Streams

 

Ground Zero

The Empire

Loving Silverstein

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In advance of this weekend's ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, state officials announced a breakthrough, of sorts.

And Matthew Schuerman sends this dispatch:

At WTC today, Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia thanked one by one all the parties involved. When he got to developer Larry Silverstein, who's been trying to wrangle more financial aid for the office towers he's building at the site, Coscia said:

"I'm a child of Italian immigrants, and Italians measure the amount of love they have by how much time they spend arguing with each other. By that measure, Larry and I are very much in love with each other on many levels."

Read More

Comment

Features

Two Blocks From Ground Zero: Scenes of Everyday Life

Friday, August 27, 2010

These days, if you're down around the site of the planned Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, you might find a few protesters. But mostly you'll find a New York neighborhood going about its usual business.

Comments [7]

The Empire

'What Does a Muslim Look Like?'

Friday, August 27, 2010

The only Muslim City Council member, Robert Jackson of Northern Manhattan, has a question for critics.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Park51 Rollcall

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

amNew York

amNewYork.com

Where do officials stand on Park51 debate?

amNew York offers a roll call of elected officials on either side of the Park51 debate.

Read More

Comments [2]

The Empire

Bloomberg: Moving Park51 Undermines National Security

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mayor Michael Bloomberg reasserted himself Tuesday evening as the most vocal and, surprisingly, most passionate defender of the Islamic center slated for two blocks from Ground Zero.

Hours after Gov. David Paterson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said they’d like to the see the project relocated further away from where the World Trade Center once stood, the mayor said moving the project would be a victory for “terrorist recruiters” and would open the door to more worrisome questions, like, “How big should the ‘no-mosque zone’ around the World Trade Center be?”

The mayor also said moving the project would undermine the country's national security efforts.

Bloomberg’s comments came just hours after Paterson restated his willingness to help the project’s developers find a new location. Silver, the state’s powerful Assembly Speaker whose lower Manhattan district includes Ground Zero, said he thinks the current location has engendered too much hostility in critics for the project to achieve it’s its goal of acting as a bridge to other communities.

Bloomberg, in prepared text released by his office, said, “if we do not practice here at home what we preach abroad -- if we do not lead by example -- we undermine our soldiers. We undermine our foreign policy objectives. And we undermine our national security.”

The mayor also defended the imam behind the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who, in 2001, said American foreign policy was an “accomplice” to the terrorist attacks on September 11th and that Osama bin Laden was, in essence, made in America.

Bloomberg said he disagreed with the sentiments expressed, but that those unpopular comments alone should not disqualify the project from being built, nor should it be used to characterize the imam.

“Each of us may strongly agree or strongly disagree with particular statements he has made.  And that’s how it should be -- this is New York,” said Bloomberg.

“I would like to read you something that he said that you may not have heard. At an interfaith memorial service for the martyred journalist Daniel Pearl, Imam Rauf said, ‘If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind, and soul: Shma Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad -- Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One -- not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one. If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.”

Bloomberg's speech is aimed at bolstering support for the project, which has come under intense criticism from Republicans nationwide, and conservative news outlets. It's also received tepid support from Democratic elected officials here at home. Among those offering tepid support was the state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, who told reporters he does not oppose the project, then declined to discuss it further.

Read More

Comments [10]

The Empire

‘I’m Not Opposed to It…Nothing More to Add’

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

/> Chuck Schumer tries proving Gary Berntsen's criticism is true, telling reporters who ask about the Park51 project:

Well, um, I really have nothing new to add. As I’ve said over the last several weeks, I’m not opposed to it, and I think that’s the appropriate thing for me to say. So, I have nothing more new to add. OK?”

