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WaPo Covers Reuters Scandal, Quotes CAIR

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The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi has a story on the Reuters Photoshop Scandal, and he went to radical Islamic front group the Council on American Islamic Relations for a quote about Little Green Footballs: Blogger Takes Aim At News Media and Makes a Direct Hit.

In Johnson’s view, the news media haven’t adequately sounded the alarm about threats to Western societies posed by radical Islamic groups — something he says he seeks to redress through his politically conservative blog.

“My main take is that political correctness has kept a lot of the hard truth from being spread by the mainstream media,” says Johnson, 53, a professional musician in Los Angeles who spends most of his time maintaining his blog.

“The vast, vast majority of Muslims want to get along and live a comfortable life just like everyone else,” he says. “But the mainstream media shies away from showing the public the real face of Islamic extremism. They don’t want to offend. And they are influenced by some strong advocacy groups that are funded by Middle Eastern countries, which are actively engaging with the mainstream media to promote a point of view.” …

Not everyone, though, is a fan. Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights organization often vilified on Johnson’s blog [Yep, that’s what I do best: “vilify” civil rights organizations. Sheesh. —ed.], calls Little Green Footballs “a vicious, anti-Muslim hate site … that has unfortunately become popular.”

The irony, Hooper says, is that if the same kind of “hatred” that appears on LGF appeared on Muslim sites, it soon would be used by LGF’s fans to justify their worldview.

Like many politically themed blogs, Little Green Footballs doesn’t always traffic in subtlety and nuance. Dissenting points of view often are dismissed as “idiotarian” or “LLL” (for “loony liberal left”), and Islam is mockingly referred to as “RoP,” meaning “religion of peace.”

Hooper says the Reuters incident is unfortunate in itself, BUT says such sites as Little Green Footballs use such lapses “as a club against the entire mainstream media. Their line is basically that if one freelance photographer alters a photo, then everything Israel does must be justified. Or if one of the sentences that Dan Rather once uttered wasn’t correct, then the media is corrupt and Dan Rather’s whole career is rotten to the core.”

The FBI, according to Hooper, recently investigated several threats of physical harm against Muslims posted by Little Green Footballs readers.

Johnson acknowledges the investigation but says Hooper’s organization initiated the complaints to try to stifle free speech on his blog. And Johnson names the Council on American-Islamic Relations as one of the groups he’s referring to when he talks about the undue influence of Arab-funded organizations on American society and the media.

“I’m not pretending I’m giving equal time to both sides,” Johnson says. “But I do think what I’m advocating, and what I believe in, is the right side.”

The claim that the FBI investigated “several threats of physical harm against Muslims” posted on LGF is false, and Mr. Hooper knows it.

The facts: one reader posted one comment that could be interpreted as a threat against Mr. Hooper in particular (not against “Muslims”), and this comment was deleted soon after it was posted. The FBI contacted me months after the comment had been deleted, at the urging of CAIR. The FBI also contacted me (again on CAIR’s urging) about harassing emails sent with our “email this article” feature — and again these emails were sent directly to Mr. Hooper in particular, not to “Muslims.” Both of these incidents were handled promptly and with integrity on our side.

In any case, Paul Farhi inadvertently proved my point that the mainstream media shies away from the truth about radical Islam. He identifies CAIR as only a “civil rights group,” but apparently didn’t think it was important or relevant to include the information that at least five of CAIR’s employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities. See: CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment for the context the mainstream media always seems to omit.

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