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Gayle King Plays Up Columnist's Fear of 'Backlash' Against Muslims; He Also Took Far Left to Task

Gayle King, CBS News Anchor; Screen Cap From 22 April 2013 Edition of CBS This Morning | MRC.orgOn Monday's CBS This Morning, open liberal Gayle King ballyhooed a guest's fear that Americans might target Muslims in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. The news host thought it was "very important" to point out Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen's "concern about a backlash", and quoted Cullen's assertion that "these two don't speak for Muslims any more than I speak for overweight Irish-American guys who like to play hockey." [audio available here; video below]

King didn't mention, however, that Cullen also took aim at the blame-America-first portion of the left in his Sunday column: "I was on an NPR show...and a caller...started talking about how we've got to look in the mirror and ask what we as Americans have done to create angry young men like this. I almost drove off the road. No one who lost their life or their limbs on Boylston Street last Monday did anything to create angry young men like this."

The Obama-boosting TV personality singled out this portion of Cullen's piece near the end of an interview segment with the writer. After briefly joking about his "overweight Irish-American guys" line, the columnist stated that "it appears that the older brother in this case had a very extreme, perverted form of Islam. And, obviously...the vast majority of Muslims would never embrace anything like that, and I think that's important...it would dishonor and disrespect the victims that anybody would reach out and hurt or belittle a Muslim because of this. That's wrong, and it shouldn't happen, and I hope it doesn't happen."

Cullen does a valid point about "the vast majority of Muslims", but he overlooks something that Mollie Hemingway of GetReligion blog underlined in August 2011 – that while 81 percent of Muslims in the U.S. "said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians were never justified in order to protect their religion" – according Pew Research Center poll that year – she concluded that "knowing that 1 in 5 American Muslims say suicide bombings and other acts of terror are OK isn't exactly the best news I can imagine."

It should be pointed out, though, that the Boston Globe columnist devoted many more words in his column to taking the far left to task. After voicing his concern about a "backlash against Muslims", Cullen quickly added, "But please, spare me the guilt....At least let us bury our dead first. At least let us heal our wounded....Then maybe I'll listen to 'what did we do to make them hate us' claptrap. Then maybe I'll go to some soul-searching debate about how our foreign policy is screwed up and how we're creating too many enemies and too few allies. But then, maybe I won't."

It appears that King was too busy zeroing in on the liberal line in the column to mention her guest's larger argument blasting the hand-wringing amongst her ideological fellow travelers.

The transcript of the relevant portion of the Kevin Cullen segment from Monday's CBS This Morning:

GAYLE KING: You also talk about your concern about a backlash, which-

KEVIN CULLEN, BOSTON GLOBE COLUMNIST: Yeah-

[CBS News Graphic: "Painful And Personal: Columnist Reflects On Bombing One Week Later"]

KING: I think is very important to say. You said, 'These two don't speak for Muslims any more than I speak for overweight Irish-American guys who like to play hockey'.

CULLEN: Thank you very much, Gayle- (Anthony Mason laughs)

KING: You wrote it. I didn't-

CULLEN: (laughs) No, I'm serious – absolute –

KING: But you are concerned about – yes-

CULLEN: I'm very – yeah. I think everybody's concerned, because to – you know, we can't help in our business but identify, because, obviously, we're looking for motive, and it appears that the older brother in this case had a very extreme, perverted form of Islam. And, obviously, most – the vast majority of Muslims would never embrace anything like that, and I think that's important. We can't – to me, it would dishonor and disrespect the victims that anybody would reach out and hurt or belittle a Muslim because of this. That's wrong, and it shouldn't happen, and I hope it doesn't happen.

KING: Yeah. You are quoted as saying, listen, in Boston, we believe three things: politics, sports, and revenge.

CULLEN: Yes – and when I say 'revenge', I don't – there's no violent intent. You know, the revenge will be the laughter of our children. We are not going to let this affect us. We're going – we're not – we're going to be different, but we're going to be better. I believe that-

NORAH O'DONNELL: Kevin Cullen, thank you for being here.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.