ARAB GROUPS PROTEST BECK'S HIRING
NEW YORK - Three groups are urging ABC News not to keep CNN Headline News personality Glenn Beck on as a "Good Morning America" commentator because they believe he's biased against Arabs.
The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.
"Good Morning America" executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider. Beck has appeared twice on the show, once together with a Muslim religious leader.
The groups said that Beck _ who's drawing strong ratings with his evening show on CNN Headline News _ has stated on his show that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism. During an interview in November with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (news, bio, voting record), the first Muslim member of Congress, Beck asked him to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."
"That blatant anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bias has been given credibility on a larger news show is something that concerns us," said Arab American Institute spokeswoman Jennifer Kauffman.
Beck has said that his question to Ellison was poorly worded.
"My message is clear: Islam is a peaceful religion for over 90 percent of the world's Muslims," he said. "I have urged viewers repeatedly to understand this, while asking all of the proud, peaceful Muslims here in America to take a more visible role in our fight against those who make a mockery of the Quran. I also make airtime available, at any time, to any Muslim organization to help reinforce this realistic, peaceful view of Islam."