Monday, August 22, 2005

Media Watch-Shame on ABC

It's Dhimmitude 1, Free Speech 0 at ABC. Radio host Michael Graham has been fired by ABC. Back in July, Mr. Graham said the following on his radio show: "Because of the mix of Islamic theology that -- rightly or wrongly -- is interpreted to promote violence, added to an organizational structure that allows violent radicals to operate openly in Islam's name with impunity, Islam has, sadly, become a terrorist organization. It pains me to say it. But the good news is it doesn't have to stay this way, if the vast majority of Muslims who don't support terror will step forward and reclaim their religion."

This led to an effort by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to have the radio host suspended, and then dismissed. CAIR has a history of being very quick to make a lot of noise when anyone is critical of Muslims. They do a good job of playing to the p.c. tendencies of the media. They also claim to be a moderate group interested in protecting the civil liberties of Muslims. However, it is important to know that:
CAIR was founded in 1994 by two former high-ranking officials with the Islamic Association of Palestine, a rabidly anti-Semitic organization known as Hamas' biggest political booster in the United States.
Since September 11, CAIR officials have been careful to avoid the appearance that they support Islamic terrorism. But not before September 11. In November 1999, CAIR President Omar Ahmad addressed a youth session at the IAP annual convention in Chicago, where he praised suicide bombers who "kill themselves for Islam": "Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam ? that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam." (Transcript provided by the Investigative Project.)
Though CAIR's mission is not to serve as an overt Hamas partisan, the organization has refused to specifically condemn the terrorist organization. Ditto for Hezbollah, which is responsible for murdering more Americans than any other terrorist group besides al Qaeda. And CAIR refused to condemn bin Laden or al Qaeda by name until three months after September 11. The Washington Post in November 2001 asked a CAIR spokesman to condemn Hamas or Islamic Jihad. He refused, explaining, "It's not our job to go around denouncing." Asked a similar question about Hamas and Hezbollah by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in February 2002, Mr. Hooper called such queries a "game," and added, "We're not in the business of condemning."
They're not interesting in condemning terrorists, but they are eager to condemn anyone they perceive as slighting Muslims.

Michael Graham released a statement earlier today. Here's an excerpt:
It appears that ABC Radio has caved to an organization that condemns talk radio hosts like me, but has never condemned Hamas, Hezbollah, and one that wouldn’t specifically condemn Al Qaeda for three months after 9/11.

As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show. As a conservative talk host whose job is to have an open, honest conversation each day with my listeners, I believe caving to this pressure is a disaster.

I for one cannnot apologize for the truth and I cannot agree to some community-service style “outreach effort” to appease the opponents of free speech.