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Arlington Sun-Gazette: Now Trafficking In Fear, Hate & Propaganda

The Arlington Sun-Gazette arrived in the mail today, and while it has often disappointed me in the past, it really outdid itself today.  Arlington Sun GazetteSee, inserted in the middle of the paper was a full color poster and DVD containing “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West”.  This is a hateful bit of propaganda that is popular with the David Horowitz crowd, and its distribution was underwritten by the Clarion Fund (more about this fraud of an operation here).  and does its best to drum up the fear, as described by someone who received a copy with his New York Times:

Arriving at the doorstep together, the package was alarming. The film is made to appear as a news-style documentary and includes splashy sell-lines that shout “As seen on CNN and FOX News by more than 20 million viewers worldwide.” Indeed, the incendiary packaging is a reflection of the contents of the film. The “O” in “Obsession” is formed with the Islamic crescent moon and a star, and the closing “N” is tricked up with a silhouette of an automatic rifle. Soft focus-images of Middle Easterners, the World Trade Center, a firefighter on a ladder and the American flag all bathed in golden light.

The movie’s primary aim appears to be to get every viewer to think that Islam’s primary purpose is to ensure that there’s a Muslim dedicated to killing them and their children hiding around every corner.  It’s an absolutely execrable effort at hate and fear mongering, and I’m not going to expend any effort in describing in further.  You are welcome to check it out for yourself, however, at the movie’s website.

I called the Sun-Gazette’s offices to make sure that they’d sent it, but there was no answer.  I left a message and will report back on any response.  In the interim, I urge all of my Northern Virginia readers to call the Sun-Gazette at (703) 738-2520 and tell them that hate has no place here, no matter how much money it makes them.  Ask for Scott McCaffery, the newspaper’s editor, when you do this.  And don’t take the “oh, it’s just an advertisement, we don’t have any control over what we carry” excuse.  It’s bullshit.  I can think of a half dozen inserts they’d turn down without a thought.  They certainly *do* have control over trafficking in hate.

As I was writing this, I discovered that this tripe was distributed with many newspapers (to 28 million homes, it seems).  You know who the only paper was to refuse, thus far?  The Greensboro News & Record.  Putting the rest of them to shame.  No excuses for any of them.  At all.


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  1. Peej

    Fan-fucking-tastic…the Philadelphia Inquirer is on the list. We don’t get it delivered, so I have no idea if it has gone out or not, but I am going to call and find out.
    (And I am so fucking tired of the prefaced use of the word radical as a lame ass attempt at CYA–not that they really care–by the groups that put out/endorse this crap.)

  2. Peej

    Update: It looks like it went out in the Sunday paper. Brilliant. And oh, look, here is their official response:

    “A spokesman for the Philadelphia inquirer said a committee reviewed the DVD.

    “We determined it to be an appropriate form of free speech. We don’t endorse the content or the editorial position of the advertiser,” Philadelphia Media Holdings spokesman Jay Devine said.

    I am so calling right now. Appropriate free speech and ‘advertiser’ my ass.

  3. Ron Lithgow

    I think you are wrong.
    It seems very common these days for many folks to “appreciate” freedom of speech, except when someone else’s freedom of speech goes contrary to their opinions.

    Can you honestly say you are sincerely concerned about fear mongering and hate and then sponsor a link to dKos? Al Jazeera is no better.

    Please think a little.


  4. MB

    Who is wrong about what, Ron?

    I think you’re confused about appreciation for freedom of speech, and appreciation for the content of the speech itself. Just as these papers were entitled to distributing that hateful little bit of work, I’m quite entitled to call it just that. The actual argument really has nothing to do with free speech.

    As to Al Jazeera and Daily Kos, I’m just going to assume that you’re simply repeating something you’ve heard, without having bothered checking either place out. I suspect it would do you some good to try.

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