Thursday, January 25, 2007

Attack of the Right-Wing Media

Too bad Dan Rather doesn't work at FOX News. It means that affable hack Steve Doocy, of FOX & Friends, and mean-spirited hack John Gibson, of The Big Story, don't have anyone but themselves to blame for running with a blatantly false story about how Barack Obama is a Muslim who attended a madrassa as a child in Indonesia.

Guilty of uncritically accepting a bogus story printed in the ironically-named Insight Magazine, put out by the good people at the Washington Times (and why not wholeheartedly embrace the regurgitations of the publishing wing of the Sun Myung Moon cult, right?), Doocy and Gibson should face the same censure that the right-wing pundits heaped on Rather when he ran afoul of their man-crush, President Bush.

At the very least, if consistency and honesty mean anything to our right-wing brethren, this should be a career-ender for Gibson and the Dooc. [Crickets]

It's worth noting that the word "madrassa" simply means "school" in Arabic (granted, not the language they speak in Indonesia). It is used in the way we use the word "school" in English. Just as some schools in America are religious schools, some madrassas are religiously oriented. It is only because we look at the Muslim world through the wormhole of terrorism that we automatically associate "madrassa" with Islamism and intolerance.

The same goes for "talib", which is Arabic for "student". The Arabic plural is "taliba" and the Pashto version is "taliban". So, the Taliban are, literally, the students. It is an incredibly common word in Arabic, with no negative connotations whatsoever. All of which makes Jon Stewart look like a bit of an ignoramus when he makes fun of the Iraqi president for having the surname Talabani.

But hey, take a look around. Who's interested in "understanding" anyway?
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