According to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Ted Nugent was "winning" when he started yelling at a CBS News reporter and made sexually explicit threats during an interview that aired on May 4. The National Rifle Association board member and Washington Times columnist blew up at CBS' Jeff Glor when he raised the suggestion that Nugent will have a hard time attracting moderate voters for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Nugent responded by citing his charity work with children, then exploded:
NUGENT: Call me, when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that's really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That's extreme. I'm an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I'm a damned nice guy. And if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I'll suck your d--k.
Turning to a female producer off-camera, he shouted: "Or I'll f--k you. How's that sound?"
Ingraham highlighted Nugent's comments while guest-hosting for Bill O'Reilly's show, which includes the nightly "Pinheads & Patriots" segment.
After playing Nugent's comments, with the inflammatory parts beeped out, Ingraham stated: "Winning" -- a reference to a quote by actor Charlie Sheen. Vulture, the New York magazine blog, defined the term this way:
verb (frequently used)
1. the act of triumphing over studio executives, famous fathers, and jerky show-runners, who then have no choice but to "lay down with their ugly wives and their ugly children and just look at their loser lives"
Ingraham went on to say: "Well, Nugent apologized off camera and he said after the interview that he was rushed to the emergency room and had a kidney stone removed." She added: "You can decide if the rocker's a pinhead or a patriot for those remarks."
In the past weeks, pinheads have included NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, whom O'Reilly accused on May 2 of "slanting" the news by seeming to be "crossing over into the liberal precincts lately." Her crime? From Nexis:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: What do you think of the Republican criticism that we are politicizing -- the White House, I should say, is politicizing it with the Obama ad which focuses on this in part and all the events around today?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: "We," Ms. Mitchell? We? A mouse in your pocket?
On April 26, O'Reilly designated Doonesbury comic strip creator Gary Trudeau a "pinhead" for a strip critical of Fox News' coverage of the news. On April 17, according to Nexis, Fox News host Bob Beckel was labeled a "pinhead" for cursing (saying the F-word) on the air on Sean Hannity's Fox show while defending the Head Start program, then refusing to apologize for it. O'Reilly stated: "Obviously, Beckel was a pinhead last night. I think he knows it. But he -- he's not a professional broadcaster so sometimes that happens."
Ingraham has refused to weigh in on similarly controversial comments by conservatives in the past. On the November 10, 2011, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Ingraham highlighted Herman Cain's disparaging remark about House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and asked: "So, is Cain a pinhead or a patriot for calling former Speaker Pelosi 'Princess Nancy'? You make the call."