Is Hollywood Too Timid on Terrorism?

That’s a question you would take away from an event last week by Steve Emerson, a former CNN investigative journalist turned counter-terrorism expert.

He screened parts of his unfinished doc “Grand Deception” at a CAA auditorium on Thursday where he questioned the media’s depiction of the threat of Islamic radicalism.

“I’m on a PR battle,” admitted the filmmaker. “I’m getting people angry.”

Hosted by Gary Sinise and Matt DelPiano, and organized by the American Cinema Foundation, the event drew Jon Voight, Larry Elder, Tom Selleck, Rob Long, Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, among others. Although the event had a center/right tilt to it, marked in a left-leaning town, since 9/11 some industry figures have switched their political stripes, citing concerns over security and terrorism.

The doc focuses on the influence that Islamist extremist groups hold over the U.S. government and the media. In Emerson’s view, recent film releases and news reports often are pro-terrorist or white-washed, because execs fear being targeted by extremist groups.

During a Q&A afterward, Emerson was very vocal about what he characterized as the hypocrisy of journalists and the “political cowardess” of Hollywood studios toward extremists.

“The media has fallen down in a sinister way,” he said.

He made his case in a clip from the documentary. In it, it shows how pics like “Sum of All Fears” and “Rules of Engagement” were attacked by groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations for depicting Arabs in a negative light and perpetuating racist stereotypes. Since 9/11, the doc explains, the pressures from Islamic groups have intensified, coercing studios into self censorship when the subject matter is too “politically sensitive,” Emerson explained.

Emerson said that he hopes to get funding to wrap up the film in time for the next presidential election — which, by the way, he describes as a “tragedy in the making.”

—Elsa Bertet

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  1. Emerson, a Jew who gets it
    A perspective of a moderate Muslim
    At the risk of sounding anti-Semitic, I want to say this: either American Jews are completely clueless about the internal struggle inside Islam or they are so cowardly, that they are even afraid to voice their opinion. Or maybe it’s a combination of both.
    Every time there is a development that involves radical Islam, be it a Mayor of New York attending an Islamist parade, DOJ’s officials attending an Islamist conference, or a protester being sued for having the balls to expose an Islamist-sponsored event at an amusement park, the American Jewish community is as quiet as a church mouse. It’s like it is not even there.
    The effect of this silence is devastating. Not for the Jewish community, not yet. That time is still to come. The silence affects the American Muslim community. Every time moderate Muslims are ignored and Islamists are legitimized (by either direct support from government representatives or silent support of the ADL), radicals gain ground. In the current PC climate, moderate Muslims have pretty much no choice but to keep their mouths shut.
    Luckily for us, not everyone in the Jewish community is like that. There are some Jews that are speaking out. One of them is Steven Emerson, who has been warning the West about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism since before PanAm 103. Most of his current work is focused on exposing the radicals masquerading as the moderates – those radicals who are embraced by the DOJ and the Pentagon, by the mayor of New York Bloomberg (Rudy would never get into bed with terrorist supporters) and the Treasury Department, by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, by the Congress and the White House.
    There is a war of ideas within Islam, and moderate Muslims are losing. Most of Muslim clergy and Muslim establishment are paid for by the Wahhabis. Moderate Muslims are being run out of Mosques and community centers, and in many cases are physically threatened. Moderate Muslims have no place in the media or public debate, because the place reserved for Muslims is filled by Islamic radicals, who attempt to make criticizing anything Islamic a taboo. According to the Islamists, a Muslim can do no wrong.
    1. When a non-Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslims, he/she is an Islamophobe.
    2. When a Muslim criticizes Islam or Muslim, he/she is not a real Muslim, therefore see #1.
    This is a tactic used by “moderate” Muslims, the darlings of the government and the media. But how can you call someone who praises bin Laden, or has ties to Hamas, or calls for the elimination of Israel, or wants to replace the Constitution with the Koran a moderate? They are anything but moderates, however nobody except for a few people like Steven Emerson seems to notice that. But even when the Emersons of America appeal to the public, they are often being dismissed as alarmists and racists. Well, they are anything, but. You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict the future when it comes to expansion of radical Islam and extinction of moderate Muslims. All you need to do is get your heads out of the sand.
    Why our government is so forgiving and forgetful when it comes to individuals or organizations with known terrorist ties and anti-American views is beyond me. Why the Jewish leaders are so timid when it comes to the subject of radical Islam is incomprehensible.
    I thank God every day for people like Steven Emerson, because they are the last glimmer of hope for moderate Muslims.
    K.M. – Original post

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