Skip to comments.Tallahassee Democrat reporter suspended for e-mail criticizing Arabs
Posted on 01/03/2003 1:37:05 PM PST by dennisw
Tallahassee Democrat reporter suspended for e-mail criticizing Arabs
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON Associated Press Writer
A Tallahassee Democrat reporter was suspended Thursday for using strong language in an e-mail criticizing Arab nations for the way they've reacted to Israel.
Political writer and columnist Bill Cotterell, in an e-mail exchange, wrote "Except for Jordan and Egypt, no Arab nation has a peace treaty with Israel. They've had 54 years to get over it. They choose not to."
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations sent an alert to its members calling the remarks anti-Muslim and anti-Arab.
Council spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the e-mail's recipient had previously complained about a political cartoon that briefly appeared on the newspaper's Web site, asking "What would Mohammed drive?" and depicting a Ryder truck carrying a missile. The cartoon was not published in the paper.
The complaint started an exchange with Cotterell, who also wrote, "I don't give a damn if Israel kills a few in collateral damage while defending itself. So be it."
Cotterell was suspended a week without pay. Democrat Executive Editor John Winn Miller apologized for the remarks.
"They absolutely do not represent the views and sensitivities of this newspaper. Worse, they run counter to many of the values we hold dearest, among them tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness," Miller said in a written statement issued by the newspaper and carried in a story for Friday editions telling of Cotterell's suspension.
The cartoon was drawn by Doug Marlette, who draws from his home in Hillsborough, N.C.
Miller said Cotterell immediately regretted the remarks after sending the message on his company e-mail account and apologized to his colleagues "for the hurt and embarrassment he knows he caused."
"I was wrong and I am sorry," Cotterell said. "My remarks were grossly inappropriate and do not reflect my views toward Muslim people."
Hooper said the punishment was fair.
"It will send a positive message to the Muslim community in Florida that this kind of bigotry will not be tolerated and I appreciate the swift action of the Tallahassee Democrat in resolving this issue," he said. "We don't want to be vindictive in this. We just want to make sure bigoted views don't color the news related to Muslim and American-Arab issues."
I've never heard of a reporter being fired for making a statement of easily-verifiable historical record.
What? Truth is chopped liver?
CAIR: 'Moderate' friends of terror
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
April 22, 2002
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations presents itself as just another civil-rights group. "We are similar to a Muslim NAACP," says spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Its public language - about promoting "interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America" - certainly boosts an image of moderation.
That reputation has permitted CAIR to prosper since its founding in 1994, garnering sizeable donations, invitations to the White House, respectful media citations and a serious hearing by corporations.
In reality, CAIR is something quite different. For starters, it's on the wrong side in the war on terrorism. One indication came in October 1998, when the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as "the sworn enemy," finding this depiction "offensive to Muslims."
The same year, CAIR denied bin Laden's responsibility for the twin East African embassy bombings. As Hooper saw it, those explosions resulted from some vague "misunderstandings of both sides." (A New York court, however, blamed bin Laden's side alone for the embassy blasts.)
In 2001, CAIR denied his culpability for the Sept. 11 massacre, saying only that "if [note the "if"] Osama bin Laden was behind it, we condemn him by name." (Only in December was CAIR finally embarrassed into acknowledging his role.)
CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed "a travesty of justice." The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a "hate crime." The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American."
Not surprisingly, CAIR also backs those who finance terrorism. When President Bush closed the Holy Land Foundation in December for collecting money he said was "used to support the Hamas terror organization," CAIR decried his action as "unjust" and "disturbing."
CAIR even includes at least one person associated with terrorism in its own ranks. On Feb. 2, 1995, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White named Siraj Wahhaj as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments. Yet CAIR deems him "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America" and includes him on its advisory board.
For these and other reasons, the FBI's former chief of counterterrorism, Steven Pomerantz, concludes that "CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."
Nor is terrorism the only disturbing aspect of CAIR's record. Other problems include:
Intimidating moderate Muslims. In at least two cases (Hisham Kabbani and Khalid Durán), CAIR has defamed moderate Muslims who reject its extremist agenda, leading to death threats against them.
Embracing murderers. CAIR responded to the arrest and conviction of Jamil Al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown) by praising him, raising funds for him and then denying his guilt after his conviction for the murder of an Atlanta policeman. Likewise with Ahmad Adnan Chaudhry of San Bernardino, Calif.: Disregarding his conviction for attempting murder, CAIR declared him "innocent" and set up a defense fund for him.
