Fox is rightfully disturbed about an outpouring of threats against an Indiana pizzeria whose owner said she would not cater a gay wedding. But we have yet to hear a peep about the death threats against an Arizona professor who was targeted on a Fox & Friends discussion for teaching a class about “the problem of whiteness.”
In case you missed it, in January Fox & Friends gave a friendly platform to a woman named Lauren Clark to gripe about an Arizona State University course called, “Studies in American Literature/Culture: U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness.” Clark is a correspondent for Campus Reform, a conservative group dedicated to ferreting out examples of liberal campus bias. As NewsHounds’ Priscilla noted, lower-third banners read, “Questionable Course,” “Crass Class,” and “They’re Teaching What?” And Fox all but ensured harassment of the offending professor by posting his name and photo on the screen.
Sure enough, in February, Priscilla followed up with this news:
As reported on Raw Story, not long after this example of “the trouble with schools” went national, the brown shirts from the National Youth Front started handing out flyers, on campus and in the professor’s neighborhood, which predicted that there would be “resistance” to what they believe is reverse racism. Posters accusing him of being anti-white appeared on campus. Homicidal comments, such as the one from somebody who wants to stab him “with a pen “sharpened like a shiv,” stabbing him in the neck, carving a swastika in his chest, and possibly curb-stomping him,” are appearing on right wing websites. The campus newspaper reports that he is receiving e-mail and phone death threats.
Earlier this week, Huffington Post reported that professor Lee Bebout has also received dozens of hateful and threatening emails in the wake of Fox’s report:
“I look forward to your suicide,” reads one of some 70 emails received by Bebout following the segment, according to the (Arizona) Republic. Another said “I’d enjoy seeing you swing from a light pole.” “Maybe just kill yourself and get it over with,” said a third.
HuffPo also noted about the Fox & Friends segment, "Clark wasn’t a student in the class, nor did Hasselbeck sit in on the classes or interview Bebout for the segment."
I’ve never heard any outrage on Fox about these threats, have you? I’ve not even heard a “Let’s disagree without being disagreeable” request for respect for Bebout, his beliefs or his teaching ethics.
But Fox is oh-so outraged on behalf of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana.
Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce told host Tucker Carlson today that threats against the pizzeria represented “another case of the mob kind of taking over the situation here. …Gay liberals have turned into bullies.” As if the problem arises from liberalism, only.
Carlson, predictably, not only failed to challenge that suggestion, he helped validate it. He said what bothers him is “the idea that if you support the right of religious minorities to dissent from the popular view on something that you’re somehow a bigot.”
Don’t get me wrong, I condemn both situations. But it’s pretty disturbing that I only see Fox concerned about the safety of conservatives. Even worse, the “fair and balanced” network suggests that the only ones in danger are conservatives and the only aggressors are liberals.
Watch Bruce and Carlson below, from today’s Fox & Friends.
I also don’t recall the specifics of the case (as in who the targets of the attacks—though I do believe at least one resulted in murder—were) but the bottom line is that the accused was just one of the bodies in the pews, a mere pawn if you will. His lawyer’s primary argument was that he was only doing what the “pastor” had been “preaching” and he shouldn’t be held accountable for “following” what was being taught in the sermons. Not surprisingly, the church leaders—to a man—denied any responsibility for the man’s actions, saying they never once told anyone to go out and put the words into action and, in essence, they threw their guy under the bus. During the trial, the “church’s” teachings were basically declared off-topic and the jury was instructed to ignore the beliefs, no matter how repugnant, because the defendant had no evidence that he was acting under direct orders from the “church” leaders.
Since then, the right-wing has pulled the same tactic. They talk and talk all sorts of hateful invective BUT as long as they don’t directly say the words, “Kill this person,” their words are protected. (It is, of course, very ironic that the same people who demand people take responsibility for their words and actions are the first to hide behind the old “it’s not my fault if someone misunderstood what I said” canard.)
Ellen, could you provide some links to the “threats” that Tammy and Tucker are discussing so we can all see how closely they resemble DEATH THREATS to the owners of the pizzeria? If the pizzeria owners haven’t been getting death threats or haven’t been targeted with violent actions against their physical bodies or haven’t received suggestions to kill themselves, I don’t see how the situations are remotely similar nor that they merit an “equal” condemnation. I’ve read the about the pizzeria story at the Advocate and Think Progress and not once did I read anything FROM THE OWNERS saying (or even suggesting) that they’ve been physically threatened. Calls for boycotts a-plenty but nothing remotely close to what the ASU professor’s been subjected to.
Of course, in the world of FoxNoise, a conservative’s bigotry leading to hurt feelings is absolutely the same as a liberal’s being subjected to death threats. In the rest of the world, not so much
Charles Wilson: Sentenced to prison for repeatedly threatening to kill Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). His cousin, in a letter to the court, said: "While his actions were undeniably wrong and his choices were terrible, in part they were the actions of others played out by a very gullible Charlie. He was under the spell that Glenn Beck cast, aided by the turbulent times in our economy.
Byron Williams: Arrested while driving to the HQ of the liberal non-profit group The Tides Foundation carrying numerous guns and body armor, intent on killing everyone in the office, before moving on to do the same thing at the ACLU. Williams confessed he views Beck as a “schoolteacher” who “blew my mind.” The would-be killer admitted that Beck “give[s] you every ounce of evidence you could possibly need” to commit violence.
Jim David Adkisson: Killed two people and wounded six others in a shooting attack at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in West Knoxville, Tenn., in 2008. Adkisson was inspired by Fox commentator Bernard Goldberg: “This was a symbolic killing,” Adkisson wrote. “Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate and House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book. I’d like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me.”
James W. Von Brunn: Fox itself was reportedly in danger from white supremacist Von Brunn who was arrested after opening fire at security guards, killing one, at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. One of his targets was apparently a “Fox News location.” One of Von Brunn’s pet issues was President Obama’s birth certificate, a “debate” that got plenty of air on Fox.
Greg Lee Giusti: Arrested for threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom Beck himself has said he would like to poison. Giusti’s mom said: “Greg frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family, which gets him into problems … I say Fox News, or all of those that are really radical, and he, that’s where he comes from.”
How many more “outraged” people will commit acts of violence after being “inspired” by the hate speech spewed out daily at FOX? I’m afraid too many.
But the public didn’t hear about these threats from FOX “news”. They aren’t going to report on them because they don’t want to publicly admit that the outrage they so carefully cultivate often spills out in very ugly ways from their own viewers. In other words, FOX “news” would have to admit that they are part of the problem (and maybe even legally culpable?) and they aren’t about to do that.