This morning on NPR’s popular comedy show, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, a segment aired where a contestant had to choose which of three strange news stories was actually true. One of the (false) options concerned conservative commentator Michelle Malkin. The NPR show joked that, after Malkin had advertised her belief that President Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that she believes other “secret Muslims” are “taking over this country,” she found, to her dismay, that her own grandfather was a Muslim.
First of all, while the humor of this segment was based on the idea that Malkin must be a hypocrite with a Muslim relative (which even the show acknowledged was untrue), the setup was based on the premise as I described it above, which the narrator clearly presented as factual.
I’ve followed Malkin’s blog and columns for years now, and she has never said that President Obama is a Muslim, nor does she believe that Muslims, “secret” or otherwise, are somehow “taking over this country.” While she does report on multiethnic strife in many areas of the world, including ours, as a result of political correctness and lack of assimilation, nothing she has ever written comes close to the bizarre, mean caricature aired this morning on NPR.
But NPR’s mistake goes far beyond mere slander. Their joke targeted the family of a specific conservative at a time when that specific conservative’s family is suffering a tragedy. Quite a coincidence. It’s been two weeks since Malkin’s cousin Marizela Perez went missing, possibly the victim of a kidnapping. Malkin has used her media presence tirelessly since then to help find her young relative. Either NPR and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me are not nearly as well-informed in their news awareness as they’d like us to believe, or they cruelly decided to go ahead with a particularly tasteless joke.
Ironically, just before this segment aired, they made fun of Gilbert Gottfried getting fired for his tasteless jokes about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Pot, meet kettle.
Malkin has repeatedly noted NPR’s recent controversies regarding their bias and the recent vote to end their federal funding. Do political differences justify emotionally torturing someone’s family during their time of heatrache, NPR? Classy.
Will NPR apologize to Malkin for tormenting her about her family’s painful tragedy? Will they then use their own resources to help find her cousin Marizela?
I’m calling on all of us to contact NPR and ask them to do exactly that. Nothing less would be decent.
Malkin’s most recent posting about her missing cousin is here.
Audio archive of the NPR show is here.
Fill out this form to contact NPR and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.