Promoting anti-Semitism. The head of CAIR's Los Angeles office, Hussam Ayloush, routinely uses the term "zionazi" when referring to Israelis. CAIR co-hosted an event in May 1998 at which an Egyptian militant Islamic leader, Wagdi Ghunaym, called Jews the "descendants of the apes."
Aggressive ambitions. As reported by the San Ramon Valley Herald, CAIR Chairman Omar M. Ahmad told a crowd of California Muslims in July 1998, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth."
CAIR's real record is one of extremism. North American Muslims themselves are beginning to discover - and the government, leading media, churches, and businesses should follow - that CAIR represents not the noble civilization of Islam but an aggressive and radical strain similar to that which led to the suicide hijackings last September. CAIR must be shunned as a fringe group by responsible institutions and individuals throughout North America.
Bigotry? Not tolerated? Isn't he himself throwing the baby with the bath water here?
And what is he punishing? No heartfelt belief has been or can be punished with secular means, but only God ultimately does that. Another superstitious Democrat believing they can punish hearts but we cannot stop the evil secular deeds of the nationless Arabs/muslims. A world upside down of superstitious witches.
Do these liberals realize how idiotic they look when they recite these buzzwords, then intolerantly reduce the diversity of their workforce by excluding someone with a different opinion?
Oh, my God! This has to be satire, surely.
Hmmmm. I thought that guy looked familiar.
Tolerance for what? Attacking other nations because you're fascist?
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
"I was not wrong and I am only sorry that I almost got fired," Cotterell said. "My remarks were grossly
inappropriateaccurate and do notreflect my views toward Muslim people. Unfortunately, the thought police forced me into making this public confession to keep my job, freedom of speech/the press notwithstanding."
While realizing the tentacles of politcal correctness affect us everyday, this story, nonetheless is particularly depressing and frightening.
I would like to think they are choking on their political correctness; but I fear they are taking more comfort in their 'kill the messenger' response.
Good 'catch phrase'. When a conservative or other 'troublemaker' gets pegged for being un-PC the reply could be 'If my opinion is to be ridiculed or stifled doesn't that indicate an intolerant reduction of diversity?
I know of a couple of response to that comeback or something like it. You either get the 'deer in the headlights look' or get attacked with liberal emotion-non-logic rants.
I saw Hooper interviewed by Sean Hannity a few weeks ago and he just couldn't bring himself to admit that Palestinian suicide bombers were terrorists. ...NOR did he admit that bin Laden a terrorist. Sean kept pressing for him to use the "t" word, buy Hooper refused. It was sickening.
What's the worst that could happen to Bush (politically) if he shut down CAIR? He wouldn't get the A-Rab/Muslim vote? Big friggen deal. Take a stand to protect the country, and forget this PC crapola.
This is just sick. To be tolerant of Arab states insisting on wiping all Jews off the face of the earth is just plain evil. It's like turning a blind eye on Hitler in the name of "tolerance." Apparently the Jews are allowed into the inclusiveness mix as long as they are dead... but included.
For A "Tolerant, Diverse, Inclusive" Press: Newspaper Apologizes For WWII Coverage
Toogood Reports ^ | 6 January 2003 | Nicholas Stix
Posted on 01/06/2003 11:39 AM PST by mrustow
No, Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor John Winn Miller didn't really apologize to our old Nazi and Japanese enemies from World War II not yet, anyway but he might as well have. Miller forced veteran political reporter and columnist Bill Cotterell to apologize, and suspended Cotterell for one week without pay, for making a couple of statements in private e-mails that were sympathetic to the Israelis, and critical of Arab attempts, since 1948, to annihilate the Jews of Israel. Had Cotterell, who served in the U.S Marine Corps for four years, has written for the newspaper since 1985, and has been working press since 1967, refused to apologize, he would have been fired.
Cotterell reportedly wrote, "Except for Jordan and Egypt, no Arab nation has a peace treaty with Israel. They've had 54 years to get over it. They choose not to," and "OK, they can squat around the camel-dung fire and grumble about it, or they can put their bottoms in the air five times a day and pray for deliverance; that's their business .... And I don't give a damn if Israel kills a few in collateral damage while defending itself. So be it."
