More in sorrow than in anger, I'm about to record a personal blogging first: airing a gripe about Willie Geist. When writing of the Morning Joe sidekick, my habit is to append adjectives such as "affable." Willie is indeed a likable guy, patently comfortable in his own skin. And while I don't suspect him of being a closet conservative, neither is he anything of a raging liberal, typically striking a regular-guy's middle ground on most issues.
All of which makes his comment of today that much more surprising—and regrettable. Geist was commenting on an ad by an anti-Ground Zero mosque group to be displayed on NYC buses, which shows a plane flying into one of the WTC towers. Although defending the anti-mosque group's rights, Willie opined that it's "always in bad taste to show the plane flying into the building." Really?
The ad was illuminating for another, chilling, reason . . .
Have a look at the screencap below showing the mosque's proposed design [note that the anti-mosque group wasn't misrepresenting the design. See mosque architect's rendering here]. Sure looks a lot like the WTC towers themselves, doesn't it? Hard to imagine that's a coincidence. A certain implicit triumphalism involved?
Note: Introducing the segment, Chris Jansing [subbing for Mika] said that "New York's transportation agency has approved a controversial advertisement protesting a planned mosque near Ground Zero." True. But what Chris [who generally seems to be playing things straight] didn't say is that the MTA only approved the ad after the group sued the agency, which had demanded various changes to the ad, including the removal of the plane.