Actually, it's a big dirty secret. [Scroll for updates]
I could not help but notice, over the past few years, the right wing blogosphere's silence on jihad and Islam. When I started blogging back in 2004-2005, there were literally scores of counter-jihad blogs in an already crowded field. Seven years later, it is a paltry few, save for Jihadwatch, The Religion of Peace, Creeping Sharia, and political bloggers like Logan's Warning, IOTW, American Power blog, Zilla, ..... [UPDATE: and The Right Planet].
The first jolt and obvious disconnect was back in 2008, when Michelle Malkin and Hot Air suddenly and without explanation stopped running Robert Spencer's "Blogging the Quran" series and his Jihad Watch v-logs. They were fantastic, informational and needed. Around the time she dropped Spencer, Malkin had a short-lived show on Fox and was trying to get more exposure there, and she also stopped writing as much as she had about Islam and jihad. I was surprised and disheartened at the time, but was unaware that these were just some early signs of a decision by the most influential people on the Right to sanction the jihad and sharia with their silence. Silence is sanction. Malkin still posts on big jihad stories every now and then (as do other right-of-center bloggers), and acts as if nothing has changed and she is still in the fight, but it has gone to the periphery of her concerns. Bloggers have to cover big jihad attacks because if they didn't that would be obvious.
But this is not about just Michelle Malkin -- not by a long shot. I wrote about her because the evidence in her case is fairly clear. But it is also about all of them: Drudge, Rush, Kathryn Lopez of National Review, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, etc. The email below makes the Right's actions intelligible. It is unlikely -- in fact, inconceivable -- that the blogger described in it, who saw his path to money and traffic in abandoning the fight against jihad and Islamic supremacism, was the only one. Obviously, many others have gone down this road as well. The big blogs on the right never link counter-jihad blogs. They have all but surrendered.
It irked me that the party of constitutional rights and individual rights would adhere to the blasphemy laws under the sharia (do not criticize or offend Islam).
Which is worse: the left's vocal support of the sharia or the right's silence? The silence is more insidious. At least you know where you stand with the left. The following email came from a new blogger who was communicating with me on an unrelated issue. He used to blog at a very well known, well-trafficked right wing blog, one of the biggest. When I made a passing remark about the blogger's negative behavior toward me, the new blogger responded [names redacted]:
Wow. I didn't know you were aware of XXXX's attitude towards you. He is nasty. He hides it well but if you displease him he'll lash out at you. He got pissed at me when I posted an article that made Rick Perry look bad. He changed my headline and comment.
I posted a link to one of your blog posts in early 2011. Another blogger on the site pulled the link to you and sent me an email saying stay away from posting links to Atlas. He said XXXX [the owner of the blog] would get mad.
I think it also had to do with the fact that XXXX changed the blog's policy towards Islamic issues. I used to post uncensored stuff about Islam. Pictures with insults to Allah, swastikas on muslim terrorists, cartoons I made saying "Heil Allah!"
In December 2010, XXXX decided to tone down XXXX and make it more like a Hot Air style site. He told me to stop insulting Islam because he wanted to attract advertising and make a living from doing XXXX. I complied with his wishes and toned down not only Islam stuff but other subjects as well. I gradually became disenchanted with posting at XXXX My daily output became less and less.
By Sept. 2011, I was not posting much at all. Then I made the mistake of posting a couple of items XXXX thought were insulting to muslims. I wrote a headline for an article about a muslima weightlifter who wanted to wear hijab in competition. It said: "Muslima Weightlifter Demands Right To Wear Slave Garb In Competition." He pulled it within minutes and wrote a new headline saying, "wear head gear." Then he censored a comment I made on another Islam related post. The last straw came when I posted another "insult to islam." It was a humorous post not nasty at all, but he pulled my comment and picture.
That was the end for me. He sent me an email saying thanks for your contribution to XXXX. Have a nice day. That was it after all I did to help build XXXX traffic for over a year. When I joined the traffic was at a certain level for a long time. I introduced humorous pictures, comments and articles and upgraded the graphics quality on my posts and his. Traffic went up at a steady pace. The audience grew tremendously. He talked to me more like a partner than just a contributor.
That's what upset me most, but it's OK because I was unhappy there anyway. I couldn't express myself the way I wanted to so it's better that I moved on. I'm doing what I want on my own blog.
And here is a second email from the same writer:
I remembered another thing about Islam related censorship at XXX. After I left, I checked my old posts for reference for a wordpress blog I set up at HUB. When I looked at the Islam stuff I found XXXX had gone back and deleted any pictures and commentary I wrote that might be offensive. What he does now is, he covers muslim related issues but without saying anything offensive. His headlines are just descriptions of what a muslim jihadist did, without saying something critical. Instead of using an insulting term, he'll say "Muslim Terrorists Burn Churches." His comments under the pictures say "Christians must express outrage at this kind of attack." He will not say something attacking Islam in any way. He leaves the nasty comments to his fans in the comments section. They say "Islam must be destroyed!" He never gets his hands dirty. Here are some examples of old XXXX posts of mine that XXXX censored/scrubbed from his site:
"8-Year-Old Boy Is Hanged by the Taliban…"
XXXX deleted my one word comment which was: "Barbarians." It's offensive to Muslims to call Taliban barbarians.
"Obama Remembers Muslim Victims of 9/11 at White House Ramadan Dinner…"
He deleted my picture of Obama at a White House dinner holding up a glass to toast someone. Obama had an evil look on his face. Offensive to Muslims?