Note that Bill Cotterell did not go out looking for an argument he got suckered into one by a cowardly, pan-Arabist instigator. The instigator referred to deceptively as "the recipient," as if he just sat at home and either accidentally received Cotterell's e-mail, or Cotterell sent out e-mails to pan-Arabists, hoping to get a rise out of them (which sounds like something I would do) has a history of taking swings at the newspaper (and surely others), and then calling on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to beat up on it for him. The knucklehead had recently complained about a political cartoon that appeared on the Democrat's web site by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Doug Marlette. According to the Associated Press' Brendan Farrington, "Council spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the e-mail's recipient had previously complained about a political cartoon that briefly appeared on the newspaper's Web site, asking 'What would Mohammed drive?' and depicting a Ryder truck carrying a missile. The cartoon was not published in the paper."
Reading between the cautious Farrington's lines, Marlette's cartoon was apparently censored the moment Hooper started screaming. Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad are apparently now in charge of America's press.
In Doug Marlette's case, Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor John Winn Miller put up token resistance to Hooper, to at least give the impression of journalistic independence. "... I defend Doug's right to ridicule anyone. While the vast majority of Muslims are a peaceful people and preach a peaceful religion, there are some who have subverted the message of the Prophet Muhammad for their own violent purposes.... Lampooning fanatics who believe they have a religious basis for murder is fair game."
Doug Marlette's work was censored only six months after the Tallahassee Democrat had celebrated hiring the famous, veteran political cartoonist.
Regarding Bill Cotterell, CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper said, with perfectly forked tongue, "Any journalist has a right to his or her political and religious views, but when those views are expressed in such bigoted terms, it raises questions about a media outlet's journalistic balance and objectivity."
In Bill Cotterell's case, however, John Winn Miller did not bother covering his obscene surrender with a fig leaf of pro-freedom rhetoric.
In last Friday's edition, Miller publicly apologized:
"They absolutely do not represent the views and sensitivities of this newspaper. Worse, they run counter to many of the values we hold dearest, among them tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness."
Translated from the newspeak, that would be "tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness for America's enemies."
Miller also forced Cotterell to make a show trial-type confession:
"I was wrong and I am sorry. My remarks were grossly inappropriate and do not reflect my views toward Muslim people."
And how is it that the pan-Arabist coward who started this has managed to keep his name a secret?
I get e-mails from morons all the time, some of whom I put in their place. In my case, the knuckleheads are usually racist blacks who assume that my name is a pseudonym. But mainstream journalists already live in fear of saying the "wrong" thing. The Cotterell case will have a chilling effect in further intimidating them from writing what they think, or responding to readers' letters.
But what if Cotterell had said what he did without first being suckered into it? The first statement was true, and the other was morally correct. For 54 years, the Arab world has sought to murder all of the Jews of Israel. And Israel has the right to defend itself, a defense which cannot help but involve "collateral damage." But while the Israelis kill civilians by accident, the Arabs kill Jewish civilians on purpose. And the same Arabs seeking to destroy Israel seek to destroy America, with the help of non-Arab Moslems around the world.
On 911, Islam attacked America. When George Bush started saying, at a Washington, D.C. interfaith service a few days later, that "Islam is peace," he didn't fool anyone. Moslems didn't believe it, and among "infidels," the phrase immediately became a punch line. But Bush had to say such nonsense, because he comes from the Don Corleone school of international relations: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." There was no advantage to Bush saying what everyone knew to be true; but in using deception, he could get help from some Islamic nations, in order to beat others. Bush well understands that international relations are always conducted in the state of nature of the war of all against all (or at least, some against others), in which honesty and transparency towards one's enemies are fatal mistakes.
But one cannot tolerate such deception from one's own citizens in wartime. It is not Christian and Jewish Americans who need to apologize to Moslems, but the other way around. At the very least, Moslems need to prove their patriotism, the same way German and Japanese Americans were obliged to do so sixty years ago.
Many Moslems have complained since 911, that they are offended that people would question their patriotism. There's a reason for such doubts; the complainers' patriotism is questionable. And that includes you, Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper pronounced himself pleased with the kowtowing.
"It will send a positive message to the Muslim community in Florida that this kind of bigotry will not be tolerated and I appreciate the swift action of the Tallahassee Democrat in resolving this issue. We don't want to be vindictive in this. We just want to make sure bigoted views don't color the news related to Muslim and American-Arab issues."
If the newspapers had acted this way 60 years ago, America might well today be divided between German-speaking and Japanese-speaking halves.
Ibrahim Hooper is demanding that American journalists show allegiance to America's enemies. Maybe I'm a simple fellow, but that sounds to me like a Philadelphia lawyer's sort of fancy pants treason. And John Winn Miller, an American, went along with it.
To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org .