Friday, August 27, 2010

Laura Ingraham Plays The Victim Card: Mosque Critics Are The Victims Of Mean Accusations Of Bigotry! Waaaaaah!

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

This seems to have been Laura Ingraham Tries Out for Her Own Fox Show Week at The O'Reilly Factor, and it's been quite a bust -- largely because Ingraham has tried to use O'Reilly-style bullying of her guests, and has not just been outplayed, she's really come off as a nasty, mean-spirited whiner.

That was particularly the case yesterday, when she tried playing the Right-Wing Victimology Card in the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy: It's not Muslims who are being victimized by the hateful scapegoating of Islamophobes who want to associate them with all things 9/11 and blame them for all the world's terrorism -- rather, it's those very Islamophobes who are being victimized by the people calling them out for their bigotry.

It was particularly striking how she reacted when her guest -- a conservative Republican Muslim named Muhammad Ali Hassan -- tried to explain patiently that the very accusation that these Muslims and this mosque are somehow associated with terrorists is simply prima facie bigotry: "When you tell a group of people they're not allowed to build something because they're Muslim, that's bigotry." It really is that simple.

Ingraham acted as though someone had just spilled coffee on her lap. She began shouting Hassan down, talking over him, attacking his conservative bona fides because he dared to speak this simple truth.

And I just love it whenever right-wingers play the victim card. It's a classic case of the waving-the-bloody-shirt strategy, which magically transforms vicious and violent right-wing thugs into the woebegone victims of the meanness of the people they target.

It has really been quite the demonstration of the intellectual bankruptcy of conservatives this week at O'Reilly's place. Ingraham has tried to pose as someone smarter than her guests. Consistently, she's being outsmarted and made to look like the shallow and vicious harridan we all suspect she really is.

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