Laura Ingraham, substituting for Bill O’Reilly, opened her “Back of the Book” segment with this…
Two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be once again the work of Muslim extremists… In the meantime, in New York City, the Muslims who want to build the Mosque at Ground Zero recently scored a huge legal victory. A Manhattan judge dismissed the lawsuit by former New York City firefighter Timothy Brown who was trying to stop construction of the mosque.
The attacker’s ideology is not yet fully uncovered, but it’s clear that he’s no Muslim. Ingraham’s opening led the way to O’Reilly’s interview of the attorney for the developer group planning to build the mosque. Given that the interview was taped the day before before the attacks, the scare-mongering opening reference to the Norway attacks was utterly gratuitous.
But Ingraham thrives on hyperbolic demonization of those she dislikes. Ignorance of who was responsible for the bombing provided a convenient opening for her to gin up fear and loathing of Muslims.
The emotional charge of sandwiching the mosque discussion between fresh pictures of horror in Oslo and archival footage of the burning World Trade Center is a perfect strategy for triggering emotional hostility. It “waves the bloody shirt,” keeps old wounds raw, and reinforces deeply unfair prejudices, all under the guise of standing up for “sensitivity.”