October 19, 2006
L.A. Times violates journalistic ethics in Anaheim City Council election coverage
(Page 2 - Previous Page)CAIR officials have defended radical Egyptian cleric Wagdy Ghoneim, who at a May 24, 1998, CAIR co-sponsored rally at Brooklyn College in New York, led the audience in a song with the lyrics: "No to the Jews, descendants of the apes." Ghoneim gave numerous speeches in the United States calling for suicide bombings. Hussam Ayloush, CAIR's Southern California director quoted in the L.A. Times article, was one of Ghoneim's staunchest defenders, calling Ghoneim's decision to forgo fighting deportation proceedings for overstaying his visa and voluntarily leave the United States "a dent in our civil rights struggle," and "[t]he whole Muslim community today is under a microscope of scrutiny. Committing a mistake that would invite a slap on the wrist for anyone else could lead to prison or deportation for a Muslim."
At the time, Ghoneim had already been denied entry into Canada because of his links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Similarly, CAIR officials have also vigorously defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami al-Arian, who has referred to Jews as "monkeys and pigs."
As for CAIR helping the FBI in counterterrorism, consider this exchange in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, 2006, in a press conference featuring various Islamic groups, including CAIR, and a representative of the FBI, Warren Bamford. A reporter asked Bamford whether the dialogue with the Islamic groups helped in the investigations the FBI was conducting. "At this time, I don't have any specific recollection of any times that it has helped our investigations." In point of fact, CAIR actively obstructs FBI investigations by issuing warnings against talking to the FBI and portraying the war on terrorism as a "war against Islam."
Dalati was also criticized by a rival candidate for endorsing former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). McKinney espoused virulent anti-American and anti-Israeli conspiracy theories, so much so that even fellow Democrats repudiated her. But the L.A. Times simply referred to McKinney as "a liberal Democrat who has been critical of President Bush and the Iraq War." This makes McKinney sound mainstream, the equivalent of describing David Duke as "critical of U.S. foreign policy."
Dalati may understandably want to whitewash CAIR's extremism, the rally in which he participated and Cynthia McKinney's record. But given the ability to check the veracity of such claims, the L.A. Times' embrace of this revisionist history is a violation of all journalistic ethics. The L.A. Times has the resources to research the organization but instead choose just to parrot its propaganda.
Dalati's characterization of the July 26 Anaheim rally as merely "anti-war," however, is cause for concern, and his candidacy is rightly drawing a higher level of scrutiny and attention than the average race for a seat on Anaheim's City Council.
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