The Right and Islam

by Ramesh Ponnuru

John Guardiano has written an odd post on that subject. It opens thus: “Conservatives are in high dudgeon because the legacy media has taken to calling them bigots for their opposition to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

“National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, for instance, objects to the media’s ‘latest screeds’ and ‘rage’ against the Right.”

Guardiano goes on to argue that while charges of bigotry are often unjustified, many conservatives have displayed bigotry against Muslims. I have no quarrel with this thesis, although some of his specific examples are extremely unpersuasive. (He claims, for example, that Andrew McCarthy “suggests we might have to reconsider whether the First Amendment ought even to apply to Muslims,” supporting this claim by linking to a column in which Andy writes, “No one credibly questions the legal right of Muslim landowners to use their property in any lawful fashion.”)

His reference to me in his opening is really peculiar. I have never raised any objection, anywhere, to the “legacy media” for suggesting that there is anti-Islamic bigotry on the Right. In the item he cites, I am talking about articles by Peter Beinart rather than making any generalization about the media. I don’t consider Beinart or the Daily Beast part of the “legacy media” nor do I believe that general usage justifies their inclusion in the category. And the rage I detected in Beinart’s articles is not exclusively directed at the Right. Other than that, great example.

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