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Fox News Labels Pamela Geller’s Work “Inflammatory” And “Anti-Muslim” After Promoting Her For Years

by Oliver Willis (Media Matters)

On today’s edition of Happening Now, Fox News obscured language in Islamophobic billboards created by conservative blogger Pam Geller’s American Israel Defense Initiative, deeming the language “so inflammatory we’re not going to show it to you.” While Fox seems to have finally drawn a line on Geller‘s bigotry, the network has promoted her for years.

The ads, currently posted in NYC subway stations, read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.” Fox blurred the word “savage” when showing the ad to viewers:

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority initially refused to run the ads, on the grounds that it violated their policy against accepting advertising that demeans individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin. Geller’s group sued the MTA and in July a federal judge ordered the agency to run the ads, saying that the content was protected speech.

During the segment, Fox’s panelists agreed that they “hate” the message in the ads, while they avoided mentioning the obscured text. Despite Geller’s claims to the contrary in the accompanying video package, Fox described the billboards as “anti-Muslim” in their on-air chyron.

It seems odd that Fox would suddenly exhibit this sort of sensitivity.

The network has regularly featured anti-Islam commentary as a part of its regular programming and has often invited Geller as a guest despite her long and well-documented history of bigotry.

While she was campaigning against plans to build the Park51 Islamic community center in New York, Geller appeared on Fox several times to make bigoted comments about the center and Islam.

She described the center as a “mosque” that “basically embodies the very ideology that inspired those attacks on 9-11.” She also said “I don’t know why” the developers of the center “want to stab Americans in the eye with that.” Geller also compared construction of the center to building a “Ku Klux Klan shrine” near a black church in Alabama.

Fox also gave Geller a platform to promote her book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and was given airtime to promote and fundraise for her campaign suggesting that honor killings and terrorism are representative of the Islamic faith. During one of the appearances, she claimed that President Obama “was giving seminars in sharia finance” a week “after he nationalized some banks.”

Fox networks have also hosted Geller to push bizarre conspiracy theories. Hours after Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year, Geller appeared on Eric Bolling’s now-defunct Fox Business program to analyze a poster-sized version of the document and decide whether it was “Photoshopped.” (Sample analysis from Geller: “This whole border is suspect.”)

And that’s just what she’s said on Fox. Geller has a long history of bigoted and hateful comments: describing Democrats as “National Socialists,” claiming that “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s trains,” describing President Obama as an “anti-semite,” and alleging that he “was involved with a crack whore in his youth.”

Fox is not new to the world of Pamela Geller and their sudden sensitivity — after playing a substantial role in mainstreaming her bigotry — rings hollow.

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  • mindy1

    Jews against hate :D

  • Jai

    More information about the scale of Jewish opposition to Pamela Geller, including opposition from the Israeli Government itself:

    Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/24/edl-and-religious-groups-_n_1909171.html?1348495073&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008

    Extracts:

    EDL And Religious Groups: Faith Leaders Call For Unity Against English Defence League

    The Huffington Post UK | By Jessica Elgot Posted: 24/09/2012 14:57 BST Updated: 24/09/2012 17:05 BST

    …..Stephen Shashoua, director of the Three Faiths Forum, told The Huffington Post UK that working with religious leaders was one of the best ways to combat the EDL’s efforts, but fighting extremism was not solely the responsibility of communal leaders and impetus was needed from the wider community too.

    “Extremists have always taken advantage of historic tensions, political divisions. It’s been seen in every recent genocide.

    “But what allowed those genocides to happen was there was not sufficient education to counter the myths being spread by extremists to recruit people to their cause.”

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews has in the past specifically condemned the EDL’s efforts to recruit Jews, saying in a statement: “We, Jews and Muslims, come from a shared family, and a shared tradition.

    “Therefore, we state clearly, when groups that stir up prejudice, such as the English Defence League and all their sympathisers, use spurious Jewish themes or the Israeli flag to seek to garner Jewish support for their causes, they are acting in vain.

    “Our common roots run too deep, our common concerns are too intertwined, our common respect too sincere, to be divided by ugly allegations of prejudice, and cowardly acts of violence.”

    Edie Friedman, director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, said it was “unbelievable that such an organisation can appropriate Jewish support. It is terribly important for different sections of the community, as well as individuals, to stand up and say categorically, ‘not in our name.”

