When Reza Aslan was attacked in a now-viral Fox News clip with web show host Lauren Green, he probably had at least a glimmer of an idea what he was in for — but he couldn’t have predicted what came next.
By now, you’ve probably seen the clip in which Reza Aslan magically keeps his cool while Green suggests his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is some sort of Muslim conspiracy to… write a book about Jesus.
Really. That seems to be all she was mad about. But she was like, really mad at Reza Aslan, damnit, and then the whole internet did what the internet does best — pointed and laughed and made Aslan a bit more money.
The aftermath made Aslan look like a scholar and a gentleman (accurate), and told a whole lot of people who probably didn’t like Fox much anyway what the network is all about. (Again.) Aslan later did a giant Reddit AMA, and before that, all kinds of important people with digital megaphones chimed in on the chucklefest that ensued.
MMFA culled together the best of the critique, and quoted Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a former Christianity Today magazine writer who now has at least two last names.
Bailey called the interview “atrocious,” and added:
“She didn’t do her homework and didn’t read the book. And when it comes to the author, she could have looked at his credentials, she was trying to get at a controversy and wasn’t sure what the controversy was.”
While Aslan now admits he feels bad for Green after the clip went viral, he probably doesn’t feel too bad about the update posted by Businessweek today:
“Three days and millions of clicks later, Aslan’s scholarly tome with extensive footnotes had unseated even the mighty J.K. Rowling to become the No. 1 seller on Amazon… The career academic spent much of the encounter reciting the relevant parts of his CV with the deliberate cadence that one reserves for a small child.”
In addition to being on the bestseller list, Reza Aslan’s new Jesus book has more than 400 reviews.