Amid late 2010’s snowstorms and champagne toasts, most folks likely missed a truly stunning comment by a high-profile U.S. journalist. Katie Couric’s words epitomize the ignorance and politically correct blindness that befall too many of America’s media elite.
In a CBSNews.com year-in-review discussion, the Evening News anchor lamented that “the bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year.” She complained about “this seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims, which I think is so misdirected, and so wrong — and so disappointing.”
Couric added: “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.…I know that sounds crazy. But The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t understand.”
With apologies to chickens, ostriches, and other feathered creatures, Couric’s comments are multifariously bird-brained.
Does Couric truly believe that Americans were so prejudiced, and yet superficially so, that Bill Cosby’s program substituted decades of bias with an era of ethnic enlightenment?
The Cosby Show’s enormous audience would have been far smaller from 1984 to 1992 absent the grueling and often deadly civil-rights work of such heroes as Rosa Parks, the Congress of Racial Equality’s murdered Freedom Riders, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney; and — of course — the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Couric’s comments seem blissfully detached from the clear and present danger posed by Muslim zealots.
“This is the ultimate in hysterical political correctness,” says House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King (R., N.Y.). “To write off legitimate opposition to the Ground Zero mosque as bigotry against Muslims is elitist condescension and inexcusable ignorance. As to a Bill Cosby show for Muslims, that wouldn’t allay the concerns of liberals such as Attorney General Eric Holder who says he stays ‘awake at night’ because so many young Muslim-American men are becoming so radicalized that they are taking up arms against our country. Get real, Katie.”
Yes, Katie, it would be lovely if a Muslim Cosby Show (perhaps titled al-Qasbi) were an ecumenical love bomb. Alas, it probably would enrage the very bombers who should tune in.
In a forthcoming report, the Investigative Project on Terrorism counts at least 21 militant Muslims who were convicted on or pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges in 2010 alone. While most American Muslims peacefully practice their faith, Islamic extremists in their midst thirst to spill blood, usually on American soil:
• Last February 22 and April 23, respectively, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty to supporting a foiled September 2009 al-Qaeda plot to bomb New York City subways.
• May 26: Hosam Maher Husein Smadi pleaded guilty to attempting to bomb Dallas’s 60-story Fountain Place tower.
• June 21: Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty to parking a thankfully dysfunctional car bomb outside The Lion King in Times Square on May 1. Sentenced October 5 to life in prison, an unrepentant Shahzad said, “We are proud terrorists and we will keep on terrorizing you.”
• July 28: Madhatta Haipe — a founder of Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaeda’s Philippine franchise — pleaded guilty to promulgating the 1995 kidnapping of 16 people, including four Americans, in Mindanao.
• August 2: Russell Defreitas, a.k.a. Mohammed, and Abdul Kadir were convicted of conspiring to detonate jet-fuel tanks and pipelines at New York’s JFK Airport to incinerate property and passengers.
• September 23: Aafia Siddiqui was convicted of attempted murder and assault against American personnel in Afghanistan. She was arrested with a two-pound jar of sodium cyanide and a computer thumb drive bearing, among other things, descriptions of New York City landmarks.
• October 18: James Cromite, a.k.a. Abdul Rahman, converted to Islam in prison. He and three others were convicted of conspiring to blast a Bronx synagogue and use Stinger missiles to demolish military planes at New York’s Stewart Air Base.
• October 20: Zachary Adam Chesser, a.k.a. Abu Talhah al-Amrikee, pleaded guilty to attempting to support Somalia’s al-Shabaab terror group and threatening writers of the South Park TV show for lampooning the prophet Mohammad.
Remember, these Muslim terrorists are behind bars. Additional terror suspects await trial, such as accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan (13 dead, 31 injured), alleged Christmas 2009 Crotch Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and Mohamed Mohamud, who police say planned to detonate a car bomb at a November 27 Portland, Ore., Christmas-tree lighting. According to prosecutors, Mohamud said: “I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”
Shallower than Saran Wrap, Couric uttered not a word about this. She sees the real threat as average Americans with a “deep-seated hatred” of “all Muslims.” Yet, these supposedly bigoted monsters somehow denounce the proposed Ground Zero mosque loudly, yet peacefully.
Indeed, New York State’s latest data show that among 683 reported hate crimes in 2009 (before the mosque fracas), eleven (1.6 percent) targeted Muslims, while 251 (36.7 percent) targeted Jews. In Los Angeles, Jews endured 88 percent of hate incidents; Muslims 3 percent. Perhaps NBC should air The Cosbowitz Show.
Rather than an Islam-friendly sitcom, what Earth needs is a Muslim Reformation, akin to the 16th century’s Protestant taming of the Vatican’s excesses. Depoliticizing Islam would go far to neutralize its more venomous tendencies.
Speaking of comedy, consider 1979’s Life of Brian, Monty Python’s hilarious and blasphemous satire on Jesus. Did Christians protest and boycott the film? Naturally. Did they plot to blow up Orion Pictures? No.
Yet radical Muslims just cannot get over Danish newspaper Jylland Posten’s 2005 publication of cartoons about Mohammad. Danish police on December 29 arrested four Muslim fanatics who allegedly were perhaps hours away from treating Jylland Posten’s newsroom like Columbine High School. Officials in Copenhagen say that these suspects possessed silencer-equipped machine guns and planned to “kill as many of the people present as possible.”
None of this appears to occupy Katie Couric’s head. But then again, what does?
— Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.