Arab Organizations Fight ABC Over Glenn Beck

February 1, 2007 by  


Joint Press Release

Washington–Three leading Arab and Muslim American advocacy organizations have joined together to take action and voice their opposition over the decision of ABC’s “Good Morning America” to hire Glenn Beck.

The executive leadership of the Arab American Institute (AAI), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) sent a letter to ABC/Disney expressing dismay and requesting a meeting to discuss their concerns. They have also each launched membership action campaigns, through which supporters have been calling and emailing 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-Arab and anti-Muslim 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 has initially responded to the organizations and expressed willingness to discuss their concerns, although it added that it does still intend to hire Beck.

A list of some of the disturbing comments made by Beck during his television and radio broadcasts is available online at www.aaiusa.org. 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 Arabs and Muslims.

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

(Press Release)

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