Friday, June 5, 2015

CNN Gives Softball Interview, MRC Objects To Harsh Coverage

MRC Watch Dept. - Last month, Pam Geller and her fascist American Freedom Defense Initiative hosted a contest aimed at producing cartoons of Islam's prophet Muhammad. Muslims regard any visual depiction of their prophet as a blasphemy and two would-be jihadists turned up with guns intent on shooting up the event. Fortunately, they were stopped by police before they could cause much trouble but in the aftermath, the writers of the Media Research Center authored a series of articles that took the position that the event was "pro-free-speech" rather than anti-Muslim -- the fascist org's own characterization -- and, in effect, that anything less than unquestioning love of the AFDI and its event by the press amounted to pro-jihadism and anti-1st-Amendment-ism. For the MRC, it seems, "free speech" means only the right to agree with the AFDI.

Thursday, Connor Williams jumped into it again, approvingly spotlighting the mad ravings of Geller's sidekick Robert Spencer on CNN's At This Hour. Off in his usual haze, Spencer had his panties in a twist about the press. "[T]he mainstream press, including CNN, is going along" with Muslims who "are trying to frighten Americans into silence and submission," Spencer insisted. Though a white male Christian attacking adherents of a religion who make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, Spencer did his best to make himself sound quite heroic:
"We're never going to surrender and we’re never going to submit. The media is submitting by not showing the cartoons and kowtowing to these violent threats and intimidation. That's just the wrong thing to do because it's only going to encourage more violent threats and intimidation."
If Williams happened to notice this was the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan complaining that the press is only submitting to Jewish domination by refusing to show their org's anti-Semitic cartoons, he didn't bother to say. Still, the matter has been allowed to drift well into Bizarro territory when Spencer, who, to no conceivable positive end, sponsors events aimed solely at insulting and angering a group of people who have done him no harm, says those who, in his view, decline to sufficiently spread his poison are more responsible for the reaction his activities draw than the activities themselves. And there's the Orwellian nature of Spencer's complaining that the press hasn't sufficiently helped spread his poison in the midst of an interview in which he's not only being allowed to spread his poison but is being aided in doing so. The question that prompted Spencer's initial outburst against the press, for example, was this puffball thrown by co-host Kate Bolduon:
"So, Pamela [Geller] has said some things that have stuck out recently I wanted to ask you about. She has said that ISIS is here, ISIS is in America and this is war. With that in mind, especially in light of this threat, and the threat you guys have been under, from your perspective, how do you wage that war? How do you fight that enemy? What's your prescription, if you will?"
Can one imagine a Klansman being asked such a question by a CNN host regarding the threat of Jewish domination of the U.S. government? That was nothing more than an open invitation for Spencer to rave (which Spencer, facing no challenge, then took), and it isn't the last time in the interview the CNN hosts do this.

Williams doesn't touch any of that. He focuses, instead, in following Spencer's lead in slamming co-host John Berman, who, in the face of Spencer's attack's on the press, helpfully tried to get Spencer back on point:
"Well look, leave the media aside for a second. The media didn’t target Pamela Geller, the media didn't attack that conference you had in Garland, Texas."
Despite this being a clear allusion to the two would-be jihadis who did target Geller and the Garland event, Spencer opted to misrepresent "target" and "attack" as press criticism of Geller:
"The media targets Pamela Geller all the time, are you kidding?! She gets hit pieces all the time from CNN and everywhere else."
Williams endorsed this misrepresentation, characterizing Berman's effort to refocus Spencer as his having "jumped in to defend the media's coverage of the Geller story" and, further, accusing Berman of having made an "inaccurate statement" in doing so, despite Berman having failed to offer so much as a word in defense of or even about "the media's coverage of the Geller story." After Spencer's rant about the press attacking Geller, Berman, in another effort to try to get Spencer back on topic, pointed out the obvious with regard to press coverage and extended another open invitation to Spencer's raving:
BERMAN: The media had Pamela Geller on this morning to talk about this. We are having you on to discuss this. Let's continue to discuss it rather than pointing fingers. Pamela Geller, one of the thing she did say is you have a couple more initiatives in the works.
SPENCER: That's right.
BERMAN: I wondering if you will tell us here what you are planning going forward.
At the end of his piece, Williams goes off even further into La La Land:
"Spencer was correct in saying that the media have gone after Pam Geller for her statements on Islam. It's unfortunate that CNN seems more committed to attacking Geller and Spencer than addressing the real issue, Islamic extremism."
Even setting aside the standard -- and tired -- implication that the press is in the wrong if it doesn't love Geller, this, offered as the conclusion of an article about a CNN interview in which Spencer was treated entirely seriously and not only given nearly unchallenged license to rant and rave but was repeatedly invited to do so, is pure Orwellian spectacle.

Williams includes a transcript of what he calls "the relevant portion" of the interview. It is, in fact, nearly the entire interview -- he omits only the closing moments. Not, one suspects, unintentionally. In the complete interview, Spencer is, at the end, asked by Bolduon, "Have you guys reached out to the Muslim community in Boston to work on how to engage, how to gain a better understanding, how to work together to fight extremist views?" Yet another puffball question and it elicited an ugly rant by Spencer indicting the entire Muslim community of Boston in terrorist activities. One of the standard tactics of the AFDI fascists is to tell the general public they're only opposed to "Islamic extremists," then turn around and assert that this includes all Muslims. Bolduon had been foolish enough to get caught up in the former claim but Spencer's last rant finally proved to be too much for Bolduon and Berman, who, in the closing seconds of the interview, challenged Spencer -- the only real challenge to anything he said in the entire course of the segment. Including that ugly rant would have shed light on why some in the media "have gone after" Geller and Spencer and on what Spencer meant by what Williams asserted was "the real issue."


[This article was written for MRC Watch, a blog that disapproves of the Media Research Center's propaganda on behalf of fascists.]

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