[h/t SoP]

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

Old Glory, Open for Business

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Old Glory, on Greenwich Street

Azi Paybarah / WNYC

After the protests about building an Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero, a friend and I walked through the neighborhood at the center of the debate and found, among other things, a porn shop on Greenwich Street advertising its location with a neon American flag.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Silver Wants Park51 Moved

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sheldon Silver

Azi Paybarah / WNYC

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the incredibly powerful Democrat whose district includes Ground Zero -  but not the site two blocks away where the proposed Islamic center is slated to be built -  comes out like President Obama, on this issue:

The sponsor should take into very serious consideration the turmoil that has been created and look to compromise the issues before them [and] find a suitable place that doesn’t create the kind of controversy that it does.

[skip]

I believe they have a right to build a house of worship [but] in the spirit of living with others, they should be cognizant…and try to find a location that doesn’t engender the deep feelings that currently exist about this site.

Silver was fielding questions about the issue during a press conference about New York receiving federal education funding, where he appeared in midtown with Governor Paterson.

The governor was asked if he thinks the Park51 project should move its location, Paterson said, "I don’t think that’s a question that I should answer."

Read More

Comment

The Empire

The Lede: Murdoch, Rangel, Cuomo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jon Stewart and Fox News

Jon Stewart ties Fox News to a potential Park51 funder.

Jon Stewart notes that the man dubbed "the terror funder" by skeptics of Park51 "is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp's partner."

Halbfinger and Powell, on Cuomo's HUD record: "He did not heed local officials and others who wanted him to make Fannie and Freddie publicly report details about the loans they bought. And he chose not to impose penalties and other deterrents to ensure that the giant public banks did not promote dangerous lending."

Haberman on Park51's proximity to Ground Zero: "Two blocks is equivalent to several miles in other cities or in the suburbs."

NYT calls Lazio's comments about Park51 "increasingly hysterical attacks."

Rangel on Obama: "Frankly, he has not been around long enough to determine what my dignity is" and "For the next two years, I will be more likely to protect his dignity."

Campanile: "Adam Clayton Powell IV last night said voters should elect him to replace Rep. Charles Rangel -- because Rangel's sins are worse than his own."

Barbaro: "Jonathan Tasini, a candidate and a labor activist, explained matter-of-factly that Mr. Rangel had accepted large sums of money from political action committees. The crowd erupted in boos and jeers."

NYS GOP spokesman says Paladino's prison plan is "not something that, as a party, we would get behind."

Schumer's GOP rivals sound alike.

Rice questions why Schneiderman didn't go after Espada.

Maloney and Saujani argue who is the bigger Park51 supporter.

Koch: "I do not give up hope but that Shelly will sign, so I don't want to say anything that I'll regret."

Bloomberg's cowboy remark draws protest.

RWDSU boss hits Senate Democrats for accepting Wal-Mart contribution.

Diaz parks his campaign cars at a lot owned by his church, jeopardizing their charity status.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

An Opponent Returns to the Scene

Monday, August 23, 2010

The opposition to Park51 is drawing support from a wide array of critics, including some who’ve opposed other Islamic-oriented projects in the past.

One such organizer of an anti-Park51 protest yesterday was Beth Gilinsky, who I encountered three years earlier, opposing the Khalil Gibran school - the city's fist Arabic-oriented public school - which, Gilinsky and her entourage referred to as a “madrassa.”

Which, when I asked, she couldn’t explain why.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Cartoon Guys Discuss Park51

Friday, August 20, 2010

The debate about Park51, animated and oddly entertaining.

"You're freedom to call these guys !@#holes is more powerful than anything they can construct," says one guy, dressed like a superhero.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Dept. of Language Regulation

Friday, August 20, 2010

As the AP goes, so does WNYC:

A top news person here at the station emails:

WNYC news is using -- Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque when talking about this news item.

News hosts please be consistent.  Please be consistent with web copy coming from the News Dept

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Mosque Move 'Would Have Been Okay Until It Was Politicized'

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rap mogul Russell Simmons takes a hard-line defense of the mosque near Ground Zero:

"If you're blaming Muslims for the attack on 9/11, then you need to change your mind. Do we blame Christians [for] the first World Trade attack?"

