January 17, 2005

S.I. Rosenbaum - Biased and Irresponsible

Recently, I called up one of your writers to complain about two of the articles she had written for your publication, dated December 31st and January 1st. Both of the pieces insinuated that my appearance on Fox News, an article I had written for Frontpage Magazine, and my group's website, AmericansAgainstHate.com had caused death threats to come to a Tampa-area Presbyterian-owned campgrounds (Cedarkirk) and a Muslim organization (Muslim American Society of Tampa) that was planning on using the campgrounds for a "retreat." This was irresponsible journalism at its worst, as the violent nature of the organization and its speakers were given a pass.

Following my complaint, the writer of the articles, Sara Rosenbaum, sent me an e-mail saying that she wanted to do a piece on me. I agreed, understanding that, given the past two, it was probably going to be biased against me, and unfortunately, I was correct. In 'Are bloggers against hate, or feeding it?' dated January 16th, once again, Rosenbaum insinuated that I had caused the threats. She went as far as to say that images placed on my group's website had been responsible for death threats "pouring [sic] in to the Tampa Muslim American Society." No mention was made of the material found on MAS-Tampa's website discussing the murder of Jews or about the waging of holy war against Christians and Jews. No mention was made of the fact that one of the speakers of the "retreat," Mazen Mokhtar, had created a website that raised funds and recruited terrorists for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, or that his website was also used as a portal to the official site of Hamas. All of this information was presented to Rosenbaum, but once again, I was the bad guy, and the terrorists were given a pass.

Miss Rosenbaum devoted much of her article to quoting Ahmed Bedier, a spokesman for the organization CAIR. She quotes him as calling me a "vigilante" and a "bigot." She quotes him as saying that I am "spreading lies," when she knows that I put extensive links to source material in every article that I write and every press release that I send out. None of this was challenged by Rosenbaum. Nowhere does she say that this man is a member of a group that is the defendant in a 9/11 lawsuit, a group whose former representatives include those that have been convicted in and/or deported from the United States for terrorist activity, a group that was created by a front for Hamas. Nowhere does Rosenbaum mention that Bedier recently stated that, prior to 1995, there was "nothing immoral" about Palestinian Islamic Jihad. She gave him a pass as well.

To many readers, Rosenbaum made it seem as though I was using my feelings towards the anti-Semitism I experienced growing up as a catalyst for my present activities. Nothing could be further from the truth, as none of the incidents I cited had anything to do with the Muslim community. Rosenbaum also laced her article with inaccurate information. She stated that I was considering contacting an old Palestinian friend of mine but then I "thought better of it." I never said that I was not going to contact this individual, who happened to be my best friend in high school. That was fabricated by Rosenbaum to bolster her story and to vindicate her bias.

My work has contributed greatly to the safety and security of America. From what she has written, by making light of my work and by giving a forum to those that threaten American society, it appears Miss Rosenbaum has shown that she is oblivious to the threat of terrorism. In doing so, her distortions, which were spun as fact, have misled the readers of the St. Petersburg Times. Miss Rosenbaum owes me and all of those counter-terrorism experts, which she derisively labeled and dismissed as "bloggers," an apology. This includes Robert Spencer, an accomplished author whose present book about Islam was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 15 weeks.

In the future, the St. Petersburg Times should thoroughly scrutinize and 'fact check' its writers' work, so that your publication does not become synonymous with this type of sloppy journalism.


Joe Kaufman
Americans Against Hate


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