The so-called ground zero mosque, for example, was a concept that had been in the planning stages for a long time but it suddenly “went viral because the media industrial complex” made it an issue — whereas there is a mosque inside the Pentagon (which was hit in the 9/11 attacks) and a mosque at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (where American soldiers go to recover from injuries suffered in the wars that resulted from the 9/11 attacks) which the media has not made into an issue.
Similarly, the story of the pastor who said he plans to burn the Koran on 9/11 was elevated to the highest levels by the media, inducing responses from everyone from General Petraeus to Secretary of State Clinton, while the media promoted wall-to-wall coverage of this man, featuring him as a guest if they were lucky enough to win a booking war against the other media outlets. Is this actually helping anyone?
Gen. Powell also cited the example of former USDA worker Shirley Sherrod who was fired from her job because of an excerpt from a speech she gave that went viral — although, once listened to in its entirety, it completely exonerated her (alas, too late).
Powell’s RebootTheMedia advice? “Let’s all count to ten before we leap on these things.” Sounds like good advice to us.