Hollywood actor Ben Affleck’s response to anti-Muslim sentiment? “What is your solution? To condemn Islam? To do what? We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot.”
In my opinion and with the caveat of having watched this video only twice, Esther Yu-Hsi Lee looks to me to be cherry picking phrases, reframing the discussion, and trying to create a conclusion that is disingenuous and which simply doesn’t exist in this exchange.
In other words, her piece is about titillation and sensationalism, not journalism.
She ignores the facts as presented by Sam Harris. She refuses to acknowledge that Affleck repeatedly talks over others, and that he over-simplifies everything by accusing Maher and Harris of being racists when race clearly has nothing to do with it. the worst example of journalistic integrity on display is Ms. Lee’s decision to quote snipets of the conversation without providing any meaningful context and then refusing to print the responses to them.
Criticizing the actions of religious zealots while connecting those actions to the religious doctrine and dogma that inspires and informs those actions is not Islamophobia, just as it’s not Antisemitic to criticize Israel’s policy toward Palestine rooted at least in part to a religious notion of a "holy land", or Anti-Christian to criticize the Westboro Baptists or abortion clinic bombers for their religious belief that their god is punishing us for the sins of non-believers and so it is their divinely inspired duty to mete out religious judgments and justice.
What cannot be denied in all of this is the role religion plays in all of them.
Ms. Lee’s article ignores all of this. It is, imho, a prime example of what journalism is not, and it tempts me to begin ignoring Think Progress altogether if this is their idea of journalistic standards.