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



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads


See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 1:38 PM Mad About Modi
 Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 30 2014 1:23 PM What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Writing Better? An Interview with Steven Pinker.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 12:42 PM How to Save Broken Mayonnaise
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 11:55 AM The Justice Department Is Cracking Down on Sales of Spyware Used in Stalking
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.