Right-wing claim about nuclear summit logo debunked on Comedy Central

In recent days, Fox News and the conservative media have seized on the official logo of the Nuclear Security Summit to claim its image “looks like” an Islamic crescent. However, as Comedy Central's Jon Stewart noted, “the inspiration for the logo is actually the Rutherford-Bohr Model of the atom that we all learned about in high school.”

Fox, right-wing media claim nuclear summit logo is an “Islamic crest”

NY Post's Goodwin: "[N]ot a coincidence" that nuclear summit logo features "[t]he kind of crescent moon you see on the flags of Muslim countries." In his April 14 New York Post column, Michael Goodwin wrote that the logo “reminded” him of “a crescent moon,” the “kind of crescent moon you see on the flags of Muslim countries.” He added: “Indeed, the crescent, often with a single or multiple stars, is the main symbol of Islam. So now there is something like it at an official presidential event, prominently displayed in photographs being beamed around the world.” While Goodwin claimed that he was “not suggesting President Obama is a secret Muslim,” he wrote: “But I am certain the crescent-like design of the logo is not a coincidence, especially at an event where Iran's nuclear ambition and al Qaeda's search for a bomb are prime topics.”

Fox & Friends sees “Muslim image” in logo for Nuclear Security Summit. On the April 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson discussed Goodwin's column, with Kilmeade saying: “When I first saw this logo, I wasn't really thinking this, but upon further review, perhaps I should have been. And that is, if you look at the Nuclear Security Summit logo, what does that have in common with all those other flags there representing Muslim nations?” Showing images of flags, Carlson replied: “That's the same thing that you see on the flags of Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, and Pakistan, and what do they all have in common? They're all Muslim nations.” Carlson then stated that Goodwin's claim is that Obama “deliberately put this as a logo to try and continue his outreach to Muslim nations in a positive way,” adding that at “the same time, he points out in his article that we're not going to say terms like 'Jihad' anymore or 'Islamic extremists' anymore. So you be the judge.” During the segment, Fox featured text that read: “Curious Crescent Logo: Summit Symbol Similar to Muslim Image” and “Islamic Image? Summit Design Looks Like Crescent Moon.”

Jim Hoft: “That's weird?... Obama's nuclear summit logo is an Islamic crest.” In an April 14 post on his Gateway Pundit blog titled, “That's Weird?... Obama's Nuclear Summit Logo Is an Islamic Crest,” Jim Hoft repeatedly asserted that it's “weird” that “Obama's nuclear summit logo is an Islamic crest.” Other right-wing blogs, including Evil Conservative and Right Side News, also claimed that “the Nuclear Security Summit logo looks an awful lot like an Islamic crescent.”

Error Theory: “Nuclear Summit logo uses an Islamic-shaped crescent.” In an April 13 post on the Error Theory blog, also featured at Free Republic, Alec Rawls claimed that it “is hard to believe that the State Department” could use “an Islamic-shaped crescent” for the Nuclear Security Summit “by accident,” asserting: “Maybe our State Department really is this ignorant, but more likely, as in the case of Fort Hood mass murderer Nidal Hasan, nobody was willing to make an issue of anything connected to Islam, no matter how disturbing, for fear of committing career suicide. After all, Obama has commanded all of his underlings to be as oblivious to Islam as possible.”

Pam Geller reprints NY Post graphic calling Obama a “crescent loon.” In an April 15 Atlas Shrugs post -- published the day after the logo claim was debunked -- Pam Geller reprinted the following graphic from the April 14 edition of the New York Post:


Geller then wrote: “Good to see that big media (NY Post) is actually printing the obvious. Whether O is a crypto-Muslim is irrelevant. Because even if he were, what would he be doing differently?”

Daily Show debunks absurd logo claim

Stewart mocks Fox & Friends for seeing “Muslim image” in nuclear summit logo. On his Comedy Central show, Jon Stewart aired excerpts of the Fox & Friends segment on the nuclear summit logo and stated that when the show contacted the White House, they learned that “the inspiration for the logo is actually the Rutherford-Bohr Model of the atom that we all learned about in high school.”

From the April 15 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: Yeah, you be the judge! We're just letting you know about some bullshit thing we saw saying this is a coded message to the Muslim world. We're just curious citizens, wondering if we put that logo up with four Muslim flags, whether you'll have a visceral reaction that our president is perhaps Muslim, while clearly stating our conclusion on our lower third graphic. Anyway, but -- we're just -- what do you think? We're just doing the math and giving you the answer and then asking you to check our work.

We called the White House to find out the genesis of the nuclear summit logo because, I guess, our phones work. You hit nine, and you get an outside line. Anyway, they said that the inspiration for the logo is actually the Rutherford-Bohr Model of the atom that we all learned about in high school. So it turns out, it's worse than we thought. It turns out the people at the White House are not secret Muslims, they're nerds.

Right-wing previously linked new defense agency logo to Islamic Crescent

Gaffney: “Can This Possibly Be True? New Obama Missile Defense Logo Includes A Crescent.” In February, after the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) redesigned its logo, media conservatives compared the new design to the Islamic crescent. In a February 24 BigGovernment post, Frank Gaffney called the “symbolic action” “nefarious,” writing that “the new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo,” and that “Team Obama is behaving in a way that -- as the new MDA logo suggests -- is all about accommodating that 'Islamic Republic' and its ever-more aggressive stance.” Gaffney concluded: “Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team.” Gaffney later issued a correction.

FoxNews.com: “Others have noted that it has a crescent and star design, evoking a common symbol for Islam. ” In a February 24 article, FoxNews.com acknowledged that the MDA logo “first appeared” on the MDA website “in the fall,” nonetheless reported claims that the logo was “strikingly” and “scarily” similar to Obama's 2008 campaign logo, adding that "[o]thers have noted that it has a crescent and star design, evoking a common symbol for Islam." In a Special Report segment, anchor Bret Baier cited an MDA statement calling the claims “ridiculous,” and that the new logo is “for recruiting in the public website and was developed almost three years ago” and “has no link to any political campaign,” he went on to note that "The Washington Times points out that the red, white, and blue symbol looks strangely similar to Barack Obama's campaign 'O' from 2008."

Free Republic: "[I]s it a coincidence it also looks like an Islamic Crescent?" In a February 21 blog post on Free Republic, RaceBannon wrote that the “Missile Defense Agency Changes logo to look more like Obama logo,” and asked: “Tell me, is it a coincidence it also looks like an Islamic Crescent?”