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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Koran Burning – an Incendiary Open Thread

Once again John Stewart proves something that ever sane Al Giordano and our own sage Shaun Appleby have said:

Cable TV political shows on Comedy Central – The Daily Show and The Colbert report – have become far more relevant to the national political discourse than any host on MSNBC or even Fox, which has gone down the Glenn Beck rabbit hole in a manner that only increases the dysfunction inside the GOP.

Al Giordano – A Primer on the 2010 US House and Senate Elections The Field 1 Sep 10

Or as I said, in full Bardic emulation mode, perhaps we’ve reached that strange decadent point in our politics “when sooth sayers sound like fools, and only fools speak the truth.”  

The obscene and inflammatory 9/11 commemoration promised by the ridiculous moustachioed demagogue Terry Jones (no, not the Monty Python guy) richly deserves the most withering satire your political wits are capable of.

I can’t view or embed Comedy Central videos in the UK (help Moosefather!), so hat tip for Bruinkid on DKOS for the transcript below the break….

Now as you know, Saturday is September 11th.  It’s a day, for many Americans, sadness and reflection.  Of course, not everybody is that circumspect.

MONICA CROWLEY (9/9/2010): Coming up on The Factor, a radical fringe Christian group is planning to burn a bunch of Korans on the anniversary of 9/11.

Yes, Florida pastor and Civil War mustache collector Terry Jones is hosting the first ever International Burn the Koran Day.  It’s fucked for the whole family.

By the way, two things, pastor.  Just because you put “international” on the sign, it doesn’t really make it an international event.  Same way the World Series isn’t really played with the entire world, and Miss Universe is always from Earth.

Number two, it’s only three hours?  You’re gonna be out by 9?  Don’t you want to leave an event like this a little open-ended, based on things like burning time and amount o’ Korans that show?  “Look, I hate the Moslems, but Saturday at 9?  That’s Bones time.  You know the rules.  When Bones starts, burnin’ stops.”

But of course, Pastor Jones wanted to make it clear, this isn’t about hate.


TERRY JONES: We’re against a radical element of Islam.  Even moderate Muslims should be on our side.

KIRAN CHETRY: No moderate Muslim’s going to be on your side when you’re burning their holy book!  I mean, that just sounds silly.

TERRY JONES: That’s not… of course it’s not silly.

It’s not silly, it’s not silly.  And I know silly.  Exhibit A.  (touches mustache)

So a radical Muslim as defined by our good pastor, a radical Muslim defined by this pastor, is any Muslim who thinks it’s not OK for him to burn their holy book.  So I guess radical Jews are the ones who don’t take Communion.  Uh, this is a political no-brainer, so watch how political no-brainers connect it to other Islam-related issues.

MONICA CROWLEY (9/7/2010): I think about all of this in the context of the debate over the Ground Zero mosque.

FRED BARNES (9/7/2010): This is similar in one way to the Ground Zero mosque.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/8/2010): To Pastor Jones and those who want to build the mosque, just because you have a right to do something in America, does not mean it is the right thing to do.

Get it?  See the parallel?  A Christian is an extremist by burning the Koran.  A Muslim is an extremist by reading from it… too close to a place that their extremists burned.  It almost makes no sense.  For more on this, I’m happy to be joined by our Senior Correspondent John Oliver.  John, thanks so much.

JOHN OLIVER: Jon, if I can just… let me just make this perfectly clear.  Terry Jones, that radical hate-spewing extremist, does not reflect the views of the vast majority of moderate peaceful Christians.  In fact, this man is fucking crazy.  He no more represents Christianity than Dr. Laura represents the United Negro College Fund.

JON STEWART: All right, so, I appreciate your clarity on that, but he is hardly alone, John Oliver.  There’s Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church; there is Jeremiah Wright in Chicago; Pat Robertson blamed 9/11 on America’s behavior.  I’m seeing a pattern now of extremism in Christianity that a lot of Americans are finding very troubling, very troubling indeed.

OLIVER: OK, sure, you can cherry-pick a few embarrassing lunatics, but to declare them emblematic of the entire faith is simply ridiculous.

STEWART: Let me ask you this then, John Oliver, where’s the money coming from for these extremists?  Who’s funding these radical Christian clerics?

OLIVER: What do you mean, funding them?  I guess, parishioners?  Occasional bake sales?  Nothing nefarious, if that’s what you’re trying to imply to me.

STEWART: Apart from the fact that they have tax-exempt status!  That means that pastor Terry Jones is being bankrolled by the United States government!  That is state-supported extremism!  We’re funding extremist churches right in this very….

OLIVER: Oh yeah, sure, right Jon.  Our Muslim President is funding Christian extremists.  Nice try, please.  Settle down.

STEWART: You cannot deny Christianity is a violent religion.  I have your holy book right here.  Isaiah 13:16: “Their children shall also be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses shall be spoiled, their wives ravished.”  Leviticus 20:9: “For everyone that curses his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”  How are we supposed to feel when we see pastors preaching this type of thing across our very country?  [Jon mistakenly said “Isaiah 3:16” on the show; it’s actually Isaiah 13:16.]

