Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Islamic Center Latest In "Scare White People" Series

Rachel Maddow places the controversy over the proposed Islamic center near ground zero within the context of other examples of scaring white people, the most recent being the Shirley Sherrod affair. Maddow points out how Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and former Bush administration official Karen Hughes reversed former positive statements about, and associations with, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, leader of the center. She also cites Pamela Geller of the Stop Islamicization of America group, who refers to statistics from the Islamophobic, racist and sexist Society of Americans for National Existence group (no, I didn’t invent the names of these two groups). The video ends with insightful comments from former Bush administration official Suhail Khan, chairman of the Conservative Inclusion Coalition, on the extreme right wingers promoting religious intolerance in America. Watch:

Maddow points out that Fox News pushes real news organizations into carrying "scare white people" stories: What's worth noting about all of these different 'scare white people' stories is that they're not really actual news stories. No real news organizations started running with this story as actual news. The best 'scare white people' stories are invented out of whole cloth, from inside the conservative media world so they can be the just right kind of scary, in just the right kind of way, in order to drive the just right political consequences. So ultimately if the conservative media drives this to make it big enough then normal news organizations pick it up too, sometimes because they're guilted into it by conservatives. But no non-Fox News, non-conservative media outlet ever starts these things. (h/t Talking Points Memo)

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