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Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004, 7:05 am

Action Alert:  Arab bashing on MSNBC morning program

By Tracy Van Slyke

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Well, MSNBC sure wants to become Fox News.
Within seven days, MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning" has displayed a complete disregard for quality journalism. Well, that's probably no surprise with the 24 hour cable news channels. But what has put him over the top, is the overwhelming bigotry displayed towards Muslims and Arabs on this show.

OnNovember, 19 the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent out an action alert and a call for viewers to demand an apology from MSNBC. CAIR reports:
On November 19, the program had commentary on the apparent execution of a wounded Iraqi in Fallujah by a U.S. Marine, a fictitious "Senior Military Affairs Advisor" to the program justified the killing by referring to a "booby-trapped raghead cadaver." The fictitious advisor also said the
killing provided an "Al-Jazeera moment" causing the "Muslim masses to respond with their routine pack of rabid sheep mentality."

Only the day before, CAIR had sent out their first action alert for a November 12 broadcast which contained the following commentary about Yasser Arafat's funeral:
DON IMUS: They're (the Palestinians) eating dirt and that fat pig wife of his is living in Paris.
COLLEAGUE: They???re all brainwashed, though. That???s what it is. And they're stupid, to begin with, but they???re brainwashed now. Stinking animals. They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill ???em all right now??
IMUS: Well, the problem is we have (reporter) Andrea (Mitchell) there; we don't want anything to happen to her.
COLLEAGUE: Oh, she's got to get out. Andrea, get out and then drop the bomb and kill everybody??
COLLEAGUE: Look at this. Animals. Animals!

According to CAIR:
This is not the first time Imus has been involved in a controversy over anti-Arab and Islamophobic remarks. As early as 1985, he was forced to apologize for referring to Arabs as "goat-humping weasels." (Sunday Mail, 4/21/85) He has also been criticized for using the derogatory term
"raghead." (Accuracy in Media) In a reference to the crash of an Iranian airliner earlier this year that killed 43 passengers, Imus said, "When I hear stories like that, I think who cares.??? He then stated: "Too bad it wasn't full of Saudi Arabians." (National Iranian American Council)

If you can't stand this substitute for journalism anymore, contact MSNBC and demand some changes around there. Starting with Imus.

Mr. Neal Shapiro
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112-0002
FAX: 212-664-2264

Mr. Rick Kaplan
1 MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094-2419

E-MAIL: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
COPY TO: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tracy Van Slyke, a former publisher of In These Times, is the project director for The Media Consortium.

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