How Terry Jones Outfoxed the Media

Canny crackpot managed to grab world's attention
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2010 7:35 AM CDT
Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center makes comments to reporters prior to a service at his church in Gainesville, Fla.    (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(Newser) – Fred Phelps and members of his Westboro Baptist Church were ignored when they filmed themselves burning a Koran in 2008, but Terry Jones managed to grab headlines worldwide. The Florida pastor, the New York Times finds, managed to make himself a major news story by exploiting the "Ground Zero mosque" debate, the summer lull in news, and by giving more than 150 interviews in July and August as the story snowballed.

News outlets including Fox, the AP, and CNN now stress that if Jones goes ahead with the burning tomorrow—which he says has been suspended—they won't be showing any images of burning Korans. If he doesn't proceed tomorrow, but threatens to revive International Burn a Koran Day in the future, Richard Adams writes at the Guardian, "he'll be handled with much more caution by the US media, which has made itself look ridiculous in being outfoxed by the crackpot pastor of a miniscule church in the swamp."

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