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), […]

Oct
10
2008

David Cay Johnston on meltdown/bailout, Isabel MacDonald & Steve Rendall on 'Smearcasting,' FAIR's Islamophobia report

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The bailout story turns again as Congress passes the White House's bailout bill. Will reporters give up questioning the plan entirely now that it has that holy grail of "bipartisan support"? We'll hear from one journalist who's been calling for skepticism from the beginning--author and reporter David Cay Johnston, recently retired from the New York Times. Also on the show: "Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation," is the name of a just-released report by FAIR that looks at how America's leading Islamophobes--who the report dubs "The Dirty Dozen"--are able to spread their […]

Oct
08
2008

Report: Right-wing Pundits Use Mainstream Media to Smear Muslims

Report profiles 12 top Islamophobes in U.S. media, examines the rise of "smearcasting" phenomenon - how Islamophobes use the mainstream media to spread fear, bigotry and misinformation New York - Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the national media watchdog group, released a first-of-its-kind report today profiling 12 of the leading Islamophobic pundits and media figures and examining the ways they’ve negatively influenced media coverage in the U.S. The report, “Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation,” describes a loose network of right-wing, anti-Muslim partisans who regularly use innuendo, questionable sources of information and even lies to smear, and […]

Oct
01
2008

The Dirty Dozen

Who's who among America's leading Islamophobes

This article is part of FAIR's study "Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Bigotry, Fear and Misinformation." Bigots aren’t born, and hate doesn’t spring up on its own; as the song says, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” The following list includes some of the media’s leading teachers of anti-Muslim bigotry, serving various roles in the Islamophobic movement. Some write the books that serve as intellectual fodder, others serve as promoters, others play the roles of provocateurs and rabble-rousers. Some ply their bigotry in the media’s mainstream, others in the Internet’s tributaries, while still others work talk radio’s backwaters. Together with uncounted […]

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

Daniel Pipes' Witch Hunt at a Public School

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. In September 2007, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, named for the noted Lebanese Christian poet, became the country's first public school focused on Arabic language and culture. According to the New York Department of Education (Brooklyn Eagle, 7/30/07) the school was using "the same curriculum packages as other New York City public schools," and the chancellor of schools emphasized (Christian Science Monitor, 6/1/07) that its curriculum would be subject to […]

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 […]

Jul
01
2008

Pope Gets Pass on Church Abuse History

Media overlook Benedict’s record of downplaying the issue

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/MATEUS_27: 24&25

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the U.S. in April, Fox News anchor and managing editor Brit Hume spoke of the Catholic leader in language that was more worshipful than journalistic (Fox News Sunday, 4/20/08): And he turns out to have about him sort of a beatific sweetness that I think is enormously important for a religious leader, that you’re drawn to him. You feel a need to be around him. . . . There was a tremendous sense of his kindness and of the message always, which permeates the Christian faith, of forgiveness. Hume’s adoration was extreme, but not a […]