Loony Pastor Still a Loon, But No Longer a Fire Hazard

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Thank God. Can we go back to ignoring this guy now? I thought it was worth noting way back in July when the crazy “Burn a Qu’ran Day” was first announced, especially because it seemed to me then–and still now–that political conservatives like Newt Gingrich needed to either accept some responsibility for the Islamo-hatred they were whipping up or step up to the plate (as some belatedly did in the past 24 hours) and denounce this kind of extreme wackadoodle nonsense.

But I think our colleague Jim Poniewozik gets it exactly right–after ignoring this story for over a month, the media coverage of it this week has been a shameful exercise in snowballing, piling-on, and lazy false equivalizing. (I don’t care that it’s not a word–my dictionary and I are going rogue.)

If Jones changes his mind about changing his mind–and I’d bet there’s a pretty good chance of that–the public can only hope that reporters and cameras don’t descend on Florida this Saturday to watch Jones and a half dozen followers whip out their lighter fluid. But members of the media can do more than hope. We can do the right thing by letting this hatefulness play out on a homemade backyard stage instead of a global media platform.

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