There is no mosque being built on the site of Ground Zero. It’s a simple fact, but one that news consumers can be forgiven for missing as they her hourly cable news updates and scan the headlines about a growing–and increasingly heated–national debate over the construction of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. TV networks haven’t yet responded to the Upshot’s efforts to get them to explain their frequent use of “Ground Zero Mosque” to describe the planned building at the center of the furor. But the New York Times has explained why the paper of record has shied away from that designation–and the nation’s largest print news service, the Associated Press, has offered an account of how it tries to describe the project in text and headlines alike.
The “Park51” project, as it’s officially dubbed, is planed for a site two blocks from where the World Trade Center towers fell, amid other lower Manhattan establishments whose names have never featured the words “Ground Zero.” If built, the 13-story community center and mosque project will be one of hundreds of buildings located with blocks of Ground Zero—a densely populated area that already includes a couple of mosques, along with less-“hallowed” institutions likes strip clubs, bars and Off Track Betting operations.