OLIVER: Hold on a second, Jon.  That’s the Old Testament.

STEWART: Yes, that’s right.

OLIVER: No, no, no.  That’s your book.  Yeah.  That’s yours.

STEWART: Are you serious?

OLIVER: Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s a Jew manual.  We’re New Testament, Jon.  We’re a Prince of Peas, uh, Prince of Peace, turn the other… not Prince of Peas.  That’s… that’s not us.

STEWART: I think that’s Dinty Moore.

OLIVER: That’s right.  That’s them.  We’re Prince of Peace, turn the other cheek, wash your feet.  The Old Testament, that’s all you.  That’s all on you.

STEWART: This is the Jewish manual?  Because I thought the Jewish manual was this book.

Portnoy’s Complaint.  It was an ancient text on what it means to be chosen by God and have mommy issues.  But even if you go with the New Testament, Christianity is still an expansionist religion, with a core mission to convert the entire world to your way of life.

OLIVER: No, no, no!  That is a wild misinterpretation of a very complicated text!

STEWART: That is not a wild misinterpretation!  Listen again!  (Matthew 28:19-20)  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  That doesn’t even sound like a religion, that is a blueprint for world domination, my friend!  World domination!

OLIVER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!!  You wanna go?  You wanna go?  Cuz I’ll go right now!  I will go right now!  Gimme that!  Gimme your Jew manual.

STEWART: No, no, don’t read from my manual!

OLIVER: Yeah, OK, let’s try this.  Chapter 2, Whacking Off.

STEWART: Oh, for God’s sake.

OLIVER: And I quote, Jon:

“Come, Big Boy, come,” screamed the maddened piece of liver that, in my own insanity, I bought one afternoon at a butcher shop and, believe it or not, violated behind a billboard on the way to a bar mitzvah.

OLIVER: Jon, will you publicly now condemn the Jewish practice of ejaculating into dinner meats?  Will you do that?  Now, here?

STEWART: This is not about me, this is not about Judaism.

OLIVER: Jon, look down the camera, Jon.  Look down the camera and publicly state to America that you are against committing sex acts on a two-pound cut of liver.  Do it now.  Do it.  If you believe it, do it.

STEWART: I think people have a right to do that, but I think it should not happen.

OLIVER: Well, there you go.  Thank you.  Now I feel significantly safer eating lunch with you.  But here’s the point.  Why won’t every Jew go on camera and just make that simple statement?

STEWART: That is a hardly fair statement….

OLIVER: In fact, let’s settle this now.  Wolf Blitzer, where are you on frosting the liver?  Answer the question, America wants answers!

STEWART: John Oliver, everybody.  We’ll be right back.

Brilliant stuff. But does it do much to stop the zealots? I hope shows like this and Colbert reach a larger audience than Fox, but what do I know?

And how come it’s taken 9 years for Islamophobia to ratchet up to this level? Are some people gaming this? Is it a deliberate new tactic in the wedge issue, for right wingers to distract us from the economic inequalities?

If you’re against religious intolerance (both intolerance between religions, and of religions) how do you effectively counter the  


  1. jsfox

    is well within his rights to go ahead a do this hateful act I’ve been wondering.

    What if a Imam in this country from a small fringe mosque decided to hold a bible burning? The cries for his arrest or worse would be full throated and he would be stopped. Go figure

  2. spacemanspiff

    I know it’s sounds silly but nobody would of even known about this douchebag if the media hadn’t been playing it up for over a week now. I think media should be more responsible in the stories they decide to highlight. I would imagine other people have burned Koran’s and many have done the same for Bibles. Don’t have proof but it isn’t farfetched to think so. The difference here is the fact that his has gotten national attention y por ende ahora it’s the day’s top story.

    Maybe I don’t understand how this stuff works but blasting the dude has only helped to draw attention to this assholery. Not only that, I’ll bet he feels he HAS to go through with it now, even if he changed his mind. What a fucking joke this whole thing has become.

  3. Hollede

    Chris Matthews just told me that the idiot has just called the whole thing off:~D I hope this is true. I will find a tube, once more comes in on the matter.

  4. Shaun Appleby

    The Westboro Baptist Church has now stepped up to the plate:

    Westboro Baptist Church, the small Topeka, Kan., church that pickets funerals of American soldiers to spread its message that God is punishing the country for being tolerant of homosexuals, has vowed to hold a Quran burning if Gainesville’s Dove World Outreach Center calls its off.

    Chad Smith – Westboro Baptist Church to burn Qurans if Dove doesn’t Ocala Star-Banner 9 Sep 10

    Anyone unfamiliar with the Westboro congregation has just never really grasped ‘teh crazy.’

