The “ground zero mosque” controversy is a case study in media manipulation of public opinion. The very name “ground zero mosque” is intended to mislead–it is a cultural center modeled on Jewish Community Centers across the country with a room for prayer and would be two blocks away from the World Trade Center site in a “busy and diverse city district.” If the issue is one of respect for those killed at the WTC on 9/11, what respect is shown by the presence, also within a few blocks of the WTC, of the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club, Thunder Lingerie, and the Pussycat Lounge? Why don’t the cultural center’s opponents excoriate the owners of these establishments? Because respect for 9/11 victims is not really their point. The cultural center generated little heat when the New York Times ran a story about its development last December. Laura Ingraham even gave it her blessing while guest-hosting the O’Reilly Report on Fox. Salon reports the wave of opposition was pushed by virulently anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller, picked up months later by the New York Post, and trumpeted for political ends, fear mongering, and anti-Islam propaganda by the same right-wing blowhards who preach that Obama is, in fact, a Muslim. It is a cynical and disgusting display of what is wrong with our present discourse.