Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where Are the Muslim News and Television Analysts?

I have a question. It's only a question. It is NOT a comment filled with hidden innuendo. And I do not have any answer.

Where are the Muslim Commentators, News Analysts, Reporters or Anchors on network and cable news programs?

In a speech before the Arab American Institute, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold(D-WI) called on President Bush and on all of us to stop using the term "Islamic fascists."

From a
PRESS RELEASE on Feingold's own website (editing and emphasis are mine):
    "I call on the President to stop using the phrase Islamic fascists, a label that doesn't make any sense, and certainly doesn't help our effort to build a coalition of societies to fight terrorism," Feingold said.

    "The President has often correctly referred to Islam as a religion of peace, but this reckless language......

    ......doesn't have anything to do with the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world who practice the peaceful teachings of Islam."

I certainly feel that Feingold has a valid point. I hear radio personalities and alysists and politicians all use the term with reckless abandon. Such a term does drive a wedge between the mainstream U.S. society and the minority Muslim community, who must feel they are under attack.

You're going to hear both sides of this question. Some conservatives are likely to claim the term is required to properly describe the threat we face. Others, often liberals, will agree with me.

But there is a glaring omission from all the televison coverage on this issue. Where are ANY Muslim news reporters??

Where are ANY regular news analysts?

Why doesn't FOX have a rotating Muslim on their "FOX All-Stars?"

Where is the regular Muslim reporter on "Meet the Press?" Or an any of the evening news broadcasts.

As a nation that absolutely prides itself on diversity we're careful to have Blacks, Hispanics, women and even gays and lesbians well represented. And if there is a "Christian Issue" you can bet we'll be seeing Jerry Falwell on all three networks.

I'm not talking about "ambush journalism" where some stupid prime time reporter corners a Muslim and asks "Why did YOU let this happen?" or another equally lame attack disguised as a question.

I'm talking about a peer to Juan Williams or to Eugene Robinson. Someone with journalist experience who can give us the news and comment from the point of view of an Arab American with candor and authority.

Are the networks unable to find such people? Are Muslims unwilling to appear for fear of attack?

In every crisis in the last 50 years the news broadcasts offered diversity in their coverage and, especially their analysis.

Where are the Muslims?





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