Liberal media sharks continue feeding frenzy over ‘Zealot’ interview

Reza Aslan, author of 'Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,' says he wrote the book as a historian, not as a Muslim


The difference between the hard-left media and a school of sharks is … well, there isn’t much difference. Both get fighting mad and keep attacking when they smell blood in the water. (“Sharknado” jokes are on hold till the sequel.) That’s how left-wing sites like Huffington Post and Salon treat Fox News especially.

On Wednesday, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell (Hint #1: My boss) went on Fox (Hint #2: The owners of this website) to tear apart the latest media feeding frenzy. 

It all involved a FoxNews.com Live interview of author Reza Aslan that upset the left like throwing chum in the water. 

Fox New’s Lauren Green dared to ask Aslan if his Islamic faith impacted his book that totally denies the divinity of Jesus Christ – just accidentally the entire foundation for all branches of Christianity. Aslan got his immense ego bruised. Libs smelled blood and attacked.

Bozell criticized Aslan as “arrogant” (understatement), “absolutely false” (even more of an understatement) and “very biased” (duh). Cue the music from “Jaws” or “Shark Week.”

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The Huffington Post reacted with vigor and its characteristically hyped headlines. Two versions of the same headline said either: “SURPRISE! Fox News Thinks This Went GREAT,” or “Fox News DEFENDS Disastrous Interview.” Weekly World News headline writers will always be able to find work with Arianna.

The headlines pointed to a story and a HuffPost Live piece that, once again, attacked Fox News.

HuffPost politics reporter Sabrina Siddiqui targeted her assault on the original interview, mocking “the flawed questioning” and saying it was part of the “double standard we see in this post 9/11 world.” 

Host and former RT staffer Alyona Minkovski joined in, showing she believes Russian state propaganda is the perfect foundation for her professional journalism knowledge base. Minkovski called it “an incredibly embarrassing interview” and “absurd.” Minkovski clearly hasn’t watched RT recently.

Lefty Salon complained that “the Fox News propaganda machine continues to pump out more garbage.” Writer Prachi Gupta kept on chowing down on Fox nuggets. “Bozell’s mind-bogglingly backward interview confirms what Aslan said earlier today, that Fox News has an ‘inherent anti-Muslim bias,’” he wrote.

The libs at Slate, a product of your allegedly neutral Washington Post, had an almost identical headline to HuffPo: “Fox News Thinks Fox News Did a Great Job With That Reza Aslan Interview.” But hey, media group think never happens. Talking Points Memo, TV Newser, Mediaite and others followed.

Buzzfeed, the kitty lister site, naturally attacked Fox once again with its typical subtlety: “Fox News Tackles Most Embarrassing Interview Ever: Host Was Right To Question Muslim Author.” Surprisingly though, Buzzfeed also followed with a humorous piece on Aslan, “Author Attacked By Fox News Is Actually Kind Of A Jerk On Twitter.” Yes, Aslan is the same arrogant jerk online that he is on TV. Shocker.

Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski listed (of course) 25 Twitter examples, most of which used various foul words (22 in the 25 posts) including 10 separate detonations of the F-bomb. The “scholarly” comments read more like he was applying to be spokesperson for the Weiner campaign or perhaps it was “Jersey Shore Islam.” Notably, Aslan called former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a “f***ing imbecile” without the polite asterisks.

The classy Aslan responded to the criticism on Twitter with more foul language and a new title for himself. “Seriously if calling hatemongers ‘assholes’ and trolls ‘shit for brains’ makes me a jerk then I proudly accept title #TwitterJerk,” he wrote. Who are we to argue? But why limit it just to Twitter?

The liberal response to Bozell’s comments was typical for the self-deluded. Yes, FNC's Lauren Green dared to question the bias of Muslim writer who attempted to undermine 2,000 years of religious history and belief. After all, Aslan could have been an Islamic writer criticizing Islam. Instead of a tough interview, he might have nabbed a fatwa or two.

Nah, that never happens. Just ask Salman Rushdie.

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.