C-Span Implies Muslims Aren't Democrats or Republicans C-Span Implies Muslims Aren't Democrats or Republicans
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C-Span Implies Muslims Aren't Democrats or Republicans

by Alex Goldmark

March 13, 2011

Here's a case of commendable intentions gone awry. This is a screen grab from C-Span 3 during coverage of the Congressman Peter King's hearings on radicalization in the American Muslim community. Many are saying singling out Muslims with these hearings only further stigmatizes the religion as un-American.

C-Span isn't helping with that. In reaching out to solicit the perspectives of those most affected by the hearings, they end up reinforcing the bias and stigma that is fueling anti-muslim fears to begin with.

In the screen grab above (on Twitter here), you can see that the show divides potential callers into "Democrats," "Republicans," and "Independents and Muslim Americans." This implies that Muslims are neither Republicans nor Democrats, but some other category within American democracy that doesn't overlap with the respectable, flag pin-wearing "real" partisans.

It's unfair to be too hard on C-Span, which works to avoid any bias of any kind (its programs often end up overly staid as a result). But this does seem like a lapse.

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C-Span Implies Muslims Aren't Democrats or Republicans