Anderson Cooper brought on fearmonger Frank Gaffney -- who, as Right Wing Watch reported, has been attacking the other guest during the segment, Suhail Kahn, as someone who has ties to "radical Islamists". I'm not sure why he thinks Gaffney needs any more face time in the media, since he surely gets enough over at Fox. But to his credit, Cooper did call Gaffney out for how weak his claims are and allowed him to be confronted by Kahn.
Cooper mentioned Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King's appearance on Gaffney's radio show. Our friends at Think Progress have more on that, and the witch hunt we get to look forward to now that King has taken the gavel there.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the new chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has promised to launch a series of investigations of Muslim Americans beginning in February. “I’ve made it clear that I’ll focus the committee on counterterrorism and hold hearings on a wide range of issues, including radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism,” he told Newsday. King has repeatedly said that he only wants to single out “Islamic terrorism” in his hearings on domestic security, and has even claimed that there are “too many mosques in this country.”
Joining anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney on Gaffney’s radio program last week, King doubled down on his promise to launch a witch-hunt against Muslims. He repeated a falsehood that he stated earlier — that American Muslims never cooperate to combat terrorism. But in addition to this claim, King made the extraordinary smear that American Muslims aren’t “American” when it comes to war. “[W]hen a war begins,” King said, every ethnic and religious group unites as “Americans.” “But in this case,” King continued, referring to Muslims, “this is not the situation. … Whether it’s cultural tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near to the extent that it should”.
More there from Think Progress, so go read the rest. Here's a portion of Right Wing Watch's reporting on Gaffney, much of which Cooper mentioned in his opening.
Incensed over the participation of the conservative gay-rights group GOProud in the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, far-right activists are now trying to connect the major conservative event to the Muslim Brotherhood. The American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts CPAC, has been the target of Religious Right groups and leaders over their handling of GOProud’s involvement, with Joseph Farah even calling for conservatives to “purge” the ACU from the movement. Already, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women For America, American Values, the American Principles Project, the Capital Research Center, the Center for Military Readiness, Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, and the National Organization for Marriage have announced their boycott of CPAC.
Now, the conservative news site WorldNetDaily, a major cheerleader for the groups boycotting CPAC, is giving right wing activist Frank Gaffney a platform to charge the ACU with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamist group. Gaffney is no stranger to conspiracy theories, as he previously claimed that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “amounts to a vote for reinstating the draft,” maintained that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is tied to an “ominous campaign” to “bring Shariah to America,” and said that Barack Obama is “America’s first Muslim president.” He is joined by WorldNetDaily’s Paul Sperry, who wrote a book asserting that radical Muslims were infiltrating the government through the congressional internship program.
Gaffney outlines a theory that since the ACU is allowing the leader of an organization known as Muslims for America, a conservative group with ties to the GOP, to participate in CPAC, the ACU is supporting a “stealthy effort to bring Shariah” to America. He is also outraged that Grover Norquist, the head of the highly influential Americans for Tax Reform and a GOProud board member, is involved in CPAC as well. But mostly, Gaffney directs his vitriol at Suhail Khan, the chairman of the Conservative Inclusion Coalition. Both Khan and Norquist are ACU board members, and in 2009 Khan received the Young Conservatives Coalition’s Buckley Award at CPAC. But according to Gaffney, Khan has ties to radical Islamists and, along with Norquist, wants to promote a “seditious totalitarian political program” in the U.S.