Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Racist Bunch


Media Matters
April 13, 2007

On April 11, NBC News announced that it was dropping MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning in the wake of the controversy that erupted over host Don Imus' reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." The following day, CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves announced that CBS -- which owns both the radio station that broadcast Imus' program and Westwood One, which syndicated the program -- has fired Imus and would cease broadcasting his radio show. But as Media Matters for America has extensively documented, bigotry and hate speech targeting, among other characteristics, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity continue to permeate the airwaves through personalities such as Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson. (Comment: I added more)

Glenn Beck
On the March 21 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, The Glenn Beck Program, Beck called Rosie O'Donnell, co-host of ABC's The View, a "fat witch," claimed that O'Donnell has "blubber ... just pouring out of her eyes," and asked, "Do you know how many oil lamps we could keep burning just on Rosie O'Donnell fat?" On the March 23 edition of his radio show, Beck said, "I'm a little ashamed" for calling O'Donnell "a fat witch" -- then added, "But she's so fat."

On the March 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Beck said: "Hillary Clinton cannot be elected president because ... there's something about her vocal range." He went on to say, "There's something about her voice that just drives me -- it's not what she says, it's how she says it," adding, "She is like the stereotypical -- excuse the expression, but this is the way to -- she's the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean?" Beck subsequently qualified his statement: "I never said that Hillary Clinton was a bitch. I said she sounded like one."

On the February 28 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, while discussing racy photos of American Idol contestant Antonella Barba, Beck asked his female guest: "I've got some time and a camera. Why don't you stop by?"

On the November 14, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck said to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress: "OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. ... With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, 'Let's cut and run.' And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' "

On the September 5, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck warned that if "Muslims and Arabs" don't "act now" by "step[ping] to the plate" to condemn terrorism, they "will be looking through a razor wire fence at the West."

On the April 27, 2006, edition of his radio program, Beck claimed that there are three reasons that an illegal immigrant "comes across the border in the middle of the night": "One, they're terrorists; two, they're escaping the law; or three, they're hungry. They can't make a living in their own dirtbag country."

On the August 24, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck claimed that Braille on walls (used to identify rooms for blind people) "drives me out of my mind." When he made his comment, Beck was discussing the "politically correct world we live in." He then said, "Just to piss them [blind people] off, I'm going to put in Braille on the coffee pot ... 'Pot is hot.' "

On the August 10, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Glenn Beck warned that "[t]he world is on the brink of World War III" and that "Muslims who have sat on your frickin' hands the whole time and have not been marching in the streets" will face dire consequences. Beck made his comments toward Muslims who he claimed "have not been saying, 'Hey, you know what? There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. We need to be the first ones in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head.'"

On the August 9, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Beck aired a segment mocking the names of several missing Egyptian students in which the announcer said that one "may or may not be accompanied by his camel." The segment showed pictures of crowds and pointed to random, unidentifiable people as the missing Egyptians. It ended with a reading of the students' names in quick succession followed by the announcer pretending to gag as he struggled to pronounce them.

During the March 16, 2006, edition of his radio show, in describing Nigeria's new public education campaign to fight the spread of bird flu, Beck stated that the country has "actually resorted to radio jingles," and then asked if the United States could be "as dumb as Nigeria."

On the January 10, 2006, broadcast of his radio show, Beck called anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan "a pretty big prostitute," later amending, at the behest of his executive producer, Steve "Stu" Burguiere, that "tragedy pimp" would be "the most accurate description."

On the September 9, 2005, edition of his radio show, Beck referred to survivors of Hurricane Katrina who remained in New Orleans as "scumbags." Also, after acknowledging that nobody "in their right mind is going to say this out loud," Beck attacked victims of the disaster and the families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying: "I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims."

On the May 17, 2005, broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said he was "thinking about killing [filmmaker] Michael Moore" and pondered whether "I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it," before concluding: "No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong?"

Neal Boortz
On the August 3, 2006, edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Neal Boortz asked his audience: "I want you to think for think for a moment of how incompetent and stupid and worthless, how -- that's right, I used those words -- how incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage? You have to really, really, really be a pretty pathetic human being to not be able to earn more than the human wage. Uh -- human, the minimum wage."

On the July 19, 2006, edition of his radio show, Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show, Boortz claimed that "at its core," Islam is a "violent, violent religion," and said, "[T]his Muhammad guy is just a phony rag-picker." Boortz asserted that "[i]t is perfectly legitimate, perhaps even praiseworthy, to recognize Islam as a religion of vicious, violent, bloodthirsty cretins."

