Over the course of the last few months, Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has been cherry-picking the Pledge of Allegiance in an attempt to portray prominent Republicans as bigoted islamophobes.
Earlier this year, Ellison responded to the Peter King hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims by saying that conservatives believe in liberty, but are against the “and justice for all.” In an appearance on MSNBC two weeks ago, he advised Herman Cain to “review that Pledge of Allegiance”, particularly the part proclaiming “liberty and justice for all.” And more recently, Ellison gave an interview to C-SPAN, in which he ran off a list of supposed differences between himself and Michele Bachmann. That list included a declaration that he, and apparently only he, “believe(s) in liberty and justice for all.”
One line however, does not an entire pledge make.
We know why Ellison is invoking this specific phrase from the pledge – liberty and justice for all. It is an attempt to push the progressive agenda of placating radical Muslims. But it is also important to counter such slander, by examining the motivations behind those that Ellison hopes to marginalize as islamophobic.
Foiled Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday, which was noted by all Big Three networks. But a look at the transcripts shows that ABC, CBS, and NBC all have one obvious thing in common: words like "Obama" are never uttered. (The same happened in The New York Times and The Washington Post.)
Can anyone imagine if Shahzad attempted this in 2008, the word "Bush" would have been absent from the news and analysis? The War on Terror has disappeared as a political matter, and now it's simply "U.S. officials" and "the government" fighting jihadists. While several suggested Shahzad's incompetence was the only obstacle preventing a mass murder, no one assessed whether the current administration succeeded or failed.
NBC Nightly News led with the Shahzad sentencing, while CBS waited four minutes and ABC waited for seven and a half before getting to it. NBC began:
The extent of Al-Awlaki's reach on the internet is outlined in a new report released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Aug. 28. The report describes the millions of views garnered by Al-Awlaki's YouTube video clips and the online networking of his rabid fan base.
A former imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia, the American-born Al-Awlaki has increasingly been using social media as a recruiting method for would-be jihadists, leading terrorist watchers to dub him the "[Osama] bin Laden of the internet" and the "sheikh of YouTube." Al-Awlaki has been tied to the Sept. 11 hijackers, the Christmas Day bomber and the Fort Hood shooter. This past spring, President Obama ordered that the cleric be killed on sight, but the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on Aug. 30 to prevent the military from targeting the U.S. citizen without a trial.
According to MEMRI, after Al-Awlaki's personal website was shuttered in 2009, YouTube became the "largest clearinghouse of his online videos."
While many on the right expressed concern for the media's sympathetic treatment of Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad, New York Times columnist Frank Rich is far more worried about how MSNBC couldn't take its cameras off the White House Correspondents' Dinner to even mention what was happening in the Big Apple.
According to Rich, as he was watching the festivities on that gross caricature of a news outlet, the attempted bombing "didn’t even merit a mention on a crawl."
"MSNBC was instead busy covering the correspondents dinner itself, so we could feast on journalists schmoozing with mostly B-list show business folk — and sometimes C-list, as in Kim Kardashian," he wrote Sunday.
And that was just the beginning of his criticism:
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening did a sketch wherein Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad complained about his press coverage.
"I have suffered, and continue to suffer, injustices at the hands of the United States government, which has unfairly accused me of crimes that I did not commit," began Shahzad played by Fred Armisen with help from translator Maya Rudolph.
"And worse, injustices at the hands of the American news media, which has grossly invaded my privacy, and lied about me at every turn...Most hurtful of all, they have continued to describe the car bomb on which I worked so hard, in the cruelest terms imaginable."
In the end, his beef was with how the press reported his bomb making skills (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Conservative author Ann Coulter on Friday in one sentence perfectly summed up the media's reaction to the identity of the man that caused a state of panic in New York's Times Square last weekend: "They're working through their grief of the car bomber not being a Tea Partier."
Such was marvelously said on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor."
After playing video of a CBS Evening News segment covered by NewsBusters Thursday, the host said to his guest, "They're doing it. They're not saying this is a mad man, he should be hung. These Islamic jihadists are threatening our lives. They're not saying that, they being the mainstream media in general."
That was the only invitation required for Coulter to say what dearly needed to be said about how the press have behaved since the Times Square bomber was arrested (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Bill Maher on Friday said conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is intentionally saying "f--ked up s--t" to compete with Fox News's Glenn Beck
While making this preposterous assertion, the "Real Time host falsely claimed that Limbaugh accused the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, of having a Barack Obama bumper sticker on his SUV.
Much like other falsehoods spouted by the HBO host on the most recent installment of "Real Time," Maher seemed to be attacking all manner of conservatives in an attempt to save face after his humiliating encounter with ABC's George Will last Sunday.
Feeling comfortable on his home turf without someone to challenge his inaccuracies, the comedian went into a vulgarity laden segment ridiculing the trifecta of Limbaugh, Beck, and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, strong vulgarity warning):
STEVE DOOCY, Fox News anchor: Brent, when we put those little clips together, it sure makes it sound like they're trying to find, you know, rationalize why that guy did it, and obviously, it's because he lost his house, and he was down on his luck, they say.
BRENT BOZELL: It can't be terrorism, and it's not just television. Here's an AP story: "Faisal had a pretty enviable life. He earned an MBA, he had a well-educated wife, he had two kids and owned a house in a middle-class suburb of Connecticut. In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel."
Here's the headline from Newsweek: "Did the economy make him do it?" Here's the headline from AOL: "New York bomb suspect cooperates, but motive a mystery." This is unbelievable! It's not a mystery, folks.
Orr highlighted Inside Edition video of Shahzad's Bridgeport, Connecticut apartment, empathetically describing how Shahzad “lived a spartan and seemingly lonely existence” as evidenced by “a weight bench that passed for furniture, a collection of art supplies, a largely empty kitchen with a solitary plant on the counter. And in the bedroom, a rumpled air mattress on the floor.”
ABC's Diane Sawyer saw “a bare kitchen” with Oreos, but she also showed “a shelf with the George Clooney movie in it – Up in the Air,” as well as “professional paints on the table” he may have used to make a painting of “a mosque and a tree.” Unmentioned by ABC and CBS? The Inside Edition's site reported their video “found a copy of the Koran written in English.”
When it comes to Miranda, Rachel Maddow would do wise to remain silent.
On her MSNBC show Tuesday night, Maddow falsely implied that Times Square bomb plot suspect Faisal Shahzad spilled his guts to authorities only after he was read his Miranda rights. Here's Maddow's slippery take, preceded by remarks from Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Deputy Director John Pistole at a press conference after Shahzad was arrested --
HOLDER: He has been and continues to be questioned by federal agents. As a result of those communications, Shahzad has provided useful information to authorities.
PISTOLE: Joint terrorism task force agents and officers from NYPD interviewed Mr. Shahzad last night and early this morning under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule. He was, as the Attorney General noted, cooperative and provided valuable intelligence and evidence. He was eventually transported to another location, mirandized and continued talking.
Investigators say a quest for revenge seems to have played some role, but personal financial pressures may also have pushed Shahzad to act. He became a U.S. citizen just a year ago, but he has not realized any American dream. He quit his job, lost his house, and was separated from his family.How about the hypothesis Shahzad became a U.S. citizen as a ruse to make it easier to carry out his Islamic jihad – and so quitting his job, moving his family to Pakistan and not paying his mortgage were not what drove him to terrorism, but were what he did to get training and rid himself of encumbrances.
Audio: MP3 clip