News & Politics

Charts: Mapping the News-Naming Course of That Muslim Thing Kinda Near Ground Zero

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Call it whatever you want: the “Ground Zero Mosque,” the “Park 51” project, or the “Cordoba Center,” which is actually the community center housed inside Park 51, which is nearly three blocks away from Ground Zero. And people have indeed called it whatever they want! In chart form, take a look, via the magic of Google Trends:

A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism notes the coverage of what they call the “NY Mosque Controversy” dominating the news cycle throughout the last week:

And yet, even after the New York Times took a noble stand on not calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque,” it doesn’t look like anybody really followed suit. If you’ll notice here, via Google Trends, “Park 51” — the official name for the project — and “Cordoba Center” — the name of the community center housed inside Park 51 — are dwarfed by mentions of the “Ground Zero Mosque,” which we’ve previously pointed out as nearly three blocks away from Ground Zero.

And where would an issue like this — based on a misnomer to begin with — work best? Take a wild guess. Again, via the Pew Institute:

What a better forum for an issue where the technical term is a euphemism in and of itself but cable-TV news? Anyway, what typically gets viewers gets more airtime, so don’t expect this thing to go away anytime soon. And at the rate it’s being written, don’t expect the names to move around, either.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]