  5. This isn’t just about Terry Jones or the Westboro nutjobs. There were some links on drudge a few days ago that lead to articles about the mass gatherings in Mecca. I followed those links and read the comments left by the drudgebots. It was sickening. Most of them complained that we missed a perfect opportunity to drop a nuke on Mecca so we could get rid of 600,000 terrorists in one go. There is a sizable minority in this country that hates Islam and anyone that practices the religion. They want to rid the world of any followers of Islam. These haters are out there. Not just a few nuts in minor congregations, but 10’s of millions of them. The sane people in this country have to accept the fact that these people live amongst us.

  6. fogiv

    Just had to share some vintage bruh1:

    Let’s accept everything you say is treu (11+ / 0-)

    Is the argument that you linked to about (yes or no) where the electorate is, and whether the Democratic party is reaching that electorate?

    I note that you can’t be give a straight  answer here. You change from this is what it says to this is what i interpret it to mean and now to bringing in irrelevant points that does not help us understand the aritcle any better/

    On its own terms, is the aritcle right or not about the American electorate. YES OR NO.

    Because the problem here is that you are focused on the person rather than the argument. And please don’t respond back if you choose to even respond with something about me personally. It just illustrates the minds et that pervades those who choose to defend the party’s status quo.

    by bruh1 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 at 10:53:51 AM PDT

    It’s prolly the Kush talkin’, but a classic bruh1 comment is so riveting that you can barely spoon your eyes off. Sure, they aint pretty, but they’re captivating in a did that just happen? way.  I find myself reading them over and over and over again, all the while a fierce and fortissimo chorus of what the fuck? thundering across my brainpan like a stampede of albino buffalo.

    Does anyone but me ever visualize a particular commenter, and after a fashion, develop a sort of caricature-like avatar for them in your mind? This mental cartoon is shaped wholly by your take-away from the sum total of their online commentary right, because in most cases that’s all you’ve got to work with.  I have little cartoon pop-up’s for all ya’ll (and yes sricki, you’re a wicked-hawt vixen), but despite all my creative powers (enhanced to capacity) I can’t conjure a gestalt for bruh1.  he’s an amorphous sludge.

    So tell me longtime bruh1 fans, in your mind’s eye, what does this crazee kat look like, eh? Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

  7. Shaun Appleby

    By all accounts the ‘media’ is having a soul-searching moment after frantically publicising a fringe nut job in Florida for the last three weeks:

    By the middle of this week, the planned Koran burning was the lead story on some network newscasts, and topic No. 1 on cable news – an extraordinary amount of attention for a marginal figure with a very small following.

    Brian Stelter – Coverage of Koran Case Stirs Questions on Media Role NYT 9 Sep 10

    Sheesh.  I didn’t notice the Republicans stampeding to denounce this guy either, at first.  Maybe that’s what caught the ‘media’ on the wrong foot:

    The episode has given rise to at least a little soul-searching within news organizations. Chris Cuomo, an ABC News anchor, wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter, “I am in the media, but think media gave life to this Florida burning … and that was reckless.”

    Brian Stelter – Coverage of Koran Case Stirs Questions on Media Role NYT 9 Sep 10

    Ya’ think?  And yet, the equally manufactured and meritless controversy over the mosque to be built in lower Manhattan is still news…  because…  the Right-wing noise machine is still piling on to the issue with the nativist fear-mongering which often gains them a few votes and sucks the oxygen out of policy discussions.

  8. Shaun Appleby

    It seems to me that Obama’s press conference was a subtle way of staking out a major 2010 policy issue in a way that must be a positive for Democrats, at least with actual voters:

    “My position is, lets get done what we all agree on,” said the president. “What they’ve said is, ‘We all agree that the middle-class tax cuts should be made permanent. Let’s work on that, let’s do it.’ We can have a further conversation about how they want to spend an additional $700 billion dollars to give an average of $100,000 to millionaires. That, I think, is a bad idea. If you were going to spend that money there are a lot of better ways of spending it. But more to the point, these are the same folks who say they are concerned about the deficit — why would we borrow money on policies that won’t help the economy and help people who don’t need help.”

    Sam Stein – Obama Hints At Procedural Compromise On Bush Tax Cuts, Says GOP’s Holding ‘Middle Class Hostage’ Huffington Post 9 Sep 10

    Sounds like a winner to me, and can’t see that it stretches our national attention span too far either.  Polling seems to indicate Democrats would be on a winner with this.

  9. Shaun Appleby

    It’s gone awfully quiet around here in the last forty-eight hours.  Don’t tell me you people have actual lives, jobs, families and so forth…

    And such a juicy weekend it has been, too.  Hello-oo…

  10. fogiv

    on account of the mediagasm for a floridian fringe nutbag with a super-mario mustache:

    In a sudden flare-up of violence in Kashmir today, 17 people, including a policeman, were killed and over 70 injured with mobs torching several government properties and a school, some of the trouble triggered by a TV report alleging desecration of the Quran in the US.

    The state cabinet, which met this evening, condemned the alleged act of desecration and made a fervent appeal to the people not to take law in their own hands.

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