In the wake of reports that President Trump will repeal DACA, the executive order that protects 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, CNN hosted a debate on Monday morning. The participants were Democratic strategist Maria Cordona and Dan Stein, who was identified as the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). CNN did not mention FAIR’s deep roots in white supremacy, eugenics, and white nationalism. The organization was founded by John Tanton, who founded FAIR to keep America “a majority-white population.”
One of the developments stemming from 2016’s divisive Presidential campaign I find most distressing is the mainstream media’s normalizing of extremist viewpoints. In an effort to appear even-handed, some news outlets have decided to treat all opinions as equal and worthy of consideration. In some cases, that seems not unreasonable. In others, as when CNN hosts a panel including the President of an organization steeped in White supremacism, it represents a moral failing of the first order.
Not all viewpoints are equal, nor should they be treated as such. In the case of FAIR (a misnomer if ever there was one), CNN featured Stein on a discussion panel without disclosing what FAIR stands for, a sin of omission which can only help legitimize and normalize racism and bigotry. Welcome to our Brave New World, where everyone gets a seat at the table…because all opinions and viewpoints are considered equally valid. No matter how offensive and/or inhuman they might be.