The Prime-Time Smearing of Sami Al-Arian

| January 30, 2002 Issue

The Prime-Time Smearing of Sami Al-Arian, Eric Boehlert,
takes NBC, Fox News, Media General, and Clear Channel radio to task for pandering to anti-Arab hysteria and ruining the life of an innocent professor. These influential news organizations dredged up allegations that an Islamic think tank Al-Arian founded was tied to terrorist activities, a charge that resulted in the University of South Florida firing the tenured Computer Science professor. But those allegations were thoroughly investigated and rejected years ago, Boehlert points out. "The Al-Arian story reveals what happens when journalists, abandoning their role as unbiased observers, lead an ignorant, alarmist crusade against suspicious foreigners who in a time of war don't have the power of the press or public sympathy to fight back. It's called a pile-on, and this game first began in Tampa, seven years ago."
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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