Watching the whole Ground zero racist uprising is just an extension of the tea party mentality. The nativist outlook has been with America for a long time, but FOX News expanded their makeup ten fold.
The Times report, however, descends into a kind of "liberal" media known-nothingism when it comes to how this became a controversy, suggesting that " a combination of arguable naïveté, public-relations missteps and a national political climate in which perhaps no preparation could have headed off controversy." This is a remarkable formula that manages to place the blame everywhere except where it belongs -- on a right-wing smear machine that went into overdrive in an effort to portray Rauf and Khan as terrorist sympathizers, an experience no one outside of contemporary partisan politics could have possibly been prepared for. The conservative media lied about the location of the project, they lied about Rauf's background, they lied about the project's funding, they lied about when the project would be built, and they lied about Rauf's political beliefs. And it would have been one thing if it had just been a small group of people lying, but they had an entire cable news station to lie for them, and politicians who were willing to amplify their smears. This controversy isn't about the "political climate." It's the fruit of a conscious, deliberate, and sustained effort.
is it too much to expect that a NY Times writer would actually investigate all the lies being told by the far right?
I don't know why, but I'm still shocked at how outwardly they show their racist beliefs though, but hey---with a media that is vastly underfunded and afraid to make waves and catering to this xenophobic hate group, it's going to happen more and more.
I'm sure that the intensity of emotion shared by some of the projects' opponents are sincere. But where they hold Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of a few extremists, they are mistaken, and where their feelings are the result of falsehoods spread by the conservative media, they are misguided, and where they believe the First Amendment does not extend to American Muslims, they are simply wrong.
The reason this became a national controversy is because Republicans see a political advantage in harnessing anti-Muslim sentiment, particularly if that forces Democrats to defend an unpopular minority group. Rauf and Khan are merely collateral damage in a larger political battle in which the rights of Muslims are forfeit as long as Republicans see some political interest in curtailing them or forcing their opponents to defend them. But just as no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, no Republican ever went broke underestimating the political cowardice of the Democratic Party.
So what we're left with is a largely uncontested notion that any observant Muslim is a potential national-security threat, a view that was once confined to the conspiratorial right-wing fringe but is now, thanks to Republican demagoguery, Democratic cowardice, and mainstream media know-nothingism, an entirely respectable, mainstream view. This isn't just a setback for religious tolerance and individual freedom; it's a setback for the fight against terrorism, which demands that the United States marginalize violent extremists, not embrace their narrative and worldview.
Until Republicans gain control of the White House once again, they will act our like racist pigs over and over again and will be helped along by the right wing smear machine and FOX News. Violence is on the way, people.
We've outlined a lot of this in our book "Over The Cliff," so grab a copy if you haven't so far.
Normally I would think we could ride out this latest wave of nativism and racism, but there are two factors that make it more dangerous than usual. The first, of course, is the economy which looks like it's not going to recover smartly thus giving this impulse more oxygen than it might otherwise have. The second is that the right wing demagogues have an entire industry now devoted to creating and nurturing these wedge issues for political and financial gain. The culture warriors have just shifted their strategy away from "family values" to their other stand-by, "stop the boogeyman." It's all part of the same throwback tapestry, but different times require difference emphasis. We're officially in the "the foreigners and blacks are ruining everything" portion of the show.
The foreigners and Blacks are ruining everything portion of the show started the day Obama took office. It's been a long and drawn out ugly play. Hatred of the non-whites will only rise in the polls. Yes, America is digressing at a fast rate. Hey, it's making money for the Glenn Beck's and bagging huge ratings for FOX.