CBS Highlights Cynthia McKinney’s Gaza Adventure, Ignores Extremism & Anti-Semitic Connections
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
While Angle did not bring up McKinney’s controversial past, the FNC show has a long history of updating its viewers on the former Democratic Congresswoman’s fringe activities and connections. When she was a member of Congress, McKinney had a history of accepting campaign contributions from anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist individuals, and when she lost the Democratic primary for reelection in 2006, members of her entourage were caught on tape making racist and anti-Semitic slurs during a scuffle. Additionally, McKinney has a history of giving credibility to bizarre conspiracy theories. In October 2008 she spoke publicly of her belief that the Defense Department murdered thousands of prisoners and used the confusion of Hurricane Katrina to dispose of the bodies in Louisiana swamps. And in 2002, she advanced the theory that President Bush deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen so he could benefit financially from the resulting increase in defense spending.
When CNN’s The Situation Room reported on the ship collision, substitute anchor Suzanne Malveaux did at least describe McKinney as "controversial" as she introduced the story on the December 30 show, and cited the time she slapped a Capitol Hill police officer. Malveaux: "A controversial political figure here in the U.S. is rocking the boat again in connection with the crisis in Gaza now. Many people remember former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in a dustup in which she allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer. But McKinney's public career has been packed with attention-grabbing moments, including this new one. "
But on the December 30, American Morning, CNN anchor John Roberts and correspondent Karl Penhaul – who was on the ship, the SS Dignity, which McKinney was on – sounded sympathetic to the ship’s effort to run the blockade. Since the vessel was damaged, Roberts asked if there was any chance someone else would be willing to "take up the charge" and "try to get those medical supplies in":
KARL PENHAUL: Now from what we've seen from the repeated airstrikes in Gaza, any medical aid at this stage is critical. And not only is the Dignity trying to ferry in three tons of medical aid, but we have a surgeon on board. We also have members of the Cypriot Parliament. It has a children's doctor from the London's Great Ormond Street on board. We have other doctors on board. These are clearly qualified medical personnel and with much needed aid at a time when the humanitarian plight of the Gaza people is extreme in the wake of these successive Israeli airstrikes.
JOHN ROBERTS: Karl, taking a look at the damage to the superstructure there on the bridge of the Dignity, it's not going anywhere for a while. Is there anybody else there on the port city of Tyre who's willing to take up the charge to go back out there on the seas and try to get those medical supplies in, or is the word there now that it's just too dangerous with those Israeli patrol boats running around? And as you have described, it would appear all too ready to challenge any vessels that come into the area.
Later that day, when Penhaul appeared on The Situation Room, he relayed the Israeli military’s contention that the collision was an "accident," but also charged that those aboard the Dignity did not "buy" the Israeli explanation. Penhaul: "Later, the Israeli Defense Forces said it was an accident. They say they warned the Dignity and ordered it to turn back, a statement nobody aboard the Dignity buys."
Below is a compilation of CBS, CNN and FNC coverage of the boat collision from December 30, 2008, along with FNC’s history of reporting on McKinney’s controversial activities and connections:
On the December 30, The Early Show on CBS, Jeff Glor reported: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman Cynthia McKinney clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the December 30, American Morning, CNN’s Karl Penhaul, who was aboard the SS Dignity, checked in during the 7:00 a.m. hour:
CHRISTINE ROMANS: This morning, as Gaza's hospitals struggle to cope with the injured, volunteers trying to deliver medical aid were turned back after their boat, Dignity, collided with an Israeli warship. These are live pictures here of that boat, the Dignity, right there. Israel says the boat was attempting to defy the blockade of Gaza. Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and CNN's Karl Penhaul were aboard the Dignity at the time of the accident.
VOICE OF KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The boat though while still in international waters, has been rammed by Israeli patrol boats. The boat, our vessel, has been damaged. There's been some damage to a roof section and to glass windows around the steering area, and the captain says that the vessel is taking on a small amount of water.
ROMANS: The ship is now heading to Lebanon. Israel says the collision was an accident.
