Jan 1 2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right’s Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]

Sep 2 2011

Lorne Stockman on Keystone pipeline, Faiz Shakir on ‘Fear Inc.’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Why have more than 700 people been arrested at the White House in recent days? Don’t ask nightly news– they’ve so far yet to find anything newsworthy in the largest environmental action in years: a massive protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. We’ll get the story TV’s missing from Lorne Stockman, Research Director at the group Oil Change International. Also on CounterSpin today, the Center for American Progress has published a new report on Islamophobia that looks at a prominent network of organizations and individuals who promote hatred of Islam and Muslims in […]

Oct 1 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 […]

Aug 13 2010

Rick Steiner on oil spill, Stephan Salisbury on ‘Ground Zero Mosque’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Sighs of relief as BP’s Macondo well appears to be sealed, and some stories are already headlined “After the Spill.” Our guest says it’s no time to celebrate, and “after” isn’t the right word. We’ll hear from marine conservationist Rick Steiner. Also on the show: The right-wing storyline about a radical al Qaeda-supporting imam’s proposal to build a mosque on the 9/11 ruins in Manhattan is false in virtually every aspect. The media haven’t been totally remiss in fact-checking some of the falsehoods, but how does this story fit in with the larger context […]

Apr 1 2010

The Right’s Library of Fake Quotes

Putting words in dead people’s mouths


Abraham Lincoln despised class warfare, Thomas Jefferson detested bailouts and the founders of the nation were all Bible-believing Christians. These are among the historical “facts” you’ll learn as a regular consumer of talk radio, Fox News and other conservative sources. While non-conservatives have been known to misquote historical figures to add credibility to their own views, the right seems to have a special enthusiasm for putting words in dead people’s mouths. Take what has become known as the “The Ten Cannots,” a list repeatedly misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. It begins: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot […]

Jul 31 2009

Sonali Kolhatkar on Afghan women and the war, Dedrick Muhammad on Obama’s NAACP speech and ‘tough love’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Some prominent feminist and liberal voices have recently lent their endorsement to the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan, based on the idea that the war is an effort to improve the lives of Afghan women and girls. That was a major argument at the war’s onset, but how does it stand up 8 years later? We’ll talk with Sonali Kolhatkar, co-director of the group Afghan Women’s Mission and host/producer of Uprising Radio. Also on the show: Have you noticed how President Barack Obama always seems to be delivering a “tough love” message to certain […]

Jul 17 2009

Gerald LeMelle on Obama in Africa, Katha Pollitt on Caitlin Flanagan in Time


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama’s recent trip to Africa gave the press corps a chance to opine predictably on Obama’s “unique role” as a “son of Africa” who was specially suited to “tell African leaders hard truths”. It should’ve also been a chance for a serious look at the substance of U.S. Africa policy. How’d they do on that score? We’ll hear from Gerald LeMelle of Africa Action. Also on the show: In her Time magazine cover story, “Why Marriage Matters,” Caitlin Flanagan argues for “intact” marriage because there is “no other single force causing as much […]

Nov 1 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), […]