I, Geller

(Note: It wasn’t just Geller, it was also Spencer, who gratuitously put down the August rally and didn’t bother defending it from Max Blumenthal’s obvious smear.)

What is going on with Pamela Geller? At Jihad Watch Robert Spencer quotes her deriding and dismissing yesterday’s anti-mosque rally:

I have no idea what this rally is. I have no idea who these people are. I have no idea who organized this rally. Clearly, whoever organized this was careless, unprepared, shooting from the hip and harmful to the cause of freedom and compassion. I wasn’t even in the state, nor did I know anything about this half-a**ed effort.

Worse still, the media, which never covered the big rally on June 6th is all over this ill-conceived botched mess of a protest that is being played in the media as “competing rallies” with a pro-mosque rally. Who organized this anti-mosque protest? Sharif El-Gamal?

Here’s a reader’s comment from the Jihad Watch thread:

I am quite astounded at the Jihad Watch attack on this rally. I noticed no difference in tone from the previous rally held a few months ago at which Mr. Spencer and Ms. Geller spoke. The more rallies the better; if anything it will pump people up to attend the (hopefully) massive rally coming up on 911. Are we dealing with some sort of Clash of the Titanic egos here? Are we doing so well that we can afford this petty bickering? Frank Gaffney gave a very effective impassioned speech at this demonstration. Is he now to join the ranks of Larry Auster and Andrew Bostom as “nonpersons”. Come on guys; you’re better than this.

Frank Gaffney was indeed a speaker at the rally. Does Geller now regard a rally featuring an establishment conservative, a figure far more prominent and respected than herself, to be beneath her, if it’s not a Pamela Geller rally? This is too strange. I understand Geller treating me as a non-person, but Frank Gaffney? And does she really “have no idea who these people are”?

Well, here is a list of “these people,” i.e., the speakers at the rally, from the website of the rally’s organizers:

Tim Brown, firefighter who was on the scene at 9/11 and lost 93 friends, head of The Bravest

Andy Sullivan, Blue Collar Corner, creator of the Hardhat Pledge not to build the Ground Zero Mosque

Herbert London, president of the Hudson Institute and resident of the Ground Zero neighborhood [Herb London is also a former gubernatorial candidate and a leading figure in New York conservative circles for decades—and Geller never heard of him?]

[LA adds, 11:30 a.m., Aug. 24: Herbert London informs me that he spoke both at the rally this past Sunday, and at the previous anti-mosque rally that Pamela Geller organized. So Geller has a definite pattern of blanking out people she knows, when they’re no longer speaking at her rally.]

Debra Burlingame, from 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America and Keep America Safe

Beth Gilinsky, Coalition to Honor Ground Zero and Women United International [Geller doesn’t know who Beth Gilinsky is] ?

Simon Deng, former Slave of Islam and leader of Sudan Freedom Walk [In fact, Deng spoke at a previous anti-mosque rally organized by Geller. And now Geller doesn’t know who Deng is? It appears that the moment Deng was no longer under her auspices, he was transformed from featured speaker to non-person.]

City Councilman Dan Halloran, who lost a nephew in the 9/11 attacks

Shera Samson, singer/songwriter of protest music sang her original song “Just Pretend That You Don’t Know”

Tony LoBianco, actor [Geller never heard of Tony LoBianco?]

Robert Lawrence, attorney

Frank Gaffney, Center for Security Policy [Geller never heard of Frank Gaffney?]

Stuart Kaufman, director, Alliance for Interfaith Resistance and a member of the Patriot Guard. Stuart was one of the bikers who rode from Shanksville to the Pentagon to Ground Zero

James Lafferty of the Virginia anti-Shariah Task Force

Tenor Daniel Rodriguez, “the singing cop”, sang “God Bless the USA”, “You Will Not Walk Alone”, and “God Bless America”

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, who is fighting the Tennessee mosque

Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition

Bruce Blakeman: Bruce lost his nephew, a US Army Veteran and a Court Officer who was rescuing victims from tower 2 when it collapsed

Tom Trento, Florida Security Council [Geller never heard of Tom Trento, a supporter of Geert Wilders and an activist in the anti-jihad movement?]

Trey Parker sang his original song about stopping the Ground Zero Mosque.

