Skip to main content

CBS Radio Reporter Cheers the State's Ability to 'Punish the Filmmaker' for Upsetting Muslims?

Tim Graham's picture

Conservative message boards are buzzing about a CBS Radio newscast on Friday in which CBS reporter Dan Raviv expresses relief that the Obama administration can look to the Muslim nations and suggest it can crack down on free speech. After the anchor noted the maker of the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" trailer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is still in jail for a probation violation, Raviv said, "Now at least federal authorities might be able to punish the filmmaker."

Is this the way CBS News reveres freedom of speech? Is Raviv unaware that he sounds like he supports punishing those who speak ill of Muhammad? (The MP3 is here. Transcript below)

ANCHOR (Steve Kathan): The man behind the anti-Islam video that sparked outrage in the Muslim world is still in jail in Los Angeles. It's for a probation violation.

RAVIV: I'm Dan Raviv in Washington. The short movie posted on YouTube has had a lot of diplomatic impact. It was *clearly* designed to insult the Prophet Mohammed, and a senior Obama administration official told CBS News last week that no one in the Middle East seems to believe that the US government could not stop the film from getting out. Now at least Federal authorities might be able to *punish* the filmmaker."

ANCHOR The Dow is down 69. This is CBS News.

The Los Angeles Times reported the probation violation, but it seems like lying about the film could easily be painted by Obama's diplomats as punishing Nakoula for the film:

Nakoula was arrested Thursday on suspicion of violating the terms of his probation, including allegedly lying about his role in the film's production.

Nakoula's attorney argued in court Thursday that his client would be in danger at the downtown Metropolitan Detention Center because of what he said was a large Muslim population at the lockup. But prosecutors said he would be in protective custody, and the judge agreed to send him there...

Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal ordered Nakoula detained, citing a "lengthy pattern of deception" by the man, adding that he poses "some danger to the community." Nakoula could face up to three years behind bars.

The hearing occurred amid high security, with the public allowed to watch only through a video feed in a separate courthouse blocks away. Before his arrest, Nakoula and his family had been in hiding, and his attorney said he had received threats to his safety.

Nakoula, who was on supervised release from a 2010 conviction for bank fraud, faces eight charges of probation violation, including making false statements to authorities about the film. When probation officials questioned him about the video, Nakoula allegedly claimed his role was limited to writing the script, and he denied ever using the same "Sam Bacile" in connection with the film, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Robert Dugdale.

Dugdale said there is evidence Nakoula's role in making "Innocence of Muslims" was "much more expansive" than penning the script. Prosecutors said Nakoula could face new criminal charges for lying to federal officials.