....LMB: "The President Does Something Right"....

November 13, 2002

Who'd'a thunk it?

Bush Takes on Christian Right Over Anti-Islam Words

"'Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans,' Bush told reporters as he began a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"'By far, the vast majority of American citizens respect the Islamic people and the Muslim faith. After all, there are millions of peaceful-loving Muslim Americans,' Bush said.


"'Ours is a country based upon tolerance ... And we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values.'"

Bush did not identify conservative Christian leaders as his target, but White House officials said he was prompted by the anti-Islamic remarks of some of them, particularly religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who reportedly said this week Muslims were 'worse than the Nazis.'"

This actually took a little courage on the part of the president. The Christian Right is a powerful force in American politics, and most Republicans bow down to their will in order to harness that power. To publicly dress down one of their icons in defense of a group that is fairly unpopular in the U.S. right now, that's the right thing to do. Never would've expected that of ol' W.

Of course, I presume that he did it with the goal of not further enraging the foreign Muslims he's attempting to entreat to support a U.S. war on Iraq. But it's something.

Posted by Jake at 10:26 PM

Maybe "...peaceful, loving..."?
Either way, with the amount of support he is given by the fundamentalists (there are people who believe he actually is one himself), it was a ballsy statement to make, and i'll give him his due.

Posted by: John at November 14, 2002 06:25 AM

I'll be danged if this don't sound, well, kindasorta ironic:

"'Ours is a country based upon tolerance ... And we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values.'"

Mmm-hmmm. Sure dude.



Posted by: michele at November 14, 2002 10:55 AM

That's just political manuevering from Bush's camp -- a shrewd move on the part of his political advisors. It seems harmless really (how many people can refute it publicly and look credible) and it doesn't change his foreign policy. In fact, it won't change anything. All that says to me is that perhaps the Republicans don't need the religious right anymore. And you don't have to be anti-Muslim to kill Muslims.

Now, if Saddam Hussein releases a statement condemning Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremists, that would be something! >

Posted by: Eric at November 14, 2002 12:23 PM

Actually, in some ways, the US is amazingly religiously tolerant. When was the last time you heard about Methodists going across town to burn down the homes of Presbyterians? Hell, you don't even hear about much violence between American Jews and Muslims. Even in the wake of 9-11 there was relatively little anti-Muslim violence (there's probably more on a normal day in India).

Well, I guess I won't say that we're tolerant of religion here, but there is suprisingly little religious violence. I think we channel all that into our tormented race relations.

Posted by: Jake at November 14, 2002 01:14 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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