“Emails show Bloomberg office’s desire to get Ground Zero mosque built,” screamed the New York Post headline. The Wall Street Journal was just slightly calmer: “In e-mails, NYC pushes for mosque near ground zero.”
Alarming? Suspicious? Why is New York’s mayor taking sides in the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque*?
Relax, he’s not. It’s just the Murdoch papers’ way of stirring up fears of a Muslim takeover of America. But read on—far below the inflammatory headlines, the Post piece ended with this explanation:
His [Bloomberg’s] spokesman Stu Loeser today said [the Community Affairs office’s] job is “to help groups navigate city government, and from helping prepare for a Papal visit to extending approval of a Sukkah in a midtown Manhattan park, this kind of assistance is typical of its regular work.”
The WSJ article also softened the headline by quoting a Bloomberg spokesman as saying “It is nothing out of the ordinary. This is what the Community Affairs Unit does.”
So if it’s nothing out of the ordinary, why the scare headlines? To stir up anti-Muslim feelings? Let’s hope it’s just a bit of old fashioned yellow journalism designed to sell papers. And more reason to take press reports, especially Murdoch press reports, with two grains of salt.
* The so-called “Ground Zero mosque” is not a mosque and not at Ground Zero. It’s really a multi-purpose community center 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero and completely out of sight from there.
Tags: Anti-Muslim, Bloomberg, Community Affairs office, Emails, ethics, Ground Zero mosque, Murdoch papers, Muslim takeover, New York Post, Papal visit, Stu Loeser, Sukkah, Wall Street Journal, yellow journalism