In other words, an American first lady went to a Muslim country and followed completely normal protocol by going unveiled. There was very little reaction within that country, and no reaction among her hosts. The American media completely freaked out, got a number of basic facts wildly wrong, and did so all in a way that insulted that country and its citizens by perpetuating racist stereotypes. Meanwhile, the first lady’s decision was probably a simple effort to follow protocol, and if anything else influenced her it was likely fear of American extremists who hate Muslims and see any sign of disrespect to Muslim cultural norms as laudable.
The Saudi government is indeed a despotic dictatorship and horrific human rights abuser — it has beheaded three people in the week since the king died — particularly when it comes to women. It is unfortunate and ironic that, in an attempt to highlight this problem, much of the American media has instead only perpetuated the different but very real American problem of Islamophobic and anti-Arab stereotyping.
Shame on the Washington Post for not disclosing or printing disclaimers on his articles, the general public and most of the Post’s readership doesn’t know the “BGR Group” from Adam.
The Washington Post has allowed opinion writer Ed Rogers to advocate for the positions and interests of his lobbying firm’s clients in numerous anti-environmental pieces. The Post and Rogers have not disclosed his major conflicts of interest even though his firm received over $1.6 million in fees in 2014 alone from energy and transportation clients like Chevron, Caterpillar, and the National Mining Association.
Rogers is a Republican strategist who chairs and co-founded the BGR Group with former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) in 1991. As the Post itself has reported, the firm is one of the top Washington D.C. lobbying firms, having banked more than $15 million in 2014. The newspaper’s reporters have described Rogers as a “Republican mega-lobbyist,” “lobbyist extraordinaire,” and “a go-to guy for Republicans.”
One of BGR’s practice areas is energy and transportation, where it professes to having “the industry expertise, Capitol Hill experience and knowledge of government to successfully advocate our clients’ public policy goals.” Rogers is listed as a group leader for the issue area.
On his Post “Insiders” blog, Rogers frequently advocates for positions favored by his energy and transportation clients. While the Post notes that Rogers is “a political consultant” and “chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group,” the publication fails to disclose Rogers’ firm’s clients and conflicts of interest in his anti-environmental posts. For instance:
ISIS learned their brutality from Saudi tyrants.
In a recent video from Saudi Arabia, three uniformed security officers and a professional swordsman in a white gown struggled to placate a woman cloaked in black and sitting in the street. A Saudi court had convicted her of murder, but she was proclaiming her innocence.
Then the officers stepped back, the swordsman took aim and the woman shrieked and fell silent as he struck her neck with his blade, three times in total. Medics wearing white gloves tended to the body, and the swordsman wiped his blade with a cloth.
The video was distributed by human rights activists and posted online after the execution in the city of Mecca on Jan. 12, shedding light on the way Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty.
On Sunday, Saudi news outlets reported that the authorities had arrested the man who had shot the video and planned to prosecute him. Although the reports did not specify what charges he faced, an Interior Ministry spokesman said such matters fell under the country’s law against cybercrimes.
When I first saw this I thought it was the Onion!
But apparently, yesterday at four separate times Fox anchors uttered retractions of the no-go zones narrative they’ve been pushing all week. Of course, the haters will just say Fox is too liberal and I’m sure Hannity isn’t just going to scrap all of the programming he’s been planning for next week.
Fox News apologizes 4 times for inaccurate comments about Muslims in Europe
By Brian Stelter, CNN
In the morning, it was light:
Earlier on Saturday, on the morning show “Fox & Friends,” co-host Anna Kooiman referred to the previous week’s program, when “we showed a map of neighborhoods in France labeled as no-go zones.”
“Some of the neighborhoods were highlighted incorrectly,” she said. “We apologize for the error.”
But by late afternoon Fox anchors (including Julie Banderas) had shut down reporting a disreputable poll that claimed nearly 70% of French Muslims supported ISIS and at 7pm were apologizing “to the people of France and England.”
Julie Banderas at 7pm slot:
“Over the course of this last week we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe — particularly with regard to England and France,” Banderas said.
“This applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in, and police supposedly won’t go.”
“To be clear,” she continued, “there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.”
“There are certainly areas of high crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries — where police and visitors enter with caution,” she said. “We deeply regret the errors, and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense, including the people of France and England.”
Jeanne Pirro after 9pm:
“Last week on this program, a guest made a serious factual error that we wrongly let stand unchallenged and uncorrected,” Pirro said.
She went on to say that “the most recent census data, which is from 2011, indicates 22% of the population of Birmingham identifies themselves as Muslim. Also, we could find no credible source that indicates Birmingham is a so-called no-go zone.”
Jimmah’s earlier page on Bobby Jindal going in for Fox News’ lie about ‘no go zones’ in Paris moved me to page an article I’d earlier link to here on LGF, because I think that like the current issue of Charlie Hebdo it needs as wide a circulation as possible. It is wonderful in its smacking down FNC. Here’s some choice excerpts:
Apart from the usual delinquency found in any poor part of any urban center on the planet, the tableau portrayed by Fox News and “Warzone expert” Nolan Peterson, and the deceiving name the network has coined for the occasion (“No-Go Zones”) seems like a complete fabrication of what’s really going on there.
Those red circled parts of the city contain the districts of Porte Saint-Denis, Porte Saint-Martin, Belleville, Ménilmontant and La Goutte d’Or, among others. Many of those are supposed to be (and I’m quoting) “governed by Islamic Sharia law”, and “off-limits to non-Muslims”.
