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Fox News’ Faux Outrage Over Rep. Alan Grayson

Reported by Ellen - October 28, 2009 -

On just O’Reilly and Hannity last night (10/27/09), I witnessed at least four Fox News discussions knocking Rep. Alan Grayson as a crazy extremist. “What do you do with a crazy Congressman?” Bill O’Reilly asked in his Talking Points Memo, before going on to call Grayson “a nut, n-u-t, nut.” Sean Hannity hosted Rick Santorum, (he who once likened homosexuality to “man-on-dog” sex) to discuss attack Grayson. Neither Hannity nor O’Reilly showed any interest in Grayson’s actual record. The two hosts, did, however, take the time to knock President Obama for calling Grayson an “outstanding member of Congress.” Meanwhile, how many extremist comments turn up on Fox News broadcasts every day?

The excuse for this latest attack on Grayson were some month-old comments he made about an aide to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a former lobbyist whom Grayson called, “A K Street whore.” Grayson has since apologized. But that was not enough for those tender sensibilities of O’Reilly and Hannity.

So where were those tender sensibilities when Fox News right-wing guests have made comments that make Grayson’s look innocuous? Nowhere to be found. Here’s a random sampling:

Ann Coulter is a regular Fox News guest. On June 22, 2009, Coulter appeared on The Factor and accused liberals of being on “the pro-death side” and only in the “one case” of murdered abortion Dr. George Tiller were they upset. She went on to say that she didn’t even like to think of Tiller’s death “as a murder.” Rather, Coulter said, “It was terminating Tiller.” She added, “I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.” She must have been quite proud of that little “witticism;” she repeated it at least one more time. O’Reilly clearly did not agree with her statements but he did not censure them nor express any outrage.

On August 12, 2009, Coulter appeared on Hannity and “joked” that Rahm Emanuel’s brother was “on my death list.” No complaint from Hannity about that.

Mark Levin, whom Hannity calls “The Great One,” said on the August 7, 2009 Hannity show, “We just demand that we be treated with the same respect that Obama gives the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay… The president is at war with the American people, politically. He’s literally at war with the citizens in this country, in a political sense.” Did Hannity object to that kind of rhetoric? Of course not.

Rick Santorum has also made some rather dubious comments on Fox that nobody seemed to mind. For example, he compared Obama to Hugo Chavez. I must have missed the outrage over that.

And then there are the over-the-top comments made by Fox News employees. Juan Williams told O’Reilly on January 26, 2009 that Michelle Obama has “the Stokely-Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going.” O’Reilly disagreed but did not condemn the comment.

Of course, when thinking of over-the-top comments by Fox News employees, one must immediately include Glenn Beck. Where was the outrage from Hannity and O’Reilly when Beck accused Obama of being a racist with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture?”

And Beck has not stopped there. Every day, he seems to try to top what was already over the top, including playing clips from The Untouchables and suggesting that the Obama administration is “whacking” ordinary Americans – all the while wagging a baseball bat at the camera.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson still gets the welcome mat on Hannity, despite a long history of bigoted remarks including, “Most blacks, not all but most in Tennessee, especially in the Memphis, Tennessee area, are still living in the 50’s and 60’s. They are so racist that they don’t even realize that white Americans have moved on. And so whenever there’s a campaign like this... they always use racism in order to intimidate white America.” Not only did Hannity not challenge Peterson’s remarks, he stifled the objections from the other guest who did.

Hannity, himself, has likened the Obama administration to King George and suggested that a new American revolution is needed.

In short, can there be any doubt that if Grayson were a Republican using the same kind of rhetoric about Democrats, instead of the other way around, that he’d be greeted with the same kind of open arms as the other right-wing bomb throwers on Fox?