It was only a matter of time before the right-wing media really sunk their teeth into the fact that the alleged Fort Hood shooter was a Muslim and jumped to what, in their minds, could be the only logical conclusion: It’s time to consider whether Muslims in the military should be subject to special screenings.
On "Fox and Friends" Friday morning, Brian Kilmeade cut right to the chase, asking Geraldo Rivera the following question:
Do you think it’s time for the military to have special debriefings of Muslim army officers, civilians, of anybody enlisted, because if I’m gonna be deployed in a foxhole, if I’m gonna be sticking in an outpost, I gotta know that the guy next to me isn’t gonna kill me?
(Video, via Media Matters, is below.)
To his credit, Geraldo initially backed away, instead discussing the value and achievements of Muslims in the military. For a moment, it seemed like some modicum of reason had crept in. That feeling didn't last long. Gretchen Carlson immediately shot back with the following question:
Could it be that the military—because our society, let’s just face it, our society has become very politically correct—could it be that the military was also exercising political correctness, even though he had a poor performance report and even though he spoke openly about being a radical Muslim and had those supposed postings online, could it be that the military was exercising political correctness in not approaching him as seriously as they would have had he not been a Muslim?
At that point, Geraldo abandoned any brief flirtation with objectivity, and whole-heartedly agreed with the claim that the military was exercising undue political correctness. He then went on to scornfully describe the military as “basically civil servants in uniform” which, as a bureaucratic government agency, has (God forbid!) “human resources” and “procedures.”
He, more than anyone, should know.