August 20, 2010

THE FACTS BE DAMNED:

News outlets split in describing mosque (Michael Calderone, 8/16/10, Yaho!)

In covering the growing controversy over the proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, the national media, led by the big cable networks, have by default shaped the increasingly heated debate by repeatedly referring to the project as the "Ground Zero mosque." An MSNBC spokesman said that describing the project is a "show-by-show decision," while a CNN spokesperson said the network guides anchors in written copy to refer to the project as "an Islamic center that includes a mosque that is near Ground Zero, or is two blocks from Ground Zero." Of course, political pundits may stray from the network's phrasing and inaccurately describe the location of the planned building at the center of the furor.

But Phil Corbett, the New York Times' standards editor said, "Given how politically volatile this discussion has been, we think it's important to be accurate and precise," in explaining the paper's consistent references to the planned structure being two blocks from the Ground Zero site.

The "Park51" project, as it's officially dubbed, is in fact planned for a site two blocks from where the World Trade Center towers fell, amid other lower Manhattan establishments whose names have never featured the words "Ground Zero." If built, the 13-story community center and mosque project will be one of hundreds of buildings located within blocks of Ground Zero — a densely populated area that already includes a couple of mosques, along with less "hallowed" institutions, like strip clubs, bars and Off Track Betting operations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2010 12:06 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« YA GONNA LISTEN TO THE GUYS WHO WON THREE ELECTIONS IN A ROW, OR THE GUYS WHO LOST US THE LAST TWO?: | Main | YOU THOUGHT GEORGE HAD A SHRINKAGE PROBLEM? (via Bryan Francoeur): »