Bill O'Reilly lashed out at those in the media and on the "radical left" who are supposedly "coordinat[ing]" to brand Tea Party members as "terrorists." But Fox itself has a history of linking progressives and progressive policies to terrorism, with Glenn Beck going so far as to claim on Fox that health care reform was like "September 11th all over again except we didn't have the collapsing buildings."
O'Reilly Lashes Out At The Media And The "Radical Left" For Calling Tea Partiers "Terrorists"
O'Reilly: The Media And The "Radical Left" Are "Coordinat[ing]" To Brand Tea Party Members "Terrorists." From the August 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Hey, far-left fanatics: is there a difference when your side refuses to compromise? Apparently there is. The bitter political divide in the USA is disturbing. Using words like "terrorist" and "racist" to brand opponents is simply unacceptable. I think maybe President Obama needs to give another speech like his Arizona appeal. Some of his most ardent supporters obviously did not get the message.
O'REILLY: Here's what we're hearing, and it happens on the Republican side too by the way. But here is what we are hearing. There are a list of media people, pundits primarily but some straight people as well, some so called reporters, who are on mailing lists of radical left websites. So they get blasts. They get talking points and it happens on the right too. OK, so every morning they get a little ding on their BlackBerry, "ding-ding", and here's the phraseology that is being used. They read it and they spit it back. That's happening, Charles. That's coordination.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER (Fox News contributor): Look, what it means to me is you got people with no intelligence, no originality, no imagination. They are sputtering. They've lost. They have no arguments. So what do they do? They want ad hominems. They want epithets. So somebody uses it on the air, "Ah-ha, well that's a good one. I'll use it." I don't credit them with the intelligence or the sort of what it takes to put together a conspiracy. I'm not sure that is an important point here. The effect is they all end up saying the same thing. It's birds on a wire.
O'REILLY: OK, but here is why I think it is important. When you repeat a lie often enough, in some people's minds it becomes the truth. That's the rule number one of every propagandist who's ever operated. Repeat the lie. Mantra, mantra, mantra. Now, they tried it with the racist deal. You know they did. They tried to brand the Tea Party people racists, didn't work. Now, they're saying they're economic terrorists. They want to blow the whole country up.
KRAUTHAMMER: But as you just said, Bill. You just said earlier if you repeat the lie often enough it will work. Well, you just said with racism it didn't work -
O'REILLY: Because there was enough counter to that. There was enough counter --
KRAUTHAMMER: This is so transparently silly. You actually had one congressman -- I wrote it down -- Mike Doyle in the meeting with the vice president yesterday actually said, "We've negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists has made it impossible for us to spend any money." Well that's a hell of a definition of terrorism.
O'REILLY: This is so ridiculous.
KRAUTHAMMER: Normally a terrorist says, "I want you to convert. I want your daughter. I want your money. I want your submission."
KRAUTHAMMER: This guy says that a bunch of terrorists in Congress have stopped us from spending money we don't have. You think that's an argument that will carry with the American people? I think not.
O'REILLY: No. I don't think it was the Tea Party who got this done. I think it was the American people. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 8/2/11]
Fox Has A History Of Linking Progressives And Progressive Policies To Terrorism
Fox's Bolling Called Obama Commerce Secretary Nominee An "Eco-Terrorist." During the June 3 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor (while O'Reilly was on vacation), Eric Bolling called then Department of Commerce Secretary nominee John Bryston "an eco-terrorist." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/3/11]
Bolling: Bryson "Is So Pro-Green" That "You Could Almost Call Him An Eco-Terrorist." From the June 2 edition of Fox & Friends:
BOLLING: Mr. Obama has a green agenda. No question about it. Steven Chu is green. He's the energy secretary. Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, also very green, permatoriums and whatnot. The new guy -- this is very important -- the guy that he -- Obama nominated on Tuesday for the commerce secretary job, his name is John Bryson. There are those of us who watch this stuff carefully, you can almost call him an eco-terrorist. He is --
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): What?