And here is a description of the rally, from Big Peace:

The speakers were pretty universal in the thought that this mosque was not planned as a bridge to anything but insult. Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy and a Big Peace editor explained that there are two types of jihad, the violent kind represented by that giant communal grave behind the stage and the stealth kind represented by the proposal to put a mosque on the site of that horrific terrorist act. He also noted that after they conquered Cordoba, they built a mosque right on top of what had been a Catholic church.

Here’s another description, from a blog:

As for the rally, hard to gauge if it was a high turn out. It was a city block long. Lots of good speakers and they didn’t speak just about the mosque and the location. They talked a lot about Sharia law. Hammered it home actually. It seemed to be about educating the people as much as it was about the mosque itself. One speaker said that to promote Sharia law is treason. Two speakers actually talked about the meaning behind Cordoba. Frank Gaffney was there and talked about stealth jihad and told Obama it was a “teachable moment”. One talked about the Barbary pirates, muslim slave traders and asked if any muslims signed the Declaration of Independence. One speaker was a former slave and told Bloomberg to build it in City Hall. Bloomberg wasn’t well liked there and his name was booed a lot. As well as Pelosi and Obama. You can tell people were pissed by more than just the mosque. One called for Pelosi to be investigated. People even chanted “Obama must go”.

That’s pretty much the gist of what went on. Lots of signs, people of all walks of life. Luckily the weather held out til I left. Enjoy the pics and use whatever you feel you want to post. Glad I went and it was better than I expected.

So, it seems like a normal, respectable, lively demonstration with good speakers. Why then did Geller attack it, distance herself from it, and act as though it was a disreputable, messy affair that shouldn’t even have taken place? One can be forgiven the passing thought that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have formed their own empire—an empire in which they are the Pharoah and Queen, an empire which recognizes no other sovereignty on this earth but itself.

But that explanation is too strange. It must all be a misunderstanding. Maybe she was thinking of some other rally?

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Here’s is Frank Gaffney’s statement at his website about yesterday’s demonstration.Unfortunately, he’s still deep in the illusion that the way to defeat the Islamic threat to the West is to empower the Muslim moderates. I’ll have more on that later.

LA writes:

Here is another comment at Jihad Watch. The commenter takes it for granted that Geller was talking about the rally with Gaffney, not some other rally:

I am doubly astounded.

I was at this rally, as well as the rally in support of Israel a few months ago that Pam and Robert supported, and I noticed several of the people from that rally at this one.

In a Big Journalism article, Pam asks:

“So who will stand with me? More importantly, who will stand with us against this Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero?”

I think a better question is who Pam and Robert are willing to stand with? This isn’t a vanity project for the two of them, and if they want to turn it into one, they can expect a lot fewer people will be willing to stand with them if they aren’t willing to stand with others.

August 24

Dutch blogger “Snouck Hurgronje” writes:

Geller is going on about the rally where a Negro got harrassed by demonstrators who mistook him for a Muslim.

It is on Youtube.

LA replies:

I see a black man, wearing a Muslim type stocking headdress, speaking in a hostile manner and using several F bombs, and then various people talking to him and ultimately seeming to resolve the issue. Where’s the harrassment? Where’s the racism? Perhaps talking to black man while not showing extravagant signs of deference to him is a racist act? (That’s not impossible, since, as I argued the other day, under our new racial dispensation “whites are forbidden to make even neutral and factual statements about blacks, because that would be to treat blacks as objects of white consciousness, which would be tantamount to whites exerting power over blacks.”)

A reader writes from Denmark:

It should be pretty easy to find out who the organizers were. If there was a deplorable incident during the rally, that particular incident should be condemned. The organizers should be told that it was their responsibility guard against racist behaviour and they should be told that it was up to them to admonish the crowd. However, the fact that there was an ugly incident should not be used—e.g. by Geller—to condemn the entire rally and its organizers. I fear that something else it at play here.

LA replies:

Of course you’re right. But so far I haven’t seen any “racist” incident.

A reader writes from Canada:

Geller now says the incident was unrelated to the demo but has not apologized to the organizers of the event where gaffney spoke

David M. writes:

Pamela Geller’s behavior astonishes me. She is behaving as though the cause is her personal property; that the rest of us must use her as a clearing house.

The one thing not needed right now is the need to stroke her ego. Either she was having a bad day when she wrote that commentary, or I have misread her character for a long time.

A reader writes:

Great catch, Larry. (Empire, pharoah, queen—hilarious.) It’s so bizarre!

Jeannette V. writes:

Geller is extremely narcissistic. It wasn’t her rally. That is all that matters.

