Posted by Pamela Geller Sep 13th 2010 at 12:42 pm in Featured Story, Mainstream Media, Religion | Comments (82) Tens of thousands attended the Rally of Remembrance for the 9/11 victims and against the Ground Zero mega-mosque on Saturday. The crowd was so large, it stretched as far as the eye could see; you could not see the horizon from our stage.
Yet AP reported that the pro-mosque counter-demonstration drew around a thousand “activists,” while “a smaller group of opponents rallied nearby, chanting, ‘USA, USA.’” The New York Post was only marginally more honest, numbering our rally attendees at 2,500: “The estimated 3,000 pro-mosque demonstrators outnumbered the mosque opponents by about 500.”
New York 1 did a story on the rallies, but only showed footage of the pro-mosque rally. The Post likewise only published pictures of the pro-mosque rally. AP ran an aerial photo of the rally, but one that was so poorly framed that one-third of it was dominated by a large gray building, and the crowd was cut off on the other side.
No one ran accurate photos of the rally, showing the full size of the crowd stretching beyond the horizon. Why didn’t anyone think to take aerial shots of both rallies? That would have settled all questions. The pictures don’t lie, but the media does. AP and the Post were not alone in their depiction of our rally and the pro-Islamic supremacist one as “dueling rallies.” Their coverage of our immense rally versus the tiny counter-protest is dangerous and absurd.
What’s more, the media is missing a bigger story: that some who attended our rally say that New York police were actually keeping people away from the rally. An Atlas Shrugs reader who was at the rally wrote to me speculating that police “must have been given orders to knock down the numbers.” She reported: “I was there and they were chasing us away – I was moved 7 times! I was moved so far away I had to go around the block and could not get back. The truth is they finally refused access to thousands.”
The same eyewitness noted that when the Ground Zero memorial ceremonies concluded, “what seemed like thousands” began making their way to our Rally of Remembrance, the police “went crazy and closed down the sidewalk entirely. They kept shoving us backwards until I, along with many in my group were forced right out of the block.”
And after this, the media says hardly anyone was there. The real coverage can only be found on my website, AtlasShrugs.com, and other reliable news sites. The media ignored the story of the Ground Zero mega-mosque for months. It was the American people who put this story on the map.
But instead of dealing responsibly with the objections to the Ground Zero mosque, the media has tried to morph the outrage over the Ground Zero mega-mosque into some fringe pastor’s Quran-burning stunt, as if the only people who opposed the mosque were rednecks and bigots. Of course, that’s their narrative. They created that story. The Today Show flew the Pastor up for an interview. Got that? They have never had on a responsible voice of the mosque opposition.
The media operates under the narcissistic assumption that if they don’t report it, it didn’t happen. The Ground Zero mosque story has shattered this fundamental belief of theirs. The Ground Zero mosque story is the first news story of not only national but international proportions that emerged as the leading news story day after day, week after week, month after month, without the propulsion of the mainstream media. They scrambled to cover it late. They were playing catch up, and then tried to force it, shape it, destroy it.
The people were having none of it. The people drove that story. And they will continue to drive the story. The people sent blog coverage of our June 6 rally to their email lists and posted it in forums. That way it got millions of views without any mainstream media coverage. We had four times the number of people at this rally, and the mainstream media still refuses to cover it — and when they do it is in a completely false and deceptive way.
A case in point is the total media indifference toward the appearance of Joseph Nassralla at our rally Saturday. Nassralla was the unwilling media darling of our June 6th rally, when a misunderstanding was blown out of proportion by the mainstream media as a racist incident; he was the Arab who was supposedly in a confrontation at that rally. At Saturday’s rally we were proud to feature him, and he was so passionate and rousing in his love for America and fierce denunciation of the thousand-year-old Islamic oppression of the Coptic Christians in Egypt that the crowd went wild as Joseph led them in cheers of “G-d Bless America!”
But the media yawned.
