Anderson Cooper closed one of five segments of his weeknightly CNN show that he recently devoted to attacking principally Rep. Michele Bachmann with a genuflection towards an iconic newsman, Edward R. Murrow. He deployed against her the gauntlet Murrow threw down to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in March 1954: “The line between investigating and persecuting is a [very] fine one.” If anyone has stepped over that line, however, it is Cooper himself, rather than the Minnesota congresswoman.
Night after night during the week of July 16th, the host of “Anderson Cooper 360” failed to meet even the most basic standards of investigative journalism. The irony is that, in his ill-concealed persecution of Mrs. Bachmann, Cooper has serially engaged in precisely the practices he pillories her and others for allegedly using, by his account, to destroy the reputation of the Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Muslim-American woman named Huma Abedin. Let us count the ways:
• Anderson Cooper insists that Michele Bachmann (who he singles out for most of his criticism, despite the fact that she was but one of five Members of Congress to raise concerns not only about Ms. Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, but those of a number of others the Obama administration has enlisted as officials, advisors and/or liaisons to “the Muslim community”) failed to do her homework. Yet, Cooper repeatedly showed his ignorance of the extensive evidence cited by the legislators, even as he mentioned the website where some of it resides: the Center for Security Policy’s online video course at www.MuslimBrotherhoodinAmerica.com.
• As he accused Rep. Bachmann of playing fast and loose with the facts, Cooper repeatedly mischaracterized the nature of the legislators’ request for five federal inspectors general to conduct investigations. He or his echo-chamber of exclusively like-minded guests complained that Ms. Abedin is accused of being a “spy” and engaging in “treason” and that she has been subjected to a groundless, bigoted and McCarthyite witch-hunt. Several of the reporters and interested parties who added color commentary (sometimes repeatedly) further demeaned Congresswoman Bachmann by asserting that she is simply engaging in partisan politics and fund-raising for her reelection campaign.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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