BOLLING: He is so pro-green. This -- the point is, all these secretary -- these cabinet positions are held by very, very green agenda environmentalists. It's scary. And by the way, our gas prices go up. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/2/11, via Media Matters]
Beck Compared Health Care Reform To 9-11. From the November 2, 2009, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Conservatives are awake -- 9-12ers are willing to do the hard things. We know what this means. We're taking time out of our busy lives, taking time away from their families. They're attending town hall meetings. Do you think they want to do that?
They are calling their representatives. How many times do we have to be yelled at by your people in Washington? They are reading 2,000-page health care bills on the weekend. The 9-12ers are willing to stand in line and take our shoes off before the plane actually hits the tower. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/2/09, via Media Matters]
Fox Nation Promoted Rep. Foxx's Comments That Health Care Bill Was More Dangerous "Than Any Terrorist Right Now." On November 3, 2009, Fox Nation linked to a video of Rep. Virginia Foxx's statement that the health care bill was more dangerous "than any terrorist right now" under the headline: "Rep. Foxx Fears 'Obamacare' More Than Terrorist Attack." [Fox Nation, 11/3/09, via Media Matters]
Beck On Obama's Policies: "It's September 11th All Over Again Except We Didn't Have The Collapsing Buildings." From the March 25, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: Our leadership now is continuing to push for a cap-and-trade bill, which will raise our energy prices and, of course, limit our own oil production. So let me see if I have this right. If the Saudi oilfields don't burn down to the ground, if they catch all the terrorists and nothing ever happens there, we can be dependent on them.
But we are going to dry up all of our oil anyway because we're going to have a big cap and trade. We're not going to be able to go for that. What are they doing to us? What are they doing?
We must be independent. These pressures keep building and the vise gets tighter and tighter and tighter. There are -- I was going to say easy. They are not easy long term principles.
But there are long term principles that will solve these issues. We have talked about them at length many times. We're going to talk about them in the next few weeks. I'm going to solve some of these things.
And you've got -- I'm telling you, you don't have to agree with my answer. But you've got to be behind something that makes sense. In the shorter term, we just need to keep our heads.
We need to fight hard within the rules and pray, get down on your knees and pray, pray. It is September 11th all over again except we didn't have the collapsing buildings, but we need God more than ever.
Gandhi said use truth as enamel -- an anvil, and a hammer, non-violence. And you just keep pounding on that with non-violence and you reject anything that doesn't make sense.
We can beat the issues that lie ahead of us. We can do it. But the situation is only made more difficult when our own leadership, our own Congress, our own president, is not telling us the truth and for political reasons, tightening that vise. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/25/10, via Media Matters]
Beck Likens Congress, Maxine Waters, To "Economic Terrorist[s]." From the August 10, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK: There are economic terrorists. Yeah. Somebody that would force you to do something you didn't want to do by scaring you. Like Congress. Like Congress, when they pull people -- you remember Maxine Waters when she said, "I'll tell you what this liberal's gonna do. This liberal's gonna take your country. " Remember that? That's kind of an economic terrorist right there.
You see, terrorism in its broadest form is just designed to scare you into changing your way of life. Because they know -- well, for instance, Maxine Waters knows you can't defeat the free market system. So you have to scare it. Control it. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 8/10/10, via Media Matters]
Bush Treasury Secretary Called Those Threatening Not To Raise Debt Ceiling "Our Version Of Al Qaeda Terrorists"
Bush Treasury Secretary O'Neill: "The People Who Are Threatening Not To Pass The Debt Ceiling Are Our Version Of Al Qaeda Terrorists." From The Hill:
Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill compared lawmakers trying to block raising the debt ceiling to "al Qaeda terrorists."
"The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really," O'Neill, Treasury secretary in the Republican administration of George W. Bush, said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television's InBusiness with Margaret Brennan.
"They're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk," O'Neill said.
His remarks come just a day after Obama administration Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner slammed recent discussions over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling as "ridiculous" and "irresponsible."
Both O'Neill's and Geithner's comments are in response to House Republicans who have recently threatened to vote to raise the debt ceiling only if that also means passing certain other deficit-reduction proposals.
In the same interview, O'Neill said the debt-ceiling debate is a symptom of a broken political system.
"I do believe we have a broken political system that is capable of doing irresponsible things," O'Neill said. "This whole conversation is irresponsible." [The Hill, 4/27/11]