Friday, January 26, 2007

Urge ABC News to Reconsider Hiring Glen Beck

(Washington, DC - 1/23/07) -- ABC's "Good Morning America" recently announced that Glenn Beck has been hired as a regular commentator on its program. Many of you might be aware of Beck from his CNN Headline News show or his talk-radio show, where he has consistently fueled his commentary with vitriol and falsehoods toward Muslims.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Arab American Institute (AAI), and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) have joined together to take action and voice their opposition over the decision of ABC's "Good Morning America" to hire Glenn Beck. On Monday, they sent a letter to ABC/Disney expressing dismay and requesting a meeting to discuss its concerns.

MPAC also urges its supporters to call and email ABC News to express dismay over "Good Morning America's" decision. During his tenure at CNN Headline News and as a talk-radio host, Beck has demonstrated an obvious anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice in his broadcasts through threats and blatantly inaccurate statements.

"[Glenn Beck's] addition to Good Morning America would disseminate his prejudiced, openly-hostile and ignorant commentary to an even broader national audience, and diminish the credibility of your reputable and highly-rated news show," said the organizations' letter to ABC/Disney. "To provide a platform for his hateful speech is dangerous and irresponsible, and we strongly and urgently implore you to reconsider this move."

ABC News initially responded to the organizations by expressing willingness to discuss their concerns, although it added that it does still intend to hire Beck. The full text of the organizations' letter to The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger, ABC News President David Westin, and Good Morning America Senior Executive Producer Jim Murphy is detailed below:

Dear Mr. Iger, Mr. Westin and Mr. Murphy,

We are gravely concerned that ABC News has hired Glenn Beck as a regular commentator on "Good Morning America." As a talk-radio host and during his tenure with CNN, Beck has consistently fueled his commentary with vitriol and falsehoods aimed at stirring resentment towards Muslims and Arabs.

His addition to Good Morning America would disseminate his prejudiced, openly-hostile and ignorant commentary to an even broader national audience, and diminish the credibility of your reputable and highly-rated news show. To provide a platform for his hateful speech is dangerous and irresponsible, and we strongly and urgently implore you to reconsider this move.

Several disturbing instances highlight Beck's blatant anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias:

On August 10 and September 5, 2006, Beck stated that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism - completely ignoring the positive contributions of the community, especially in regard to national security - and warned that Muslims "who have sat on [their] hands the whole time" rather than "lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head" will face dire consequences. One of those consequences being that Muslims will be "looking through a razor wire fence at the West."

On November 14, 2006, Beck interviewed then Congressman-elect Keith Ellison and asked him to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies" simply because of Ellison's religious affiliation.

On November 15, 2006, Beck said he was surprised by a letter written by an American criticizing Al Qaeda because "the man who wrote it is a Muslim."

These are only a few instances of his inflammatory rhetoric. Many more examples can be provided.

We urge you to reconsider your hiring of Glenn Beck. Additionally, we are formally requesting a meeting with you and Good Morning America's producers to address this troubling situation. We hope this can help us to establish a dialogue with ABC/Disney to ensure that the company's decisions reflect an accurate understanding of the Arab and Muslim American communities. We hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience to address this timely matter.

Signed,

James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
Kareem Shora, Executive Director, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
ABC News responded to our letter, which is promising, but we need your help in order to encourage positive action on the part of ABC News regarding this matter. Click here to see ABC News' response.

MPAC, AAI and ADC are asking supporters to call and email ABC News and voice their concerns about "Good Morning America's" decision to hire Glenn Beck. Included below is a sample email and contact information to call the show.

1. CALL ABC NEWS
Phone calls are an extremely effective tool for action. Take just a few minutes to call the ABC switchboard in New York at (212) 456-7777 and urge ABC to reconsider.

When you call ABC News, be sure to mention the following points:
If you are a GMA viewer, let them know.
Politely but firmly convey your concern that adding Beck to the GMA staff would weaken the show's journalistic integrity and jeopardize its reputation as a fair and objective news program.
State that by giving Beck such a prominent platform to spread dishonest and hurtful statements, ABC is perpetuating fear of Muslim communities and is inciting hatred toward Muslim Americans. See sample of his comments above.
Ask ABC News to reconsider its hiring of Beck.

