Steven Emerson: “Wowser!”
Steven Emerson, a pillar of the Islamophobic movement, promotes himself as an “Investigative journalist” exposing terrorism and the supposed “fifth column activities of American Muslims” through his Orwellian organization, The Investigative Project. He claims, just as his counterparts Douglas Farah and Joe Kaufman do, that all his work is done in defense of America and in order to safeguard the homeland. Yet his claims are as mendacious and exaggerated as the other two.
He is simply the progenitor of some of the vilest, most imbecilic anti-Muslim hysteria on the inter-net and in America today. This is the case because more often than not he is so off the mark in his accusations and conclusions that it makes you wonder why anyone would take him seriously as a so-called “Investigative Journalist.”
His hunt to “expose” American Muslims is almost akin to watching an Inspector Gadget cartoon because of its hilarity if it weren’t for the fact that at least Inspector Gadget was sincere and actually solved a case or two. Unfortunately, it looks like Emerson lacks the high tech gadgetry that was at the disposal of Inspector Gadget and that might show him the error of his ways or at the very least help him get his foot out of his mouth.
Instead of using a magnifying glass to look for evidence, Emerson’s technique of choice is to make up the evidence as he goes along, Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent notes:
Emerson has a long history of getting into hot water over his anti-Muslim rhetoric. In the 1998 nuclear standoff between India and Pakistan, Emerson fed reporters with an informant who said Pakistan was set to strike India with a nuclear weapon. The media eventually found the informant to be unreliable – but not until international media had used Emerson’s source and intensified an international crisis.
In 1990, he was accused of plagiarism in his writings about Pan Am 103.
He sued a Florida paper after it published reports that he was supplying reporters with documents he said were from the FBI. The Florida Weekly Planet reported that the documents were frauds and Emerson sued. When he couldn’t substantiate his claims, he withdrew the lawsuit.
Emerson once claimed that an extremist Muslim group put out a hit on him and that the FBI offered to put him in a witness protection program. The FBI denied that claim.
In 1995, right after the Oklahoma City Bombing, Emerson was quoted on air stating that he believed the bombing showed “a Middle Eastern trait,” he came to this conclusion because according to him it was done “to inflict as many casualties as possible.” Wowser!
He went on to insinuate, with out providing any evidence, that Oklahoma was a hotbed of radicalism, “Oklahoma City, I can tell you, is probably considered one of the largest centers of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East.” Double wowser!
Of course, it was later proven that the real culprits behind the bombings were Timothy McVeigh and
a few other accomplices that were driven by a nationalistic white ideology and not by Muslims or Arabs. Emerson in his haste it seems did not consider the possibility that maybe something originating from other than the Middle East was responsible for the bombing, nor did he apologize for his gaffe.
This is par for the course with Steven Emerson and his motivation is quite plain as the Wall Street Journal stated in 1993, “Mr. Emerson’s prime role is to whitewash Israeli governments and revile their critics.” The Jerusalem Post has also asserted that Emerson has close ties to the Israeli equivalent of the CIA-the Mossad.
Does Emerson have an unconditional bias towards Israel and an incentive in portraying Arabs and Muslims as terrorists behind all evil? Sure seems like it!
Anyone who is critical of Israeli actions and brings to light that it might not be in American interests to put our unconditional backing behind every Israeli adventure gives Emerson a compulsive fit, and when anyone calls him out on it he returns to the smear job of casting those he disagrees with as Anti-Semites. Johnathan F. Sugg, formerly of the Tampa Bay Weekly Planet wrote for Alternet,
“He has been run out of many respectable newsrooms. His response was the smear job. When The Washington Post shunned him, he branded the paper pro-Hamas.’ When the Miami Herald strafed Emerson’s shoddy claims, he wrote the city’s Jewish leaders claiming the paper’s reporter was nothing short of racist.”
Jane Hunter in a piece for Extra! characterized Emerson’s journalism as “nimble in its treatment of facts, often credulous of intelligence sources, and almost invariably supportive of the Israeli government.”
Former Chief of Operations and Analysis at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center Vince Cannistraro described Emerson as “dishonest” and “Joseph McCarthy-like” and said that, “word has got around on what he (Emerson) is, that he’s a paid polemicist, not a journalist.”
This is the modus operandi of our “Investigative Journalist,” who it seems is more of an Inspector Gadget wannabe just without all the hardware. He is driven by a desire not to safe guard America from dangerous threats but to exaggerate them and sell his agenda of smearing American Muslims and Arabs through any means necessary. To that we can only say “Wowser!”