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Charlie Brooker On Park51 Coverage: The Media Should 'Just Give Up Now'

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So, I'm putting together this awesome team of media personages that deserve more attention than they've heretofore received that will wage Scott Pilgrim style war on crime idiots in the media. Let's see...we're going to have Face To Face host Jon Ralston, and Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland, and...hey, how about from across the Atlantic, we add columnist and broadcaster Charlie Brooker, who merrily sounds off on the Park51 controversy in today's Guardian.

Brooker seems to have ably availed himself of actual facts, probably because he broke with traditions and actually went looking for them, and decided to repeat them to readers, almost as if he doesn't want to insult their intelligence!

"The 'Ground Zero mosque' is a genuine proposal," Brooker notes, "but it's slightly less provocative than its critics' nickname makes it sound. For one thing, it's not at Ground Zero. Also, it isn't a mosque."

Brooker goes on to note, correctly, that the project is a "cultural centre" with a "basketball court," whose purpose is to "improve interfaith relations."

And, to repeat, it's not at Ground Zero!

Perhaps spatial reality functions differently on the other side of the Atlantic, but here in London, something that is "two minutes' walk and round a corner" from something else isn't actually "in" the same place at all. I once had a poo in a pub about two minutes' walk from Buckingham Palace. I was not subsequently arrested and charged with crapping directly onto the Queen's pillow. That's how "distance" works in Britain. It's also how distance works in America, of course, but some people are currently pretending it doesn't, for daft political ends.

Really, people shouldn't need this concept explained to them! But given the fact that so many Americans oppose something that does not exist, perhaps the fault lies with our explainers, who should be able to say with a straight face that "daft" is "daft" and not "an interesting point of view that should be elevated." Per Brooker:

Seriously, broadcasters, journalists: just give up now. Because either you're making things worse, or no one's paying attention anyway. May as well knock back a few Jagermeisters, unplug the autocue, and just sit there dumbly repeating whichever reality-warping meme the far right wants to go viral this week. What's that? Obama is Gargamel and he's killing all the Smurfs? Sod it. Whatever. Roll titles.

Go read the whole thing.

{H/T: Boing Boing]

'Ground Zero mosque'? The reality is less provocative [Guardian]

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