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October 26, 2010

New York Times reporter CAIRs about mosque

The line separating “all the news fit to print” and the oxymoron called advocacy journalism — that is, propaganda — looks blurry at The New York Times.

Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism said on September 20 that Times reporter Sharaf Mowjood, who authored several favorable articles about Manhattan’s “ground zero mosque, attended a two-day media training program in 2009 led by the mosque’s organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Rauf’s American Society for Muslim Advancement highlighted Mowjood’s coverage to support claims its news media training worked.

Mowjood, also a student at Columbia University’s graduate program in journalism, reportedly served as a lobbyist for the Council on American Islamic Relations before joining The New York Times. CAIR, subject of CAMERA’s Special Report, “The Council on American Islamic Relations: Civil Rights or Extremism?” was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the U.S. Justice Department’s Holy Land Relief and Development Foundation (HLF) trial. The founder of its Texas chapter was sentenced to 65 years in prison in the HLF case for helping raise millions of dollars for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

In addition, in an out-of-court settlement with the Web site www.anti-cair-net.org, CAIR did not contest allegations that it was founded by Hamas members, that it was founded by Islamic terrorists and that it was funded by Hamas
supporters.

New York Times Metro Editor Joe Sexton defended Mowjood’s reporting. But imagine The Times hiring a former Jewish Defense League staffer, then assigning him or her to report on controversial activities of suspect American Jewish leaders, and finally defending the resultant puff pieces. Impossible? Could the “Gray Lady” be using a double standard?

Posted by ER at October 26, 2010 03:19 PM

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