JOHN ROBERTS: Eighteen minutes now after the hour, new video just in to CNN of the SS Dignity docking in Tyre in southern Lebanon after colliding with an Israeli warship earlier in the day. Volunteers on board the boat, including former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, were trying to deliver medical aid to Gaza, but Israel says the boat was attempting to defy a blockade and turned the ship back. There was some damage to the super structure of the boat. Apparently it was taking on a little bit of water so they ran for Tyre, which is that southern port city in Lebanon. In addition to former Georgia congresswoman and former presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, being on board, CNN's own Karl Penhaul was also on the Dignity. He joins us now live on the phone. Karl, I take it everybody on board is okay. What exactly happened out there in the Mediterranean? Sounds like we're having some problems here with Karl. Sometimes there's a little bit of delay. Karl, it's John Roberts. Can you hear me?
KARL PENHAUL: Yes. There's a lot of confusion going on here. And as you can imagine, with this confusion, one can barely hear you. But I'll sum up what happened, in fact. We're now limping into port in the city of Tyre in Lebanon, at this after at night time hours. While we're out in the Mediterranean, heavy seas, it was the dark of night and Israeli patrol boats approach the Dignity as it made its way through international waters towards Gaza. While the boat was still in international waters, Israeli patrol boats shot at the Dignity for the better part of a half hour, and then after that without any warning, the one Israeli patrol boat rammed the front section of the Dignity. That caused part of the roof to peel back. Windows were shattered and there was also a hole in the hull, and the boat began taking on some water. The captain of the vessel put out a mayday signal as the only people in the area at the time though were the Israeli boats. Now, there was no trial communication from the Israeli patrol boat to the crew of the Dignity, but after the ramming into them, the patrol boat sent a signal accusing the Dignity of being involved in terrorist activities and said if it could not turn back from its current course, that it would open fire on the Dignity.
ROBERTS: Karl, I know you said it's difficult for you to hear me and I hope you can now. Some reports that I've read in the Israeli press suggest that the Israeli warship accidentally hit the Dignity. The reports are that the Dignity was trying to outmaneuver the ship and the two collided. What can you tell me about the veracity of those reports and also where was the Dignity trying to dock in the Gaza strip to deliver those medical supplies?
PENHAUL: The Dignity was headed for dock when the incident took place. It was very clearly in international waters. The crew and members of the 3,000 movement reject any suggestion that this was accidental. And certainly from my vantage point, I find it very hard to believe that this was an accident because those patrol boats are very sophisticated, very maneuverable, very fast and they've been shattering the Dignity on all sides front and back and from side to side for the previous half an hour. And in the words of the captain, the Dignity was lit up like a Christmas tree. All its lights were on. And at the same time, at least one of the Israeli patrol boats had saw lights saying the Dignity at all times. So it's difficult to see at what point those Israeli patrol boats really didn't know where the Dignity was and simply slammed into it. For all intents and purposes, from where we were sitting, it certainly looked like this was an intentional ramming incident with no prior warnings, an incident that took place in international waters.
ROBERTS: Karl, as we mentioned, the Dignity was trying to ferry medical supplies into Gaza. How great is the need from your vantage point, your understanding of the situation for those medical supplies to get into Gaza city?
PENHAUL: Now from what we've seen from the repeated airstrikes in Gaza, any medical aid at this stage is critical. And not only is the Dignity trying to ferry in three tons of medical aid, but we have a surgeon on board. We also have members of the Cypriot Parliament. It has a children's doctor from the London's Great Ormond Street onboard. We have other doctors onboard. These are clearly qualified medical personnel and with much needed aid at a time when the humanitarian plight of the Gaza people is extreme in the wake of these successive Israeli airstrikes.
ROBERTS: Karl, taking a look at the damage to the superstructure there on the bridge of the Dignity, it's not going anywhere for a while. Is there anybody else there on the port city of Tyre who's willing to take up the charge to go back out there on the seas and try to get those medical supplies in, or is the word there now that it's just too dangerous with those Israeli patrol boats running around? And as you have described, it would appear all too ready to challenge any vessels that come into the area.
