Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hey, thanks Fox News!

I don’t watch Fox News. In fact, I avoid it with considerable deftness. It’s part of my stress-reduction plan.

However, I see people share stories from Fox News all the time on Social Media (often with swear words attached). And sometimes, in a moment of weakness, I click through. Then I facepalm, swear at the ceiling and mourn the future of the planet. Then I have to go look at cat pictures to recover. It’s all very emotional and time-consuming.

I made the mistake last night of watching the interview with biblical scholar Reza Aslan. Aslan is a professor of Religion who, like many scholars, wrote a book on on the topic he studies. It’s called “Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”.  He also happens to be Muslim.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Uh…okay. So what?”

Apparently, that is not what the Fox News reporter was thinking. Her interview went something like this:

     Interviewer: “So, you wrote a book on Jesus? And you’re…Muslim?”

     Aslan responds with a gentle and in-depth explanation of what scholars do for a living.

     Interviewer: “But, you’re Muslim. And you’re writing about Jesus?"

     Aslan again explains about academics and scholarly research.

     Interviewer: "WHY would a Muslim write about Jesus?!”

This exchange played on in a loop for four or five or perhaps even thirty minutes, I don’t know, by that time I was sitting in a corner looking at pictures of Grumpy Cat in an effort to erase from my brain what I had just seen.

However, today, as I was watching the interview being shared and shared on various media, an exciting thought occurred to me.

The thought was this: I bet his book is selling like wildfire.

I clicked through to Amazon and lo! His book was the current top-selling title. There were over 450 reviews of his book, most of which had been added in the last 24 hours. Ka-ching!

I downloaded his book, too.

I will probably never read it, but that’s beside the point.

With this in mind, I present to you…

Seven Reasons Why You Should Buy Aslan’s Book

1. Because books written by religious scholars never sell. The only people who buy their books are students studying religion, and the only reason they buy them is because their syllabus requires it (I know, I was once one of those students).

* 6 copies sold *

2. Because facts should not be scary

3. Because it has opened up a dialogue about Islam and Christianity, and about academic research on religion vs. religious texts. Yay for dialogue.

4. Because, please God, this will spawn an entertaining new meme

5. Because his name is Aslan

6. Aslan

7. Aslan

So thank you, people of Fox News, for being agents of tolerance and spurring an academic text to the top of the bestseller charts. Despite yourselves.

"But...he's Muslim."


  1. Sometime ignorance is saddening. Sometimes it is funny. Fox News proves that it can also be evil and dangerous. Professor Aslan plainly has more humanity in his little finger than Fox news can collate from their entire team.

    1. Well, there's plain ignorance, and then there's willful ignorance. The latter, I think, is very dangerous.

  2. Sniggering. I too watched the clip and wondered if anchor lady was ever going to 'get it'. I thought Aslan was rather brilliant, I don't think many people would be able to keep their cool in the face of such idiocy.

    1. Yeah, he handled himself well. Became a bit of an internet celebrity as a result!

  3. Watched this as well and was cringing at the interviewer's obtuse questioning. I did tweet about when Fox would employ 'intelligent' newsreaders, and then realised that she is probably one of them.
    Kudos to Reza Islam, I thought he was brilliant. I would have reached down the live connection in his place to slap some sense in to the interviewer.
    Which is why *I* don't do live TV.

    LCM x

    1. Good grief. Just realised I wrote Islam', not 'Aslan'. Numb nut.
      Note to self: do NOT comment before coffee.

    2. One day, I will come to London and run with you. AND I will do a live interview with you, in a wetsuit.

      P.S. I knew what ya meant. x

  4. I haven't watched Fox since I got to America - but I keep and eye on them through sites such as Right Wing Watch.

    1. I would advise you continue to not watch it. No good will come of it.


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