Salon's Joan Walsh came on Ed Schultz's show this Friday and attempted to explain to him why Gen. David Petraeus and President Obama's concern over this wingnut pastor Terry Jones was not unfounded. I get a chance to listen to some of Ed's radio show on XM radio at times and caught part of it prior to this interview with Joan on MSNBC. If I would have had the time to try to call in, which I did not and knew I would have gotten through so I wasn't wasting my time trying, I would have pointed him to the exact same article that Joan did when she got on the air with him.
He was bashing President Obama all day for getting bad advice for weighing in what this wingnut was threatening to do and saying that Gen. Petraeus shouldn't have said anything either, but from Justin Elliot's reporting over at Salon, this thing was already blowing up for a long time well before the general decided to speak to the press about it. So the damage was already done and they didn't fuel it by asking for Terry Jones to reconsider his book burning.
I can't say the same for most of our media which has not bothered to look at how this was already playing in the international press for quite some time and who put that mad man on the air day after day for the better part of a week after Petraeus spoke out about it. If Ed needs to be taking anyone to task, it's not David Petraeus or President Obama, but his fellow members of the American media instead. I'm thankful that Joan Walsh led him to her colleague's column at Salon. Maybe if Ed goes and reads it he'll tone down his criticism of the president and the general on this issue. Here's the article from Salon. Go read the whole thing but here's how it starts out.
How (and why) the media made Terry Jones a star:
When Gen. David Petraeus first spoke out against Pastor Terry Jones' planned Quran burning in a Wall Street Journal article published Monday, the story exploded in the U.S. media, going from a sideshow to the dominant national media controversy of the week. As Yahoo News reported, it was on the front page of more than 50 newspapers Thursday -- more than the total number of members of Jones' fringe Florida church.
Critics of the American media's coverage of the Quran-burning saga are loud and plentiful, and they have a strong case. In short, the U.S. media has given a global platform to a fringe pastor with a tiny flock, elevating him to a level of significance that would make most members of Congress jealous (whether or not he actually executes his plan). But those media critics are also missing the point.
To grasp the real story here, one has to understand the context in which Petraeus decided to weigh in: At that time, the Quran burning had already been treated as a major story in the media in the Muslim world for several weeks. In other words, since at least late July, when it started to get attention in some Muslim-majority countries, the story has been doing untold damage to America's reputation.
"It was a big issue over in the Arab media before U.S. media picked it up," Marc Lynch, director of Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, told Salon in an e-mail.
And as I've already pointed out and as Rachel Maddow has been reporting, this man would not have been elevated either if there wasn't the amount of Muslim bashing going on from the likes of those who are leading the drum beat with playing the hate card already like Gingrich and Beck and Palin.
It's really disgusting that on the anniversary of 9-11 a great deal of our country has apparently learned nothing from the fact that spreading hatred rather than peace just leads to death and destruction and that demonizing people you're afraid of rather than trying to understand each other solves nothing. That and that it's apparently alright now to openly use race baiting as a political tactic by the GOP. They've given up on even trying to hide it. The former dog whistles are sirens now that I guess they think no one is going to notice. Subtlety is apparently something they don't think is needed these days.