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Fox Promotes More Anti Islamic Rhetoric of 9-11 Family “Authority” Debra Burlingame

Reported by Priscilla - August 19, 2010 -

Debra Burlingame’s main claim to fame is that she is the founder of “9-11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.” But she is also a right wing partisan with the creds to prove it. She and Liz Cheney co-founded “Keep America Safe.” She is a member of an extremist anti-immigrant group, “9-11 Families for a Secure America” which is a nativist group launched by SPLC designated “hate group” Federation for Immigration Reform” and whose board member, Peter Gadiel, has made the rounds of Fox “opinion” shows in which he has articulated his anti-immigrant sentiments and accused Obama of being a liar. Burlingame, who is the sister of a pilot killed on 9-11, also made the rounds on Fox when she opposed plans for the establishment of the International Freedom Center at “Ground Zero” because it was too multi-cultural and not sufficiently anti Islamic terrorist. (After a segment on “the Factor,” she got into a bizarre conflict with a defender of the Center and had to be comforted by Brian Kilmeade when she started crying.) So it’s no surprise that Fox “News” would feature her on “Hannity” and “America Live” this week – ostensibly to discuss the lower Manhattan Islamic cultural center, but in reality to discuss her dislike of Obama and her fear of creeping Sharia. In addition to her TV appearances, Fox “News” also played the entire “Keep America Safe” commercial in the “context” of doing “news” about mosque opposition. This morning she appeared on Fox & Friends to do more Fox News Muslim bashing. Although she doesn’t speak for all 9-11 families, Fox “News” obviously doesn’t care. “News” anchor, Shannon Bream, actually said that Burlingame “has the authority” to speak out against the mosque thereby granting Burlingame an undeserved legitimacy and creating a false narrative. “Fair & Balanced” indeed!

Alysin Camerota and Brian Kilmeade began by playing Speaker Pelosi’s comment about a “concerted effort” to make this a political issue…” (And Fox “News” is doing its best to help that effort!). Pelosi asked “how the opposition to the mosque is being funded.” Kilmeade began the agitprop by asking if Burlingame was “stunned” at Pelosi’s “tone.” Burlingame articulated the right wing meme about leaders “out of touch” with Americans. She then described the mosque as a “serious threat causing great harm. It’s a serious concern going forward in terms of what this mosque means to our enemies in the Muslim world who will see it as a symbol of victory and will use it to recruit…” (Actually, Debra, the Islamophobia shown by you and your pals is really harmful and is actually starting to upset American Muslim Republicans.). Agitprop chyron: “9-11 Families Speak Out, Pelosi’s Controversial Mosque Remarks.” Camerota read and showed Pelosi’s follow up to the original comments in which Pelosi cited the “freedom to worship” and agreed that the funding for the center should be examined at the same time as examining the funding of those opposed to the center. Camerota asked if that made Burlingame “feel any better.” Burlingame said she was glad that Pelosi “was on board” and then launched into an attack on the mosque’s Imam who, despite Burlingame’s unsubstantiated and bigoted accusation, intends this center to be a place of peace and reconciliation. She said that his funding comes from the Middle East where he’s gone “again and again to get money.” (Does Burlingame know that the Imam went to the Middle East under the auspices of the Bush administration who, along with the FBI, saw Imam Rauf as a moderate Muslim?). She then whined about the Saudi Wahabbis “who have been building mosques and madrassahs all over the world, including the United States.” Kilmeade advanced another right wing meme when he accused the mosque backers of being liars when he said that it was “flat out false” that they couldn’t get any property elsewhere. Kilmeade alluded to “investigations” that Burlingame is doing and “we gotta have you back.”

Comment: Wonder if the “Fair & Balanced” Fox News network will interview, as did conservative Michael Smerconish on MSNBC, Donna Marsh O’Connor, who lost a daughter on 9-11 and who says that Debra Burlingame does not speak for 9-11 families and that “it's unfair for groups like Debra Burlingame's 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America to act as if they are representing everyone who lost loved ones in the attacks.” To date, there has been no poll of 9-11 families on this matter. One group, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, has come out in support of the mosque. Other groups have not taken a stand; but “The September 11th Families Association commented that “Currently, there is a firestorm of opinion on this issue, with September 11th families coming out strongly on both sides.” Debra Burlingame’s group does not speak for all 9-11 families. But if you’re a Fox watcher, you would think so. Nice to see that the America of Fox News supports the kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric of Debra Burlingame.

Fox News
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