The Nose: Obama, Mosques And 'Sperm Comedies'
Our pop culture roundtable talks politics, religion and the latest movies.
While listening to this show about the Obama-as-Muslim meme, the debate over the downtown Manhattan community center and mosque and the dust-up between Bill O'Reilly and Jennifer Aniston about sperm donor comedies, one of our listeners, Jane, sent us this:
"It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder.' "-Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963).
Good one, Jane. It does seem as though kindness is in short supply in all these debates.
Anger, on the other hand ... well, there seems to be a broad supply of that. Are angry people funny? If Archie Bunker were on the air today, he'd be clinging hard and fast to the notion that Barack Obama is a Muslim. And it would be funny. Putting those lines in Archie's mouth would be a comedy writer's dream.
But this week a couple of polls came out, each of them suggesting that large segments of the American voting public really believe this. Suddenly, it's not a joke.
Once a week on a Friday show called The Nose, we try to talk our way through a few issues like this. What does it mean when people say they think the President is a Muslim? Is it a coded version of some other statement? Eighteen percent of the respondents in a Pew survey - up from 11 and 12 in previous studies - have signed onto the Obama-as-Mulsim notion. Is that because you can find 20 percent of the American population that believes just about anything? That the sun revolves around the Eart? Or that ghosts are real?
A caller named Scott from Hebron -- a guy who thinks WNPR and our show in particular tilt to the left and condescend to the right -- said Obama had failed to cover his heart on one occasion, had failed to wear a flag pin and had attended a church when the minister heatedly condemned the United States -- all symptoms that there's something about Obama he's not telling us.
A listener named Dori emailed us:
"FYI, I was in the Iowa primary campaign and my close friend who was at the mentioned venue in which Obama did not put his hand on his heart said that he did not see the other people on the stage from where he was standing. Also, it was during the national anthem, not usually a time when we stand with hand on heart. In other words he didn't realize that everyone else had taken this body position and that he looked out of place."
Not sure this would assuage Scott.
We hope you'll listen to the whole show. Mark Oppenhemier's description of what the downtown community center really is and what kind of drift it represents in the assimilation of Muslims was terrific.