2. EMAIL ABC NEWS

If you are able, please supplement your emails with a phone call to ABC's switchboard. You can use the points listed above to write an email, or feel free to send the following:netaudr@abc.comdavid.westin@abc.com

* SAMPLE EMAIL LETTER *

Dear Mr. Westin and Good Morning America Staff,

As an ABC News viewer, I am concerned by your recent decision to hire Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck has used his radio and television shows to spread false and hurtful statements about the Muslim and Arab American communities, and his dangerous language helps perpetuate fear and prejudice towards us. In light of his previous comments and on air rhetoric, I worry that he will use "Good Morning America" to spread this rhetoric to an even broader audience.

I am also concerned that that his addition to "Good Morning America" will weaken the show's journalistic integrity and jeopardize its reputation as a fair and objective news program. Beck himself says he is not a journalist, calling himself, "a conservative with his own bias."

I urge for you to reconsider your hiring of Glenn Beck. Thank you for your consideration.

* BECK IN HIS OWN WORDS *

On August 10 and September 5, 2006, Beck stated that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism--completely ignoring the positive contributions of the community, especially in regard to national security--and warned that Muslims "who have sat on [their] hands the whole time rather than 'lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head' will face dire consequences. One of those consequences being that Muslims will be "looking through a razor wire fence at the West."

On November 14, 2006, Beck interviewed then Congressman-elect Keith Ellison and asked him to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies" simply because of Ellison's religious affiliation.

On November 15, 2006, Beck said he was surprised by an American criticizing Al Qaeda because "the man who wrote it is a Muslim."

3 Comments:

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous paul marinelli said...

Glen is fair and even handed on Muslim issues. I am a regular listner and consider him a moderate

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger dialegomai said...

I am amazed that you find Glenn Beck to be dangerous, prejudiced, openly-hostile, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. I have heard him on many occasions and find that he takes great pains to point to extremism and not a religion itself, be it Christian, Muslim
or whatever. This world is filled with hatred fueled in recent years by those who refuse to allow any opinion, faith, or moral code other than their own; who would cut off a head over a difference in religion. Surely your words and efforts would
be better served condemning cold blooded murderous extremism whatever its brand rather than attacking an outspoken critic of it. Beck is reportedly a Mormon, which I am not. However I don't see Mormons or Buddhists or Baptists, etc. cutting off heads for dancing, drinking or just being different. If they did, then what do you think the response would be from those who bear their particular name?

If someone of my faith were to do anything close to what is being done in the name of Allah now across the world I would be the first and LOUDEST to speak out strongly and continually expressing
my utter condemnation for what they are doing, stating how it does not represent my faith and how they are to be stopped at all costs. I would take whatever action necessary to stop them and to alienate them from all I hold true and dear.

Instead of trying to silence Beck, why don't they go on his show to express your views. I bet he would give them a respectful chance
to speak. Why not discuss the actual points he is making rather than paint with a broad brush calling him racist, ignorant, bigoted or whatever name calling seems to work. In the Zogby article and other items I read from the Arab American Institute, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Muslim Public
Affairs Council I don't see them addressing any points of fact or giving credence to the real cause of all these problems, the fact that extremists are waging a war
of terror on everyone not like themselves, while repeatedly and openly identifying their bizarre actions and beliefs with true Islam. Now there is truly dangerous
and irresponsible hate speech if you are looking for some to condemn.

I thought we were truly committed to our great liberal tradition of open minds, free speech and lively debate. Why fear those we disagree with and launch a campaign to try and silence them? It sure makes you look bad and brings into question why I don't hear more from the American Muslim and/or Arab communities about the terror being unleashed across the world...in the name of someone's view of God.

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger S Speigle said...

I feel that the Muslim community needs to spend their time on far more impt. issues than the viewpoints of Glen Beck. How about the lack of freedom of expression given to women and many other who disagree with the policies of radical Islam in many countries around the world? I thought this was why America was founded- we have freedom of religion and expression, so why are we trying to deny the viewpoints, right or wrong, of Glen Beck?

 

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