NewsBusters attacks Jon Stewart for not defending free expression, even though he did, and NewsBusters praised him for it

Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

There are times when mocking NewsBusters' ongoing ineptitude feels almost gratuitous. They clearly have no clue what they're doing, and there's no real challenge in it. But if Fox News wants to keep hosting staff members from the Media Research Center to give lectures about journalism, then we'll keep pointing out that they are painfully incompetent.

Today, Tim Graham - the Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center - uncorked a stem-winder aimed at the supposedly "shameless" Jon Stewart for The Daily Show's (hilarious) segment last night railing on conservatives' ridiculous freak-out over the NYC mosque.

Setting aside Graham's heartfelt defense of GOP Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey's supposedly taken-out-of-context comment that "you could argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality way of life, or cult or whatever you call it," he makes a fool of himself by trying to paint Stewart as a hypocrite. According to Graham, Stewart has no standing to attack conservatives over religious freedom because he works for Comedy Central, which censored South Park's attempted illustration of Mohammed:

Jon Stewart landed both his jokey feet on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy on The Daily Show Tuesday night. He mocked conservatives for having no respect for freedom of religion. This, from Comedy Central? The network that mocks Jesus and Christians relentlessly, but censors whenever the radical Muslims threaten them? Yes. Stewart was arguing for the "greatness" of Islam, that it should be accepted with great tolerance as a global religion - regardless of how much tolerance Islam demonstrates for freedom of religion.


But it is Stewart and the Comedy Central crowd that are the shameless hypocrites about religious liberty. If they really believed in free expression, they might dare to mock radical Muslims instead of cower before them.

If this were true, it would have been a great point. Unfortunately for Graham, after Comedy Central censored South Park's attempted portrayal of Mohammed, Stewart led off his show with a long segment addressing the controversy. And Graham could have read all about it on his own website, which praised Stewart for being "one of the few left-leaning media figures to note a glaring double standard: in popular culture, religions of all kind are regularly mocked but Islam mostly gets a free pass."

In an April 23 post, NewsBuster Lachlan Markay wrote about how Stewart "noted the blatant censorship his employer Comedy Central exercised," and added that his "extensive recap of all the religions has made fun of over the years was clearly a critique of Comedy Central's decision."

Take heed, Jon Stewart - you need to redouble your efforts. According to Tim Graham, you need to "mock radical Muslims instead of cower before them." Apparently singing a song to radical Muslims with a refrain of "go fuck yourselves" doesn't count.

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