Wow! The Washington Post has identified “rabble-rousing outsiders!” I don’t think I’ve heard language like that since Southern segregationists complained about young civil-rights activists descending on Mississippi. So who are these interlopers stirring up the unwashed masses? No need to guess: It’s anyone who dares criticize plans for an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. According to Jason Horowitz, the author of a story on the front page of the Post’s Style section, New Yorkers take a “dim view” of them.
Mr. Horowitz informs us that the planned Islamic center has become “the prime target of national conservatives who, after years of disparaging New York as a hotbed of liberal activity, are defending New York against a mosque that will rise two city blocks from Ground Zero.”
The hypocrisy! Have they no shame?
Mr. Horowitz was no doubt so busy reporting this big story that he missed the bulletins about Senate majority leader Harry Reid and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean — no nasty national conservatives, they — also opposing the Ground Zero Islamic project.
However, Mr. Horowitz did score an interview with Ali Mohammed, who sells “falafel over rice” in the besieged neighborhood and who has “reached his saturation point.” Opponents of the project, he says, “got nothing to do with New York and they don’t care about New York. They are trying to create propaganda.”
Yes, of course, this is a New York thing. Foreigners wouldn’t understand. The terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers had a bone to pick with the Big Apple. That explains why Mr. Horowitz doesn’t ask Mr. Mohammed who he thinks attacked us on 9/11, or what their ideology and goals were. Indeed, there is not a single sentence in his article relating to such matters.
Besides, New York City’s “entire political establishment” thinks the Islamic center is a dandy idea. And when a political establishment speaks, who has the right to question them? Certainly not politicians and reporters and bloggers from outside the five boroughs! The nerve of some people!
Mr. Horowitz also interviews Oz Sultan, a spokesman for the project, who sings from the same hymnal: “The people behind this [Islamic center] are New Yorkers. These are local yokels.”
How does that square with Mr. Sultan’s refusal to rule out the possibility that funds for this $100 million project may be raised in Saudi Arabia and Iran? Inquiring minds may want to know; Mr. Horowitz does not even ask.
Instead, he makes clear whom he does not view as local yokels or even real New Yorkers: “the city’s tabloids,” whose reporters and editors “know they have a good thing going” — in stark contrast to Mr. Horowitz and the prestige media, which cover stories like this strictly from a sense of civic obligation.