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Fox News Contributor Blames His Anti-Semitic Email On President Obama

Reported by Ellen - April 20, 2010 -

If ever there was proof that Fox News will go to any lengths to attack Obama, regardless of the facts, regardless of the logic, a segment on yesterday’s (4/19/10) America Live with Megyn Kelly is it. In that segment, Fox News contributor Michael Goodwin blamed the rise in his anti-Semitic mail on President Obama’s Middle East policies. Goodwin further predicted that this so-called rise in anti-Semitism would lead to "incidents" that would also be Obama's fault. Never mind that when pushed to explain the connection, Goodwin revealed that it happened whenever he wrote his NY Post columns criticizing Obama about his treatment of Israel. So you might say that readers were reacting to Goodwin, not Obama. That was a point that seemed to be completely lost on Kelly. However, she did an otherwise decent job of maintaining a reasonable stance in the face of a crackpot theory. With video.

Kelly’s scripted introduction “asked,” a la the Cavuto Mark, if tension between Israel and the “harder line” by the Obama administration toward Israel could “be stirring up anti-Semitic sentiment.”

Goodwin said right at the beginning that he thought the cause of the rise in his anti-Semitic mail was due to his criticism of Obama’s Israel policy. And yet, Goodwin blamed Obama. I suppose it was the “he made me do it” theory of causality. “The response has been really a flood of anti-Semitic letters, both emails and through the regular mail... When you track it, every time Obama does something and I write about it (my emphasis), then the anti-Semitic letters increase and the hate becomes more bilious every time. So it really is a shocking phenomenon,” Goodwin told Kelly.

Kelly didn’t buy it. She said it seemed less a comment on Obama’s policies than on “the wingnuts who are out there just reacting to policies one way or the other.”

However, Goodwin clung to his hypothesis. “I think it does relate to something Bill Clinton said over the weekend… I do believe politicians do have to be careful how they speak because it is heard by different people in different ways. And the wingnuts are out there and through Obama’s policies, they have now felt the license to speak out and to broadcast their hate under their own name.”

“What words has President Obama used that you find problematic?” Kelly asked.

“I’m not accusing President Obama of being anti-Semitic at all,” Goodwin insisted. But then he upped the ante by suggesting that Obama was fomenting anti-Semitic violence. “The people who are anti-Semitic are hearing his policies and saying, ‘It’s a license for me now to spew my hate.’ And my argument is, President Obama has to consider that… I’m sure if I’m hearing it, I’m sure we’re going to hear it all over the country and I think we’re gonna see incidents come out of it.”

Goodwin continued, “Anybody who writes about the Mideast will sooner or later get anti-Semitic mail but when people write in this number and sign their full name, give you their home address or give you their email address… it really shows that they are quite comfortable now. They feel that this environment is one where they can kind of come out from the shadows.”

Kelly remained skeptical. “I just don’t know whether it’s President Obama’s words or whether this is just an element in this country that, sadly, exists.” She cited her own “vile” email she has gotten about President Obama and, formerly, President Bush.

Goodwin agreed that this kind of hate mail would come in regardless of what Obama might say. “But again, the difference here, I think, is the number that I’ve been getting every time I write on the subject and the fact that they will sign their name.”

I can’t help but wonder, how did this segment make it on the air? Did Goodwin discuss his hatemail with a Fox News producer who then thought Goodwin’s theory made sense? Does Goodwin have such clout with Fox producers that anything he wants to discuss makes it on the air? Or was the producer just so delighted to find a new excuse to attack Obama that any old pretense would do?

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