On the December 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, radio host and regular Fox & Friends guest Erich "Mancow" Muller stated that Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean "ought to be kicked out of America" and "tried for treason" in response to a San Antonio radio interview in which Dean said that the idea that the United States can win the war in Iraq is "just plain wrong." After Muller asserted that Dean should be "kicked out of America," Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed, replying: "Absolutely."
Muller went on to state that Dean "is the enemy." He exclaimed, "This is the head of the Democrats!" He went on to add: "These people want every boy to die. They're bloodthirsty animals. Howard Dean is a vile human being." Muller later said: "[T]his guy is bloodthirsty. He is evil. I'm telling you, I really think that every time you report another dead body in Iraq, they go, 'Hoo hoo, it's perfect.' "
Muller is no stranger to making inflammatory statements. During a appearance shortly after Paula Zahn left Fox News for CNN in 2002, Muller performed an on-air skit with an actor he said was portraying Zahn. He hit the actor in the face, knocked him down, and shouted, "I'll kill you, Paula. We will kill you, Paula"; he also made an off-color remark that referred to Zahn's hobby of cello playing. And as Media Matters for America previously noted, Muller compared singer Cat Stevens's Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, to "American Killer" and "Hijacker."
Between 2000 and 2002, the Chicago radio station that airs Muller's show was fined $42,000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle three complaints of indecency on the show. This was followed by a payment of $300,000 by the station's owner, Emmis Communications, to settle all outstanding indecency complaints. Muller then sued for $3 million a man who had filed numerous FCC complaints against him; Muller later dropped the lawsuit.
Additionally, a Chicago radio station that previously aired Muller's show, settled for $1.6 million, a lawsuit filed against it by Keith Van Horne, a former player for the National Football League's Chicago Bears. Following a 1994 confrontation between Muller and Van Horne, Muller called Van Horne "psychotic," "nuts," "extremely violent," "over the edge," and "a Charles Manson who works out," and claimed that Van Horne was stalking him. Van Horne sued the station for defamation and also claimed that the station owners were negligent for hiring Muller since they knew of his reputation for outrageous behavior on the air. Muller also settled, for an undisclosed amount, a defamation lawsuit filed against him by Janet Dahl, wife of Chicago radio host Steve Dahl; according to an August 18, 2001, Chicago Sun-Times article, the lawsuit claimed that Muller "repeatedly and falsely referred to [Janet Dahl] as engaging in adultery, fornication and sexual promiscuity in the vilest of terms."
From the December 6 edition of Fox News' which also featured co-hosts Steve Doocy and E.D. Hill:
MULLER: Guys, I do want to do one serious thing today. Howard Dean ought to be kicked out of America.
MULLER: He ought to be tried for treason. He is the enemy. These people, these Dummy-crats -- I'm not a Republican. I'm a Libertarian --
DOOCY: What did he say, Mancow, this time?
MULLER: He said yesterday -- it was late-breaking news -- I, -- I've never done this before in my life -- I was calling radio shows. I've never done that. I called Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes last night [saying]: "You guys gotta get on this. Howard Dean said we're going to lose the war."
MULLER: This is the head of the Democrats!
HILL: Hey, Mancow --
MULLER: These people want every boy to die. They're bloodthirsty animals. Howard Dean is a vile human being. I can't believe it.
KILMEADE: Many people can't. His quote was: "The idea that the U.S. will win the war in Iraq is plain wrong."
DOOCY: Mancow, we have invited Howard Dean on this program many times and he has declined.
MULLER: Because you'll ask him questions. You'll ask him real questions -- and if I sound like I'm ranting and raving and furious, well, it's because I am. But this guy, this guy is bloodthirsty. He is evil. I'm telling you, I really think every time you report another dead body in Iraq, they go, "Hoo hoo, it's perfect!"
HILL: Well, that's it. You get the sense that people are rooting for the U.S. to lose the war.
DOOCY: For political purposes.
MULLER: We know the enemy is watching the news.
DOOCY: Mancow, thanks very much.