“Stop the Madrassa”

27 Sep

What happened to Debbie Almontaser may be symptomatic of two big issues in the United States which are media bias and the « mainstream » untouchable thought.

The article of the New York Post may have been written in the aim to create sensationalism in a time when the whole case was doing debate, and also because the redaction was against Debbie Almontaser in this story. If they were not about doing sensationalism neither displaying bias then why would the journalist have quoted her incorrectly and misleadingly ? Here are the facts. The journalist used his right given by the first amendment (though in this case he exceeded it) while Debbie Almontaser’s was scorned. The matter in that kind of issues is that the journalist’s voice is stronger than the interviewed’s one. Indeed the answer from Almontaser came too late, in people’s mind she was already a pro-intifada. Furthermore it is not her job to deal with public relations, so she may have had a disavantage in front of media to find the appropriate words while journalists could retort faster and with their (more or less good) command of rhetoric. This is why journalists should be as much as possible objective because people count on them to relate accurate news as they are supposed to be skilled and trained at writting and at relating news. If a journalist tend to express his or her own opinion then he or she is not different from a person of the street who just gossip with a friend.

As mentioned earlier, the other matter is that sometimes media and influent publics seem to be afraid to go against the mainstream. When it came to the debate of the Khalil Gibran International Academy it may have been complicated to resist to the pressure of public opinion thinking that the words “arabian”, “intifada”, “america”, “9/11”, were put together. Newspapers for instance may have been afraid of losing their readership if they decided to support a sensitive case like was the Debbie Almontaser’s one.

In regard of these arguments, it might not be impossible that Debbie Almontaser’s image and reputation were ruined just because of business matters and a failure to challenge the mainstream opinion.

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