After Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones received enough mainstream media attention to merit a cease-and-desist phone call from the Secretary of Defense yesterday, some major news outlets are trying to absolve themselves of guilt. But how will they treat Jones' copycats?
There's a strain of embarrassment in the way many mainstream news outlets are covering Terry Jones' "International Burn a Koran Day" fiasco now, after it nearly created a global terrorism crisis in every country.
Yesterday, the AP said it wouldn't show any images of the actual Koran-burning at Jones' (since canceled) event — after spending a week drawing attention to it, and even getting Gen. David Petraeus to chime in. You' think that they'd want pictures of this historic news frenzy they'd sparked, no?
The New York Times, meanwhile, while thoroughly covering every single aspect of this event all day, snobbily tried to distance itself later on by posting a discussion about the way the media covers fringe figures. It asked, "In the age of Facebook and YouTube, how should the news media have responded to Terry Jones and his plan to burn the Koran?" Huh? What did this story even have to do with Facebook or YouTube? The Times sure loves to blame generic websites for every random thing. But they were covering it, too.
And then there was this morning's bizarre edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe (clip below). Jones appeared on the program, but wasn't allowed to speak. Instead, Jon Meacham just quoted Jesus, and Jones' "appearance" ended. Take that! MSNBC now presumably thinks it's done its community service. (NBC's Today show, on the other hand, let Jones speak.)
So how will the mainstream media cover Jones' inevitable Koran-burning copycats? There's some idiot in Wyoming who wants to burn the Koran there, and of course the whores at Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church will be burning some Korans too.
What Bible verses will Jon Meacham read them?
[video via Mediaite, photo via Getty Images]