CBS offered response to Giuliani's "Free Speech" segment -- but still no Democrats or progressives

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured a Muslim American in its "Free Speech" segment following commentary by Rudy Giuliani and Rush Limbaugh, but after six of the segments, the program has still not offered a Democratic or progressive take on national security.

As Media Matters for America noted, the first week of "Free Speech" segments on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured commentary on national security from nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- both of whom praised the Bush administration's terror policies -- but featured no Democrats or progressive media personalities or pundits offering their views on the subject.

On the September 12 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric presented that day's "Free Speech" segment as a response to Giuliani's comments from the previous broadcast, saying: "In our 'Free Speech' segment last night, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked about the need to press ahead with the war against Islamic terrorists. Tonight, you'll hear from an Islamic American" -- Ahmed Younis, national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who spoke about how Muslim Americans "can help win this international war on terror if you include us in the fight."

Couric also noted that CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer will be featured in the September 13 "Free Speech" -- bringing to seven the total of "Free Speech" segments without a Democratic or progressive take on national security.

From the September 12 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

COURIC: In our "Free Speech segment" last night, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked about the need to press ahead with the war against Islamic terrorists. Tonight you'll hear from an Islamic American -- there are as many as 7 million in this country -- about how he believes they can help win the war. Ahmed Younis is national director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

YOUNIS: I was recently in the desert of Central Asia on a trek through old Soviet territory when an 80-year-old imam asked me whether Muslims in America are feeling the backlash of 9-11.

I realized again at that moment, as I had on other trips, that the story of the American Muslim is a core element of our winning hearts and minds in the international war on terror. Muslims around the world look at how we American Muslims are doing and make judgments about our country. Their biggest question: "Can Muslims thrive in a Western society? Can Muslims thrive in the United States of America?"

The answer is yes.

And we can help win this international war on terror if you include us in the fight. What many Americans might not realize is that the Muslim community already has effective partnerships with the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies to ensure that terrorists don't harm our nation again. That kind of cooperation will not only help Muslims fit into America, but also send the message to Muslims overseas that America is a place where Islam can be practiced freely. And that in itself is a major victory in the war on terror.

As an American Muslim, I am committed to the values of reason, mercy, justice, equality, and humanity. Those are American values. They are also Quranic values.

I am a Muslim, but I am also an American and a patriot.

COURIC: Tomorrow night on "Free Speech," Bob Schieffer.

Network/Outlet
CBS
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CBS Evening News
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Rudy Giuliani, 2008 Elections
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