Philip Bennett, the Washington Post’s managing editor, paid a visit to the University of California, Irvine for a little chat earlier this week. During his comments on the subject of religion and politics, Bennett claimed that the MSM should hire more Muslims because the media has too many misconceptions about Islam. Bennett told the UCI audience, "At the Post I want more Muslim readers and I want more Muslim journalists." One wonders how far this new understanding of Islam in the media will go for Bennett, though? Will his desire to be inclusive and to create a new politically correct understanding go as far as excusing Islamofascism as we try to better understand Islam?
The report in the Daily Pilot from Newport Beach, California also reported that the newsroom at the Washington Post was even debating whether or not they should even use the word "Islamist" because it might be too "contentious." This WaPost debate alone does not auger as well for any better understanding as it does for overlooking the evil perpetrated in the name of Islam in favor of making believe that our understanding of them will somehow stop the violence and hate against us.
Still, I agree with Bennett that there is quite a bit of ignorance about Islam in the media and there is also a lot of confusion and questions in the minds of the general American public. The question is, is journalism really the place where these questions and misconceptions should be cleared up? Can we trust the media?
Bennett, for his part, thinks they are the ones to do the job.
Philip Bennett, the Washington Post’s managing editor, said reporters often struggle with understanding Islam during a speech Monday at UCI about the difficulties of covering the religion.
Bennett said that in the period following 9/11 there was a lot of uninformed writing about Islam, and that “the best journalism fought against the tide of public perception."
Well, that is all well and good and makes a certain amount of sense -- would that we were in a world where sense in the media would prevail. The problem is that we cannot trust the media to give us a fair and balanced presentation of the many differences between the various Islamic sects and beliefs without slipping in their own editorial agenda into the mix to skew the results.
We have been reporting for years how badly skewed the MSM's reporting against Israel is, for instance. In the case of the perpetual fight between the so-called Palestinians, who have never swayed from the principle of utterly wiping out all Jews, and the state of Israel, a country that has constantly sought to find middle ground, the media has so commonly been on the side of the terrorists in Hamas and their ilk that balanced, informational journalism seems impossible. So, imagine what the media will do with the quest to make Islam better understood by America?
We have seen over an over again examples from the MSM where they won't even use the word terrorist to describe Islamofascists who wish to do us all harm. We have see the MSM stand on the side of the Iranians, Hamas, al Qaeda -- all at the cost of the U.S. and its allies. Sadly, we have seen sympathies for the enemy doled out in large doses by the media in the west.
So, while it would be nice to have a more balanced understanding of what the heck is going on in the Islamic world, how can we trust to our media to do it? From the history we've seen thus far, it seems far more likely that the MSM will be prone to being bamboozled by apologists for terrorism in the quest for "tolerance" and "understanding" instead of finding any real understanding. And the public will be ill served by the propensity of the media to fall for agendas antithetical to American interests and safety.
The answer is not to merely hire "more Muslim journalists" and imagine that a simple mathematical equation could bring understanding. The key to understanding is to eliminate at the outset the anti-war, anti-American editorial agenda that so much of our MSM outlets employs in their work. Without doing that first, we would end up being hopelessly misinformed. And, in the case of Islamism which is unlike other areas, this causes Americans to die.
Allowing media outlets like the Washington Post to "help" us understand an enemy is like relying on the fox to arrange for the security of the hen house.
Update 13:07 | Matthew Sheffield. Is it just me or does anyone else think that Bennet would never say such a thing about wanting more conservative/libertarian journalists? Would he say the same for Christian journalists?