Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Blog

It is difficult to find humor in Chairman Peter King’s planned congressional hearings targeting the Muslim community in the US, particularly in light of King’s history of making sweeping statements about American Muslims and extremism. But humor made its way through yesterday, when Politico shared the outburst of Islamophobe Steve Emerson over discovering that he will not be called on as a witness during the hearings. The irony was apparently not lost on Emerson when he invoked “McCarthyism” to describe his exclusion from these hearings.

In what reads like a middle school temper tantrum, Emerson said:

Since you apparently believe that Keith Ellison is a better witness on Islamic radicalism than me, and since you think that Ellison is a better friend than me, I don’t know what the purpose of the meeting is for today […] I was even going to bring in a special guest today and a VERY informed and connected source, who could have been very useful, possibly even critical to your hearing, but he too will not attend unless I do […] If asked, I certainly will let the media know of my new thoughts and feelings about what has transpired. And I will certainly let our supporters around the country know of my new thoughts.

Perhaps the most interesting fact that came from Emerson’s letter is the extent to which Congressman King relied on him in preparing for the hearings. “I have dutifully worked with your staff in trying to help you prepare for these meetings,” wrote Emerson. Congressman King confirms this, saying:

The fact is that Steve Emerson has been extremely helpful to me over the years providing information and support. I was anticipating this same level of cooperation and support in preparation for the upcoming radicalization hearing which is why my staff was in repeated contact with him and I was scheduled to meet with him this afternoon… I assumed that Steve Emerson would support these hearings and provide my staff and me with information and ideas.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Congressman Peter King relied on the work of a professional Islamophobe in putting these hearings together and "over the years."  Once we look past the humor in the absurdity of this latest development, it is clear that the very concerns we have had about Chairman King and his hearings are very well founded.