Rev. Terry Jones had his “Balloon Boy” moment when the unknown pastor from a tiny church in Florida announced he would burn the Quran on Sept. 10, generating a media feeding frenzy spinning out over 6,000 articles (as of 9/08, according to Google Tracking). All major corporate outlets and even independent blogs, like dailycensored, have been swept away by Jones’ book burning. The Vatican, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Gen. David Petraeus, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have all taken time from running the world to respond to a lone nutjob. Even Angelina Jolie has taken a few moments off from fighting with Brad Pitt to release a statement on Jones. In fact, it’s fair to say that Jones is now more famous than Jolie (and no doubt will soon be offered a gig on a reality show, alongside the Salahis).
So many people have commented on Jones, that if you don’t, it almost looks like you tacitly support his book burning (I’m not for it, just to assuage any incriminations).
Why do the outlandish actions of a deranged bigot get taken seriously enough that thousands of articles and hours of TV time are devoted to giving him the bully pulpit?
And how can one crazy pastors’ words really be powerful enough to “endanger” troops in Afghanistan?
Because of us.
In condemning Jones, we have made his message legitimate. We have made it worthy of discussion. Even as we berate him, even as we publicly flog him to feel better about ourselves, we have acted as PR agents for him, spreading his hateful sermons across the world.
We are Jones’ megaphone.
We have made his words powerful.
I no longer want to act as the megaphone for hatemongering outliers like Jones. I hope that we can begin to boycott these publicity stunts, that we no longer earnestly engage with the insane, and in doing so, publicize this insanity, making it a viable viewpoint, a “controversy” worthy of discussion.
Ignore Jones. Take his power away.