Our Illustrious Senior Editor Don Holmes wrote the following in response to liberal academia and media and their obliviousness to their own bias:
There is a feature entitled “Star Brights” appearing from time to time on the editorial page of the Kansas City Star. It is used by the Star’s editors as a catchall to promote persons and groups they like and agree with. This past Saturday “Star Brights” (excerpt below) included a great big ‘attaboy’ to Truman State University.
The basis for the Star’s kudos was the campus’s “wise” decision to invite a speaker who would counter the points which might be made in an address by Robert Spencer .
Mr. Spencer had been invited to the Truman campus by the “student Republican group” for an address which the Star, in typically sanctimonious fashion, pronounced as a test of “tolerance” and likely to produce a “public relations nightmare”. Clearly the “student Republican group’ is not one of the entities the Star’s editorial board likes or seeks to promote.
This newspaper noted that Mr. Spencer is “considered anti-Muslim” because, according to the Star’s editors, “he promotes incidents that portray Islam as the radical face of terrorism while ignoring far greater numbers of Muslims who practice their faith in peace”.
The “Star Brights'” item effusively congratulated the Truman “campus” for “wisely arranging” for the executive director of the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) to speak as well.
I write not to criticize an event in which persons with opposing points of view participate in civil, peaceful debate and dialogue. In fact, I applaud such occasions as most Americans do and certainly including ‘even’ “Republican groups” such as the sponsors of Spencer’s appearance.
I do, however, wish to express my criticism of the Kansas City Star’s characterization of the Robert Spencer appearance as a “test of tolerance levels” and a potential “public relations nightmare” because “some consider” him to be “anti-Muslim”.
It may well come as a surprise to the Star’s editors that there are others (and not all uneducated hicks) who do not consider Mr. Spencer “anti-Muslim”, but rather, indeed, anti-Islamist terrorism…and a critic of what he believes to be the roots of it.
It may also come as a surprise to the Star’s editorial board that there are folks who consider the “Council on American-Islamic Affairs” (CAIR) itself a somewhat unsavory organization. It is a group, in fact, that has been designated by our federal government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in support of terrorist organizations, including the so-certified group, Hamas!
Surely the Star’s editors know this (or do they?). But do the students at Truman? They wouldn’t from anything the Star reported. Does the university know it?
Now, whether such a designation is warranted, in light of, or in spite of, substantial evidence to support it, is not my issue.
But if Mr. Spencer is “considered” the cause of a potential “public relations nightmare” because there are those who “consider him to be “anti-Muslim” (and one could surmise that the Star is among them), why is it not good journalism, and fair editorial policy to note that the representative from a body invited to oppose him in dialogue has some detractors as well?
And the folks at the Truman campus should be on notice from the Star that it expects, we must conclude, that any prominent personality with a viewpoint invited to speak there in the future must be countered by a speaker who has an opposing viewpoint.
Or isn’t that the way it works? DLH
Star Brights: A look at some of the good people and deeds that surround us
By The Kansas City Star editorial board
Cool heads at Truman
Truman State University could have had a public relations nightmare on its hands Thursday night when the student Republican group tested tolerance levels by inviting Robert Spencer to speak.
Spencer is considered anti-Muslim, as he promotes incidents that portray Islam as the radical face of terrorism while ignoring far greater numbers of Muslims who practice their faith in peace.
But the campus wisely arranged for Faizan Syed, the executive director of the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to speak as well. The vast majority of students who attended wore white in solidarity with peaceful dialogue.
“It was a very civil night,” Syed, of St. Louis, said. “We need to do much more of this.”