As if his skyrocketing book sales weren't a sweet enough revenge, author Reza Aslan has now appeared on MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner to tell off Fox News for last week's now-infamous interview.
Fox News had ostensibly invited Aslan to discuss his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, but his interview with Lauren Green quickly devolved into a repetitive interrogation about whether or not a Muslim believer should have the right to write about the history of Christianity. Aslan calmly pointed out that it was not his religion, but rather his four degrees in the study of religion that qualified him to write the book.
"Anybody who watches Fox News," he told MSNBC's Alex Wagner on her show Tuesday, "knows that there is an inherent anti-Muslim bias in their reporting... fear sells a product." He didn't blame Green, however. "I feel really bad for Lauren Green," Aslan said, "[She] was sitting there being yelled at by some producer in her ear."
Aslan also went so far as to praise the event for sparking a national discussion "about media and journalism, politics and faith." (Did we mention his book sales?)
Interestingly, this kind of gracious restraint isn't actually typical of Reza Aslan. As Buzzfeed points out, the author can be pretty vicious in responding to his haters on Twitter. (Hint: lot's of telling "stupid" people to get their heads "out of their asses.")
Fox News has chosen to defend the interview, despite the negative response nationwide. Contributor Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, gave his opinion this week: “If [Aslan] is going to take the attitude, ‘Well, he’s just a scholar, he just happens to be Muslim, that he didn’t really care about this issue’– he’s not a very good Muslim.’”
Here's Aslan's new MSNBC interview in full:
And the original Fox News segment, if you're craving a good afternoon cringe: