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Olby: Don’t Generalize About the Ground Zero Mosque, You Ignorant, Hateful Wingnuts!

Posted on August 17 2010 7:00 pm
I'm an adjunct professor of history at SUNY Cobleskill. I am also the editor of the political site Jumping in Pools. I serve as a Village Trustee in my hometown, being reelected in 2010.
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Mohammed Cartoon

Thanks for your input, Keith!

Twitter can be the diary of an egotist and there are few more shining stars of narcissism than MSNBC’s “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann. Olbermann’s eccentric style and over-the-top confrontation made him a popular favorite to the American Left during the Bush years and he is now looking to recreate his former fame by diving through the dumpster of false racism charges– drawing moral equivalency between conservatives and racists.

Accordingly, he has absolutely no problem doing intellectual gymnastics in his defense of the proposed Cordoba Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan. Of course, Cordoba was one of the major cities of al-Andalus, or Muslim-conquered Spain. In his special commentary on August 16, Olbermann was quick to draw parallels between denying the mosque construction and the Holocaust. Minimizing the horrible aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 atrocities, instead boldly proclaiming:

Maybe those exploiting 45 Park Place [a potential mosque bombing] would still shake their fists and decry terrorism by extremists who happen to be Muslim, and never face theshameful truth about our country: As the Jacksonville mosque bombing shows, since Sept. 11, Muslims have been at far greater risk of being victims of terrorism in the United States, than have non-Muslims.

His insistence that the proposed Islamic center has nothing to do with the September 11th attacks is infused with a particular type of moral equivalency toward the Right, generalizing the political views of Conservatives into association in crime. For example, on his Twitter account, Keith is swift to defend the Ground Zero mosque, also supported by Hamas, replying:

A Catholic bombed the Murrah building, or a whatever-he-thinks-he-is killed Tiller, so their churches are to be limited?

While his believed-to-be-snarky comment goes unappreciated, he then summarizes his own television program, except he believes to be talking about the Republican Party:

Because their only platform depends on hate, fear, suspicion, oversimplification

Olbermann’s moral equivalency and excessive proselytizing can be both repetitive and annoying. However, when defending the construction of the Cordoba House while generalizing and demonizing conservatives whose largest supposed crime is to salve the wounds of September 11th, Olbermann falls to a new low.

Matthew Avitabile is the editor of the political site Jumping in Pools and contributor to World Threats. He is an adjunct professor of history.

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