July 29, 2013

 

In one of the big media stories of the week, Fox News is getting hammered for an online interview in which host Lauren Green questions whether religious scholar Reza Aslan can be a Muslim and write a book about Jesus at the same time. For the full rundown on this travesty of news coverage, click here.

The Erik Wemple Blog attempted to interview Aslan about his now-famous FoxNews.com interview, but that interview had stacked his schedule with other interviews. Good thing, then, that Aslan is participating this afternoon in a Reddit “ask me anything” (AMA) session.

Here’s one of the exchanges in that session:

Question: Were you surprised by Lauren Green’s questions on the Fox News interview? Was there any indication of the tone of the interview beforehand?

Aslan: I had some indication of what was about to happen from the attack piece they did on me a few days before the interview. I assumed that we would deal with that at first and then move on to the book. It was only about half way thru that realized what was happening.

The “attack piece” to which Aslan refers appears to be this op-ed by John Dickerson. Who is John Dickerson? He describes himself in his opinion piece as a “journalist and author.” Furthermore, he says that he is a “Christian” who “cannot imagine penning a so-called objective biography of Muhammad and then concealing my conflict of interest in national media interviews.”

That’s the allegation against Aslan, one that he forcefully challenged in his interview with Green. In any case, Green extensively cited Dickerson’s attack on Aslan in her interview with Aslan. To recap, a FoxNews.com op-ed piece fed a FoxNews.com video interview that posed stupid and prejudicial questions to a religious scholar who is a Muslim. That’s what you call cross-platform synergy.

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Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.