I lived and worked in all of those districts. All of them.
Take Porte Saint-Denis and the Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Denis that leads to it. This street and its surroundings are home to much of Paris’s new culinary scene. There you’ll find Richer, L’Office and 52 Faubourg, the three restaurants run by Charles Compagnon’s team, Vivant and Vivant Cave formerly of Pierre Jancou fame. You can find all these eateries’ adresses in any up do date guide to Paris. Lonely Planet doesn’t usually send its reader to lawless islamist-ridden parts of the world, but hey, maybe Fox News knows better. A block away, on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, sits the headquarters of BETC, one of the world’s leading ad agencies. In the vicinity, you can also find Turkish soup parlors, Kebab spots, Indian restaurants and eco-friendly coffee shops not unlike the ones you’d find on every street of Williamsburg or Brooklyn: it’s one of the most cosmopolitan parts of Paris. On any day or evening of the week, thousands of Parisians walk these streets, dine at these restaurants, drink at the incredible array of bars and shop at the dozens of stores in the area, including Julhes, one of the city’s most ancient wine sellers. Doesn’t sound much like downtown Mosul, does it?
And the king hit:
The Syndicat National du Journalisme, the highest authority for self-regulation of the news industry in France, states, as the third rule of its Ethics Charter, that a journalist should always “Hold a critical mind, truthfulness, exactitude, integrity, equity, and fairness as the pillars of journalistic work.” Fox News and Nolan Peterson, with these segments, betrayed every single one of those words.
Read the whole piece, because its a very good look at what Paris is really like and its got what look like some good places to eat if you are going there in the near future.
Most of us here, probably realize that Fox News is a major outlet for spreading bigotry against Muslims, however, as Max Fisher, points out, they’re only part of the problem.
On September 17, 2001, President George W. Bush gave his “Islam is peace” speech from the Islamic Center of Washington DC, tucked into a leafy stretch of embassy row. He urged the country to embrace “fellow Americans” who are Muslim as well as Islam itself “with respect,” explaining to a country full of “anger and emotion” that the jihadists who’d struck a few days earlier were insane outliers and not representative of the religion.
Since then, there has been a tension in how Islam is discussed in American media, and especially in its most populist and popular form, television. Americans typically follow Bush’s advice, but sometimes they struggle, particularly when violent extremist groups are in the news. In recent days, that strain of Islamophobia in the US has risen along with media attention to the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, reaching crisis levels — particularly on American TV news. While this is often discussed as a problem of Fox News, in fact both left-leaning outlets and CNN participate as well,
normalizing and mainstreaming subtler forms of Islamophobia that may well be even more damaging.
Because 38 percent of Americans say they personally know someone who is Muslim, most of us rely on the media to shape our opinions of Muslims and of Islam. And the media is badly failing in its responsibilities to portray Muslims carefully and accurately. It has forgotten Bush’s entreaty, leaving Americans more ignorant about and more hostile toward the 2.6 million Muslim-Americans living in the United States, to the vast and diverse world of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and to the Muslim populations of the Middle East and South Asia with whom our foreign policy, and often our military, is so heavily engaged.
The protests in the wake of Brown’s death and Wilson’s non-indictment have done more than merely exist. They’ve mattered. They’ve changed the national conversation about racially biased policing. The way the events in Ferguson have captivated the news media and inspired sustained, enthusiastic coverage of issues affecting African-Americans is so rare as to be nearly unprecedented in American history.
“The story of black America is partly a story of erasure, but in Ferguson, social media made that impossible,” McKesson said.
It seems almost too good to be true. And it is. The current symbiotic relationship between the activists who tweet their despair over police bias and the journalists who amplify their stories is, at best, a happy and temporary coincidence, not a long-term strategy for social justice organizing.
“The goal isn’t how can we get the best media, it’s how can we stop getting killed,” he said. “We’re not trying to get fame, we’re trying to get to free.”
Even though it’s very nearly a senior citizen in online news terms, you have to admire Gawker’s willingness to regularly rethink fundamental aspects of its structure. Significant redesigns and rethinkings come once a year or so, and they’re a good window into how some smart people are thinking about the state of online publishing at any given moment.
Today’s moves, announced by editor Max Read:
Starting today, gawker.com is going to slow down. Don’t worry—as an editorial operation, we’ll still be producing as much writing as we did before (probably even more). We’re just going to put less of it on the front page.
Instead of publishing the majority of our stories directly to the front page, we’ll be publishing them on to a set of subject-focused sub-blogs (a.k.a. “verticals,” or, cutely, “diagonals”—I personally prefer to just borrow newspaper terminology wholesale and call them “sections”). Some of them—Valleywag, Defamer, Morning After—already exist. Others—focused on media, news, and politics—we’ve created.
You will want to click out to that link - there’s a pretty important metamorphosis towards video going on at Facebook and Nieman takes note…
To understand my response, it might help to know that a couple years ago I drew a cartoon about gun control that upset a lot of people. After it was published in the Kansas City Star I was sitting at home when I got a call from the newspaper’s publisher; I needed to leave my house.
The cartoon had started an internet firestorm and the paper was receiving thousands of emails, many of them threatening. Enraged readers had also posted my address and pictures of my house.
All things considered, the newspaper felt it would be wise for me and my family to move to a hotel for a while. It wasn’t the first time I’d been threatened and most of the time, I’ve felt confident that no one was going to follow through on their threats, but — as we’ve seen in Paris — you never know.