Terry Jones' Cunning Stunt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 9 2010 10:02 AM

Terry Jones' Cunning Stunt

The most useful thing I've seen about Rev. Terry Jones' plan to get media attention by threatening to burn Qurans is Robert Mackey's attempt to figure out why people care about him now.

As the 236 viewers of   the Sept. 12, 2009, episode of [his YouTube] show may recall, Mr. Jones staged an anti-Islam protest on the lastanniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but the few reporters atthat event, also attended by about 30 members of his church, were fromlocal newspapers like The Gainesville Sun and The Independent Florida Alligator ... This year, thanks to the attention generated by the promise of amore televisual form of protest—the burning of about 200 copies ofIslam’s holy book—national and international news crews and theirsatellite trucks are lined up on the lawn of the church Mr. Jones callsthe Dove World Outreach Center.


Yes: This is a media story, not a political story. I like some of what Fred Kaplan wrote on Tuesday, particularly how he pointed out that this is not our first media freak-out about One Man's Quest to Be Stupid, but I think he offered Republicans a bit too much if they would come out and condemn Jones. How hard is it to condemn Jones? Pretty damn easy, which is why every Republican who was asked about him by reporters took a look at that 1 mph softball and smacked it out of the park. It even worked like a stain-cleanser for their politicking on the Cordoba Muslim community center!

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.