The religious scholar who was grilled last week during an interview with Fox News said Wednesday that he actually has sympathy for the anchor who couldn’t stop questioning him over why he had the temerity to write a book about Jesus even though he’s a Muslim.
Reza Aslan said that while the conservative cable news empire has an “inherent anti-Muslim bias,” he actually feels bad for FoxNews.com anchor Lauren Green, who he suggested was simply relaying questions that were fed to her from a producer.
“Well, look, I watch Fox News, anyone who watches Fox News knows that they have an inherent anti-Muslim bias in their reporting and has been for quite some time,” Aslan told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner. “It’s very successful for them. I don’t actually blame them for it. They’re a commercial enterprise. They know how to sell a product and, frankly, fear sells a product. I do want to say one quick thing though. Look, I feel really bad for Lauren Green. You know this, Alex, anybody on your show knows this that Lauren was sitting there being yelled at by some producer in her ear.”
Aslan later said that he has anecdotal evidence that the interview, which has been widely circulated on the Internet, actually alienated Fox’s own audience.
“And one of the things that’s most satisfying about this is that I’m getting a lot of emails from conservatives, Fox News watchers, who are saying that this has turned them away,” Aslan said. “In a sense, this is kind of Fox News’ ‘jump the shark’ moment.”
As he said in an interview earlier this week, Aslan said he knew what to expect when he agreed to a Fox News interview.