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Megyn Kelly Discussion Of “Ground Zero Mosque” “Fair & Balanced”? Not Quite!

Reported by Priscilla - July 20, 2010 -

Because Muslims have received permission to build an Islamic cultural center, which includes a mosque, two blocks from “Ground Zero” in Manhattan, the right wing has been engaged in a collective freak out for several months. Aiding and abetting is Fox “News” which never wastes an opportunity to stoke the fires of hatred and intolerance towards Muslims. While Fox & Friends have been mainly carrying the sword of Jesus on this issue, noted Islamophobe Briggitte Gabriel shrieked about it on Hannity. But that was Fox “opinion” news. It looks like Fox “news” anchor, Megyn Kelly is covering this latest right wing “outrage.” And while the discussion was ostensibly “fair & balanced” because her guests represented both sides of the arguments, Ms. Kelly managed to work in the requisite Fox agitprop. But what was really funny was how a visual, from a video in the segment, contradicted what Kelly said and in so doing showed the effectiveness of the type of propaganda being promoted by Fox “News.”

Yesterday, she began the discussion by referencing how Sarah Palin, not a NY resident, has “twittered” about the mosque “just steps from Ground Zero.” Fact check – it’s two blocks away. Kelly then summarized what the “critics” are saying and how Palin agrees. She read Palin’s twitter which described the building of the mosque as “provocation” and urged “peace seeking Muslims” to reject it. She read a twitter from an aide to Mayor Bloomberg which urged Palin to “mind her business.” She introduced her guests, the conservative Ben Ferguson and progressive Mike Levine. She described how “tensions on this are so high” (Thank you Fox News!?) because “you hear such impassioned arguments on both sides and now, Ben, it has gone national.” (Thank you Fox News!?) She asked Ferguson “where we are now” and if Palin had a right to “inject herself” in the debate. Ben, not surprisingly, supported Palin and described the building of the mosque as “putting salt in the wound” of 9-11. Kelly read a statement, from “the group behind the mosque,” about how “peace seeking Muslims” having a responsibility to “promote tolerance.” Levine clarified that it wasn’t a mosque but a community center which is a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero. He said that he initially had mixed feelings about this but he added that the Constitution gives the right to religions to put their sacred buildings where they want. Ferguson asked why the leader of the mosque would “incite people” to the point of "almost rioting.” (So Ben’s blaming Islamophobic hysteria on Muslims?) Megyn, looking quizzical, went straight for the agitprop when she asked “why stir up the controversy when you see that it’s causing such heartache to a city that’s had more than their fair share? Why bother?” She cited a Quinnipiac poll that showed that 51% oppose this and 31% favor. Levine said that he would advise the mosque leader not to do this; but he has a legal right to do it. Kelly said that “we watched the debate, here on Fox, and some of the folks were standing up saying that they object to this mosque, were standing there being called racists by people who felt differently and you know some of these are family members, had family members die in the September 11th attack. It’s just such an emotionally charged issue…”

Comment: Impassioned Arguments? No racism?

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