Why is Geller - who called Obama a "third worlder" - on CNN?


CNN dubs itself the "most trusted name in news." However, the network has repeatedly demonstrated that its judgment in pundit selection is not to be trusted, frequently picking the most outrageous and inappropriate people to appear on its "unbiased" shows. After all, it was CNN that decided to give Glenn Beck his first shot at TV, and CNN that turned right-wing blogger Erick pull-a-gun-on-the-government Erickson into a TV pundit. It was CNN that repeatedly tested its "trusted name" by allowing and even defending Lou Dobbs' mainstreaming of the birthers, before finally realizing Dobbs was bad for the brand. In fact, not even criminals, or purveyors of bigoted or racially charged rhetoric give CNN bookers pause.

That's why it shouldn't have been a surprise to see Pamela Geller appear on CNN to discuss the proposed Muslim center to be built near Ground Zero:

Geller has practically made a cottage industry of anti-Islamic and otherwise extreme remarks. Her rhetoric is so out there that even the Conservative Political Action Conference attempted to separate itself from her (but not too far). However, even if the CNN bookers weren't familiar with her work, a quick search of Geller's website easily demonstrates that she's not someone to be taken seriously. After all as Media Matters' Ben Dimiero pointed out, in just the last few months:

  • In a post titled "Flying The Gangsta Colors At The White House: SEIU, The Color Purple," Geller pointed to several blue shirts and ties and called them "purple" to accuse President Obama of sending secret messages to the evil unions.
  • While lauding the NY Post for "pointing out the obvious," Geller promoted the ridiculous claim - debunked by Comedy Central - that the Nuclear Summit logo was mimicking an Islamic Crescent.
  • Geller regularly smears the President and the administration as anti-Semites over the administration's policies regarding Israel. She has said Gen. David Petraeus is pushing "jihadist rhetoric of Islamic anti-semites" and said Obama "wants jihad to win" and is a "third worlder and a coward" who's "appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords."
  • Despite regularly accusing the administration of anti-Semitism, Geller had no problem joining Fox Nation and several other conservative bloggers in borrowing an outlandish Obama smear from a blatantly anti-Semitic website.

If CNN wants to be taken seriously as "the most trusted name in news," it should really take more care with who it trusts to speak on-air.

Pamela Geller
CNN Newsroom
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