Friday, May 25, 2007

More Pew Report Follow-Up: The Media, Eteraz, SF Chronicle

We've had a lot of members of the community saying that "The Press" was accentuating the negative and going down the "if it bleeds it leads" path, and so on. As a qualifier, I have to say that I don't quite bother to follow the mainstream cable and broadcast TV media (not just Fox, but CNN, etc., too) at lately, so the following is based on following the press and wire sources.

One interesting round up was done by Brian Lehrer on his show on WNYC. You can listen to the segment he did on the report at:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2007/05/24

He reads out a bunch of headlines, and it is only the AP ones that lead with seeing the cup as a quarter full of poison rather than three quarters full of nectar.

On the other side, I have to say, Ali Eteraz is one of very few people actually taking the discussion ensuing from the Pew Report about American Muslims beyond simplicities, so to speak. Read his stuff here, and here. And on Huff Po here.

And for what it's worth, a couple writers here in the SF Bay Area did a pretty good job in the Chronicle this week, looking at this as a human and an American story, not just a Muslim disease, and putting the concerns that the Report raises, without getting jingoistic or turning to "Islam is evil" or "all Muslims are terrorists" kind of bashing.

And also, to summ up, from where I sit, as I pointed out on my blog, it took the BBC to turn to the highest ranking Muslim elected official in this country to get a comment. And I had to bounce it off someone like a Indian security hawk to try and make the story more a global study. Of course, where he's coming from is problematic, but it's very frustrating to get even American Muslim "media" to take the bigger view. There's much to learn from the experiences of Muslim communities in other countries.

Let's keep talking about this and related issues.

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