Earlier today, I posted, via Mediaite, a Daily Show segment with Wayne Allyn Root, the one-time Libertarian Party office-seeker, best-selling author, and gambling/investment guru (his website is here). During the bit, Root complains against IRS profiling of anti-government taxpayers and groups but speaks in favor of profiling of certain racial, ethnic, and religious groups. It's a classic Daily Show set-up, in which the interviewer ends up looking pretty bad, though in a humorous way. I can't imagine any subject wouldn't know that's going to happen going in.
You can read that post and watch the video here.
I just received the following email from Root, which I'm happy to publish in its entirety:
I'm really surprised at you Nick.
I do over 1000 interviews annually.
The reason most hosts have me back again and again is I give great interview…and their audience loves me.
Only once in the past year has media literally committed fraud…The Daily Show.
That was a TWO HOUR interview in a broiling hot room…with bright lights hitting me in the face…
with Daily Show doing same questions over and over again…asking me to re-start my answers…or to answer slightly different…
Obviously so they could take 1 answer completely out of context…and use smiles and nods from different questions completely out of context…
That's by any definition fraud.
I wasn't there to discuss profiling. I was there only to discuss the IRS scandal. After two hours in that hot room they suddenly brought up profiling by police…
And you NEVER saw my answers, now did you?
Because I gave very fine answers…they didn't want you to hear that.
Nor did you hear me converse with the 3 guests of Muslim, African American, or Hispanic origin they brought on the show, did you?
We agreed on 90% of our discussion.
They committed FRAUD by only using the sentence or two they wanted to.
Then they left out the most important part…where they asked the Muslim woman how to resolve these difficult issues…
And she said…"I like what Wayne Root says. I think we should elect him and give him a chance to solve these problems."
After 30 minutes of discourse…a Muslim female agreed with most of what I believe and boldly supported me on camera…
And it was never shown.
Would you call that fraud? Staging? Media hypocrisy? Whatever words you'd choose…it's wrong.
My interview was a very good interview…until it turned out they only had me there to interogate me for 2 hours and use 30 seconds to stage the responses they wanted (ewith multiple takes)…and edit all of it out of context.
And you fell for it? You've obviously never had that done to you.
If you had, you'd be sick and angry.
Feel free to print my response.
I do 1000 to 1200 interviews per year…and you decide to only skewer me with ONE…and that one is a staged set-up. You wonder why the public sees the media more negatively than even politicians.
And here's a follow-up email from Root:
You might also mention the worst part of this "journalism"…where in the interview did I state I support profiling? I didn't. I stated loudly on multiple occasions in the interview that I do not support profiling based on race, religion, or any other genetic criteria. I do support Israel's system at airports…which has resulted in no successful terrorist attack EVER on an El Al airplane. America should be looking at that system and adopt the best and most realistic parts.
Israel's system is NOT based on race, but rather knowledge of terrorist's "tells." Israel has stated on many occasions that they do not profile Muslim men, as an example, because if they did a Norwegian blonde woman would be used. They look at everyone and try to analyze everything from blinking eyes to tapping feet to sweating…that might indicate a person is overly nervous. As an example they stopped my daughter on her way back from a visit to Israel last year and pulled her out of the line and asked her many questions. She is white, Jewish and American. But if she is to fly safely that is the price to pay. That is not "profiling" nor is it in any way wrong.
I stated that at least a dozen times in the interview…and told the Muslim woman sitting opposite me that I do not support her being stopped "for being Muslim" nor do I accept African Americans being stopped for DWB (Driving While Black). They should only be stopped if the police notices they are exhibiting strange actions- and that goes for me or anyone else. The color of their skin should not enter into it.
So explain to me why none of that appeared in the interview? Because those answers did notr fit the agenda of The Daily Show.
How about the when the interviewer asked the 3 guests for their opinion of me…and all 3 said something nice. The director said, "Cut. C'mon guys. This is supposed to be funny. Please say something funny or negative about Wayne. Like 'rich white guy" or "Fox News guy."
And then they turned the camera back on…and each guest said something negative about me.
And I protested. They must have realized they could not use that…because I witnessed it being staged, so they never used that.
Now do you understand the fraud and corruption of the media?
They don't report the news…they try to MAKE it, no matter who they hurt.
And when it was over…everyone from producer to reporter said what a good sport I was and I'm the only conservative willing to come on the show.
Well now we know why.
I never turn down media. I say YES to all of the invitations. I walk into the lion's den again and again. That takes great courage and chutzpah. Well I won't be saying yes to Daily Show ever again. They burned this bridge.
After a quick search of the Google, I found this 2010 piece by Root in which he calls for the abolition of the TSA, and privatized "terrorist threat profiling" by airlines while explicitly admonishing racial profiling. A snippet:
…private airlines can best prevent terrorism by adopting the Israeli model of PROFILING. No, not racial profiling, but rather "terrorist threat profiling." No need to argue—it works to perfection.
Here's an interview Matt Welch did with Wayne Allyn Root for Reason TV at the 2009 Freedom Fest (note: Root left the LP in 2012).