In aggressively promoting Rep. Michele Bachmann's November 5 anti-health care reform rally on Capitol Hill, Fox News has chosen to associate itself with the offensive and extremist rhetoric emanating from that event. This rhetoric includes the disturbing signs -- such as one of a pile of Holocaust victims' bodies captioned "National Socialist Health Care, Dachau, Germany - 1945" -- displayed at the event.
Anti-reform rally featured extremist images
"National Socialist Health Care, Dachau, Germany - 1945" From a blog post by the Center for American Progress' Matthew Yglesias:
"Got Good Health Care? Let me cure that for you. Stop Obamunism." From a November 5 Huffington Post slide show:
"OBAMA - Gov't TAKE OVER ... JUST LIKE NAZI GERMANY!" From the Huffington Post slide show:
Pelosi: "UnAmerican McCarthyite." From MSNBC.com:
"Maoism is not reform." From the Huffington Post slide show:
"Obama Listens to Mao, I listen to Fox News." From the Huffington Post slide show:
"KEN-YA TRUST OBAMA." From MSNBC.com:
NBC's First Read reports on "jaw-dropping signs." In a November 5 post on the rally, the MSNBC.com blog First Read reported:
Here are some of the more jaw-dropping signs seen at the rally:
- "Get the Red Out of the White House."
- "Waterboard Congress"
- "Traitor to the U.S. Constitution" (Picture of Obama on sign)
- "Un-American McCarthyite" (with picture of Pelosi)
- "I'm the King of the World: Remember the Titanic?" (Drawing of Obama in the mold of the 'Jovial Sambo' from the Jim Crow era doing the Leo Titanic pose."
Fox News personalities aggressively promoted Bachmann's protest against health care reform bill
Fox News follows pattern of advocacy in promoting November 5 rally. Fox News and its personalities -- including judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, contributor Newt Gingrich, hosts Gretchen Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck, and their website The Fox Nation -- repeatedly promoted Bachmann's November 5 anti-reform protest.
Fox News has repeatedly engaged in conservative advocacy by promoting protests
Fox News promoted April 15 tea parties. In the lead-up to the April 15 tea parties, which the channel repeatedly described as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties," Fox News frequently aired segments publicizing the events and encouraging viewers to get involved. A Media Matters for America study found that from April 6 to 13, Fox News featured at least 20 segments on the "tea party" protests. A subsequent Media Matters study found that from April 6 to 15, Fox News aired at least 107 commercial promotions for its coverage of the April 15 tea parties.
Fox News promoted town hall disruptions. Fox News promoted disruptions of Democratic town hall events by protesters opposed to health care reform -- protests that were touted by Republican leaders and supported by conservative groups. Following the August 2 disruption of a town hall event hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fox News personalities repeatedly lauded such protesters and urged viewers to take similar action.
Fox News promoted 9-12 protests. In the lead-up to the 9-12 protest, Beck's website worked with others organizing the September 12 "March on Washington," and Beck repeatedly encouraged viewers to attend the protest. Fox News also heavily promoted the Tea Party Express tour -- the final stop of which was the 9-12 protest -- on Fox News, Fox Business, The Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com.