Liberal Grace

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Zogby on ignorant anti-Muslim commentary

James Zogby -- once again -- hits it right on the head.

Glenn Beck: A Cause for Concern

The result of this trend is evident on a number of levels. There has been a coarsening and dumbing down of our political discourse on several issues of national importance. When Beck refers to President Carter as a "fathead" or speaks of Saudi leaders as "nut-jobs," serious discussion is displaced by crude and demeaning jabs.

There is the additional problem that instead of educating the public, this new breed of television pundits reduces issues to their lowest common denominator, thereby reinforcing preexisting, uninformed biases. Never shy to share an unenlightened view, Beck, for example, will note "I'm not an expert, but..." and then proceed to make his case using a mishmash of clich├ęs that reflect the prejudices of conventional wisdom.

And it is this that concerns me. We are, in fact, engaged in a troubling conflict against extremism fueled by religious fervor, both ours and theirs. What this period and this conflict require is intelligent discussion, not inflammatory rhetoric.

By the way, if you aren't reading Zogby, you're missing the best commentary on Arab issues.

Here is a collection of his articles at Huffington Post.

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