"Pastor" Jones, False Messiah, And Corporate Media

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[Publisher's  Commentary]

During my regular weekly appearance as a panelist on WBAI-Pacifica radio's weekly political roundtable last Wednesday, I expressed strong skepticism about the so-called Florida "pastor" Terry Jones who had threatened to lead a Quran burning fest on 9/11 the date of the attacks on the World Trade Center and other U.S. targets.

I said I did not believe anyone could be as "stupid" as Jones and devoid of sufficient brain matter to see that Quran burning would have direct tragic consequences. I said that while "pastor" Jones' churchmembers had declared willingness to join him in burning Islam's holy book, I did not believe anyone would join him, at the end. He would "turn around and find no one behind him" were the words I used to describe Jones.

I was not surprised when on the eve of 9/11, Jones claimed he was abandoning his plan to burn the Quran. He claimed the developers of the Interfaith project in Manhattan --which will also include an Islamic prayer center-- had agreed to relocate the development away from the site of the World Trade Center.

It was an utter lie of course. Jones, the coward, was looking for a face-saving way to exit.

Jones is a publicity genius--he knew that corporate mass media would bite the bait --ethnic, racial and religious bigotry always generate good news copy and sells. Jones has elevated his name recognition and with that, the name of his cult which he calls a "church" and perhaps more business for his reported furniture sales operation on eBay, operated from the "church."

Jones, at the end of the day, is a greedy and entrepreneurial stuntman.

Gullible corporate media, coupled with opportunistic commentary by some Republicans and Tea Party activists, helped to build the critical explosive mass heading towards 9/11. Even President Obama made comments pointing out at the danger of Jones' anti-Quran campaign. The Defense Secretary, Gates, concerned about a backlash against U.S. military personnel around the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, called Jones.

Predictably, Jones' scam led to demonstrations by Muslims in several countries, including in Afghanistan, where at least two people were killed by security forces.

All along, Jones had no intention to burn the Quran. He is a greedy businessman who loves money. People like Jones don't care about the turmoil caused by their bigotry. He himself certainly was not willing to sacrifice his life -- for that is probably what he would be doing by burning the Quran.

He is a brilliant 21st Century snake oil salesman. And he can thank the corporate news media for providing him with free global advertisement. It's a very sad statement on the state of media when all the major "mainstream" outlets deemed Jones' scam worthy of such major coverage. Yet again, it indicates that secretly, there is a sizable population that share anti-Islamic sentiments and were willing to embrace the bigotry sold by Jones.

Who is more guilty for this debacle, which has escalated Islamophobia in the United States, Jones or corporate media?

The media without a doubt.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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