FNC/RNC Doubles Down On Juan Williams

So Roger Ailes doesn't fire Juan Williams for justifying associating anyone in Muslim garb with a Jihadist mass-murderer, he gives Williams a whopping raise:

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on FoxNews.com.

The RNC/FNC's concerted campaign to turn American Muslims into the new "other" - while, of course, pandering to a Republican base that believes that the president is a Muslim (and therefore legitimately viewed as a potential terrorist) - is thereby ratcheted up a notch. Sarah Palin - a lynchpin of the RNC/FNC machine - jumps in:

Are we not allowed to say that Muslim terrorists have killed thousands of Americans and continue to plot the deaths of thousands more? Are we not allowed to say that there are Muslim states that aid and abet these fanatics? Are we not allowed to even debate the role that radical Islam plays in inciting this violence?

The answers to which are, of course, yes, yes, and yes, and if Juan Williams had said any of those things, there would be no controversy. But what he actually said is that anyone looking Muslim was legitimately viewed as a potential terrorist, despite the fact that no actual Jihadists attacking the US have worn "Muslim garb", and one of the most recent Jihadists was actually wearing the military uniform of the United States. He has every right to say this, and media organizations have every right to associate or disassociate themselves from those sentiments. What we now know is that Fox News wants to endorse and celebrate the idea that it is legitimate to fear that anyone dressed as a Muslim could be a mass-killer. And we know that NPR doesn't.

So if you say that all terrorists are Muslims (untrue), you're fine with Fox. If you blanketly conflate American Muslims with al Qaeda, as O'Reilly did on The View, you're a Fox star. And if you're a "liberal" hired by Fox to legitimize the bigotry of your paymasters and say it's legit to fear anyone wearing Muslim garb as a terrorist (also empirically ludicrous), you get a raise.

This is a political pre-election campaign to whip up anti-Muslim fears in order to smear even further the president, and now associate NPR with Islamist terror, and rally to defund it. And it is deeply counter to success in the war against Jihadism, by lumping every Muslim American and every non-Jihadist around the world with al Qaeda, exactly the way to lose this war in the long run, and not win it.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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