24 Hour News Cycle to Blame for Fringe Radicals Getting National Spotlight09.17.10
It’s quite a stunning statement about the state of the American press when the activities and fringe interests of the very few — we’re talking fewer people than you’ll find cars in your average supermarket parking lot — gain such natural interest as to make the military leader of our forces in Afghanistan personally state his disapproval of said activity.
Take a look at this diagram I found courtesy of Andrew Sullivan:
Image via Mark Shea:
It’s easy as pie to generalize to millions of people the crimes of a few. We Catholics have had it done to us. And we can have it done to us again. So we should be bloody cautious about insane schemes to do it to 18 million fellow citizens.
The grotesque excuse “But the the first amendment is dead, and Islam killed it. There is no ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘freedom of religion’ with the threat of Muslim violence hanging over your head” is rubbish. Cancelling the rights of 307 million people because you are, by your own admission, afraid is neither patriotism, nor courage, nor Christian fortitude. It is cowardice. And it is extra-special cowardice when you are ready to cancel your most precious national heritage because you are afraid of a speck.
I couldn’t say this any better myself even if I tried.
Some could argue that it is newsworthy — sure, burning the Quran will get you noticed. But, this is the kind of thing for Hard Copy (if it were still around) or the local Gainesville six o’clock news. It went from a blip on the radar – where it should’ve remained – to garnishing worldwide attention because our 24-hour news cycle needs to fill their shows with content, regardless of how newsworthy the item may be.
And if it’s not quite newsworthy enough, well, rest assured that the weeks and weeks of talking heads commenting on the rightness or wrongness of Rev. Terry Jones and his Quran-burning plans will make it so. (Note that they must include the rightness AND wrongness because they mistake their role of reporting the truth with being balanced on every topic, no matter how lunatic.)
And to what end?
All that’s happened is that these radicals have been legitimized. Now Rev. Jones is planning to go to New York City to talk to Imam Rauf regarding the “Ground Zero” mosque. Since when does a Gainesville reverend with a congregation of 50 followers have any authority whatsoever to involve himself in the building plans in a neighborhood 1,000 miles away from where he calls home?
Oh right. Because he was on the news TV.