Zero Mosque'

How Islamophobic blogs manufactured a controversy

How did a local story about a proposal to build an Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan turn into a national controversy about whether a “Ground Zero Mosque” would be a slap in the face to 9/11 victims? It started with a small group of anti-Muslim activists who suggested the proposal was a scheme by anti-American Muslims to “conquer” the hallowed site of the September 11 attacks (Big Government, 5/18/10). Some even suggested that the Imam behind the proposal was an Al-Qaeda supporter (Fox News, 5/13/10). The project was named “Cordoba House,” opponents argued, in honor of the Islamic conquest […]

Sep
24
2010

Reza Aslan on Turkey, Todd Tucker on free trade agreements

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Turkey voted on a package of constitutional reforms this month. The message you heard in much of the media coverage is that the victory for the ruling Islamic party, Justice and Development, is more evidence that Turkey is drifting in the wrong direction, shunning the West and playing to its Islamic majority. But does this analysis make sense? We'll talk to author and professor Reza Aslan. Also on the show: More so-called free trade agreements are on the White House agenda; Obama says they're the way to increase exports, which is the way to […]

Feb
19
2010

Sebastian Jones on Media-Lobbying Complex, Ibrahim Hooper on Islamville TV report

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Paid-for pundits. If you've ever wondered who the so-called experts pontificating on cable news channels really are, a new investigation published in the Nation magazine gives you some answers. Reporter Sebastian Jones will join us to talk about the secret corporate PR spinners and lobbyists who pose as pundits—without viewers knowing who they're actually working for. Also on CounterSpin today: Did a local Nashville TV newscast, featuring anti-Muslim propaganda and warnings about the terrorists among us, spark a vandalism attack on an area mosque? Many Nashvillians, including many in the city's Muslim community think […]

Nov
01
2008

Making Islamophobia Mainstream

How Muslim-bashers broadcast their bigotry

While Europe Slept

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. A remarkable thing happened at the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) nominations in February 2007: The normally highbrow and tolerant group nominated for best book in the field of criticism a work widely viewed as denigrating an entire religion. The nomination of Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within didn’t pass without controversy. Past nominee Eliot Weinberger denounced the book at the […]

Oct
01
2008

Islamofascism

A fringe term goes mainstream, with a little help from the media

This article is part 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. The term "Islamofascism" came into common use after the September 2001 attacks as a favorite way for neoconservatives to describe the ideology of extremist and violent groups such as Al-Qaeda that claim to act in the name of Islam. A search of the Nexis database shows just two mentions of the term before 2001, both in British media. The first (Independent, 9/8/90) came in a remark by writer Malise Ruthven […]

Oct
01
2008

Michelle Malkin Cooks Up Terrorist Donuts

This article is part 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. Even the world of celebrity fashion is not spared by the Islamophobic smear machine. In May 2008, right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin accused celebrity chef Rachael Ray of sporting a "regular adornment of Muslim terrorists" (Town Hall, 5/28/08) in a Dunkin' Donuts ad. In the ad, Ray wore a black-and-white scarf resembling a keffiyeh, a traditional item of Arab clothing. Malkin characterized Ray's scarf as a "jihadi chic keffiyeh" and a […]

Feb
01
2007

Flirting With Fascism

CNN’s Beck threatens Muslims with 'razor wire'

NPR’s David Folkenflik (1/25/07) cited CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck as the kind of conservative pundit who believes that “severe rhetoric only drives people apart.” The Washington Post profiled Beck (1/26/07)—who also has a top-rated talk radio show and was recently hired as a commentator for ABC’s Good Morning America—as someone who doesn’t “traffic . . . in absolute truths and certitudes.” The New York Times (12/4/06) called him “brash” and “opinionated” with an “unfiltered approach,” reporting that he “take[s] credit for saying what others are feeling but are afraid to say.” The Times and the Post both criticized […]