PENHAUL: It is obviously a very dangerous situation. With this action, the Israelis have clearly demonstrated that they will physically try and stop any vessel trying to get through territorial waters into Gaza, and they've also shown through that incident that they're prepared to try and stop those vessels heading towards Gaza, even though they are in international waters. These boats are not equipped to go toe-to-toe with the Israeli military. This was not a military effort by the Free Gaza Movement. It is a movement in solidarity with the Gazan people. They describe themselves, they describe themselves as the solidarity movement. They say we are not an aide organization, this is not a charity. Yes, it was a non-violent political protest. So nevertheless, they didn't expect it to end with an Israeli patrol boat ramming the front section of their boat. And according to the captain onboard, if the construction of this vessel had been different, then ending would have been dramatically different. As I say, minutes after the Dignity was rammed, the captain put out a mayday call, and members of the crew came to the section where the passengers were treated and equipped us with life jackets and said they were about to launch the life raft. It came that close to us all deploying into the life raft. But when the captain made a quick check, he realized that he could manage to pump the water out of the vessel without us having to abandon ship in what would have been a very icy, icy trip into the Mediterranean.
ROBERTS: Karl, we're obviously glad that it came out the way it did, but an incredibly dangerous situation there. The apparent ramming of this 66-foot pleasure craft, the Dignity, by an Israeli warship. Karl Penhaul onboard at the time along with former Georgia Congresswoman and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. And as Karl said earlier, the Israeli warship issued a warning after it struck the Dignity, that if the ship, if the boat did not turn around and head back into Lebanese waters, that it would open fire on it. So obviously a very, very dangerous situation out there in international waters, as Karl was pointing out, off of the coast of Israel.
On December 30, CNN’s The Situation Room reported on the story during each of its three hours. From the 4:00 p.m. hour:
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: A controversial political figure here in the U.S. is rocking the boat again in connection with the crisis in Gaza now. Many people remember former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in a dustup in which she allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer. But McKinney's public career has been packed with attention-grabbing moments, including this new one. Our CNN's Brooke Baldwin is following the story. And this had to do with McKinney's role in a shipment of humanitarian aid to Gaza. What do we know about that?
BROOKE BALDWIN: We are learning a few new details, Suzanne, first, the fact that Cynthia McKinney secured a seat on that ship, the SS Dignity, because someone else backed out. In fact, she sent this e-mail to her friends just yesterday, alerting them of her mission, or, as she referred to it, as a humanitarian undertaking. Cynthia McKinney taking center stage, this time on a humanitarian mission.
FORMER REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA): Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies. And our mission was thwarted by the Israelis, the aggressiveness of the Israeli military.
BALDWIN: McKinney was on board the ship, the SS Dignity, owned by the Free Gaza Movement, a Palestinian-rights organization based in Northern California. It had set sail Monday from Cyprus to deliver three tons of medical supplies to war-torn Gaza. The group's co-founder, Paul Laurdee, said he invited McKinney on the mission after some of the original passengers had canceled. Laurdee says McKinney was a supporter of the group for years and wanted to take the trip a year ago, but couldn't. Most remember her infamous incident at the U.S. Capitol two years ago, when a police officer accused her of slapping him. Weeks later, the former six-term controversial congresswoman from Georgia sparred with CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Forgive me for interrupting you, but I believe we-
MCKINNEY: No, but you shouldn't interrupt me, Soledad.
BALDWIN: Two years later, McKinney ran for U.S. President on the Green Party ticket. While that was always a long shot, McKinney may have better luck drawing attention to the current crisis in Gaza.
MCKINNEY: I would like to ask President-elect Obama to say something, please, about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza.
BALDWIN: Now, McKinney's parents declined to speak to CNN today, saying that their daughter, Suzanne, should be speaking for herself. McKinney might be bound for Gaza in another two days, as the group plans to attempt their mission in a new ship once again.
During the 5:00 p.m. hour of The Situation Room, anchor Malveaux spoke with correspondent Penhaul:
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: Well, you're about to witness something dramatic. A group of actors, medical personnel and a former U.S. congresswoman were aboard a small vessel which tried to get through the Israeli blockade at Gaza. Well, they ran into some serious trouble, a collision with an Israeli patrol boat. The damaged aid boat managed to limp into port in Lebanon. Our CNN's Karl Penhaul was on board, and he joins us live from Beirut. Tell us what happened, Karl.
KARL PENHAUL: Suzanne, it was a trip that so easily could have ended in tragedy. The Israelis say it was an accident. But from where I was sitting, it looked very deliberate.