James N. writes:

I haven’t been paying any attention to Pamela Geller. I may have heard her name on your site once or twice, but I don’t keep a scorecard of the anti-Islamist interleague games. You have to be as far out as Charles Johnson to make me remember you. Having seen the bikini in the surf video, maybe I’ve been missing something….

Anyway, because I have no context for thinking of her, the first thought that popped into my head reading her remarks was how like Pelosi she sounded.

“Who are these people? Where are they getting funding? Who’s ginning this up?”

Hopefully she was having a bad day—perhaps a few too many. But, as they say, in vino veritas.

LA replies:

For those not familiar with Pamela Geller, here is her website, Atlas Shrugs.

LA continues:

Also, a “bad day” wouldn’t explain it. Robert Spencer posted Geller’s statement at his site. If the statement was just an expression of Geller’s bad mood, wouldn’t Spencer have caught it and told her that it wouldn’t be a good idea to post it? Since he posted it, he evidently shared her perceptions of the rally as stated in her comment.

LA adds (October 10, 2010):

It was not only Geller who attacked the rally. Spencer, at the beginning of the same entry at Jihad Watch, attacked it in terms similar to, though not as extensive as, Geller’s. Here is the beginning of the entry:

MaxBlumenthal: Pam Geller’s pogromists harass, nearly assault black man mistaken as Muslim@Ground Zero rally. http://bit.ly/aN5Tkm

For the record, neither Pamela Geller nor I were at this clearly poorly organized and ill-conceived protest yesterday. Neither of us had anything to do with organizing it or planning it in any way.

It doesn’t occur to Spencer to question whether the liberal hit job by the son of President Clinton’s number one hit man Sidney Blumenthal is true. Spencer’s immediate and only concern is to dissociate himself from the rally that Blumental attacked, while he implies that the attack is true. He calls the rally “clearly poorly organized and ill-conceived,” without providing any evidence for the charge.

Charles T. writes:

Given this person’s ego, does this really surprise anyone? The masthead on her website says it all.

Mark P. writes:

Maybe Pamela Geller is a Republican feminist?

LA replies:

Well of course she is. Along with Michelle Malkin and others, she was one of the stars of the Sixties-style, in-your-face feminist video in September 2008, the theme of which was, how dare anyone question whether a woman can be the mother of an infant with special needs and be president of the United States at the same time? This was one of numerous developments in that month of Sarah Palin that signified the death of social conservatism on the mainstream right.

August 25

Ken Hechtman writes:

Randroids can sometimes be like Leninists in mirror-image—just by definition, no event or campaign is any good unless they’re leading it. And anything they can’t lead, they’ll trash in public in the strongest terms they can. You asked me one time why I don’t like Big Ideas. This is part of the reason why. When people believe they’re the sole and authentic vessel of the Big Idea, this is how they act, not just to their enemies but to their supposed friends as well.

LA replies:

“When people believe they’re the sole and authentic vessel of the Big Idea … “

But as I’m sure you’re aware, a lot of people say that about me.

John Press (who supplied this excellent video of the August 22 anti-mosque rally) writes:

First, let me say that I appreciate the part that Geller has played in getting the mosque issue on the map. I think she is a great personality and I appreciate her work.

But, obviously, her reaction to the August 22nd rally is disturbing. That rally was fantastic. The visuals of the firefighter motorcyclists was great. Nearly all the speakers focused on Sharia. And, all of the logistics were managed very well. It was not “off the cuff.”

What more concerns me is Geller’s saying on television how much she loves Muslims and doesn’t have a problem with mosques being built ten blocks away by a different imam. It may be a short-term strategy against the mosque at Ground Zero. But, it is, in my opinion, a poor short-term strategy—it is clearly disingenuous and so weakens her ability to debate. I think consistently keeping, as this rally did, the focus on the persistent and pervasive dangers of Islam is a better short-term and long-term strategy.

Lastly, it is hard to believe that she has totally fallen for this supposed story about a minority person being hurt at the rally. She, as well as anyone, should now that this is the constant lie that the media spins. At best her not instinctively second-guessing the media reports of racism is a mental slip that speaks to the frailty of the mind. At worst, it shows complicity in the horrid game of denouncing folks with the race card.

We must speak the truth about the dangers of Islam as a whole. We must not be cowed by taunts of racism from the media. And we must hang together or we shall hang separately.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 23, 2010 09:40 PM | Send

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