Most recently, in an almost unbelievably bigoted piece of television last week, CNN anchors John Vause and Isha Sesay pressed a French Muslim activist for six straight minutes about how the “Muslim community” needs to “take responsibility” for the Paris attacks. Directed at any other religious or racial group, such commentary would be absolutely out of bounds — indeed, it’s a classic anti-Semitic trope, like a “new shoot of poison vine growing up an ancient trellis.”
But when it comes to Muslims, flagrant, predictably partisan bigotry is just fine and dandy to broadcast on CNN.
It’s when that general attitude is combined with the Labott affair that CNN moves from hypocrisy to actual danger. By professionally sanctioning a reporter for pro-refugee opinions but giving free rein to the likes of Lemon, Vause, and Sesay, CNN is mainstreaming anti-Muslim bigotry. It is saying that rank prejudice against Islam is a subject worthy of serious consideration, while humanitarian sentiments in favor of Muslim refugees is a deviant view that must be punished out of journalism.