quotes about and by Steve Emerson
Sat Aug 2 15:17:46 2003


This heavy-handed bit of racist manipulation [Rick Lazio's smear campaign against America Muslim groups] grew out of a story...inspired by the machinations of one Steven Emerson, a discredited "terrorism expert" last heard trying to pin the Oklahoma City bombing on the Arabs by noting that "inflict[ing] as many casualties as possible...is a Middle Eastern trait." (The Nation, 11/27/2000)
"Preaching tolerance towards all Jews and intolerance to those Muslims you happen to deem radical is not fresh. Perhaps with more people like Emerson, we can succeed in keeping the Middle East riddled with conflict..." (Scott Livingston, The Daily Free Press (Boston U.), 11/22/1999)

Alexander Cockburn writing in the Wall Street Journal, 6/14/1990
"Mr. Emerson's prime role is to whitewash Israeli governments and revile their critics."

Florida's Weekly Planet newspaper Senior Editor John Sugg quotes two unnamed Associated Press reporters who said Emerson gave them a document on terrorism supposedly from FBI files: "One reporter thought he'd seen the material before, and in checking found a paper Emerson had supplied earlier containing his own unsupported allegations. The two documents were almost identical, except that Emerson's authorship was deleted from the one purported to be from the FBI. 'It was really his work,' one reporter says. 'He sold it to us trying to make it look like a really interesting FBI document.'" (Weekly Planet, May 1998)

The Christian Science Monitor (1/22/96)
"Moreover, since the end of the cold war, Islam is increasingly described by a coterie of writers and policymakers as a new seedbed for anti-Western aggression, replacing communism. Some journalists have made a virtual industry out of this view. The most prolific is Steven Emerson, whose film 'Jihad in America,' shown recently on PBS, describes America as a training ground for Islamic terrorism. Muslims almost universally know and loathe Mr. Emerson's work, calling it biased and distorted. "

Leslie Gelb, President, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Mr. Gelb called Emerson a "grand inquisitor" for trying to censor a CFR publication. (Forward, 5/10/96)

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
"It's this sort of slippery use of evidence that makes people wary of Emerson's reporting." (EXTRA!, May/June 1995)

"There's more than a little bigotry in Emerson's obsession with Muslim terrorists." (EXTRA!, July/August 1995)

The Washington Post called Emerson a "pro-Israel researcher and author." Aug. 8, 1995

The Jerusalem Post said Emerson has "close ties to Israeli intelligence." Sept. 17, 1994

In a review of Emerson's book "The American House of Saud," The Economist (Feb. 8, 1986) reviewer wrote: "The conspiracy theory of history always finds believers -- blame the Jews, or the communists, or the blacks, and thus seek absolution. Mr. Steven Emerson...blames the Arabs..."

Professor Jack Shaheen, author of "The TV Arab"
In a commentary on "Jihad in America" in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he said: "'Jihad' is perilous television, pandering to stereotypes that feed collective hatreds."

Investigative Reporter Robert Friedman
"...Emerson says that all criticism of him is venal; he puts his critics into the same camp as the Muslim fundamentalists and extremists. There is no logical link between criticizing Emerson's biased reporting and being pro-fundamentalist. That's Emerson's conspiracy theory." (The Nation, August 28/September 4, 1995)

"He gets it wrong all the time. Emerson has no credibility left. He can't get on TV and most publications won't pick him up." (Weekly Planet newspaper, May 1998)

"For the first forty-eight hours (after the Oklahoma City bombing), Emerson was a fixture on radio and TV, waging jihad on Islam." (The Nation, May 15, 1995)

The New York Times Book Review
Said Emerson's 1991 book Terrorist was "marred by factual errors...that betray an unfamiliarity with the Middle East and a pervasive anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian bias." (5/19/91)

Security expert Vincent Cannistraro called Emerson "dishonest" and "Joseph McCarthy-like." Forward, 1/26/96 "Word has got around on what he (Emerson) is, that he's a paid polemicist, not a journalist." (Weekly Planet newspaper, May 1998)

Terrorism Expert Tony Cooper
During a televised panel discussion on the Dallas PBS affiliate following the airing of "Jihad in America," Cooper called Emerson's PBS program "propaganda" and said Emerson was a "stranger to the truth."

Journalist Jane Hunter
"There are thousands of ax-grinders in journalism, pushing tantalizing stories with few verifiable facts. Most collect rejection slips, but Steven Emerson finds one respectable media outlet after another for his work, which is sometimes nimble in its treatment of facts, often credulous of intelligence sources, and almost invariably supportive of the Israeli government." (EXTRA!, October/November 1992)

Media Critic and Journalism Instructor, Reese Erlich
In a radio commentary on "Jihad in America," he said, "Rather than illuminating a serious issue, the documentary uses McCarthyite techniques to attack a range of legal political and religious groups..."

Arthur Lowrie, Adjunct Professor of International Studies at the University of South Florida
"Emerson's two main themes were that an 'Islamic Internationale' exists and is directing an anti-Western terror campaign and that a network of Islamic terrorist cells exists throughout the United States. He failed to provide any hard evidence for either allegation." (Middle East Policy, 1995)

Chip Berlet wrote in 1995 in Covert Action Quarterly, a journal that investigates intelligence operations, "Emerson makes unsubstantiated allegations of widespread conspiracies in Arab-American communities and brushes aside his lack of documented evidence by implying it only proves how clever and sinister the Arab/Muslim menace really is."

The Center for National Security Studies has reported: "Steven Emerson has asserted that the FBI is severely restricted in infiltrating known extremist groups, that it has no terrorism data base like the CIA's, and that it is powerless to stop extremist groups from masquerading as 'religious' groups. All of these claims are incorrect."

