In a February 21 interview with On the Record's Greta Van Susteren, Democratic Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor stated that after the fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian people demanded worker's rights, just like Wisconsin teachers are doing today. Tuesday, the Fox & Friends anchors, as well as Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, expressed outrage over an Egypt-Wisconsin comparison and repeatedly attacked Taylor.
Except, she didn't actually compare the conditions leading up to the Egyptian revolution to the conditions in Wisconsin causing the current protests. She simply said that it was "ironic" that after the fall of Mubarak, one of the rallies Egyptians held "was on workers' rights." Moreover, Doocy himself compared the Wisconsin protests to the protests in Egypt just last week.
In fact, here is what the State Senator did say:
TAYLOR: [T]here's no question that we've also saved lives through the kind of effort that Wisconsin did 50 to 100 years ago, to say that work conditions are an important piece.
Even in Egypt, you have individuals now rallying for work conditions and for wages. And so those are important issues. And we don't want to go back 50 to 100 years because this governor is trying to fast track a bill, deny people the ability to be heard, which is what happened on the Finance Committee, and frankly, continue to deny individuals his ability to do his job, which is -- he asked to negotiate with them, these contracts. He's refusing to do it. And now he's trying to move forward and take their rights and not allow them to be heard and not come to the table. That's unacceptable.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, one quick last question. When you make the reference to Egypt, you aren't saying that the conditions that the Wisconsin teachers are teaching under with this new -- new bill or without it is remotely like Egypt, or are you?
TAYLOR: No, what I'm saying in particular, Greta, is that in Egypt, if you look, after they overthrew their ruler, they had some specific rallies and protests, and one of the ones that they had was on workers' rights. How ironic is that, right?
And if you look, even on my Twitter page, there's been an opportunity for you see a sign from individuals in Egypt that says "Egypt supports Wisconsin workers." This is really about making sure that individuals have the right to come to the table and talk about our future. Teachers are one example, but this is way beyond teachers. It's social workers, it's professors, teachers' assistants. This affects correction officers, law enforcement and firefighters. Those that endorsed him are not in the bill. But this is way beyond teachers. And it's not really about trying to demonize our teachers. They are the individuals who will make sure that we have a strong economy so that employers can have individuals who are prepared to work.
VAN SUSTEREN: State Senator, thank you very much. And I have a sneaking suspicion this is a story that's not going away, so I hope you'll come back and join us, as it continues to unravel -- or ravel, however you look at it. Thank you. [Fox News' On the Record, 2/21/11 accessed via Nexis, emphasis added]
As is clear from the transcript, when asked directly whether she was making a comparison between the oppression of the Egyptian people and the issues of Wisconsin union workers, Taylor clearly responded "no," and provided a thorough explanation of her remarks. Fox Nation, via Fox News, even posted this transcript on their websites, yet continued to entertain the falsehood that Taylor compared the current conditions in Wisconsin to the conditions in Egypt prior to the revolution.
After airing a clip of the On the Record segment, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy asked "Madison equals Cairo?" Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham then stated, "I hear that stuff, guys, and I think 'how do these people actually get elected election after election?' I want to do a little history quiz of, dear God Bless her, Lena." She then went on to say "the whole thing is ridiculous."
Doocy ought to know a thing or two about comparing the Wisconsin protests to the Egyptian revolution. After all, this is the same guy who last Friday said this:
DOOCY: [Rep.] Paul Ryan (R-WI) who was on this program about a week ago said, "It's like Cairo comes to Madison."
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): come on!
DOOCY: But when you look at what's going on there, in Cairo it was pro-democracy. When you've got a state legislature that goes, "You know what? We're leaving. We don't want to vote." Is that democracy?