On the March 31, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Boortz said that then-Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) "looks like a ghetto slut." Boortz was commenting on a March 29 incident in which McKinney allegedly struck a police officer at a Capitol Hill security checkpoint. Boortz said that McKinney's "new hair-do" makes her look "like a ghetto slut," like "an explosion at a Brillo pad factory," like "Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence," and like "a shih tzu." McKinney is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia.

On his March 27, 2006, radio program, Boortz suggested the U.S. government should "store 11 million Hispanics" who entered the country illegally in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans before deporting them to their home countries.

In a December 12, 2005, weblog post, Boortz predicted that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) would commute the sentence of convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams to life imprisonment because "Schwarzenegger knows full well that as soon as Tookie's death is announced there will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere." Boortz wrote that "[t]here are thugs just waiting for an excuse ... not a reason, an excuse" and explained that "[t]he rioting, of course, will lead to wide-scale looting." Boortz added: "There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now."

On the October 24, 2005, broadcast of his radio program, Boortz suggested that a victim of Hurricane Katrina housed in an Atlanta hotel consider prostitution. "If that's the only way she can take care of herself," Boortz posited, "it sure beats the hell out of sucking off the taxpayers."

On the October 14, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, Boortz stated that if the country is faced with an impending national disaster, then "hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity."

On the August 17, 2004, broadcast of his radio show, Boortz, in response to reports from Florida that looting was occurring in Hurricane Charley's aftermath, said: "If they see someone looting, shoot him. They go up there, they just spray paint an 'L' on him and get about their business, and then after everything is over, they can go collect them all and bury them in a mass grave."

On the July 21, 2004, broadcast of his radio show, Boortz referred to McKinney as "the cutest little Islamic jihadist in Congress."

Rush Limbaugh
On the March 2, 2007 broadcast on his nationally syndicated radio show, Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh stated that "since [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] has -- on his mother's side -- forebears of his mother had slaves, could we not say that if Obama wins the Democratic nomination and then wins the presidency, he will own [Rev.] Al Sharpton?"

On the February 1 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh responded to a Reuters report on a University of Chicago study that found that "a majority of young blacks feel alienated form today's government" by asserting: "Why would that be? The government's been taking care of them their whole lives."

On the November 30, 2006, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh proclaimed: My "cat's taught me more about women, than anything my whole life" because his pet cat "comes to me when she wants to be fed," and "[s]he's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually [a] very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it."

On the August 23, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Limbaugh commented on a season of CBS' reality TV program Survivor in which contestants were originally divided into competing "tribes" by ethnicity. Limbaugh stated that the contest was "not going to be fair if there's a lot of water events" and suggested that "blacks can't swim." Limbaugh stated that "our early money" is on "the Hispanic tribe" -- which he said could include "a Cuban," "a Nicaraguan," or "a Mexican or two" -- provided they don't "start fighting for supremacy amongst themselves." Limbaugh added that Hispanics have "probably shown the most survival tactics," that they "have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders," and that they can "do it without water for a long time, they don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do." When the Survivor producers decided to dissolve the show's racially segregated "tribes" after only two episodes, Limbaugh declared that "[t]here can only be one reason for this ... that is the white tribe had to be winning."

On the January 10, 2006, broadcast, Limbaugh suggested that some women "would love to be hired as eye candy."

On the July 17, 2005, broadcast of his radio program, Limbaugh announced a new "advertising campaign" for the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in which he would call the facility "Club G'itmo, the Muslim resort," a "tropical paradise down there where Muslim extremists and terrorist wannabes can get together for rest and relaxation." On his website, he sold "Club G'itmo" T-shirts that read: "I Got My Free Koran and Prayer Rug at G'itmo," "Your Tropical Retreat from the Stress of Jihad," "My Mullah went to Club G'itmo and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt," and "What Happens in G'itmo Stays in G'itmo."

On April 26, 2004, Limbaugh claimed that women "actually wish" for sexual harassment, and said he then "laughed [him]self to tears" when Media Matters for America documented that and other sexist remarks he has made. The Media Matters report also noted that Limbaugh used the term "femi-Nazis" eight times between March 15 and April 29.

In 2003, Limbaugh made controversial comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, which led to Limbaugh's resignation from his position as a commentator on ESPN. During the September 28, 2003, edition of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Limbaugh said that "[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well" and, therefore, that McNabb "got a lot of credit for the performance of this team [the Eagles] that he didn't deserve."

