Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anatomy of a Right-Wing Scare Story

It started on April 22 with an exclusive story in the far-right WorldNetDaily. "Mushroom cloud on way," screamed the headline. What followed was a description of a vile protest held outside the Israeli Consulate in New York City by a group called the Islamic Thinkers Society. WND transcribed a selection of their chants (translated from Arabic by someone from a group called the Investigative Project on Terrorism) and they're about what you would expect: Allah is great; Jews, not so much.

On April 23, the story was picked up by the Drudge Report, where it remained on the front page for two days, bearing the same headline as the WND story (Islamist protest in N.Y.—'Mushroom cloud on way').

Yesterday, FOX News brought in some hard-nosed ex-cop from New York City to talk gruffly about how horrible these people are and how he has plenty of Jewish friends.

Finally, today, the right-wing New York Sun reported on the story in an article entitled "Islamic Thinkers Society Called 'Destructive'".

So we have four right-wing news sources covering a story that didn't get covered at all in the mainstream centrist press. Why? One theory is that it's because the centrist press is really an America-hating, far-left press that will stop at nothing to give peace and comfort to this great nation's enemies.

Another theory can be inferred from the article in the Sun. According to their report, this big, bad protest was attended by a grand total of "eight of the society's members—possibly the entire roster of the group" (emphasis added). The Sun was the only news outlet that reported on the size of the demonstration, and we can see why. Even according to the Islamic Thinkers Society's own website, the group is comprised of "less than a handfull [sic] of Muslims".

So why did most of the mainstream press ignore this story? Because it was largely insignificant. Anyone who has been to New York knows that there are larger groups of 5 Percenters and other assorted nutjobs preaching their hate all over the city at any given time of the day. It's the right-wing press that's interested in fanning the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment, and apparently they'll jump at any chance they get.
Listed on BlogShares