[skip]

"Now, the idea of moving it might have been okay until it was politicized. But now, since the Imam is there, and talking about it, we should make every effort not to move it."

Read More

Comments [1]

The Empire

Siena: Paladino Gains on Lazio, Both Trail Cuomo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rick Lazio's once 20-point lead over Carl Paladino among Republican voters has shrunk to thirteen points, according to a new poll from Siena.

Lazio, the GOP nominee leads Paladino, an upstate businessman who petitioned his way onto the ballot, 43-30 percent. That's down from the 40-20 percent lead Lazio had back in July.

Cuomo leads each of them in head-to-head match-ups, and in three-way matches.

Cuomo - 60
Lazio    - 26

Cuomo - 60
Paladino- 27

Cuomo                         - 56
Lazio [Republican]        - 19
Paladino [independent]  -12

Cuomo                        - 56
Lazio [Conservative]     - 16
Paladino [Republican]  - 14

One factor in the race could be the candidate's stance on the mosque and cultural center proposed near Ground Zero.

Twenty-two percent of voters say a candidate's position on this issue will have a "major impact" on their decision of whom to support. Thirty-seven percent say the issue will have "some effect," on their decision. Thirty-nine percent says it won't be a factor at all.

Sixty-three percent of voters say they oppose it, compared to 27 who support it. Interestingly, 64 percent say the developers have a right to build the project at its current location. Twenty-eight say there is no legal right.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Lazio Trains a Camera on Ground Zero

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio tries reclaiming some momentum, putting out an ad reminding people he was an early critic of the mosque plan, and renewing his call for the project's funding to be investigated by Andrew Cuomo, the state attorney general and Democratic candidate for governor.

As if it's needed, the ad features images of people running from Ground Zero on September 11, and of the rubble after the towers fell. And the only voices in the commercial are from people being interviewed, all regular New Yorkers. Many of them are filmed with the current construction site at Ground Zero in the background, which helps reinforce the point opponents are trying to make: the location is too close to the proposed mosque.

But, to be clear, the mosque is two blocks from Ground Zero, and not within eyesight of one another.

Read More

Comment

The Empire

Palin's Question for those Other Mosques

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's the point of another mosque, Sarah Palin wonders, during an appearance on Fox last night:

There are already a hundred mosques in New York…

[skip]

Now, if the purpose of this mosque, as we are lead to believe, is to create this tolerant environment to avoid anything like a 9/11 ever repeating, you have to ask ‘Why didn’t any of those 100 mosques already accomplish such a thing, allowing that tolerance and acceptance of differing views?' So, I don’t buy into that reason, that that’s the purpose of this location being chosen.

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Obama Clarifies Remarks on Islamic Cultural Center

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The president this weekend expanded on a statement he made Friday evening when he said that Muslims have the same right to freedom of religion as everyone else in America.

Comments [9]

Azi Paybarah

George Washington and the Islamic Center

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WNYC

Jon Stewart: "Wasn't it George Washington who said any mosque has to be at least six blocks from Ground Zero?"

Stewart's guest in this clip is Ambassador Ahmed Akbar, who says the founding fathers had a deep respect for Islam.

 
www.thedailyshow.com
Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Conde Nast May Move to New World Trade Center Site

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Conde Nast Publications may move to the World Trade Center. That's according to an e-mail to employees that was obtained by WNYC, which said Conde Nast is "in active negotiations" to move to 1 World Trade Center, the building formerly known as the Freedom Tower.

Comment

WNYC News

Landmarks Decision Clears the Way for Islamic Cultural Center Near Ground Zero

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

In a unanimous vote Tuesday denying a Tribeca building landmark status, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission cleared the way for an Islamic cultural center to be built just two blocks from Ground Zero. Opponents had assailed the project, calling it an insult to the memories of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11th attacks.

Comments [19]