John Gibson melts down, threatens to sue AU's Rob Boston
Reported by Chrish - December 21, 2005
John Gibson lost it on The Big Story today 12/21/05 when Rob Boston of Americans United for Seperation of Church and State called his ridiculous "war" on Christmas book and premise a giant fraud. Gibson shouted over everything Boston was saying and blustered that Boston would be sued for calling Gibson a liar.
The segment was intended to be a debate between Boston and Gary McCaleb of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund but it deteriorated into a shouting match with the host doing the vast majority of the shouting. To be fair and balanced, Gibson did tell McCalebto pipe down, so he could shout some more at Boston.
Gibson began the segment with a laugh (at a clip from "The O.C.") saying "perhaps you've heard about my book...here on the Big Story we've heard all kinds of stories showing how political correctness has taken a toll on this very special holiday; so, who's winning this war? Lets ask Rob Boston...and Gary McCaleb..."
Gibson "Rob, here's the test. Is a Christmas tree in a school an unConstitutional celebration of a religion."
Boston "John, your war on Christmas is bogus, it doesn't exist, it's thinner than drug store wrapping paper. (You can hear Gibson's intake of breath.) Christmas trees can exist in public schools."
McCaleb "John, is there a war on Christmas? Yes. Rob is not answering my phones. I've had over four hundred calls for help this year. Folks have identified issues where Christmas is being suppressed. Take for example down in Memphis TN which is scarcely a hotbed of left-wing activism, we have public officials saying to a community group 'you can put a display up and have a Nativity scene but you can't have Jesus in it.' Now that sounds to me like a battle for Christmas, part of the war on Christmas."
Boston interrupts, saying "I don't believe any of your stories coming out of the ADF. I've looked into about a dozen of them in the last week and they are all lies. You have maligned communities from Plano TX to Saginaw MI to Dodgeville WI, but the good news is the public schools are fighting back. They are posting notices on their websites. They are responding to John Gibson, they are responding to the Liberty Council, they are responding to Jerry Falwell (who, by the way, gets his own segment unopposed later in the show and is treated with the utmost respect) they're shooting it all down, you have no facts. If you have all these cases, bring 'em into the courts if you've got 'em. Bring 'em into the courts.
McCaleb is meantime, saying John...John... and Gibson tells him 'you're defending me, Gary - get busy."
McCaleb says "Whoa, stop Rob. What's going on here. They put up a two page document on a website making a few vague allegations about what might have happened. Plano TX is classic. There's a lawsuit that we had to file there over a year ago - just the complaint alone, 144 pages to detail the Constitutional claims. Their backtracking and rebuttal one year after the fact is to take a single nuance out of that case and say 'this didn't happen'. Well, the reason there is no policy against Christmas in Plano TX today is they were sued in federal court a year ago and a federal district judge issued a temporary restraining order saying back off, stop suppressing Christmas...(fades)
Gibson overtalks, saying "My impression is that actually the reason a lot of these schools are returning Christmas is The Book, and O'Reilly's campaign, and (we hear Boston, presumably, laugh) they're saying you can't do this this year because we got caught."
(From this point on italicized parentheticals are Gibson interrupting.)
Yep, it was Boston laughing, and he says "You guys, you guys are rich. This stuff was made up. I called school superintendents and I said (Rob, Rob, Rob.) O'Reilly's telling people you can't have cookies in school (Rob, ROB, stop right there) shaped like angels, and he said that never happened. (Rob, ROB, ROB. STOP. RIGHT. THERE.) Gibson is now shouting and leaning forward in his seat.
Boston said, No, you're wrong, John, I'm not going to stop, you're telling... Gibson shouts over him that "Yeah, you are, the incidents in my book are not lies. McCaleb says something like "you need to get the truth in here John" and Gibson says "hang on , Gary. ROB, the incidents in my book are not lies. If you're calling me a liar, let's go one on one of it. Every one of those incidents in those books - I interviewed everyperson involved. There are no factual discrepancies. Don't call me a liar here when you don't know what you're talking about. "
Boston said "Anybody can call the Alliance Defense Fund and say hey, this happened in my community, that doesn't mean it happened. Gibson is now roaring over him "Hey ROB STRAIGHTEN UP. YOU JUST CALLED ME A LIAR. BACK UP YOUR CHARGES. (Which is kind of funny because he will not at this point let Boston speak at all.)
Poor McCaleb is trying to get a word in, trying to calm Gibson (who is very Christmasy with his red face and white hair) and Gibson tells HIM to pipe down, resuming yelling at Boston: ROB, YOU JUST CALLED ME A LIAR. BACK UP YOUR CHARGES.
Boston says "John, you told the whole country... (In the background we can hear McCaleb saying "I'm a practicing attorney." LMAO) Boston continued "I'm going to explain to John why he's a liar. You told the whole country that kids in Plano TX and Saginaw MI couldn't wear red and green clothing. (I didn't say that.)That's a lie; they can wear it."
Gibson, jabbing a finger "THAT is a lie. (McCaleb, plaintive now, says off screen "Rob" and Gibson tells him to pipe down again. KML) I said that in Plano TX (McCaleb, still offscreen, says to Rob 'if you can't attack the principle you attack the speaker and that's what happening here, it's an ad hominem attack(ROFL) and Gibson says Gary, Gary stop.) Gibson continues "In Plano TX the school would not allow students to bring red and green stuff and parents to the Christmas party, now called the holiday party. That is the policy in Plano TX, I have the memoes, if you're calling me a liar on that, YOU're going to get sued now.
Boston says "Now you've changed your story" and Gibson says "There was never a change in my story. I never said clothing. You are wrong, and now YOU're a liar." Boston continues "And as for the Alliance Defense Fund, I have an email from them they sent out in August trying to raise money for the war on Christmas in August."
Gibson cuts him off, saying "Rob, you're done. " and Boston says "You should all be ashamed of yourselves." Gibson makes a motion and a moment later Boston's microphone is cut off mid-sentence, and Gibson spits at the camera "Rob, you're done. Rob, get your facts straight before you come on the air."
You can watch the video at Crooks and Liars.
Comment.: Gibson's overreaction to Boston showed his total unprofessionalism. In rereading the transcript it is clear that Boston named O'Reilly and the ADF before Gibson went off on him. It was so over the top that it almost appeared staged, like a WWF event.
The ADF seems to exist to represent right-wing religious cases, supporting the illusion that the huge Christian majority in this country is persecuted by the liberal courts. Of course FOX works hand in hand with them to amplify the martyrdom and keep the neo-Christian voters belligerent.