In a recent Fox News segment, panelist Eric Bolling held up a card claiming to show links between Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the mosque near Ground Zero, and Hamas and Iran.
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart responded by using the same guilt-by-association technique to link Fox News to Islamist terrorism.
Bolling, appearing on Fox & Friends Thursday, said the imam behind the controversial mosque could be "loosely linked" to organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. He held up a card showing the names of the organizations highlighted in yellow to make his point.
Bolling's claims are a "dangerous game of built by association you could play with almost anybody," Stewart said on the Daily Show Thursday night. "All you need is a card and a highlighter. It's nothing."
And to prove his point, Stewart then brought out a card of his own, this one showing links between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch-owned parent company of Fox News. Prince Alwaleed owns the largest share of News Corp. outside the Murdoch family, worth an estimated $2.5 billion.
Stewart pointed out that Prince Alwaleed can be tied to the Saudi royal family, which finances the construction of Wahabbist mosques, and which has links to the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group has, in turn, been tied to Osama bin Laden. And Stewart also pointed out that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected a $10-million gift from Prince Alwaleed after the 9/11 attacks, because the Saudi prince had said that US foreign policy contributed to the terrorist attack.
"I think that, really, when you look at this card and you do highlight it in yellow, the only thing you can come up with is: Is Fox News a terrorist command center?" Stewart asked.
Stewart then rolled footage of actor-turned-gun-rights-activist Charlton Heston, defending the NRA after the Columbine shooting in 1999. While Heston's speech was meant to defend Second Amendment rights, Stewart said it could just as easily apply as a defense of First Amendment freedom-of-religion rights.
Tragedy has been and will always be with us. Somewhere right now evil people are planning evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do, to prevent it. Each horrible act can't become an act for opportunists to cleave the bill of rights that binds us.
America must stop its predicable pattern of reaction. When an isolated terrible event occurs, our phones ring demanding that the NRA explain the inexplicable. Why us? The story needs a villain. That is not our role in American society and we will not be forced to play it. If you disagree, that's your right. I respect that but we will not relinquish it or be silenced about it or be told, do not come here, you are unwelcome in your own land.
"Well said, sir," Stewart said of Heston's remarks.
This video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast Aug. 19, 2010.