It took until 2001 for the university to suspend al-Arian. They did so only after Bill O'Reilly interviewed al-Arian on Fox News in September 2001 and exposed his terrorist connections (which include his brother-in-law, who was deported in August 2002). Naturally, leftists complained that al-Arian's freedom of speech had been violated and that general academic freedom was in danger. Salon.com's Eric Boehlert went so far as to slander Fox News, NBC, Media General and Clear Channel Communications for "fudging the facts and ignoring the most rudimentary tenets of journalism in their haste to better tell a sinister story about lurking Middle Eastern dangers here at home." Boehlert called the accusations against al-Arian "discredited" and suggested that Bill O'Reilly was "McCarthy-like" in his interview for "clearly implying that he believed Al-Arian was a terrorist."
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