How to reward attention seeking political blogger bomb-throwers
Pamela Geller is a Manhattan socialite who blogs about how Islam equals terrorism. She’s a political provocateur in the Ann Coulter vein, but more outlandish. She has become a fixture on the political right. She has also become a de facto speech writer for people like Newt Gingrich, once-mainstream politicians looking for votes in the Obama era. Mostly, though, Geller is an attention seeker who, as rhetorical bomb-throwing blogger, has found a way to get the attention she seeks.
Which apparently explains why the New York Times lavished something like 10,000 words and a page and a half of reporting in the Sunday paper to Geller— a profile rounded out with seven photos, including a glam-shot teaser on the front page and two enormous half page photos in the New York section.
Seriously, what newspaper profile carries seven photos of the subject over two pages, two of them enormous?
Geller was the misinformationist behind the outraged opposition to the “ground zero mega-mosque,” as Geller described the project, which was not at ground zero and not a mega mosque. Her blogs on the matter fed talking points to Gingrich as well as Sarah Palin and many others.
Here’s a sample of Geller’s unfortunately familiar approach to politics as summarized by the Times in its first few graphs:
[S]he has called for the removal of the Dome of the Rock from atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; posted doctored pictures of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court justice, in a Nazi helmet; suggested the State Department was run by “Islamic supremacists”; and referred to health care reform as an act of national rape.
And this from the closing paragraphs:
[L]ast week, [Geller] called on readers to boycott Campbell’s soup after the company announced that it planned to certify some products as halal — the Muslim equivalent of kosher — with the supervision of a group that Ms. Geller considers a front for terrorists.
“Warhol,” she wrote, “is spinning in his grave.”
Funny Geller should mention Warhol. Geller as blogger is a sort of Warhol product. She has clearly made a mass product of herself. The flavor is “shock jock” and the packaging is “real housewives of Manhattan.” Media outlets are the grocery stores in which she vies for placement and the Times obliged by stacking her up in a special display this weekend for its millions of customers.
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