The media has a double standard when it comes to scrutinizing politicians, Newsmax TV
host Steve Malzberg said Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources."
Trump is under fire for refusing to correct a man at a town hall meeting last week who said President Barack Obama was not a citizen and is a Muslim.
But Malzberg, who hosts "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, told CNN's Brian Stelter that Trump is far from alone in his assessment.
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"Fifteen percent in your own CNN poll of Democrats think he's a Muslim," Malzberg said. Forty-eight percent of all respondents in a CNN poll said they either believed Obama was a Muslim or weren't sure, he noted.
"Are they all racists? Are they all fanatics? Are they all hate-mongers?" Malzberg said. "The president can be perceived – and has been perceived – by many as being an Islamist sympathizer by his actions. Most of his Middle East policy favors the Muslim Brotherhood. He has a very rocky relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu."
Obama says he is a Christian, and Malzberg said he accepts that. He said he will believe Obama is a citizen unless "somebody shows me he's not."
But Obama's policies, both at home and abroad, are worth questioning, he said.
"He used the Prayer Breakfast in February to bring up the Crusades, right after Muslim terror attacks as if to say, 'Hey, these Muslim terror attacks aren't so bad; look what the evil Christians did,'" Malzberg said. "He's a very strange devout Christian by his actions and his policies. I think that's fair to say."
When Hillary Clinton was running against Obama in 2008, she asserted that Obama was a Christian, but added the caveat "as far as I know." Malzberg noted that the media doesn't focus on that, which he said was just as much as effort to cast doubt on Obama's background as Trump's.
"And Joe Biden said the president was the first clean, articulate black person to ever run for president. He got a pass on that," Malzberg added.
Trump's own words from a CNN interview earlier Sunday were clipped short on Stelter's show, Malzberg noted.
"The cut that you cut off at the end where Trump said there's a problem all over the world, he said specifically with radical Muslims. Radical. That wasn't portrayed in this cut, so that's not fair to Donald Trump," he said. "I'm not his defender, but I'm an expert in media bias."
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