In a revealing report released today, the Center for American Progress describes the network of anti-Muslim “experts” who relentlessly promote Islamophobia in America, as well as the sources of their funding. Many of these “experts” are also familiar figures in the right-wing media. For instance, the Center for Security Policy's Frank Gaffney regularly appears on Fox News to promote his agenda.
Robert Spencer runs the blog Jihad Watch and co-founded the organization Stop Islamization of America with Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller, who has been the face of the opposition to the planned Muslim cultural center near the World Trade Center in New York. (Spencer is often cited by National Review writer Andrew McCarthy as a credible expert on Islam.)
The report devotes an entire chapter to the role of the right-wing media in spreading anti-Islam propaganda. It begins:
Spreading anti-Muslim hate in America depends on a well-developed right-wing media echo chamber to amplify a few marginal voices. The think tank misinformation experts and grassroots and religious-right organizations profiled in this report boast a symbiotic relationship with a loosely aligned, ideologically-akin group of right-wing blogs, magazines, radio stations, newspapers, and television news shows to spread their anti-Islam messages and myths. The media outlets, in turn, give members of this network the exposure needed to amplify their message, reach larger audiences, drive fundraising numbers, and grow their membership base.
Read the whole chapter here.
CAP's blog Think Progress has a post detailing the sources of the $42 million that has fueled the network over the past decade, and it also produced a video illustrating how it works: