The Coalition Against Hate, along with 34 of its partner organizations, sent a letter to the heads of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC to express a deep concern regarding the lack of inclusion of Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, Asian-American, and LGBTQ guests on morning political talk shows.
The Coalition Against Hate stressed that this is especially important at a time when these communities are disproportionately impacted by the political climate, including, as targets of a growing wave of hate crimes.
The letter reads, in part: "At a time when our communities continue to be the victims of hate crimes, the media must do better in representing the broad spectrum of America. Hate crimes in nine U.S. metropolitan areas rose more than 20 percent last year, seemingly fueled by passions inflamed during the presidential campaign and by an increased willingness of victims to step forward and report hate crimes when they occur."
"National media and news networks are failing to fairly represent and include American Muslim community spokespersons and their authentic voices while discussing and chronicling the Muslim experience in the U.S. This imbalanced coverage combined with offering airtime to public officials and so-called experts that express views hostile towards Muslims and Islam have contributed to the recent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes," said Robert S. McCaw, director of government affairs department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). "Networks must work harder to include Muslim representation and avoid providing platforms to those who would condition Americans to fear and hate their Muslim neighbors."
"Today, more than ever, news organizations have a responsibility to inform the public and hold our leaders to account. In an environment where hateful and divisive rhetoric has been used by those in power to encourage violence against disenfranchised communities and to stoke fear, news media outlets are failing in that mission if some people-particularly those under attack-are excluded from the conversation. Our country is rich with people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and their voices should not be overlooked in our public forums," said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.
"The cable networks must do better at bringing in experts from vulnerable communities to express our views on the many issues facing our nation. We demand it. Combined, we are over 40% of the nation's population and to exclude us from expressing our points of view is a disservice to us and the rest of the nation," said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
The Coalition Against Hate requested a meeting with the head of the networks to discuss constructive solutions, and strongly suggests that the networks take action in the immediate future to ensure that the morning shows host discussions and debates that more accurately reflect our nation's diverse demographics.