According to a June 7, 2000, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) article, "As a young broadcaster in the 1970s, Limbaugh once told a black caller: 'Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.' " In the early 1990s, "after becoming nationally syndicated, he mused on the air: 'Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?' " According to FAIR, "[w]hen Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) was in the U.S. Senate, the first black woman ever elected to that body, Limbaugh would play the 'Movin' On Up' theme song from TV's 'Jeffersons' when he mentioned her. Limbaugh sometimes still uses mock dialect -- substituting 'ax' for 'ask'-- when discussing black leaders." FAIR also reported that "[i]n 1992, on his now-defunct TV show, Limbaugh expressed his ire when Spike Lee urged that black schoolchildren get off from school to see his film Malcolm X: 'Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater, and then blow it up on their way out.' "

Bill O'Reilly
On the April 6 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Westwood One's The Radio Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated that Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf "should be baking pies, not running a major city."

On the January 15 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said of Shawn Hornbeck -- who was abducted at the age of 11, held for four years, and recently found in Missouri -- that "there was an element here that this kid liked about this circumstances" and that he "do[esn't] buy" "the Stockholm syndrome thing." O'Reilly also said: "The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted." When fellow Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out that "[s]ome kids like school," O'Reilly replied: "Well, I don't believe this kid did."

On the November 29, 2006, broadcast of his radio show, O'Reilly denied that Iraq is in a "civil war as NBC News wants you to think" and asserted that "they're all Muslims, and they're doing what they do. They're killing each other. And they're killing Americans."

On the August 16, 2006, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly argued extensively for "profiling of Muslims" at airports, arguing that detaining all "Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45" for questioning "isn't racial profiling," but "criminal profiling."

On the July 12, 2006, edition of his radio program, during a discussion of the development of ethanol-fueled vehicles in Brazil, O'Reilly stated that "they still have people in Brazil running around with their little darts, hitting you in the head with the poisoned darts, with the loincloths."

In a February 27, 2006, conversation with a caller about the disproportionately few jobs and contracts that have gone to locals in the rebuilding of New Orleans, O'Reilly said: "[T]he homies, you know ... I mean, they're just not going to get the job."

On the November 10, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, during a segment on a telecommunications executive who spent $250,000 in one night at a New York strip club, O'Reilly asked Wiehl if "it might be worth learning how" to dance for a $10,000 tip, adding, "You're [Wiehl] a good-looking girl. I mean, if you haven't seen Lis on TV, she's a good-looking blonde."

On the September 13, 2005, broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly claimed that "many of the poor in New Orleans" did not evacuate the city before Hurricane Katrina because "[t]hey were drug-addicted" and "weren't going to get turned off from their source." O'Reilly added, "They were thugs."

On April 15, 2005, a caller to O'Reilly's radio show claimed that each undocumented immigrant crossing the border "is a biological weapon." O'Reilly agreed, further stating, "I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here."

On the June 21, 2004, broadcast of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly referred to Wiehl as "eye candy ... for me," telling Wiehl that she is on the show "because you're good-looking, so I got somebody to look over" while he's on the air.

Michael Savage
On the March 20 broadcast of his radio show, Savage discussed a San Francisco Chronicle report detailing the murder of a transgender woman whose body was found naked near a freeway outside San Francisco. Savage read a sentence from the article stating that "it appeared the victim had been in the process of becoming a woman," to which Savage replied: "Yeah, process of becoming a woman -- psychopath. [She] should have been in a back ward in a straitjacket for years, howling on major medication." He went on to say, "And what's this sympathy, constant sympathy for sexually confused people? Why should we have constant sympathy for people who are freaks in every society?" adding, "But you know what? You're never gonna make me respect the freak. I don't want to respect the freak." Savage concluded: "The freak ought to be glad that they're allowed to walk around without begging for something. You know, I'm sick and tired of the whole country begging, bending over backwards for the junkie, the freak, the pervert, the illegal immigrant. All of them are better than everybody else. Sick. Everything is upside down."

On the March 16 broadcast of his radio show, Savage played audio clips from Barbara Walters' interview with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, portions of which aired on the March 16 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, and called her a "double-talking slut." Savage added: "She's an empty mind-slut. She'd peddle anything for a ratings point." Savage went on to call Walters a "mental prostitute" and said, "I think that the woman is vermin. I think she's dirt."

On the January 15 edition of his radio show, in a monologue about Martin Luther King Day, Savage called "civil rights" a "con" and asserted: "It's a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn't qualify for it." Savage then said, "Take a guess out of whose hide all of these rights are coming. ... [T]here is only one group that is targeted, and that group are white, heterosexual males." He added: "They are the new witches being hunted by the illiberal left using the guise of civil rights and fairness to women and whatnot."

On the November 27, 2006, edition of his radio show, Savage declared that in order to "save the United States," lawmakers should institute "an outright ban on Muslim immigration" into the country. Savage also recommended making "the construction of mosques illegal in America, and the speaking of English only in the streets of the United States the law."

