You Heard it Here First

Further evidence emerged today that the storied Wall Street Journal has well and fully become Fox News, only boring, a process that took even less time than I’d initially thought.  James Taranto typed the following today:

“It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia,” Daisy Khan, wife of Ground Zero mosque planner Feisal Abdul Rauf, told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour Sunday. “It’s hate of Muslims.” As we noted yesterday, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking to a Muslim gathering at Gracie Mansion, called critics of the mosque plan “un-American” and implied that they seek “to implicate all of Islam” for the 9/11 attacks.

So far, so good; quoting accurate assessments from Park51 supporters seems almost un-Murdochlike, but later you’ll find out why he led with this.

Yesterday, an ugly crime occurred in New York that seemed to confirm this narrative. Michael Enright, a 21-year-old film student, allegedly stabbed taxi driver Ahmed Sharif, 43, in the throat. The Wall Street Journal has the details:

According to an account provided by Mr. Sharif through the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Mr. Enright started out asking Mr. Sharif friendly questions like how long he has been in the country, if he was Muslim and if he was observing fast during Ramadan. Mr. Enright became silent for a few minutes and “then suddenly started cursing and screaming” before the stabbing, the statement says.

Police said that Mr. Enright stabbed the driver through an opening on the side of the taxi’s protective partition. Mr. Sharif was able to scramble out of the cab, lock its doors and then call 911. An officer on patrol nearby arrived to find Mr. Enright sprawled out on the street, having fallen after climbing out one of the cab’s back windows.

Sharif is out of the hospital, but it was a close call: “Prosecutor James Zaleta said that an emergency medical technician who treated Mr. Sharif said had the wound ‘been a fraction of an inch longer or deeper, he would have been dead at the scene.’ ” Enright is charged with attempted murder, with the stipulation that the attack was a hate crime.

Seems pretty straightforward, but then the Foxified Taranto, in one of the usual “wars” the Murdoch media always tiresomely fight with their journalistic superiors, has to go all Bill O’Reilly on the New York Times:

The New York Times’s account of the crime presents it as fitting the narrative of anti-Muslim hatred. It opens with a crisply dramatic account of the incident, followed by some basic facts (Enright’s attempt to flee, his arrest, Sharif’s medical disposition, the charges, a quote from Enright’s lawyer informing us that the suspect is “terrified,” the poor baby).

It’s clear by now that there’s a conspiracy brewing;  to any self-respecting right-wing hack, “poor baby” and “liberal” are synonymous.

That takes us through 15 paragraphs. Paragraphs 16 through 18 put the crime in a broader context:

The violence that erupted during the cab ride came amid a heated and persisting national debate over whether to situate a Muslim community center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero. Upon learning of the attack on the cabdriver, some Muslim groups called for political and religious leaders to quiet tensions.

Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement: “As other American minorities have experienced, hate speech often leads to hate crimes. Sadly, we’ve seen how the deliberate public vilification of Islam can lead some individuals to violence against innocent people.”

In a statement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “This attack runs counter to everything that New Yorkers believe, no matter what God we may pray to.” He said he had spoken to Mr. Sharif and told him “ethnic or religious bias has no place in our city.” He invited him to come to see him at City Hall on Thursday.

Get out Glenn Beck’s chalkboard….

By contrast, here’s the third paragraph of the Journal story: “The attack comes amid tensions over a planned mosque near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan, but police didn’t link it to the simmering debate.”

Yeah, just like you don’t link crabs to hookers, necessarily.

Back to the Times: Paragraphs 19 and 20 report that cops believe Enright was drunk, though that wasn’t Sharif’s impression. Paragraph 21 gives us some background about Sharif, including that he opposed the Ground Zero mosque on the basis “that there was no need to put it there.”

Paragraphs 22 through 38–the last 17 paragraphs of the story–tell us of the suspect’s background: “What is known about Mr. Enright presents a complicated picture.” He lives in Brewster, a suburb north of New York City. He goes to the School of Visual Arts. He has some previous arrests for minor crimes. He spent time embedded with Marines in Afghanistan for a film-school project called “Home of the Brave.”

Yes, James, the Times did do a great deal more reporting than the depleted fishwrap you work for, but does that constitute a media conspiracy?

Then–in paragraphs 28 and 29–comes this:

Ooh, you just know this is going to be something good!

Mr. Enright is also a volunteer with Intersections International, an initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York that promotes justice and faith across religions and cultures. The organization, which covered part of Mr. Enright’s travel expenses to Afghanistan, has been a staunch supporter of the Islamic center near ground zero. Mr. Enright volunteered with the group’s veteran-civilian dialogue project.

Joseph Ward III, the director of communications for Intersections, said that if Mr. Enright had been involved in a hate crime, it ran “counter to everything Intersections stands for” and was shocking.

By now, if you’re a righty, of course you believe that the attacker was really a liberal Muslim-lover out to shame Real Americans, and he risked murder and hate crime charges because his Muslim-loving employers indoctrinated and probably paid him to, while the America-hating New York Times is naturally in cahoots on the whole plot.  Really.  Taranto thinks that, and says so:

It’s shocking, all right. It’s also news! The Times hasn’t exactly buried the lead here: The attack is a significant story in itself, and it’s an entirely defensible editorial decision to begin by simply telling what (allegedly) happened.

By definition, all crimes reported prior to trial are “alleged.”   I guess they don’t know that anymore at WSJ.  And they have to rely on the New York Time to actually report said news.  Sad, really.