John Sugg, Editor of The Weekly Planet newspaper - "It should be noted that Jihad in America was largely funded by the Carthage Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, widely referred to as right-wing think tanks."
"Emerson constantly attributes allegations of widespread Muslim conspiracies to unnamed intelligence sources. And, as has been reported in numerous articles...Emerson has been dead wrong on many of his most sensational stories."

Friday, March 20, 1998, in the Miami Herald - "The Secret War" By Martin Merzer
"...I call (Steven) Emerson, but we don't get off to a great start. I mention that I wrote a brief newspaper story about this affair last year."
"'Oh, really?' he says instantly. 'What perspective did you take? That this is a brutal Zionist plot against the weak, underprivileged Arab minority?'"....
"....In January 1996, during a public forum to air complaints about his and The Tampa Tribune's coverage, Emerson seemed to take delight in provoking the largely Muslim audience and then pointing to their angry reaction as proof of their instability."



EMERSON: Well, look, there are lots of reports out of Egypt today about what the pilot said, or what the relief pilot may have said: the Shahada, a prayer that someone says. It's a major tenet of Islam AND SOMETIMES IT'S SAID BEFORE YOU COMMIT AN ACT OF TERRORISM...(emphasis added) (NOTE - The "Shahada" is the Islamic declaration of faith.)

(CTV [Canada] Television, November 17, 1999)


"The US has become occupied fundamentalist territory." (The Jerusalem Post, August 8, 1997, p. 9)


Reuters news service quotes Emerson as saying he is "confident that a bomb brought down the plane." Emerson went on to say that the crash could be a plot by "the permanent floating (Islamic) militant international." (Reuters, July 31, 1996)

I have no doubt whatsoever, at this point, that it was a bomb that brought down TWA Flight 800 - not a missile, but a bomb..." (CNBC, RIVERA LIVE, August 23, 1996)


"This (the bombing) was done with the intent to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait." (CBS News, April 19, 1995)

"Oklahoma City, I can tell you, is probably considered one of the largest centers of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East." (CBS News, April 19, 1995)


In The Jewish Monthly (March 1995), Emerson wrote, "The level of vitriol against Jews and Christianity within contemporary Islam [Note he did not say "radical Islamic fundamentalism."], unfortunately, is something that we are not totally cognizant of...We don't want to accept it because to do so would be to acknowledge that (Islam)...sanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine." He added that "Unfortunately, nearly all (emphasis added) of the Islamic organizations in the United States that define themselves as religiously or culturally Muslim in character have, today, been totally captured or dominated by radical fundamentalist elements..."

"First, radical Islamic fundamentalism cannot be reconciled with the West. The hatred of the West by militant Islamic fundamentalists is not tied to any particular act or event. Rather, fundamentalists equate the mere existence of the West --- its economic, political and cultural systems --- as an intrinsic attack on Islam. The sooner Americans realize that no compromise or reconciliation is possible, the sooner radical fundamentalists will realize that the West cannot be manipulated."

"This means saying something that is politically incorrect: That all militant radical fundamentalists are potential members of this loose federation of terrorists."
The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 28, 1993

"Moreover, the traditional immunity given to religious institutions can no longer apply if the battle against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is to be won."
Detroit Free Press, June 27, 1993


"The Palestinians are not interested in or capable of living in peace with the Israelis. Most Palestinians have sheer hatred for Jews."

"(intra-Palestinian attacks)...are indicative of the venom and brutality of Palestinian society."
Newsday, October 25, 1990


"EMERSON: Right now, I am freelancing. I've left US News now -- it's about seven months. And I am working for publications as diverse as PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE (emphasis added) to the Wall Street Journal..."
(Transcript of interview on Booknotes program, Air date: May 13, 1990)


Senior Editor John Sugg of Florida's Weekly Planet newspaper noted the following about sources attesting to Emerson's credentials and characterizing American Muslim groups as allies of terrorists. Sugg wrote:
"These sources are Steven Pomerantz and Oliver 'Buck' Revell. Not noted is that Pomerantz and Revell are officers of the same institute, and that both have a close association with Emerson. They are hardly independent sources. In fact, the three spend most of their time nowadays quoting each other about what excellent terrorism experts they all are. Revell is prominent in Emerson's 'Jihad in America.'

"There's a fourth member of the association -- Yigal Carmon. A ranking member of Israel's intelligence and military establishment, he is considered to the right of even the current Likud government. As The Nation has reported (and never disputed by Emerson), Carmon was part of the 'gang of three' that spent much time lobbying Congress to derail the Middle East peace process -- and Carmon even stayed at Emerson's home on his visits to the United States. (The Nation, August 28/September 4, 1995 and May 15, 1995) Carmon is part of Revell's and Pomerantz's institute -- its 'Mideast Regional Director.' ...And Emerson even shuttles Carmon around to introduce him to journalists as an 'expert' on the Middle East.

"Of course, these four people spend their time (and make money) out of portraying Arabs and Muslims as terrorists...I don't think it's too extreme to conclude that, considering the involvement of a top Israeli spook with Emerson and his friends, we have something much more sinister going on than 'journalism' and an institute studying terrorism."


"Islam is like a cancer eating away at the planet earth...That is why we, at Truth seekers, have launched a new crusade to combat the forces of Islam before it is too late...If you have any doubt as to whether Muslims in America pose a clear and present danger to our lives, liberties, and property, get the video entitled 'American Jihad' (sic) by Steven Emerson."
Truth Seekers mailing, February 1998

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