What is wrong with CNN these days?
Whether it's host John Vause claiming someone in Paris' Muslim community must have known about the terror attacks in advance and failed to come forward, or the network providing a platform for blogger Michael Scheuer to advocate for bombing universities and hospitals as a way to fight Islamic State militants, CNN is sounding more and more like Fox than the "most trusted name in news."
The latest: On Monday, CNN anchor Carol Costello asked Hamtramck, Michigan, Mayor Karen Majewski whether she was "afraid" of the rising political power of Muslims in her city.
"So, mayor, I will start with you. You govern a majority-Muslim American city. Are you afraid?" Costello said.
"No, I'm not afraid," Majewski said.
The exchange continued:
Majewski: We have, as of our last election, which was a couple of weeks ago, we elected a Muslim-majority council. Whether the demographics of the city would say that we're a Muslim-majority city, I think we're -- I don't think that we're there yet. I think we're probably somewhere in the 40 percent Muslim for the city overall. But our city council that will take office in January will be a majority-Muslim council.
Costello: So does that concern some of your citizens?
Majewski: You know, the issues for -- we're a small city. We're 23,000, 24,000 people. We're 2.2 square miles. The issues for most of our residents are, can we ... can we fix the streets? You know, will the street lights ... the street light that's out in front of my house, can we get that fixed? They're local issues. And the ... the ... there's not a kind of level of fear that we hear when we talk about this on a national level. Really, our city council and our residents are most concerned with the day-to-day issues that affect their life when they walk out their front door.
The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers has come to the defense of the CNN anchor, arguing that Costello may have been referencing earlier comments that Majewski made to the Post.
"There's definitely a strong feeling that Muslims are the other," Majewski told the paper in an article published Nov. 21. "It's about culture, what kind of place Hamtramck will become. There's definitely a fear, and to some degree, I share it."
Perhaps Costello was aware of that earlier remark, but she didn't clue her viewers in to it. All they heard was a journalist suggesting that in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, living in a city with a large Muslim population might well inspire fear in an elected official. At least she had to ask.
This is just the latest incident to invite criticism of CNN. The network recently suspended a reporter who said the Statue of Liberty "bowed [her] head in anguish" after Republican lawmakers voted to make it more difficult for Syrian refugees to seek safe haven in the United States. The network had taken no action, however, when the same reporter criticized President Barack Obama for "wining [sic] about criticism instead of presenting ideas on how deal w/ #Isis global expansion" -- or when another reporter asked the president, "Why can't we take out these bastards?"
In a recent interview, Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept took the network to task on its own airwaves for its coverage in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
"Well, I think that CNN has actually unfortunately led the way in this," Greenwald said. "You've had one intelligence official with the CIA, or formerly with the CIA after the next go on air and able to say all kinds of extremely dubious claims that print journalists have repeatedly documented in Bloomberg News and The New Yorker, on the New York Times editorial page [that] are totally false."