This is war in the information battlespace. This is the war of ideas. They have the muscle, but we have the heart and the soul. We have the truth on our side. We can’t lose. When you attend rallies and demonstrations, take pictures yourself. Write your own account. Get the pictures and reportage out there to your email lists. Expose the terrible propaganda campaign of deception.
It’s going to be a long, hard struggle. Another reader summed it up: “We are going to have to march through hell, to save America.”
Video: The 911 FDI/SIOA Rally of Remembrance: Andrew Breitbart
Video: The 911 FDI/SIOA Rally of Remembrance: Sahand Khoshbaten
Video: The 911 FDI/SIOA Rally of Remembrance: Steve Malzberg
Joseph Nassralla, media star of June 6 rally, speaks at 9/11 Rally of Remembrance
Joseph Nassralla became the media star of our June 6 rally against the mega-mosque because of a misunderstanding between him and some others in the crowd, which the mainstream media seized upon to smear the rally as a gathering of racist, "Islamophobic" bigots. He spoke at our Rally of Remembrance Saturday, and was a crowd favorite.
Here is his statement about the incident at the June 6 rally. Will anyone who smeared us because of what happened to him at the June rally note that he spoke at the rally Saturday? Keith Olbermann? Charles Johnson? Cathy Young? Anyone? Anyone?
Dear Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer,
I am Joseph Nassralla, a Coptic Christian activist from Egypt and founder of The Way TV, a Christian Satellite TV station.
I attended the 10,000 person protest rally against the building to the ground zero mosque which took place at ground zero in NY on Sunday June 6th. We Coptic Christians wanted to express our full support to your initiative and to this important rally.
There was a minor incident at the rally that was blown out of proportion, when my partner, Mr. Karam El Masry, and I were distributing material with some Quran verses and we were also speaking Arabic thus we were mistaken by a few people in the huge crowd, for being Muslims infiltrators trying to disrupt the event. This misunderstanding was clarified when we explained who we were and that we are there to support the crowd against the building of the mosque. I was a little frustrated initially for being identified as a Muslim infiltrator, but was glad that the issue was resolved later. My partner, Mr. El Masry, was even able to freely speak to the crowd after our identity was clarified. He explained how Christians are tortured, killed and oppressed in Egypt at the hands of Muslims who are encouraged to persecute Christians from the pulpit of mosques by Muslim preachers.
The reason I am writing to you, is because I am very disappointed in the mainstream media who used this minor incident to make a blanket generalization about all the attendees of the rally as Muslim haters.This kind of generalization was unfair to the good American people who legitimately stand against the building of a mosque next to ground zero and who are against Islamist agenda in the US. I am very well aware of such an agenda which has destroyed the Christian and Jewish existence in the Middle East.
The same mainstream media who denounces painting all Muslims with a broad brush, is doing the same thing they claim to stand against. They shamelessly use our incident to paint with a broad brush that everyone in the rally was a Muslim hater. I want to make it clear that we are not haters of Muslims, but we are against the Islamist agenda in America, the same agenda that drove us out of our homeland Egypt. We have the right to expose Muslim hate and oppression against us, the minorities in the Middle East who are oppressed on a daily basis by the Muslim majority. This mosque should never be built next to ground zero, it is an insult to the memory of the 3000 fellow Americans.
We did not mean to cause any misunderstanding at the rally, on the contrary, we came to support you and your organization. We come from a Muslim country where we suffered from Muslims and the Islamic Shariaa ourselves. That's why we felt burdened to attend this rally and flew for 9 hours to be part of it.. We do support you with our heart and soul, and will always support you and everyone who is opposing Islam. We do honor Mr. Robert's invitation to attend your next rally in September, God's willing, and are looking forward to seeing you there.
We have come to America to seek refuge from the oppression of Islam and expose to the American public what kind of instigation we suffered at the hands of hateful Muslim preachers who incite the worshiping crowds to burn our homes, kidnap our girls and suppress our freedom to practice our religion. We will never allow media misrepresentation to stop us from our mission.