When a CBS News segment featuring a focus group of American Muslims aired Friday, it highlighted their relationship to terrorism, with a particular fixation on how much responsibility they felt to condemn terrorist attacks.
But in interviews with The Intercept, two Muslim Americans who took part in the group complained that CBS edited out parts of the discussion where they raised their own concerns — including critiques of U.S. militarism, surveillance, and entrapment.
They also said that Frank Luntz, the right-wing pollster who led the focus group, silenced members of the group when they criticized discriminatory U.S. government policies.
When Luntz asked the group how they respond to attacks such as the recent one in San Bernardino, New York City activist Amelia Noor-Oshiro told The Intercept she asked Luntz, “Why don’t you ask that to people who actually commit acts of terror? Why don’t you ask that to White America who are responsible for a majority of domestic terror attacks?”
That didn’t make it into the on-air segment.
Sarah Harvard, a New York City journalist who was in the group, wrote a lengthy Facebook post after the airing of the CBS segment where she noted that the total time spent filming was around an hour — and that the most telling exchanges were cut out.
For example, Harvard wrote that after Luntz asked the group whether they were Americans or Muslims first, she chose to demonstrate the offensive nature of the question by asking, “Well, are you an American or Jewish first?”
That didn’t make it on the air either.
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