Alleged Bias Against Middle Eastern Prof Pitt Law Dean Will No Longer Appear On TV Station
Mar 13, 2017 09:30 AM EDT
A professor of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law says he was passed over as a guest on a local CBS affiliate news show because he is Iraqi-American and a Muslim. William M. Carter Jr., the dean of the law school and a constitutional scholar, responded to the allegations by saying that he will no longer appear on KDKA-TV programming.
Haider Ala Hamoudi, who centers on Middle Eastern and Islamic Law in his academic work at Pitt Law School, was suggested as a guest for KDKA last month, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A KDKA producer asked a school spokeswoman for professors to discuss on a TV panel pertaining the initial travel ban order issued by President Donald Trump's administration.
Hamoudi, who later contacted the station, said the producer asked a Pitt Law School spokeswoman "what he was". The spokeswoman listed his academic-related titles, but the producer responded that she could not have a Middle Eastern man on the panel.
He also claimed that that the producer who was putting together a KD/ PG Sunday Edition program, asked the school spokeswoman for two specific Pitt Law School professors, both of whom are white men. Hamoudi said that neither of them has an immigration law background while the station maintains that the producer was looking for two immigration lawyers.
Hamoudi has a brief history of working with the U.S. State Department to help Iraq draft its new constitution. He mentioned of a talk he recently gave pertaining the travel ban covered by Pennsylvania's Indiana Gazette, asserting that it's not a subject he is unfamiliar with.
Meanwhile, the station's news director, Anne Linaberger, wrote in an email to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette saying, "We are surprised and disappointed that the Pitt Law School and Professor Hamoudi allege that we demonstrated religious bias when we declined to have him participate." It's not the absolute truth, she said.