Over the weekend, the Associated Press produced a fair-and-balanced report about the controversial Cordoba House community center in Manhattan, the one that’s slated to be built on the hallowed ground that was most recently consecrated as a Burlington Coat Factory store.
AP‘s headline for the story is “Rallies over mosque near ground zero get heated“, but NPR called a spade a spade by titling it “Proposed Mosque Stirs Passions On Both Sides“.
(There were stories last week that AP would no longer use the phrase “ground zero mosque”. Hopes that they might switch to “Islamic community center” proved groundless. They’re just going with “mosque near ground zero”, presumably since they judge that to accurately convey the nature of the proposed project. No doubt, if you’re not allowed to say “ground zero mosque”, then “mosque near ground zero” is the next best thing to say. It’s almost equally effective in serving the same purpose.)
The AP is a wonderfully equipoised journalistic construction (by Verena Dobnik), carefully taking no sides in the dispute between bigotry and tolerance.
Read the damn thing yourself, and weep. For what America has been reduced to in the 21st century. For what American journalism has reduced itself to.
I’ll content myself with highlighting today’s poster child for pathetic bigotry:
Steve Ayling, a 40-year-old Brooklyn plumber who carried his sign to a dry spot by an office building, said the people behind the mosque project are “the same people who took down the twin towers.”
Hey, Steve, bigotry too should begin at home. Why don’t you start by protesting outside every Italian restaurant in Brooklyn? After all, they’re the same people who crucified the Son of God, for crying out loud.
And aren’t you, Steve Ayling, the same people who attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, and slaughtered 168 Americans, including 19 children under the age of 6?
However do you manage all that guilt?