Congressman Pete King, the head of the House’s Homeland Security Committee, has been generating some media buzz recently with his forceful rejection of a Democratic amendment which would restricting federal funding from police forces declared to be discriminatory by the Attorney General. While the amendment wouldn’t directly impact the NYPD, the subtext of the legislation was clearly intended to send a message regarding the Muslim-surveillance controversy unearthed by The Associated Press earlier this year. And on a recent CNN discussion, Mr. King pushed back hard when The New Yorker‘s Ryan Liza tried to give credit to The AP’s report.
“First off, there is no profiling, that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating,” Mr. King stated flatly when the topic was broached.
“I’m not propagating anything I’m just telling you that there’s been some very legitimate questions raised about what the NYPD is doing!” Mr. Lizza shouted back.
“I’m telling you that there is no profiling, so I want you take that back!,” Mr. King countered. “There is no profiling, you have no evidence of profiling at all. They use terms like profiling [and] spying — casually and cavalierly — and you don’t know what you’re talking about. … You’re passing it on as if it’s legitimate.”
Mr. Lizza started to insist that his questions were legitimate, only to have Mr. King overtake the discussion again.
“They are not legitimate, they’re illegitimate,” he again stressed. “They’re irresponsible charges to make.”
As the show’s host began to switch the discussion to the Secret Service’s prostitution scandal, Mr. King made one last point about Mr. Lizza, saying, “He can say whatever he wants, he’s wrong.”