    Not in Our Name – Jews against the EDL was launched in 2010, backed by more than a dozen organisations, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Israeli Embassy, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

    Jai’s note: The EDL leadership are of course now formally allied with Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer and are engaging in high-profile joint activities. Considering the fact that — as mentioned above — the Israeli Embassy in the UK is directly involved in opposing the EDL, it means that the Israeli Government is now also opposing Geller herself.

    Pamela Geller has clearly made a lot of very powerful Jewish enemies, not only in the US and the UK but (most damaging for her) also in Israel itself. She’s in trouble.

  • Jai

    Another example of Jewish religious leaders condemning Pamela Geller:

    Link: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/25/opinion/kahn-troster-anti-islam-hate-ads/

    Full article from CNN:

    Editor’s note: Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster is director of North American Programs for Rabbis for Human Rights — North America, where she directs campaigns against torture, religious discrimination, slavery and human trafficking.

    (CNN) — My daily trek to work is the last place I would expect to encounter a hateful message. But anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller is determined to make that happen to me and my fellow commuters.

    This week, at 10 subway stations around New York, commuters will encounter ads from the virulently anti-Islam group headed by Geller, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Geller has been cited both by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Centerfor her anti-Muslim activity.

    The subway ads say, “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man.” Below that are the words: “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad,” with a Star of David on either side of the phrases. The coded message makes clear who the savages are: those who support jihad, which in Geller’s mind includes all Muslims. She has called Islam “an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the Earth.”

    As a rabbi, I find the ads deeply misguided and disturbing. The Jewish community is deep in the heart of our High Holidays, the Ten Days of Repentance that encompass the holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. One of the most powerful moments in the holy days is when the community rises for a recitation of public confession, beginning Tuesday night.

    I have always been struck by how many of the foibles of daily life have to do with speech. The words from our mouths have power: Once released, whether intentionally or by accident, what we say shapes reality. It can bring about healing or atonement, or it can unleash violence and hatred. Geller’s ads, sharply dividing the world into civilized people and savages, are only intended to hurt and tear fragile relationships apart.

    At first, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rejected the ads, but a district judge ruled the ads were protected under the First Amendment. The ads follow similar ads in San Francisco as well as posters at New York’s Metro North train stations that made unsubstantiated claims about the number of people killed in terrorist attacks since 9/11. The Metro North ads denied their bigotry by stating, “It’s not Islamophobia. It’s Islamorealism,” claiming the actions of a few represented the “reality” of Islam. But when did it become acceptable to spread bigotry against any American religious, racial or ethnic group in the name of “realism”?

    As an American, I believe in the right to free speech, even when I detest the message or disagree vehemently with the messenger. But I can still raise my voice against words of hatred.

    Moreover, freedom of speech does not absolve our elected officials from denouncing hateful rhetoric. A key part of their jobs as our representatives is to uphold core American values of pluralism and inclusion. Unfortunately, New York City’s public officials have largely been silent about the message of hate that will confront all of us during our morning commutes.

    In a recent radio broadcast, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained the court’s decision regarding the ads and affirmed the right of freedom of expression as an American value. He said that “as Americans, we tolerate things that we find despicable,” but fell short of condemning the ads.

    I have only to look at the news of the past several months to see how unchecked messages of hatred manifest themselves into acts of violence. The growing number of attacks against mosques in places such as Joplin, Missouri, and the killings in August at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sikh temple are the extreme end of a growing domestic threat against religious minorities. Here in New York, hate crimes surrounding Muslim religious services and at a Holocaust memorial site have been committed. These acts of hatred are not individual tragedies but for all of us as Americans.

    As a Jew, I know the extreme to which where baseless hatred can lead. And the Jewish community has been in the past a target of hatred in the United States. Geller’s message ignores the positive contributions that our Muslim friends, neighbors and colleagues make to our country every single day.

    It is also unfortunate that Geller chooses to frame her message of hatred as one of support for Israel. The complicated struggle for peace in the Middle East and against terrorism must not be reduced to a simplistic message of a war between good and evil. Although there is considerable debate within the Jewish community about how to best support Israel and achieve peace with her neighbors, it is clear that part of our contribution as Americans is to show the world that religious pluralism is both possible and beneficial for a thriving democracy.