PENHAUL: It was a mercy mission to the wounded and dying of Gaza -- tons of medical aid, doctors and peace activists from the Free Gaza Solidarity Movement aboard motor yacht the Dignity. As usual, it would involve defying an Israeli travel ban and running a possible blockade.
ELIZA ERNSHIRE, FREE GAZA ORGANIZER: I think there's a complacency that happens in the West. It's something that we have to fight against.
PENHAUL: The last aid loaded aboard and a crewman's warning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if you are boarded and are going to be arrested, you're going to talk about this on the way yourselves, I would really suggest, do not struggle against these people. They are professionals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: End the siege. End the occupation.
PENHAUL: A veteran Free Gaza activist hugs first time passenger, former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye.
PENHAUL: From the deck, last goodbyes, a V for victory sign. Around 10 hours pass amid rolling seas. Then a spotlight shines out from one of two Israeli patrol boats. The Dignity is still in international waters. They shadow us for half an hour, then, with no prior radio warning, according to the captain, one of the patrol boats rams the Dignity. The boats that have been following us now for some time, one of them has rammed this vessel. It rammed it in the front. That caused the glass to splinter, part of the roof to peel back, a very dramatic moment. The captain is now saying that this boat is starting to take on water.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They're coming down in the water and get the right back draft.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We're trying to explore our options, whether we might try and head toward Lebanon. But the boat is in distress.
PENHAUL: Later, the Israeli Defense Forces said it was an accident. They say they warned The Dignity and ordered it to turn back, a statement nobody aboard the Dignity buys.
FORMER REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA): I wouldn't call it accosting. I would call it ramming. Let's just call it as it is.
PENHAUL: From dockside in Southern Lebanon, the scale of the damage to the hull and wheel house is apparent. It was a lucky escape.
CAPTAIN DENNIS HEALEY, THE DIGNITY: It could have ended with people drowning. If they'd have hit us more square on, you know, we could have gone down in minutes.
PENHAUL: Free Gaza activists are unbowed.
ERNSHIRE: We're desperate to get back in and to find a way to get this aid and more aid into Gaza and to mobilize the international community and governments of the world to stop this brutality that Israel is practicing against the people of Gaza.
PENHAUL: But for now, the Dignity is going nowhere -- too battered to set sail.
PENHAUL: Tonight, those three tons of medical supplies are still sitting on the Dignity down in the port of Tyre. They're desperately needed in the Gaza Strip. And what members of the Free Gaza Movement say is that they will continue to try and get that aid through. They say silence and inaction is complicity.
During the 6:00 p.m. hour of the December 30, The Situation Room, correspondent Brooke Baldwin returned to gave a similar account of the story that she had given during the 4:00 p.m. hour:
SUZANNE MALVEAUX: And she's raised controversy at home. Now a former congresswoman is raising eyebrows for her ties to the Gaza crisis. Cynthia McKinney talks about being on that aid ship that had a close encounter with the Israeli navy.
MALVEAUX: A controversial political figure here in the U.S. is raising some eyebrows in connection with the crisis in Gaza. Many people remember former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney for a dustup in which she allegedly slapped a Capitol Hill police officer. Well, now it turns out that McKinney was on board a ship that was rammed by an Israeli patrol boat while trying to deliver humanitarian aid. Our CNN's Brooke Baldwin is following the story -- and, Brooke, what was McKinney doing aboard the ship?
BROOKE BALDWIN: Suzanne, Cynthia McKinney told CNN she was there on a peaceful mission. But we did a little digging and found out that she secured that seat on the S.S. Dignity because someone else backed out. And she sent this e-mail, I've got a copy of the e-mail that she sent to her friends just yesterday, alerting them that she would be heading to Gaza, alerting them of her mission, or, as she referred to it, as a humanitarian undertaking. Cynthia McKinney taking center stage, this time on a humanitarian mission.
FORMER REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA): Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies. And our mission was thwarted by the Israelis, the aggressiveness of the Israeli military.
