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FOX airs anti-gay, anti-American picketers

Reported by Chrish - February 7, 2006

In a nod to the anti-gay voters who dominate the FOX audience, today's Big Story saw fit to repeatedly air video of the horrid Fred Phelps gang, the rabid homophobes who picket (among other things) funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some jurisdictions are looking into ways to limit the exposure forced on grieving families and Judge Andrew Napolitano was interviewed by guest host David Asman on the chances of success.

Like the rioting Muslims who are so highly offended by the depiction of their prophet, Americans exposed to Phelps enormous hate are frustrated by the First Amendment protection afforded him. Unlike the rioters, however, we understand that protecting his freedom simultaneously protects our own. The judge asserted throughout the interview that Phelps would win any court case brought against his gang.

Napolitano brings up the interesting fact that Phelps is the leader of a fundamentalist Christian church in Kansas, and his followers are picketing funerals of American soldiers with signs that say "God hates you" and "Thank God for IEDs" because they say the soldiers are dying for "a country that harbors homosexuals." He reiterates that unless the protesters physically insert themselves into the funeral ceremony and try to prevent or disrupt it the government cannot stop them from silent protest. (Much like Cindy Sheehan's tee-shirt was legal, so long as she did not disrupt the SOTU speech.) Asman asks if a mourner was incited to go over and smack one of Phelps' psycho-phants (my pun - intended) could laws against incitement be used? JAN replies that as long as the sign-bearers are silent and not blocking the pathway they are within their rights. He compares them to anti-choice protesters who have been allowed by the Supreme Court to yell at clinic patients from as near as 25 feet away. Legislation to remove Phelps and his ick (sic) will fail.

Comment: During this discussion FOX showed a loop of video with close-ups of anti-gay hate messages carried by the gang. Once was more than enough unless the viewer at home was shrugging and thinking well, he (Phelps) is right; somebody has to say it. Some were shown twice, several were shown three times and stayed on the screen for a relatively long period. I'm not going to repeat any more of the hate-filled messages here. For a channel that promotes itself as an arbiter of morality it was poor judgment to show that at all, but especially during an early primetime hour. Phelps does not deserve ANY promotion or exposure.

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