    In America, no one should have to live in fear for his or her safety because of faith. If there is a silver lining to the events of the past few months, including the subway ads, it is that Americans of all religions have the opportunity to come together and loudly reaffirm their commitments to religious pluralism. Together, we have and will continue to show that speech can also heal. This is our strength.

    It is time for all of us, regardless of belief, or nonbelief, to stand together and reject stoking bigotry and hatred in our city with these ads. Our goal should be healing, not rupture, and laying the foundation for peace within our community and around the world.

  • Jai

    Pamela Geller is being publicly opposed by some extremely senior Jewish leaders.

    The following Loonwatch article (cross-published from Forward) is no longer on the front page, so I’ll add some thoughts here instead.

    Link: http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/09/jewish-groups-object-to-anti-muslim-ad/

    Extract:

    “Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and a longtime champion of interreligious dialogue, told the Forward that he was “troubled” by the linking of Islam and Judaism in such a contentious way.

    “People must understand that there is not a conflict between Muslims and Jews,” Schneier said. “The only conflict there is is between those who believe in coexistence and those who seek to destroy human rights.”

    Schneier added that in the same way that other seemingly small manifestations against Islam have been taken as extremely offensive in the past, it would not be hard to imagine how this “could mutate in other parts of the Muslim world” — and raise anti-Israel feelings.

    “These ads are Islamophobia at its worst, and in a very irresponsible fashion, since Israel has been brought into the frame,” Schneier said.”

    Rabbi Schneier is actually the Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress.

    Link: http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/biography/19

    Details:

    “Rabbi Marc Schneier is the 18th generation of a distinguished rabbinic dynasty. He is an international figure who is known for his innovative leadership in the promotion of dialogue and cooperation in intergroup and race relations. As a prominent leader of the Jewish community, Rabbi Schneier has emerged in the forefront of combating anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Jewish and Muslim communities around the world. He serves as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, Honorary Chairman of the World Jewish Congress United States and spearheads its Commission on Intergroup Relations; Founder and President of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (1990) of which Russell Simmons is Chairman; and Founding Rabbi of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach and The New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He has been honored by the United States Congress and the State of Israel as an advocate for human and civil rights and religious and ethnic tolerance. In 2009, Rabbi Schneier was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

    A trailblazer in the field of Muslim Jewish relations, Rabbi Schneier created and spearheaded the annual Weekend of Twinnings of Mosques and Synagogues across the globe (2008,2009,2010); 1st Gathering of European Muslim and Jewish Leaders in Brussels (2010); Mission of 28 European Imams and Rabbis to the United States (2009); and the first Summit of Rabbis and Imams in New York (2007). He was appointed to the Steering Committee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s World Conference on Dialogue, convened in Madrid (2008) and in Vienna (2009). Rabbi Schneier has also been appointed to the Executive Steering Committee of the Multi-Religious Campaign Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry in the United States. (2010)

    An accomplished author and a foremost voice in the field of Black Jewish relations, Rabbi Schneier’s book, Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Jewish Community, was published in 2000 which documents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with the Jewish community. With accompanying student guide programs, the book tells the tale of Black and Jewish cooperation in the civil rights era to more than 12,000 students in more than 500 high schools, Hillel houses and historically Black colleges across America.

    An acclaimed speaker, Rabbi Schneier represented the Jewish community in such events as: Inaugural Interfaith Gathering at the Democratic National Convention (2008); 40th anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta (2008); World Conference on Dialogue convened by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (2008); Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 50th annual convention (2008); NAACP Centennial convention (2009); National dinner of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (2008); National convention of the Islamic Society of North America (2009); and Doha International Conference on Interfaith Dialogue (2009,2010).

    Named one of the 50 most prominent Jews in the United States by The Forward and one of America’s top 50 rabbis by Newsweek Magazine, he served as President of the North American Board of Rabbis and the New York Board of Rabbis.

    He is recipient of many awards, including The Kelly Miller Smith Ecumenical Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, The NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. “Measure Of A Man Award”, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Civil Rights Leadership Award in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal, the American Civil Rights Education Services Civil Rights Award, and the Interfaith Award from the Islamic Center of Long Island.

    Born and raised in New York City, Rabbi Schneier is a graduate of Yeshiva University and currently divides his time between New York City and Westhampton Beach.”

  • Jai

    There is of course another angle to Pamela Geller’s ads.

