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Fox vs. CAIR By: Paul Bond
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 23, 2002

A leading lobby group for Muslim Americans has put the Fox News Channel in its crosshairs.

The Council on Islamic-American Relations is especially miffed with Fox stars Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and their "pattern of anti-Muslim bias."

The group even charges that Fox News encourages hate crimes against Muslims.

Hollywood is famous for caving in to such charges, and has in the past specifically bowed down to CAIR, an organization with a dubious moral record.

CAIR is making it easy for overly sensitive sympathizers to fire off nasty emails, faxes and phone calls to Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes.

At its Web site, the Fox News logo is impossible to miss. One click gets visitors a pre-written letter they may send to Ailes that says, in part, "Fox News is directly contributing to a climate of fear and hate directed at America's Muslim and Arab communities."

The campaign started Thursday with an email distributed by CAIR to its members and those on its mailing list. That email encouraged Muslims to contact Ailes and included phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses.

A Fox spokeswoman was vague as to the effectiveness of the campaign so far, saying only, "We get a lot of letters and phone calls everyday about lots of our shows."

It will be fascinating to watch how CAIR's campaign plays out in Hollywood this time around. The organization's previous high-profile effort was to pressure Paramount Pictures and the film's director to alter the Tom Clancy novel "The Sum of All Fears" so that Muslims wouldn't be portrayed as terrorists in the movie version of Clancy's work.

That effort was prior to 9/11, when CAIR's reputation among many U.S. terrorist experts was that the group served as apologists for the Hamas terror organization, as well as Osama bin Laden himself.

Nonetheless, Hollywood caved, and the movie villains became non-offensive neo-Nazis. Director Phil Alden Robinson wrote the obligatory, politically correct letter to CAIR, telling them he had "no intention of promoting negative images of Muslims or Arabs, and I wish you the best in your continuing efforts to combat discrimination."

Contrast Hollywood's gentle care of CAIR with its treatment of thousands upon thousands of Christians (including Mother Teresa) who complained to Universal Pictures in 1988 that "The Last Temptation of Christ" was offensive. In that incident, all of Hollywood rallied 'round Universal and its "brave" stand against Christian Conservatives.

Apparently, in Hollywood bending over backward to a handful of terrorist-coddling Muslims is considered progressive, whereas insulting millions of Christians is courageous.

But I digress.

Back to CAIR. This time its Fox that faces its wrath. The organization is asking that Fox reign in the opinionated O'Reilly and Hannity so that they "stop promoting hate."

Only this time, instead of the typical cave-in, Hollywood's response to CAIR should be to ignore them.

We'll see.

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