Limbaugh and Fox News responded to U.N. deputy Sec.-Gen. Brown with attacks

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

In response to recent remarks by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, who criticized "U.S. administrations of both parties" for allowing the U.N.'s "loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News," to define the international organization for the "U.S. heartland," Limbaugh and various other Fox News media figures smeared Brown, referring to him, in turn, as a "pointy-headed, elitist liberal" and "a phony."

In response to recent remarks by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, who criticized "U.S. administrations of both parties" for allowing the U.N.'s "loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News," to define the international organization for the "U.S. heartland," Limbaugh and various other Fox News media figures smeared Brown on June 7, referring to him, in turn, as a "pointy-headed, elitist liberal" and "a phony."

In a June 6 speech delivered at a global leadership conference, Brown stated that the United States is "constructively engaged" with the U.N., but that its productive relationship is overshadowed in the United States by "too much unchecked U.N. bashing and stereotyping." He added that "much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News."

Responding to Brown's criticism on the June 7 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Limbaugh acknowledged that "Brown is saying ... that [the U.N.] is not recognized for its true benefit to world peace ... because of me and Fox News poisoning your minds." Limbaugh responded by advising his listeners that Brown "is just another pointy-headed, elitist liberal saying you're a bunch of mind-numbed robots and you can't make up your own minds about things." He added that the U.N. is "still the bar ... scene in the first Star Wars movie" and that its members are "tinhorn dictators" and "little rugrats." Limbaugh continued, saying that he couldn't "care less" what Brown "has to say 'cause he's just another in a long line of liberals who can't win in the arena of ideas, so he's got to go out and try to discredit the detractors." Later on the program, Limbaugh accused U.N. peacekeepers of "raping everybody they can find," and then asked: "How many of you, and how many people on my staff, have sold young women into prostitution?"

Fox News hosts John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly also responded to Brown's criticism with more attacks on the U.N. and attacks on Brown himself. On the June 7 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, Gibson called U.N. diplomats "annoying" for their alleged habit of "running around New York like they own the place, tearing up parking tickets." Similarly, on the June 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said Brown is "a phony" because he was "too afraid" to appear on O'Reilly's show to talk about his remarks. And on the June 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity accused the U.N. of "a lot of institutional anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism."

As Media Matters for America has noted, the U.N. has been a frequent subject of attack by Fox News personalities and on The Rush Limbaugh Show, as Brown observed. For example, O'Reilly once wished, on his radio show, that Hurricane Katrina "had only hit the United Nations building, and nothing else," adding: "And I wouldn't have rescued them." He also has said that "[I]f [former Soviet dictator] Joseph Stalin was still alive, he'd be the UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund] spokesperson." Fox News also smeared U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a special report titled Breaking Point: U.N. Blood Money: Kofi Annan Under Fire. Limbaugh has called the U.N. General Assembly "thugs and dictators" and claimed that an economic proposal by the United Nations Development Programme was intended to "rape" the United States.

From the June 7 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: And so, Mark Malloch Brown is saying the reason that the United Nations is unrecognized for its greatness and its value, the reason that it's not recognized for its true benefit to world peace and blah, blah, blah, blah, is because of me and Fox News poisoning your minds. What's new?

This is just another pointy-headed, elitist liberal saying you're a bunch of mind-numbed robots, and you can't make up your own minds about things. The United Nations has not changed. It's still the bar war -- the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie. It's nothing but the vast majority of its members being tinhorn dictators and -- and -- and other, you know, little rugrats that are given legitimacy with their membership in the United Nations.

It is an organization that seeks to fleece the American treasury. It's an organization that seeks to undermine U.S. foreign policy, blames us for the problems of the world. And I couldn't care less what this pointy-headed intellectual elitist has to say 'cause he's just another in a long line of liberals who can't win in the arena of ideas, so he's got to go out and try to discredit the detractors. What -- what's new about this?

[...]

LIMBAUGH: And here's the actual statement of Kofi Annan's chief aide. He was making this speech yesterday. It was a luncheon speech at a midtown hotel in New York to a conference on global leadership, co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation.

BROWN [audio clip]: Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. That is what I meant by stealth diplomacy. The U.N.'s role is, in effect, a secret in Middle America, even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

LIMBAUGH: No, I'm not offended, but I long ago ceased being offended, Mr. Snerdley. I just don't have the energy anymore. I told you, I do not let people offend me. This is -- this is -- he's exactly right. Is -- is -- so what, he's on the world stage? The guy is a pointy-headed elitist; they're all the same. I don't care if they're in Little Rock or if they're in New York on the world's stage. You know, the U.N., as I say, is nothing more than the -- than the bar scene in the first Star Wars, and now Mr. Malloch Brown is trying to engage in The Empire Strikes Back. And you know, we're just a little federation out here doing our best to keep people informed of the truth. What a corrupt organization! Kofi Annan, oil-for-food -- hello! Iraq! Saddam Hussein! It's not like we're making this stuff up, ladies and gentlemen. And then you've got the peacekeepers, so-called, the blue-helmeted guys over in Africa, raping everybody they can find in their peacekeeping role. For crying out loud here. Here's [U.S. ambassador to the U.N.] John Bolton. John Bolton reacted to this. He was on Fox this morning I think with David Asman, he was asked about this, and this was Bolton's reply.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: And that's what Malloch Brown is essentially saying: "We are above criticism. We don't like Mr. Rush Limbaugh, Fox News daring to attack our integrity and honor." Now, let me tell you something. Let me ask you people a question here. How many of you, and how many people on my staff, have sold young women into prostitution?

From the June 7 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: I wrote a book called Hating America: The New World Sport, in which I documented the anti- Americanism rampant among the 190 countries in the U.N. that are not the U.S. And this doesn't even account the annoying habit of U.N. diplomats running around New York like they own the place, tearing up parking tickets. Mr. Malloch Brown is aware that the U.N. has a bad rap. It may be true that Fox and Rush Limbaugh have alerted the American people to these problems, but let's get serious. Neither Fox nor Rush Limbaugh made these things up.

From the June 7 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Well, Mr. Brown is a phony because we asked him to come on tonight, and he's too afraid. He's hiding under that lectern right now. We sent him sandwiches.

From the June 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HANNITY: All right. But we got U.N. oil-for-food. We've got their ineffectiveness, not only on Iran but Iraq. We have had a lot of institutional anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism there. Why shouldn't the American people say enough is enough?

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