    Regular readers of Loonwatch will already know the following fact, but it’s worth reiterating here: Geller’s ads are indeed racist, despite Geller and her apologists’ disingenuous claims to the contrary, including Geller’s cowardly use of the word “Jihad” instead of what she really means.

    The reason ? Because Geller is actually quoting an explicitly racist diatribe by her idol Ayn Rand. See: http://www.loonwatch.com/2012/08/pamela-geller-of-atlasshrugs-bus-ads-inspired-by-ayn-rands-racist-views-of-arabs-and-muslims. Ayn Rand’s original quote (also available here: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_america_at_war_israeli_arab_conflict) was as follows:

    “The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it’s the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. WHEN YOU HAVE CIVILIZED MEN FIGHTING SAVAGES, YOU SUPPORT THE CIVILIZED MEN, no matter who they are.”

    Ayn Rand’s quote doesn’t even mention “Islam” or “Muslims”. She was referring to the entire Arab population, including the millions of Christian Arabs.

    So, Ayn Rand was indeed being racist, Pamela Geller stupidly decided to use that quote, and anyone attempting to defend either Rand or Geller in this situation clearly isn’t exactly the most intelligent person in the world either.

    In fact, considering that Ayn Rand’s quote explicitly refers specifically to race, not religion, Pamela Geller’s stupid decision to use it speaks volumes about the real motivations for her own agenda too. Ms Geller’s fake “non-racist” mask has slipped off once again.

  • Chameleon

    This is why I have faith in free speech. Pamela Geller’s hate machine wastes its own advertising money to achieve the end result of getting her kicked off her mainstream news platform, thereby denying her access to almost everyone except those who already hate with her. If she has become an outcast on Fox News, then other news outlets where she has a much weaker presence won’t be far behind in shunning her. This is just as I predicted. Here is what I wrote weeks ago when this advertising campaign started:

    “The more “free speech” the better as far as I am concerned. Ironically, I have no objections to the hate machine coming out of the woodwork like this in doing these ads. It will be their ultimate undoing when the general public is forced to confront and respond to this in-your-face hatred, as they are clearly doing already. Bob and Pam are like vampires on a hot summer beach in pursuing this strategy. The searing light of the general public eye is now beating down upon them. They just don’t realize it yet because the only general public that they want to be familiar with are their fawning zombies, who do nothing but reassure them how unimpeachable their hatred is.”

    I also said the following:

    “A better approach may be to do exactly the opposite: to advertise their advertisements even more. I believe we need to give their Orwellian hate even more exposure to all those who need to see it, but this time to frame that exposure through the lens of hate speech and under the powerful light of truth about how real Islamophobia truly is, especially amongst those who deny that it exists. I believe that there is much more of a reason to see these ads as a welcome opportunity rather than an offensive threat if we play our cards right.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold CriticalDragon1177

    @Isa

    Regardless of the reason, I can guarantee you that Geller will not like this.

  • Isa

    Two Words: Damage Control. Smart bigots do this all the time. They will spend an hour spewing their hatred against a group of people, then they will add some disclaimer and a few anecdotes about having “lots of friends who are…”, and that supposedly “neutralizes” everything, while still keeping the original point alive. It’s clever, but many people can thankfully see through it.

  • mindy1

    @JD :lol:

  • JD

    From: JD
    To: Satan@hotmail.com
    Subject: Hell Frozen?
    Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2012

    Hello Satan ,

    I just wanted to know how bad hell was frozen?

    Thank you,

    JD

    ===============
    Will let you guys know when I get a response

  • corey

    so is there a good chance this could become geller vs fox news because if so i’m getting the popcorn.

  • mindy1

    Hmm, I do wonder what brought this about… ;)

  • Pingback: Fox News Labels Pamela Geller’s Work “Inflammatory” And “Anti-Muslim” After Promoting Her For Years | Spencer Watch

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    A lover’s spate? Oh how sad (note the sarcasm). I’m guessing that Geller maybe forgot to pay her PR people, or maybe Fox felt snubbed when she started cozying up to some other news outlet. Maybe her particular flavor of working class Islamophobia just doesn’t sell. After all, hatred is a big market and lots of other, better organized and more charismatic Islamophobes are out there. Geller’s been screeching the same crap for years. Its old hat. Old hate… haha… Anyway, I’m certainly not going to shed any tears over the two of them parting ways. Maybe she can go back to blogging, because that’s SUCH a lucrative and prestigious field. LOL

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