There’s nothing the left likes better than attacking Fox News. Almost all liberal media “analysis” revolves around such activity, without ever noting the outlandishly liberal biases of the traditional outlets that outnumber Fox like the Persians outnumbered the Spartans. Throw in a chance to defend Islam and bash Christians and you get to light up the Internet like a Christmas (or Solstice) tree.
That was the case when Lauren Green, religion correspondent for Fox News (the folks who run this website), interviewed the controversial author of the new book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” In a Fox News.com Live interview Green dared to ask Reza Aslan, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then back to Islam, the most obvious of questions:
“Now, I want to clarify: You are a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”
That bolding is important. It’s how The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple handled it in a piece headlined “Fox News must apologize to Reza Aslan.”
Wemple did two pieces attacking Fox on this point, saying they were “stupid and prejudicial questions.” Apparently Wemple needs a refresher course on the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. It states: “The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.”
The heck with that. In the liberal media, one dare not ever question the motives of Muslims. How do we know this? Just ask the Post.
Two months after 9/11, Wemple’s own paper went to an Islamic expert to answer questions for readers on washingtonpost.com. The paper turned to Anwar Al-Awlaki – a man we later discovered was a terrorist so awful that Obama had him killed on sight by a drone armed with Hellfire missiles. In the video, Al-Awlaki criticized “this association between Islam and terrorism.” Now that’s apology worthy.
The Post was really just piling on.
The Daily Beast called it “the interview that’s been burning up the Internet.” Actually, it was only burning up the left side of the Internet until the traditional media followed that lead.
The Huffington Post has written about it around the clock since the interview – with at least six different pieces, including a HuffPo Live segment, and a column calling Green “the Fox News Zealot” and another saying the Q&A was a “wacky interview.”
My favorite ridiculous HuffPo headline on this was: “Reza Aslan: Speaking Truth to Power.” Aslan’s so-called truth is that Jesus was not the son of God. In HuffPo land, anyone who is Christian is wrong. That is the core of lefty belief.
The rest of the extensive left-wing web – Buzzfeed, Salon, The New Republic, Alternet, etc. – churned the story to make libs fume with anger. That was followed by the traditional media – the Post, New York Times, CNN et al. Aslan whined to Piers Morgan that it was “distasteful” to be asked about his credentials. Morgan, taking a break from his crusade against the Constitution, called the questions “ridiculous.”
During the interview, Aslan called his book “an historical biography of a man named Jesus of Nazareth. It seems to separate him from the Christology that arose around him in the generations that followed.” Pretty much proving the point that Christian critics have said of his book – that he was supporting the principle tenet of his faith, that Jesus is not divine. Yet he was shocked and complained some felt he was “attacking their faith.” Since that’s exactly what he was doing.
Unsurprisingly, Morgan gave a weak interview, letting Aslan once again get away without significant challenge to his work.
The liberal reaction to Green’s interview is a great example of journalists seeing what they choose to see, not reality. The interview wasn’t her best, but that’s not cause for the media feeding frenzy. The reason so many are after her is that she raised the uncomfortable question about why a Muslim was writing to deny the existence of the Christian faith. Sadly, most journalists did that so long ago that they fail to recognize the story.
Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.