Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Interview With Terry Jones, Pastor Of The Church Planning To Burn Korans On September 11th

Hi everyone. Well, so much crazy, so little time, huh? I guess we better get started:
  • Dear "Pastor" Terry Jones, I know you have your heart set on this whole Koran-burning thing, but could you maybe, like, you know, not be a douche? Just a suggestion for you to try out.
  • For the record, I am very anti-book burning, no matter what the book. Sarah Palin's latest? No. No burning. Setting books aflame is usually a mere step on a ladder of wrongness. You never hear about the town that burned books and then lived happily ever after. And holy books? This guy wants to burn a holy book?! I can't even. I can't even.
  • Now he is on my TV screen, courtesy of the 360 kids. Says Anderson Cooper: "I want you to know we debated about whether or not to even put this pastor on TV. He is extremist and he wants to spread his message as far and wide as he can. But we noticed a number of things that he said in other TV interviews simply didn't jibe with what he actually preaches. And we wanted to confront him about that." When I heard that Jones' church only consisted of a couple dozen people, I wasn't thrilled he was getting the airtime, but this is actually a pretty good argument in favor of having him on, and I appreciate the transparency.
  • General David Petraeus called Jones out, stating that his planned stunt could put troops in danger, and Anderson aggressively went at the pastor with a related line of questioning. I have mixed feelings about this argument. The Bush administration used to constantly attempt to shut people down by claiming their actions might hurt the troops. I'm not saying it's not a legitimate argument in this case, but it gives me a visceral reaction of uneasiness. It was also a little strange to see our anchor take on Jones so aggressively on this subject, when 360's coverage of the South Park Muhammad controversy was pretty clearly slanted against the censorship. This isn't exactly the same (plus there was no military statement that I remember)--it's just something to think about. In any regards, Terry Jones? Still a douche.
  • The gall of Jones to claim that he's putting his life on the line. Good on Anderson for rightly shutting down that BS immediately.
  • I liked our anchor bringing up the names of the Muslim victims who died on 9-11. I think people need to be reminded of that over and over.
  • Jones: "Listen to this. We got an e-mail today from a soldier. He was in Vietnam for 11 years. He says that he believes that most of the military soldiers stand with us on this matter. " ZOMG, I just got email from TWO soldiers, and they say you're an idiot. I guess I win. The Silver Fox's reaction? Pretty much perfect: "Well, sir, you're just ridiculous, if you're believing some anonymous e-mail from somebody."
  • Major props for pointing out all the hate on this guy's website. I am sick of the Mark Williams and the Pam Gellers of the world being allowed to go on TV and present themselves as reasonable, then rush back to their blogs and spew crazy venom. What happens then is that the general public develops a false belief that they're not as bad as their critics make them out to be. Dangerous. Again, good on 360.
  • Why do Islamophobes always bring up Saudi Arabia when they try to defend their beliefs? They say we shouldn't allow mosques here until they allow churches there. Um, since when are we modeling the U.S. after Saudi Arabia? I mean, seriously, do these people not understand, like, the entire concept of this country?
  • Anderson asked Jones if he is a bigot. Predictably, Jones said he is not.
  • Our anchor: "But I asked about the bigotry, because the definition of a bigot that I just got off Dictionary.com is a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics or race. You do appear to be remarkably intolerant on any ideas other than your own regarding religion." Basically, the Silver Fox is like, "oh REALLY? Because Dictionary.com sez you are!" Lollers. Why do you hate Merriam-Webster.com, Anderson!
  • Funny thing is, Jones doesn't deny. He's like, oh intolerant? Yeah, I'm totally intolerant.
  • Then we find out that the pastor has not even read the Koran. Yes, we are all very shocked by this. He counters by trying to give Anderson a Sunday School lesson, and our anchor is oh so thrilled with that.
  • That pretty much wraps it up. We were given the disclaimer that there were lighting issues in the second half, which there were, but nothing too bad. I bring it up because the light amusingly faded out again right at the end. No more light for you, bigot pastor!
  • So! That was depressing. Anderson did a good job though, and I especially like that we're not pretending this isn't totally batshit insane and offensive. No balance here, my friends. In fact, our anchor even told Jones he hoped he would pray and come to another conclusion. The whole thing is below:

  • Keeping on all things Islam, we're paneling it up to talk about Cordoba House. Our contestants include David Gergen, Bruce Feiler, and Andy Sullivan. Bruce here, author of "Walking the Bible," is the one that makes all the sense. He supports Feisal Abdul Rauf.
  • Andy does not: "I feel like this is 9/11, the second wave." Oh, WTF? Then he starts going off about how the Imam is not a moderate (despite Anderson reminding him he's State Department-approved), and how he's running a slumlord out in Jersey City or something. It's about this time that I ask my television, who the hell is this guy? The answer from the chyron? A New York City construction worker. Oh, WTF? To be fair, he's also apparently the creator of something called the Blue Collar Corner Blog. Also, I'm a big believer in the idea that the average person's voice isn't any less important than the professional talking heads, but one gets the feeling that he's just spouting BS. A quick Google tells me the slumlord meme is the talk of the right-wing blogs. Facts would be nice.
  • Then there's David Gergen. Oh, David Gergen. Always hand-wringing; always bringing us that overly optimistic naivety. The Gerg thinks this would all turn out a-okay if only the project builders would make their interfaithness a little more interfaith-y. He is, of course, completely overlooking the Crazy Factor. You and I both know that there is absolutely nothing this Imam can do that will satisfy the Fox News crowd, short of taking his plans and disappearing off the face of the earth.

  • Isha Sesay is back! Don't forget to sign the petition to keep her forever!
  • There was an update on the Eddie Bernice Johnson story, with discussion with Melanie Sloan and Todd Gillman. That's pretty much all I have to say...because I'm tired. It happens.

  • The show was pretty good. The panel, as always, was the weakest link. Slumlord stuff, we're going to check that, yes? For what it's worth, it does seem like there's been a quality improvement over the past month-plus. Stay fact-y, 360!
  • Bonus bullet point! Check out this great behind-the-scenes video of Sanjay Gupta and his producer Danielle Dellorto talking about their time in Pakistan. We learn that Danielle had a scary experience, and the good doctor is kind of a mooch when it comes to hair care products.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think 360 did a piece on Michelle Bachmann called "Beyond the Soundbites" or somesuch. I couldn't bear to watch because I think she's a lunatic and in her case, they shouldn't be so dismissive of those soundbites or try to make her look reasonable, because she really ISN'T. It's the same type of principle as you mentioned with those crazy Muslim haters and their crazy websites, just be honest about what these people really espouse. I hope the Bachmann piece wasn't puffy and nicey-nicey, because I think she's dangerous like that crazy Koran burning preacher. I loved AC calling that nut "ridiculous", AC's getting bolder and bolder lately. I think they know Lawrence O'Donnell will be tough competition and AC has to really be a little more forceful to get some attention, but that's only my opinion. I love that they are becoming more aggressive about fact checking these crazies too.

IIRC, that construction worker guy was one of the nastiest (bigoted) of the speakers during one of those mosque protests a while ago and AC just let slide that comment he made about the Muslim woman who is also behind creating the Islamic Center. Keith Olbermann had her on the show and I think 360 should try to get her as well. She didn't seem like a "heartless" sort to me. I'm really getting tired of hearing from Gergen and I wish Fareed had've been on again to counter him. Gergen seems all about appeasing the bigots when Freedom of Religion should be the main focus of this entire issue.

On a lighter note, I signed the petition for Isha, she is fab.

7:53 PM  

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