CNN contributor Dean Obeidallah told CNN during Sunday evening’s live coverage of the apparent terror attack outside a mosque in Finsbury Park in London that Breitbart News was to blame for inciting the attack.
Obeidallah, a former attorney and part-time comedian, was asked about what the media can to do “de-escalate the animosity” in society. He answered:
You see it on Fox News, you see on the Breitbarts out there, really demonizing Muslims, portraying us as threats to America. You have people in the White House now like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka. You had Michael Flynn — who is no longer part of the administration, who was on the board of directors for ACT for America, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the biggest anti-Muslim group in America. You have Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, got an award last year from ACT for America. So you have a direct line from the White House to anti-Muslim bigotry. I really hope as a nation we can take a step back and stop over-sensationalizing hate. We saw a horrific attack this week on a member of Congress. Other members of Congress could have been hurt. It’s part and parcel of the same thing. It’s demonizing, ginning up fear, irrationally ginning up fear, and people responding in the worst way possible. So, I’m concerned.
Last year, Obeidallah falsely blamed a “far-right activist” for a hit-and-run attack against a Muslim woman in Belgium. When confronted about his error, he tweeted: “go f*ck urself.”
On Sunday evening, he took to Twitter to defend his commentary on CNN against someone who complained:
While suggesting that Breitbart News and the White Houseare responsible for anti-Muslim violence, Obeidallah has pushed back recently on the idea that liberal media inspired the mass shooting at a Republican baseball practice last week.
In an essay on CNN, he argued that Trump supporters were hypocrites for criticizing a production of Julius Caesar in New York City’s Central Park that featured a President Trump lookalike being assassinated, because past productions elsewhere featured Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton lookalikes in the title role.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.