Anti-Muslim movies 7 weeks before polls: Coincidence?
Pam Martens has an intriguing post:
The incendiary anti-Islam film,Innocence of Muslims, is being widely blamed for sparking anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Middle East, leading to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Libya.
This morning, according to NBC News, a Federal law enforcement official has confirmed that the shadowy Sam Bacile, the producer of the film, is really Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an ex-con on probation for financial crimes.
Nakoula produced an amateurish documentary that was screened in one tiny theatre, with a trailer released on the internet. That limited circulation stands in sharp contrast to another Islamophobic film that was broadly circulated in 2008 by mainstream newspapers with financial backing from a nonprofit group with ties to the Koch brothers.
In the Fall of 2008, in the leadup to the Presidential election, approximately 100 newspapers and magazines in the U.S., including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, and St. Petersburg Times, distributed millions of DVDs of the anti-Islam documentary, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” Altogether, including a separate direct mail campaign, 28 million DVDs flooded into swing voter states.
The newspapers, inexplicably, did not inquire into the details of who had produced the incendiary film or where the big money came from to place it in millions of big-name newspapers. The nonprofit organization named on the packaging of the DVD as the entity behind the film, the Clarion Fund, Inc., had no known history of operations and had a virtual office address in New York City with no physical presence and no employees on site. Documents submitted to the IRS to obtain its tax-exempt status show the Clarion Fund demanded total secrecy from its vendors.
The film portrayed Muslims as violent people intent on killing Westerners. The first half of the film is filled with scenes of suicide bombers and human carnage; the second half intersperses clips of Hitler, Hitler Youth, or Hitler analogies intermittently with Muslim crowds and young children with fists in the air calling for death to westerners. Once at the beginning and again at the end, the film reminds us that not all Muslims ostensibly want to kill us but quantifies the amount that do as 100 to 150 million – without any effort to support this assertion.
The newspapers that carried the DVD in the final days of a Presidential race, where one candidate was already being smeared for Muslim ties, were rebuked by outraged readers in letters to the editor and on-line forums.
Margaret Lewis of Durham, North Carolina fired off a letter to The News & Observer of Durham, North Carolina: “I cannot believe that I was sent the hate-inflaming, fear-mongering video disk ‘Obsession’ in my newspaper! What will you enclose next? KKK robes?”
In October 2010, I researched the backers of the film and wrote an article on the episode for CounterPunch. I found the following: . . .