EMET Withdraws from ‘Obsession’ Promotion
JTA’s Eric Fingerhut reports that after EMET’s participation in a campaign to promote the anti-Muslim documentary, Obsession, was uncovered by Inter-Press Service, and CAIR filed an FEC complaint against the project, EMET backed away as fast as its little feet would carry it. Frankly, it makes EMET and its director look quite foolish. Before I quote from the story, you should know that Clarion Fund has created a vehicle to promote Obsession called the Obsession Project:
[EMET] had agreed to write a policy paper and lead an educational outreach effort subsequent to the distribution of 28 million DVDs of the film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” The DVD distribution was funded and arranged by the Clarion Fund, and EMET was not involved with that portion of the project.
EMET founder and president Sarah Stern initially told JTA on Friday that she had been taken advantage of by the group and had never spoken with Ari Morgenstern, who was quoted in press reports as speaking for EMET and the Obsession Project.
But the communications strategists for the Project, Baron Communications LLC and 30 Point Strategies, shared e-mails and phone records that showed Stern had at least four telephone conversations earlier in the week with Morgenstern. In addition, they produced an e-mail from Sept. 22 which showed Stern approving of a press release and other materials announcing EMET’s participation. Another e-mail a day later from Stern included a lengthy note backing the project’s mission and the sign-off “Soldier On!”
Stern now does acknowledge having spoken to Morgenstern and approving involvement with the project, but now says she “made a mistake” in not getting approval from EMET’s board before agreeing to became a partner.
PR flacks are supposed to be loyal to their clients, but the Obsession Project’s publicists have dumped on poor Sarah Stern like an overflowing toilet. They really have the goods on her and gave Fingerhut a great story.
What is truly bizarre about this report is that Fingerhut claims EMET was not involved with the controversial DVD distribution, yet IPS reported earlier:
…While the initial press reports about the mass distribution focused on the Clarion Fund’s financing role, it was Endowment for Middle East Truth that organised and oversaw the distribution, EMET’s spokesman, Ari Morgenstern, told IPS.
Unfortunately, Fingerhut’s report does not address this very important discrepancy or refer to the earlier IPS story. So my question is: why would Ari Morgenstern say EMET was funding the distribution and Stern deny this? Who, if anyone, is telling the truth? And an even more important question: who is the specific fatcat funding this sucker? Neither EMET nor Clarion on their own have the kind of funding to do this. The money comes directly from a private source. But who is it? I’d also like to know who is paying for the promotional work being done on behalf of the Obsession Project.
Fingerhut has unfortunately allowed an overly narrowly framed comment to enter into his reporting about the CAIR FEC complaint:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Federal Election Commission on Sept. 23 to investigate the distribution of the DVDs and whether it was intended to influence the election — even though the film includes no partisan political content.
Fingerhut here neglects important aspects of this case. That Clarion specifically endorsed McCain on its Radical Islam website. That the promotional packaging accompanying the DVD mailer specifically called on viewers to consider the message of the film when making their November election choice. That sending 28 million copies of the film to voters in swing states WAS a partisan political act. CAIR complained to the FEC not about the film per se, but rather about the film’s distribution in the context of a presidential election. This distinction seems to have escaped Fingerhut.
6 thoughts on “EMET Withdraws from ‘Obsession’ Promotion – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Strangely enough, in my (swing) state, it was not possible to locate a spare copy of this dvd to view despite its supposed wide distribution thru local newspapers. However, in today’s mail, our daughter who no longer lives with us in this state was sent this very dvd (obsession) unsolicited and I could not help but notice its “Non Profit Org US postage paid permit #49 from Freeport NY” where postage would normally be pasted.
That is a violation of the laws which govern non profits according to the IRS and perhaps a violation of Postal laws as well. Hope they get to spend beaucoups time in federal prison as a result of this hateful campaign designed to inculcate fear and suppress votes for Obama.
“Obsession” is hitting swing states/registered voters, far and wide. Everyone in my family and many friends have been hit with it.
EMET – of course they have distanced themselves. They are pushing frauds, such as “shoebat” – – they, now, are merely trying to preempt a much ancipated strike. Which has struck.
poop … “ancipated” -= anticipated.
(Dont mind me – I can’t spell) 😛
Bahá’u’lláh stated at that meeting:
“… That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in this? … Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come.… Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.”
“Newspapers get complaints for DVD ad on Muslims”
USA & Iran: War is much too Uncivilized
Majority of Americans reject President Gorge Bush national and foreign policies. Many Americans would not approve President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s outspoken approach to Iranian foreign policy. But these two men are not the nations; they have limited terms of office.
Our present policy using the financial leverage and threat of physical attack has backfired over the last 20 years. This policy has promoted an opposite effect to the response we had anticipated; it has mobilized Iranian people in support of their government
Our national interests dictate that we start a frank dialogue with Iranian people and reestablish diplomatic relations. The negotiations are not between President George Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is between American and Iranian people. Both nations have competent diplomatic corps.
Iranian people all along have expressed their friendship toward the American people; while strongly have rejected the bullying policy toward their country.
Dialogue and frank diplomacy should create a positive response from Iranian people.