Shockingly, I really enjoyed The Daily Show's take:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
I'd like to say I couldn't care less about the mosque/community center but that's not quite true (since, well, I am writing about it). I care about the people trying to make hay out of it. As for the actual mosque itself... meh. It doesn't really affect me.
To me, this is fairly straightforward. The local New York zoning boards have all signed off on it, the group, Park51, seems to have jumped through all the requisite hoops, we still have religious freedom in this country, the Bush Administration used this group in the past to promote tolerance, there's another mosque near to Ground Zero already and the World Trade Center site isn't exactly "hallowed ground" (there's going to be a mall in the new site!!). Let these non-Al Queda affiliated Muslims build their community center and leave 'em alone (and god forbid we'd talk to a Muslim about this).
But of course that won't happen. This is an election year.
One of my biggest pet peeves with politics and the media is the idea that everything must be balanced and "both sides do it". That's how you show that you're unbiased; you point out that both sides suck. See, you didn't choose a side or a political party! You're above the fray and principled. Both Democrats and Republicans are awful and that's that (and I don't disagree. I just think they suck for different reasons).
Hell, sometimes this is even true. But other times, notsomuch.
A political football from both parties? Spare me. Republicans, and the right more generally, have spent weeks demonizing the proposed mosque. They've painted it as treacherous, insensitive, and a menace to American values. Fox News has been been running the outrage machine 24/7. A-list pundits and top elected officials have joined in. But when, finally, Barack Obama steps in with a modest statement of support for religious freedom, both parties are now equally inclined to demagoguery? Give me a break.Yup. It's fairly obvious that the Democrats want nothing to do with this but the Republicans are flogging it for all it's worth (could you imagine how they'd freak out if Obama told a church congregation where they could or couldn't build a church?).
What kills me is, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't important. Whether or not a mosque or mosque-like-thing is built near to Ground Zero isn't really a pressing issue. The country is at 9.5% unemployment, there's immigration reform, financial reform and a host of other pressing issues and all our media can focus on is the political fall-out from the mosque that isn't a mosque.