BALDWIN: McKinney was on board a ship, the SS Dignity, owned by the Free Gaza Movement, a Palestinian-rights organization based in Northern California. It had set sail Monday from Cyprus to deliver three tons of medical supplies to war-torn Gaza. The group's co-founder, Paul Larudee, says he invited McKinney on the mission after some of the original passengers had canceled. Larudee said McKinney was a supporter of the group for years and wanted to take the trip a year ago, but couldn't. Most remember her infamous incident at the U.S. Capitol two years ago, when a police officer accused her of slapping him. Weeks later, the former six-term controversial congresswoman from Georgia sparred with CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Congresswoman, and forgive me for interrupting you-
MCKINNEY: We have 250-
O'BRIEN: But I believe we can't have this-
MCKINNEY: No, but you shouldn't interrupt me, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Well, until-
BALDWIN: Two years later, McKinney ran for U.S. president on the Green Party ticket. While that was always a long shot, McKinney may have better luck drawing attention to the current crisis in Gaza.
MCKINNEY: I would like to ask President-Elect Obama just to, to say something, please, about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza.
BALDWIN: McKinney's parents declined to speak to CNN today, saying their daughter should speak for herself. We also found out McKinney might be bound for Gaza in another two days, as the group plans to attempt their mission in a new ship once again.
On the December 30, 2008, Special Report with Brit Hume, anchor Jim Angle reported: "And, finally, the military blockade imposed by the Israeli Defense Force was not enough to deter former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney from trying to deliver aid to Gaza. McKinney was among 16 activists aboard a supply boat that collided with an Israeli naval ship off the Gaza coast. As a result, the supply ship was forced to dock at a Lebanese port. The former Green Party presidential candidate said in a TV interview, quote ‘Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side. Our mission was thwarted by the aggressiveness of the Israeli army.’ But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesmen says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
On the October 2, 2008, Special Report with Brit Hume, host Hume gave attention to McKinney’s belief in a bizarre conspiracy theory about the Defense Department. Hume: "She says the U.S. government systematically killed thousands of people during Hurricane Katrina. McKinney was speaking at Oakland's Laney College during a conference Sunday on reforming the justice system. She said that after Katrina a woman called her explaining ‘Her son's charge by the Department of Defense was to process 5,000 bodies that had received a single bullet wound to the head. The bodies were dumped into the swamp in Louisiana. This is true. I suspect that these were prisoners.’"
On the March 5, 2008, Special Report, while reporting McKinney’s plan to run for President in 2008 on the Green Party ticket, FNC correspondent Jonathan Serrie reported: "For nearly a decade, McKinney's outspoken style rallied liberal voters in suburban Atlanta's heavily Democratic DeKalb County. But many thought she went too far during her fifth consecutive term when she accused President Bush of ignoring advanced warnings of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in order to profit from the resulting military build-up. ... She also faced mounting criticism for accepting campaign donations from people and groups allegedly expressing support for Islamic terrorism.
Serrie also recounted: "McKinney's exit from Georgia politics was less than graceful, with her supporters and bodyguards yelling racial and anti-Semitic statements at the media."
On the August 14, 2006, Special Report, FNC’s Jim Angle reported: "Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is condemning what she calls "some unfortunate remarks" including anti-Semitic slurs made by her supporters after her loss to challenger Hank Johnson last week. But she claims the men who made them were not formally associated with the campaign. McKinney calls the men ‘errant individuals at and near my campaign office,’ but neglects to mention that the men were part of a security detail that escorted McKinney in and out of the office that night."
On the August 10, 2006, Special Report, substitute anchor Chris Wallace reported: "The anti-Defamation League has condemned McKinney's entourage for anti-Semitic remarks in a scuffle with the media on Tuesday night including blaming Zionists for the loss and telling a Fox News producer who happens to be Jewish to ‘Put on your yarmulke and celebrate.’"
On the August 9, 2006, Special Report, correspondent Brian Wilson reported:
BRIAN WILSON: As she arrived to acknowledge the drubbing she had taken in the polls, her security guards, members of the new Black Panthers, scuffled with reporters. ... Some in McKinney's angry entourage referred to white reporters as crackers and her opponent as uncle Tom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got what you damn want. You got your uncle Tom, now go put the cameras on him.
WILSON: And some comments were anti-Semitic in nature.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ain't in Israel. This ain't no Lebanese people, back all up.
WILSON: Inside, Mckinney thanked supporters and sang along to a recording of an anti-war song by the artist Fake.
REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA): Minimum wage with a baby on the way, let me tell you about hard work.
WILSON: Afterwards, outside, more scuffling with the press. It got so rough that police were called in. Anti-Semitic invectives were hurled yet again in the direction of a Fox News producer who is Jewish.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to pray for you, child. I'm going to pray for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel, Zionists, you put your yarmulke on and celebrate.
On the September 11, 2002, Special Report, anchor Hume reported: "Not only did Cynthia McKinney, famous for her suggestion that President Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks, lose her House seat in a Democratic primary a couple of weeks ago, but her father has now lost his long-held seat in the state legislature as well. Billy McKinney, famous for his fiery and racially-charged defenses of his daughter, was beaten in a primary runoff by political newcomer John Noel, who is white. Said the elder McKinney of his defeat, quote, ‘They did not turn out for me. They wanted a Klansman, a son of the Confederacy.’ When his daughter lost, by the way, McKinney said she had been beaten by, quote, ‘J-E-W-S.’"
On the August 21, 2002, Special Report, correspondent Serrie reported: "During the campaign, McKinney took heat for comments she made implying President Bush ignored terrorist warnings before 9/11 and her acceptance of donations from groups expressing sympathy for Islamic terrorists. ... The Congresswoman's father, long-time Georgia legislator Billy McKinney, whose own reelection campaign is now in a run-off, fanned the flames before the primary when he accused his daughter's opponent of being bought by Jews. He later claimed he was referring to the Pro-Israel lobby when pressed by a Fox News producer.
On the August 19, 2002, Special Report, correspondent Serrie reported: "McKinney has many loyal followers in her suburban Atlanta district, but much of her support comes from out of state, from controversial figures like Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan."
On the August 12, 2002, Special Report, correspondent Orlando Salinas reported: "In the wake of 9/11, some critics believe McKinney went too far by refusing to give up campaign contributions from Muslims, hiring a campaign coordinator with close ties to the Nation of Islam, and accusing President Bush of ignoring warnings of the terrorist attacks in order to reap profits from the resulting military buildup..."
It is also noteworthy that on Fox News Sunday on August 4, 2002, anchor Tony Snow reported: "Representative Cynthia McKinney, who has accused President Bush of deliberately refusing to prevent the September 11 attacks because it will be good for his friend's businesses, now has some explaining to do herself. McKinney received a flood of donations September 11 from some controversial contributors. They included Abdul Rahim Al-Alamoodi, who has openly supported Hamas and Hezbollah, six men under federal investigation for terrorist ties, and a professor jailed for refusing to answer questions about a Hamas money-laundering operation. A McKinney aide says the contributions were collected several days earlier at a fund-raiser, but federal election law stipulates that candidates post donations the day of their arrival."On the April 26, 2002, Special Report, anchor Tony Snow reported: "Even though her Congressional Black Caucus colleagues have distanced themselves from Cynthia McKinney, because of comments about September 11, the Georgia Democrat hasn't backed down from controversial assertions that the White House failed to send warnings about the terrorist attacks. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have denounced her statements, yet her comments seem to have struck a chord with some. Her re-election campaign is flush with contributions."
Correspondent Serrie then reported: "But in the wake of 9/11, some critics believe that McKinney may have gone too far, refusing to give up campaign contributions from militant Islamic sympathizers and insinuating on a radio show that President Bush ignored warnings of the terrorist attacks, in order to reap profits from the resulting military buildup."
On the April 12, 2002, Special Report correspondent Serrie reported:
JONATHAN SERRIE: In a recent interview with a Berkeley, California radio station, the Democratic Congresswoman suggests the President helped his father, who sits on the board of a defense contracting firm.
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Where are the brakes on transparency and corruption that I see happening as a result of the fact that the President's father stands to make money off the very requests that the president has made?
During the same shows "Fox All Stars" segment, anchor Snow brought up her conspiracy theory accusation against President Bush. Snow: "Cynthia McKinney, Democrat of Georgia, had some interesting things to say about President Bush, actually about September 11th. Let's show you a couple. First, this is, by the way, was in a radio interview. ‘I'm not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9/11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case. For example, it is known,’ she continues, ‘that President Bush's father, through the Carlyle Group had, at the time of the attacks, joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since September 11.’"