Sunday, August 8, 2010

New York Times Reports on Anti-Muslim Bigotry
With NO Mention of Bigotry

Laurie Goodstein reports in today's New York Times (Sunday, 8 August 2010) of opposition to mosques anywhere and everywhere across the US. The story is amazing for the total absence of keywords like "bigotry," "discrimination," "intolerance," "racism," etc.

As the character of Cromwell says in A Man for All Seasons, "This silence speaks." Why does the Times studiously avoid use of certain words with regard to Muslims — words it would absolutely use in any other comparable instance involving any other ethnic group?

My email to Laurie Goodstein this morning:
Dear Ms. Goodstein:

How is it that a story on what certainly seems to be widespread American bigotry and intolerance includes not one use of any of the words that would normally be used: bigotry, intolerance, racism, discrimination, etc.

The closest your story comes is "anti-immigrant". But is transparently obvious that the hostility to mosques _anywhere_ is not about immigrants. The lower Manhattan center is being advocated by Americans, not immigrants.

Do you think a story on hostility or outright (often violent) opposition to a synagogue _could_ be written without raising the issue of anti-Semitism?

Sincerely,

Hugh Sansom

And my letter to Arthur Brisbane, the new Times "Public Editor."
Dear Mr. Brisbane:

I wonder what goes on in the heads of Times editors, especially on hot-button topics where the Times engages in linguistic contortionism to do ... something. The use of the word "torture" to describe American war crimes (note my use of words) is a good example.

Today's Times provides another example — one for textbooks — Laurie Goodstein's report on opposition to mosques across the US.

In New York City, there have been threats of violence, including _bombing_, against mosque projects — not just the project near the World Trade Center, but at ones on Staten Island (killed by opponents) and another in Brooklyn (see NYT, June 10: "Heated Opposition to Proposed Mosque" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/nyregion/11mosque.html )

Remarkably, Laurie Goodstein makes no mention at all of threats of physical violence — ones that would be called terrorism were they al Qaeda threats against Americans (or Arab threats of any kinds against any Westerner).

Equally remarkably, Laurie Goodstein makes no mention whatsoever of bigotry, discrimination, racism, intolerance....

Can you imagine a story on repeated, often threatening opposition to synagogues that would _not_ raise the issue of anti-Semitism?

Sincerely,

Hugh Sansom
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1 comment:

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