But revealing the suspect’s association with the pro-mosque left so low in the story shows atrocious news judgment. Rehearsing the America-hates-Muslims narrative first strongly suggests that the Times’s reporting is driven more by an ideological agenda than by the facts of the case.

At least they reported it, not like your atrocious rag, so it seems unlikely that they have anything to hide, unless you’re a crazy person who thinks everyone else can’t finish a long news story either.  Which, evidently, you are:

That ideological agenda is shared by Intersections International, as evidenced by the organization’s Aug. 2 statement supporting the Ground Zero mosque:

The controversy surrounding this project stems from the fact that the proposed building location lies in close proximity to the former World Trade Center, the site of the horrific terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001. Intersections grieves along with those who suffered losses in that tragedy. Intersections acknowledges that any association between that event and this project is a fabrication. Further, Intersections applauds the work of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan, principals in The Cordoba House, for their long-term and steadfast commitment to interfaith relations. While acknowledging the real pain that 9/11 continues to evoke, Intersections deplores those who would use this project to promote fear and vitriol for personal gain or partisan politics.

One of the neat things about being a righty is that you get to pretend not to know really obvious things when it’s convenient to do so, and Taranto is no exception.  Without so much as uttering a Miss Piggy-like “Moi?” he behaves as though the venomous lies spewing forth every five minutes about the project’s imagined links to terrorism, from his own employers, simply don’t exist.  Behold:

The claim that “any association” between the 9/11 attacks and the mosque “is a fabrication” is preposterous. As the Associated Press has reported, “the center’s association with 9/11 is intentional and its location is no geographic coincidence.” And when Intersections International “deplores those who would use this project to promote fear and vitriol for personal gain or partisan politics,” it adds its voice to those who falsely claim that anti-Muslim bigotry is pervasive and is the prime or only reason for Americans’ opposition to the mosque’s siting.

Of course the site was no accident; it was meant to promote interfaith healing and a memorial to those lost, hundreds of whom were Muslim New Yorkers, you racist pile of shit.  Further, mosques coast to coast are now being vandalized and opposed by the same people you’re luring from their Barcoloungers to kill ragheads hither and yon.  But go ahead and share with us your ridiculous fantasy world:

Yesterday’s crime almost certainly was the act of a lone disturbed individual. (They never tire of saying that, but lots of Americans are pretty tired of hearing it…)  But the nature of that disturbance cries out for scrutiny. A highly plausible theory of the case is that the attacker sought to advance the narrative that America is filled with anti-Muslim bigots whose hatred is behind the opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Had Enright succeeded in fleeing the scene, there is little doubt that the propagators of that narrative would have seized upon the crime even more aggressively than they have in making their case.

Ahmed Sharif’s attacker seems to have chosen him as a victim because of his religion–a factor that, if proved, makes the attack a hate crime under New York law. If our theory is correct, the motive for this alleged anti-Muslim hate crime was bigotry against Americans.

I’m glad this guy lives in New York, where it’s unlikely he drives a motor vehicle.

No one is responsible for the crime except for the criminal. Even so, shame on Mayor Bloomberg, Daisy Khan, the New York Times and everyone else who has promoted the destructive lie that it is hateful to take offense at the Ground Zero mosque and that America is a nation of haters.

Well, James, if you left we’d be less of one….  So do us all a favor and move to Dubai like the rest of them.  But it even gets better, when he puts on his ill-fitting Coulter wig and starts hurling the whole right-wing kitchen sink into the mix….  I wonder what time it was when he typed this:

Maybe We Should Call It a ‘Partial-Earth Construction’

We noticed an interesting locution in an early story on the Times website about the attack on Ahmed Sharif. It referred to the Ground Zero mosque as “Park51, the proposed Islamic center that some critics call the ‘ground zero mosque.’ “

You see what they’re trying to do here, and it’s not necessarily indicative of bias. “Ground Zero mosque” is the most recognizable appellation for the as-yet-nonexistent whatever-it’s-supposed-to-be, but it’s not the formal name, and the pro-mosque side of the debate would prefer to call it something less in-your-face. So the Times resorts to apophasis, calling it the Ground Zero mosque by telling readers it’s not calling it that.

It reminds us of partial-birth abortion, or what the Times calls “the medical procedure critics call partial-birth abortion.” Supporters of the Ground Zero mosque may be less than thrilled with that association.

Ah, refusing, as the AP and many other real journalistic outlets have done, to use manipulative and concocted right-wing names for everything is somehow nefarious….  The Sulzbergers must be quaking in their boots.

5 Comments

  1. daphne says:

    does this racist pile of shit always commit so much verbal diarrhea in his opinionizing? It certainly would be appropriate in a nauseating, vomiting kind of way. I could barely get through this offering (wouldn’t have if not for your instant rebuttals) so excuse me if I don’t go find out for myself.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Sorry about that. I hadn’t intended to print the whole long, miserable thing, but I found I couldn’t leave anything out. It was too, well, good in a bad way. The only upside is that that was the entire thing, so you don’t have to fry your eyeballs any more. Again, we at CHNN apologize for the horror, but I thought it was only fair to quote it in its entirety.

    • daphne says:

      sorry if my message was confusing (or if I misinterpreted your reply). I was trying to say I APPRECIATE your fine work eviscerating the racist pile of shit vomiting verbal diarrhea. Check out my other posts to vouch for my support and agreement.

      • cocktailhag says:

        And I must also h/t ol’ Nailhead, who reintroduced me to the new and improved Taranto….
        I did feel a bit guilty about posting a thousand words or more from such a nincompoop, so I’m glad you appreciated it. It made me a bit queasy, but I am dedicated not to letting such horseshit go by uncommented upon.

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