In the last few days the cable newsers (and websites that, ahem, cover cable newsers) have been rather obsessive in their coverage of the “Burn a Koran Day” spectacle planned by Florida Minister Terry Jones. But upon closer examination, not all cable news channels were treated equal, or more accurately, treated it equally. There was one that paid it little attention from the beginning: Fox News.
Now that the media circus has come full circle and Rev. Jones appears to have canceled plans to burn the Koran (or not), many are wondering just how complicit the media has been in elevating a fringe character to the global spotlight. Already the White House has weighed in, pointing out that there is more press covering Rev. Jones’ statements than there are parishioners in his church.
Today, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked President Obama if his administration also played a part in giving too much attention to Rev. Jones (particularly since Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly made a personal phone call asking Jones to cease and desist.) Mr. Obama made clear in his response that he held the safety of the U.S. troops stationed in Muslim countries as far more important than worrying about “elevating a fringe character” as Tapper described the situation.