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Fox News’ Shannon Bream Promotes Demagoguery Of “Ground Zero Mosque” And President Obama

Reported by Ellen - August 17, 2010 -

Substituting for Megyn Kelly, Shannon Bream hosted yet another in Fox News’ endless series of inflammatory segments about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” on America Live today. Bream’s guest for the segment was Debra Burlingame, billed as merely a 9/11 victim (her brother died in one of the hijacked planes). In fact, Burlingame is well-known as an anti-Muslim, conservative activist who also spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Bream made no mention of Burlingame’s bias. Bream also blatantly maneuvered the discussion to include President Obama into Burlingame’s attacks comments.

Bream’s introduction to Burlingame not only omitted relevant information to the “we report, you decide” network’s audience, but gave her a vote of credibility: “Her brother Charles piloted the plane that was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the Pentagon. Hear what she had to say in this powerful interview.”

Bream continued, “I want to get folks some context why you have the authority to speak on this topic.” Bream then reiterated how Burlingame’s brother had been hijacked before adding, “So you do have the authority to talk about the emotions and the situation involved in this mosque as it plays out in your (my emphasis) Ground Zero.”

The “context” Bream didn’t seem to care about “folks” getting is her extensive background as a conservative, anti-Muslim activist. Burlingame has appeared many times on Fox News promoting the GOP and/or conservative point of view. She also sits on the board of the conservative “Keep America Safe” organization, alongside other Fox News regulars Liz Cheney and William Kristol. Among other anti-Islamic rhetoric, her website boasts the motto, “The war against sharia is a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.” Yet despite the fact that America Live airs during what is supposed to be part of Fox News’ “objective news" lineup, Burlingame was presented as nothing more than a typical 9/11 victim.

Instead of talking about the mosque, however, Bream immediately signaled to Burlingame to bring politics into the discussion by asking for her reaction to the “mosque moving ahead” while the 9/11 defendants are still awaiting trial. Surely Bream knows that by the time the mosque is actually built, the 9/11 trial may have already happened. Furthermore, George W. Bush had 7 years to try them and didn’t.

Not that either Bream or Burlingame took notice of Bush’s role. Burlingame launched immediately into complaining about the “mixed up priorities… of our Commander-in-Chief” and suggesting that he spoke on behalf of the mosque “to beat us back and to shut us up.”

Burlingame held forth for several minutes against President Obama (and Muslims) as Bream either gave tacit approval or even egged her on for more thoughts on Obama’s stance toward Islam.

Burlingame went on to suggest that the mosque would mean “oppression” of Muslims. “When you talk about sharia, which is what this Imam (of the proposed mosque) represents, which he wants to bring to Ground Zero and all the country… you’re talking about oppression of Muslims.” She added that she thought any 9/11 family member who studies up on sharia would be “as horrified as we are.”

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