The last post I did on XXXX was a story about Muslim day at Great Adventure Park. I put up a picture of a muslim man and burka wearing woman riding on a Ferris wheel. The caption was: "Allahu Akbarf!" It was just a lame joke about people getting sick on amusement park rides, but XXXX saw it and pulled the caption within minutes after I posted it. The next day he got rid of me. There are many others but I guess you can get an idea of what he did to hide his past as an "Islamophobe." LOL!
UPDATE: And it's the same gutsy bloggers covering the story:
Big Fur Hat at I Own the World (IOTW):
Atlas Shrugs has published a story that I consider a bombshell. I was going to characterize it as inside baseball, but it’s not. This should concern everyone equally.
The post is about the slow, steady march towards the whitewashing of jihad- Creeping Silence, if you will, and as Atlas points out, silence is sanctioning.
I’m also receiving messages from other sources that seem eager to share with me that this is not paranoia and is indeed a coordinated effort to stunt Atlas Shrugs. An editor of a brand new highly trafficked site informed a confidant of mine that Atlas Shrugs will not be linked to. This made my eye go all twitchy.Question: What will be gained by making Pamela Geller go away?
UPDATE: It all falls into place for Robert Spencer here:
Ah, now it all makes sense -- not just about Malkin, but I also had been quite friendly with the blogger discussed in the email below, until he suddenly and inexplicably began sending me abusive emails demanding that I stop linking to him. It's ironic that a central part of the Leftist/Islamic supremacist myth about freedom fighters is that there is some lucrative "Islamophobia industry" and that people are in this for money and fame, when actually the path to money and fame today is to dissemble and downplay the reality of jihad and Islamic supremacism, and their root causes within Islam itself.
UPDATE: More from Spencer:
UPDATE: Big Fur Hat over at iOwntheWorld has figured it out: the blogger being discussed below is Weasel Zippers. Zip and I had once been friendly and actually had been planning to meet again for lunch when he wrote me and asked me to stop linking his posts at Jihad Watch, because then when Pamela Geller would link my posts, a link to his site would show up at Atlas Shrugs, and he didn't want to have anything to do with her because of her exposure of Rick Perry's Islam curriculum. When I responded incredulously, he grew progressively more abusive, finally ending up by repeating the Leftist/Islamic supremacist smear that I was responsible for the Norway murders. He still does cover jihad issues at Weasel Zippers, but not in a way that would trouble anyone who buys the propaganda line, purveyed by both Leftists and Fox, that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been Hijacked by a Tiny Minority of Extremists.
UPDATE: Amazingly great comment by by Big Fur Hat at IOTW:
This is not a flame war. And I fully expect commenters from WZ to come here and defend your site.
You offer opinion ie: Geller is nuts.
(Dagwaker offers idiocy ie: Spencer is Jewish (as if that would matter, anyway.))
This article offers nothing but facts, and they are not presented to damage WZ’s finances, traffic, or say they suck, or anything of the sort.
Here are the facts:
Zip called Spencer and said “Do not link to my site anymore.”
Spancer asked why.
Zip said because if he did, Pamela might link to that story, and his name would appear on Atlas Shrugs and he wants nothing to do with Atlas.
The discussion ended with Zip saying that Spencer was responsible for the Norway massacre.
When a story was suggested on Twitchy by a contributor, the contributor was told by Jessie Malkin that, “we won’t do anything with Atlas Shrugs.”
Hot Air asked Robert Spencer to produce a series called “blogging the Quran.”
The series was popular and then abruptly pulled by Malkin. Morrissey offered this as a reason – the Obama/McCain election is heating up and we don’t have time for this.
Does anyone believe that excuse?
I think it is important to have these top blogs say publicly what their problem is.
What I am hearing from you (and dagawker) are two simultaneous contradictory arguments -
Weasel Zippers doesn’t back down from blogging about Islam, he does war porn and calls them barbarians and in the comments we call them goatf*ckers, and we piss on them yada yada yada -
but Geller is too toxic.
Do you think that makes any sense to you whatsover, particularly when Geller doesn’t come close to doing, in terms of decorum, what you’re boasting WZ’s does?
Ask yourself this, as well. Spencer and Geller are a team, why does Zip have a problem with Geller and not Spencer? Makes no sense unless it is personal.
Listen, talking about goatf*cking is nice, and dutifully putting up fapping videos of war is great.
With all due respect, the real work is being done in the courts by “that nut” Pamela Geller. What you don’t know, and what Zip doesn’t know, could fill a reservoir. Frankly, you’re way out of your league.
Now, having said that, you’re not just a wee bit curious as to the exact reason the top tier blogs are cutting Pamela out of their incestuous dutch rudder linkage club? Or are you merely content with the marginalizing of one of our top warriors and content that Jihad will be challenged by Zip and the Zip commenting community?
Remove Geller from the landscape and what are you left with?
Stay at home bloggers trying to “make a living” who conspire to damage a woman who has her ass on the line defending the first amendment, for you and I, with her own money.
Tell us all again how Geller is nuts, it was charming.
UPDATE: Logan's Warning adds this:
I would just like to add a few things to Pamela’s article. In regards to Weasel Zippers: They used to be on my email list, and approximately a year and a half ago I received an email from them asking me to remove them from my list. I asked why, and was never sent a response. Is it just for money? Is it because of my friendship with Pamela? Or maybe they just run from people who are not afraid to speak about the actual tough answers that are needed to win this war? Either way, this goes for everyone mentioned in her article who has abandoned them. Pamela and Mr. Spencer have had some major victories recently, can you say the same?