“It is appalling that less than a year after America elected the first black president, racially motivated fearmongering is allowed to stand in for substantive commentary,” said Eric Burns, President of Media Matters. “Just about everyone else in the media recognizes that this race-baiting commentary is unacceptable. What will it take for CNN and Fox News to take a stand?”
As Media Matters has documented, Lou Dobbs’ relentless promotion of “birther” conspiracy theories and Glenn Beck’s assertion that Obama is “a racist” have been hotly debated throughout the media in the past week. Former CNN Chairman Tim Johnson recently told Politico: “It always was my policy (and that of Ted Turner) that anchors and reporters should not present their own personal opinions on the air. ...We did not permit Lou Dobbs or any anchor or correspondent to do that.” A number of other media figures and figureheads have criticized Dobbs and Beck for their recent comments:
Again slamming Dobbs' birther theories, Matthews wonders if it's about "not documentation, but pigmentation"
After CNN pres. Klein calls Dobbs' birther coverage "legitimate," Kurtz slams it as "ludicrous"
Fox's Chris Wallace: Lou Dobbs looking like "grassy knoll nut," wonders if CNN would advance flat earth theories
On Geraldo, Coulter proclaims Dobbs "wrong on this issue" of Obama's birth
Mitchell: Beck's and Limbaugh's comments, birthers raise "question [of] whether we live in a post-racial
NBC's First Read on Beck's comment that Obama is a "racist": Such rants used to "actually cost the ranters their jobs"
MSNBC's Schultz blasts Beck for selling "hate"
Media figures have also stated that birth certificate theories like those advanced by Dobbs have a racial component:
Politico's Martin: Birthers "can't accept" Obama "is our president," "of course it's about race"
CNN's Martin: Birther's "I want my country back" comment means "How is this black guy all of the sudden running the country?"
MSNBC president calls birtherism "racist"
As Media Matters has noted, CNN and Fox News have both avoided taking responsibility for these comments:
Fox News Senior VP: Beck calling Obama a "racist" are "his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel"
CNN chief Klein misrepresents birther coverage to defend Dobbs
CNN president Klein on whether Dobbs birther coverage “will damage your credibility”: “I hope not”