The three major U.S. cable news channels rarely invited Muslim guests on air to talk about President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, a new report shows.
On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order that indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S., shuts down the whole refugee program for 120 days and bars all immigrants and visitors from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen ― all Muslim-majority countries ― from entering the U.S.
From Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 ― while heartbreaking stories surfaced of border officials detaining and deporting people or stranding them at airports overseas ― CNN, Fox News and MSNBC invited just 12 Muslims as on-air guests during primetime hours, according to the report from the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.
CNN hosted seven Muslim guests, MSNBC hosted two, and Fox News hosted five (all during a single episode of “The First 100 Days”). Two of the guests appeared on programs twice, meaning there were 14 total guest appearances by 12 Muslims.
Those 14 guest appearances represented a small fraction of the 176 guest appearances on the news networks from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on those five nights, when Trump’s Muslim ban dominated the national conversation.