On the November 13, 2006, edition of his radio show, Savage declared that "[t]he radical homosexual agenda will not stop until religion is outlawed in this county," adding that gay people "threaten your very survival." Savage also stated that homosexuals are "all not nice decorators" and warned: "Gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. They want full and total subjugation of this society to their agenda."

On the October 23, 2006, edition of his radio show, Savage said Ethiopian restaurant. The Ethiopians come here to eat American food." Earlier in the broadcast, while discussing Ramadan and the continued violence in Iraq, Savage suggested that Islam is "a bloodthirsty religion that's practiced over there by a bunch of throwbacks, and we're gonna to kill 'em." Savage called for the United States to say: "That's it, we're leaving them; we're killing them."

On the August 7, 2006, edition of his radio program, Savage declared that CNN hosts Wolf Blitzer and Larry King "look like the type that would have pushed Jewish children into the oven to stay alive one more day to entertain the Nazis." Savage remarked that Blitzer "will do the astonishing act of being the type that would stick Jewish children into a gas chamber to stay alive another day. He's probably the most despicable man in the media next to Larry King ... a close runner-up." Savage opined: "The reason they curry favor with the turbaned hoodlums is to gain access to the turbanned hoodlums, domestic and foreign, for their news shows. They need more turbanned hoodlums to build ratings."

On the July 28, 2006, edition of his radio show, Savage predicted Israel is "going to lose in Lebanon" unless it wins a "devastating, catastrophic, overwhelming victory" in which "nothing is left living in southern Lebanon, south of the Litani River." Later in the program, Savage chastised the Israeli government for displaying a "Holocaust mentality" by shying away from his proposed course for victory, adding that Israel cannot continue to "live" unless it "frees itself of the men who are acting as though they are still hiding in the sewers of Warsaw" and "act[ing] like Holocaust Jews hiding in the sewer."

On the July 24, 2006, edition of radio program, Savage declared that Blitzer is "the type who would have let children into the gas chamber in order to stay alive an extra day." Savage accused Blitzer of being "anti-Semitic ... anti-Jewish, and pro-Arab" because he "doesn't want to appear too Jewish ... and too pro-Jewish."

On his May 11 and May 12, 2004, radio shows, Savage called Arabs "non-humans" and "racist, fascist bigots"; asserted that Americans would like to "drop a nuclear weapon" on any Arab country; and that "these people" in the Middle East "need to be forcibly converted to Christianity" in order to "turn them into human beings."

Michael Smerconish
Substituting for host Bill O'Reilly on the April 4, 2006, broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Smerconish repeatedly discussed "the sissification of America," claiming that political correctness has made the United States "a nation of sissies." Smerconish also claimed, several times, that this "sissification" and "limp-wristedness" is "compromising our ability to win the war on terror."

On the November 23, 2005, broadcast of The Radio Factor, while guest-hosting, Smerconish took issue with a decision by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to provide a designated prayer area at Giants Stadium. The decision was in response to a September 19 incident involving the FBI's detention and questioning of five Muslim men who were observed praying near the stadium's main air duct during a New York Giants football game. Smerconish stated: "I just think that's [the men's public praying] wrong. I just think they're playing a game of, you know, mind blank with the audience. And that they should know better four years removed from September 11."

John Gibson
On the May 11, 2006, edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson advised viewers during the "My Word" segment of his program to "[d]o your duty. Make more babies." He then cited a May 10 article, which reported that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: "By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic." Gibson later claimed: "To put it bluntly, we need more babies." Then, referring to Russia's projected decline in population, Gibson claimed: "So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can't carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way -- a slogan for our times: 'procreation not recreation'."

William Bennett
On September 28, 2005, in a discussion on Bennett's Morning in America radio show, Bennett made remarks that have since touched off a debate about race, crime and abortion. The pretext of the conversation was Chapter 4 from the book Freakonomics. A caller to the show proposed the idea that the Social Security system might be solvent today if abortion hadn't been permitted following the Roe v. Wade decision. The following is a transcript of the conversation:
BENNETT: (to caller) Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

Ann Coulter
One comment that drew criticism from the blogosphere as well as fellow conservatives was made during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2006, where she said, referring to the prospect of a nuclear-equipped Iran, "What if they start having one of these bipolar episodes with nuclear weapons? I think our motto should be, post-9-11: raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences." Coulter had previously written a nearly identical passage in her syndicated column: "...I believe our motto should be after 9/11: Jihad monkey talks tough; jihad monkey takes the consequences. Sorry, I realize that's offensive. How about 'camel jockey'? What? Now what'd I say? Boy, you tent merchants sure are touchy. Grow up, would you?"

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