By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Graham versus the truth

Unaccustomed as I am to defending Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald, I nevertheless find this too funny — and sad — to pass up.

If you go to Michael Graham’s Web site right now, you will find this:


THE $1,000 THROW-DOWN IS ON! Today on 96.9 FM TALK, I made this challenge to Joe Fitzgerald of the Boston Herald, who claimed in print today that I’ve said “All Muslims are terrorists:”

If Mr. Fitzgerald can find any record in print, broadcast or anywhere else, that I have ever said “All Muslims are terrorists,” I will donate $1,000 to the charity of his choice. Any charity, up to and including the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The challenge has been issued, and I hope Mr. Fitzgerald’s sense of journalistic ethics inspires him to take it up. I will gladly make this donation if he can find anywhere I have made the statement he attributed to me…but he won’t. Because I’ve never said it, and I never would.

There is a slight problem here: Fitzgerald never quoted Graham as saying that. Rather, in a Wednesday column headlined “No room for ethnic hatred on Hub talk radio dial” (sub. req.), Fitzgerald wrote that Graham’s new employer, WTKK Radio, probably …

… thought Michael Graham would be worth a shot in Boston, given his track record, knowing he’s capable of muddying our cultural waters a little bit more by trashing all Muslims.

When he tried that at his last job in Washington, D.C., repeatedly denigrating Islam as “a terrorist organization,” his bosses wisely pulled him off the air and told him to scram, which is how he wound up here, where the industry’s standards have sunk so low that some signals seem to come from the gutter.

Yes, there are Muslim savages, such as the terrorists who beheaded blindfolded captives on live TV while proclaiming, “All praise to Allah!” But does that mean every practicing Muslim has bloody hands, too, as Graham implied?…

According to Graham, it’s simple: There is no line. Rather than zeroing in on elements of a group, you just hate the whole group. It’s easier that way, and, besides, it’s good for ratings.

All Muslims are terrorists? Please.

You will note that nowhere does Fitzgerald directly quote Graham as saying, “All Muslims are terrorists.” (And if you’re wondering whether the print edition of Fitzgerald’s column is different, I checked: It isn’t.)

What Fitzgerald is doing, of course, is recounting the events that got Graham fired from his last radio job, at WMAL Radio in Washington. Here is a passage from the Washington Post account of that fiasco (via Mark Jurkowitz):

According to WMAL, Graham said “Islam is a terrorist organization” 23 times on his July 25 program. On the same show, he also said repeatedly that “moderate Muslims are those who only want to kill Jews” and that “the problem is not extremism. The problem is Islam.”

Read that passage again. Does Joe Fitzgerald accurately summarize the views Graham expressed on that occasion? Absolutely. I’d say Fitzgerald ought to collect on that $1,000 reward right now.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Graham crackers


Monitor-ing phosphorus in Iraq


  1. Anonymous

    Strange bedfellows indeed. Wish I had been a fly on the wall of DK’s office as he wrote nice things about “lace curtain Fitzy”…

  2. Anonymous

    Hmmm..I am going to be skeptical here and be the devil’s advocate.I may even think Dan was dupped too.I found it very unusual for Fitz to come out the way he did. I expected them to be on the same page and for Fitz to like Graham’s direction.What I believe is that given that:- Graham is going against Howie Carr’s lucrative drive time and we know from past ratings, they are battling for lead there, with Howie leading usually but TKK competing for dollars and attention.-Howie can’t talk about this directly, either on the air or in the paper. He only alluded to Jay AFTER he left and never by name. He won’t mention the newcommer at all, let alone criticize or undermine him. ( has he mentioned him. I haven’t heard)I bet you that Fitz and Howie had a little ‘talk’ about the newcommer and ‘how horrible he is’ and ends with a ‘favor’ in the form of a column.SO there goes my theory!Now I am not sure how this hick is going to perform or how long he is going to last. I haven’t had the impetus to listen to him yet. Isn’t this hick from the same neck of the woods that sheltered that monster Rudolf for months and kept him fed and dressed for a long while while he is trying to label more than 1.5 billion of a group simply by generalized association??I am not sure how far he can go, no matter how much he has in common with our pseudo-BayState conservatives. Whether it is Jay or Howie or Graham, BS and fear can only go so far.We shall wait and see …What’s the over-under again???N.

  3. Dan Kennedy

    N. –Joe Fitz is far from my favorite columnist, but he’s his own man. If you go back and do a search, you’ll see that he’s ripped Howie repeatedly over the years for his attacks on welfare mothers and his racially antagonistic statements.Gee! Joe Fitz is starting to sound like a good guy! So let’s not forget that he’s a brutal homophobe.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén