Skip to main content

Chicago anchor firing lights fires

The firing of Lebanese-American newsman Mike Monseur at Chicago cable news network Chicagoland Television has drawn the ire of Arab-American activists who have created a protest-Web site. bills itself as "Your 24 hour source for discriminatory information and bigotry news." The site gives an account of Mike Monseur's problems with cltv and suggests various ways to protest, providing management and advertiser contacts and mention of a legal fund.

The protesters assert the veteran reporter was fired because of his ethnic background and because he pressed for more coverage of the area's Arab-American community. There may have been some bad blood left over from an unsuccessful attempt at unionizing, he said, but his real trouble began when a brief article about him mentioned that he was Arab-American and active in that community.

His managers commented on it at the time, he said, and it was downhill from there as he pressed for more coverage and participated in community events.

Cltv CEO Denise Palmer said: "Cltv strongly disputes the negative actions and comments attributed to cltv on this Web site. Cltv does not discriminate against its employees on any illegal basis, including national origin or union affiliation."

Monseur said he has nothing to do with the site-which links to an online résumé-and although he appreciates the support, he worries about backlash. "There are going to be some station managers turned off by this." To any job in Chicago, he says, he would bring a community 450,000 strong.

Said supporter Ray Hanania, a former Sun-Times reporter, now publisher of The Arab American View. "Can I say absolutely that it's bigotry? No. But it must be explored."