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Megyn Kelly Provides Another Opportunity For Debra Burlingame To Smear Imam Rauf

Reported by Priscilla - September 11, 2010 -

Debra Burlingame does not speak for all 9-11 families. But if you watch Fox, you might think that she is an official spokesperson for those who oppose the mosque. There are other 9-11 family members who support Park 51; but you might not know that, if you watch Fox; because while Debra Burlingame makes multiple appearances (here, here, here, and here) little (if not no) time is spent interviewing those on the other side – like Donna Marsh O’Connor who lost her pregnant daughter on 9-11 but (as far as I can determine) has not had any air time on Fox “News.” If you watch Fox, you also might not know that Debra Burlingame is an anti-Obama right wing political operative who started a right wing organization, "Keep America Safe," with Liz Cheney, the very partisan daughter of the former Vice-President. (In the "context" of "news" about mosque opposition, Fox played the entire ad, in opposition to the 'mosque," from that group.) Burlingame is also on the board of the virulently anti-immigration , “9-11 Families for a Secure America,” spawned from an SPLC designated hate group “Federation for American Immigration Reform.” But like the hard hat who isn’t going to work on Park 51 (and who loves Debra Burlingame), Ms. Burlingame seems to get a good amount of free face time from which to spout her smears against Imam Rauf and against Islam. Shannon Bream, filling in for Megyn Kelly, on “America Live,” said that Burlingame has “the authority to speak out against the mosque.” So isn’t it interesting that Megyn Kelly brought Burlingame back for an encore on Kelly’s “news” show during which Kelly provided warm sympathy and minimum counterpoint to Burlingame’s sweetly delivered invective which sweetly revealed a disregard for those Americans fighting for our freedom. Fox “News” – fair & balanced as always.

Burlingame was invited on Kelly's "America Live," (9/9) to discuss Imam Rauf’s newest comments which the right wing is trying to portray as a “threat.” Rauf said that the Islamophobic protests (aided and abetted by Fox News) against the mosque would further exacerbate Islamic radicals – a comment supported by General Petraeus who has also spoken of the security concerns connected with the latest outbreak of good, ole American hatred of “the other.” So who better to provide more radical right wing reinforcement of this talking point than Debra Burlingame! Kelly played Rauf’s commentary on Larry King’s program before introducing her guest. A photo of Burlingame holding a picture of her deceased brother, killed in 9-11, was shown. Kelly said that when Burlingame heard the remarks, she heard “in them, a threat and something that mounts to an explosion.” So we’re off and running with the agitprot! Burlingame, in referencing Rauf’s comment that if the mosque is moved, the Islamic world will think that American radicals have taken over, accused the Imam of saying that 9-11 families were radicals. (Hey, Deb, look in the mirror and see a radical). She cited how Rauf said that the mosque hysteria puts troops in jeopardy and “that’s an ultimatum.” (Hey, Deb, is Petraeus also issuing an ultimatum?) She obviously doesn’t support the troops because she said that the Imam wants us to care more about the troops than those who died in NY on 9-11. Burlingame asked if we “knuckle under, when will it end?” (Hey Deb, when will the Islamophobia end?) She said that Rauf will “have his embassy on top of Ground Zero.” (two blocks from, Deb). She added that if it doesn’t end, Rauf will control foreign policy with intimidation. Kelly did quote Rauf and asked if there was truth to Rauf’s contention that moving the mosque shows the Islamic world that Islam is under attack. Burlingame huffed “well” and claimed that the Imam’s wife is at fault because she is helping to drive the headlines that the resistance to the mosque is Islamophobic. She accused the Imam of saying that those who oppose the mosque are religious bigots. (Pot, meet kettle?) Burlingame wiped away a tear as she compared the Imam and his wife to a kid who kills their parent and says “have mercy on me, I’m an orphan.”

Kelly elicited more right wing agitprop when she asked if Burlingame was disturbed by another quote from the Imam about anger exploding in the Muslim world. She added that there “has been some buzz about the use of that word, in particular.” Perhaps Megyn is referring to fellow Fox employee and “mosque” opponent Brian Kilmeade who buzzed about it. Burlingame went into a little diatribe about how the Imam is a clever wordsmith and as such this word is highly inflammatory and that he is “ginning” up the same kind of controversy that occurred about the Danish Mohammed cartoon. Kelly commented that the Imam knows that the area around Ground Zero is considered “sacred ground” yet he says that a place that has strip clubs isn’t sacred. Cue another Burlingame rant about his “outrageous” insensivity and how the families didn’t choose where body parts landed. She added that 20,000 body parts were picked up as far as the Hudson River. She “reminded” the Imam that 1100 families didn’t get any remains and 16,000 body parts were never ID’d and for the Imam to suggest that whole body parts would be necessary for sacredness is “outrageous.” (WTF? He didn’t say that!!!) She claimed that none of the buildings on Park Place were searched so “we don’t know what remains are in that building.” (WTF?) When Kelly said that the Imam has stated that he wants to reach out to 9-11 Families, Burlingame said “he’s got to be kidding.” She mentioned that we can’t trust the Imam who has “dirty hands” because of his connection to a shady investor, his lies about funding, and his record as a slum lord and tax fraud. Kelly closed with a mention and photo of Burlingame’s brother who died on 9-11.

Comment: While meeting the minimum requirements of “fair & balanced,” Megyn Kelly provided a platform for 9-11 “authority” Debra Burlingame to, once again, present the same kind of propaganda that Fox has providing it’s audiences with its ongoing jihad (whoops crusade) against Park 51. Obviously there is legitimate opposition to the mosque – as well as support – from 9-11 Families. Nice to see Fox “News” as the mouthpiece for, as the Imam says, “radicals” like Debra Burlingame who, as a right wing partisan, makes her the darling of Fox "News."