The controversy behind CNN’s "God’s Warriors" continues. On the October 4 edition of "Fox and Friends First" guest Alex Safian, Associate Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), spoke out against Christiane Amanpour’s special and its equating of Islamists with devout Jews and Christians.
Safian noted the absurdity of comparing those responsible for atrocities worldwide with devout Jews and Christians. When questioned if CNN has an agenda he responded, "I think [Christiane Amanpour] and her production team have an agenda" which he claims is "anti-Israel," "anti-Christian," and "white washes Islam."
Safian noted that CAMERA is actively pressuring CNN to fix its many errors and says that while CNN is saying they are "listening, and they’re looking at it" he has not "seen any real action yet," confident that "they’ve been re-broadcasting at least some of the segments apparently untouched and unchanged."
The entire transcript is below.
STEVE DOOCY: Welcome back. Some critics are saying the CNN series "God's Warriors" not the Cable News Network's finest hour, and now one group is calling on CNN to fix its mistakes.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Alex Safian joins from us boston. Set associate director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Alex, thanks for being here. We don't have time to touch on all of the many issues that that you had with Christiane Ammanpour’s special. So why don’t you just tell us what you believe was the most egregious factual error in this documentary, "God's Warriors?"
ALEX SAFIAN, CAMERA ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Well, there were so many of them. I think the most important thing is just doing a series where you build it around these terms God's Christian Warriors, Muslim Warriors, and Jewish Warriors equates people who are devout Jews and devout Christians with Islamists, with Muslim warriors who have killed 100,000 people in Algeria, at least 200,000 people in Darfur recently, thousands of people in America, thousands of people in Israel, bombings in London, in Spain, in Bali, basically all around the world. And to equate that kind of violence that has been, that has been carried out by Islamists with, you know, a Christian college where, where students are supposed to dress modestly and Christiane Ammanpour compares that to the Taliban is really way over the line.
DOOCY: Alex, you write an editorial and you say that -- you talk about how the documentary that CNN did called "God's Jewish Warriors" was, in your words, "the most poisonously biased, and factually shoddy air featured in mainstream American television in recent memory." Does CNN have an agenda here?
SAFIAN: Well, I think Christiane Ammanpour has an agenda. I think she and her production team have an agenda.
DOOCY: Which is what?
SAFIAN: Well, I think it’s very anti-Israel. I think it also is really -- it’s anti-religious. It was anti-Christian believers as well as was obvious from the Christian segment. And it's really white washing Islam to a large degree. It's really trying to take the edge off of Islamism which, which has led to all of this terrible violence around the world and is a real threat to peaceful people everywhere.
CAMEROTA: And Alex, you’ve taken out a full-page ad and you’ve called upon CNN to correct some of these, what you say are factual errors. What has CNN’s response been to you?
SAFIAN: Well, so far they’ve said they are listening and they’re looking at it, and they’re considering things, but I haven't seen any real action yet. I know they’ve been re-broadcasting at least some of the segments apparently untouched and unchanged. I saw the, the "Muslim Warrior's" segment the other night. But we’ve also appealed to -- we’ve had our members, 60,000 strong, appeal to advertisers who were featured on the program. Many of those advertisers were very upset that they were on the program. They didn't know they were going to be on such a program, and they have contacted CNN in no uncertain terms and said we didn't want to be on that program, we don't want to be on that program. And some of them have asked for makeup advertising and are getting it. So it is costing CNN money, which is a good thing. Maybe it will get their attention that way.
DOOCY: Alright, Alex, if people want more information do you have a web site?
SAFIAN: Yes, www.camera.org. We’ve got videos there showing just how biased the series is and some of the problems that really need to be corrected by CNN if they want to be taken seriously as a news outlet.