On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, boxing promoter Don King claimed that the vast majority of African-Americans who supported Sen. John Kerry for president in 2004 did so "[b]ecause they didn't know any better." He also defended President Bush's handling of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, asserting that Bush is "is one of the best presidents we have ever had in the history of this country."
On the August 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, boxing promoter Don King claimed that the vast majority of African-Americans who supported Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for president in 2004 did so "[b]ecause they didn't know any better."
Remarking on the accusatory tone of news reports coming out of the Gulf Coast on the first anniversary of the devastating hurricane, Alessandra Stanley wrote in an August 30 New York Times article that "[p]erhaps understandably, not many ... officials were eager to go on television to defend the administration's handling of the relief effort," and then noted that Cavuto "turned to boxing promoter Don King, a longtime supporter of Mr. Bush," to "praise the president" on his handling of Katrina.
During the interview, King asserted that Bush is "is one of the best presidents we have ever had in the history of this country," adding that Bush's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have "given more women freedom than any other president in history." Later, while Cavuto noted that "better than 90 percent of African-Americans opted for [Bush's] opponent in the last election," King, who is an African-American, replied that was "[b]ecause they didn't know any better." Throughout the segment, the onscreen text read: "Don King: Stop Blaming Pres. Bush For Katrina!"
King's appearance on Your World followed that of health trainer Richard Simmons, who was more critical of the Bush administration's post-Katrina relief efforts. King responded to Simmons' critique by questioning his knowledge of political issues, stating: "Now, Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world. I adore him, his energy, his vitality to be able to exercise. But, in running a country, and knowing all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising."
As Media Matters for America has noted, this is not the first time King has appeared on Fox News in an attempt to bolster Bush's image. On Hannity & Colmes in late 2004, King overstated the share of the black vote that Bush reportedly received in the 2004 presidential election.
From the August 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
CAVUTO: Democratic Senator John Kerry using the Katrina anniversary to criticize the president's response, saying that "[p]hoto-ops won't get the Gulf Coast back in business. Action is the only option."
Don King says, stop blaming the president. He is here to support the president and promote an upcoming fight with his new Russian champion, Nikolai Valuev, who we saw just before the break. Lots more on that to come in future shows. But, Don, what do you make -- I know you're friends with the president, like the president. He's getting a lot of bashing on Katrina. Deserved?
KING: Well, the president is -- I think is a revolutionary president. He stands for inclusiveness. And not only that; he has given more women freedom than any other president in history. With the -- Afghanistan, and -- and Iraq, and the Middle East, he has freed a lot of women. So, when the women's groups know -- they must take note of that. A lot of women now, they've got the liberties and the freedoms, and they'll be able to vote and to be able to be active. It's because of President George Walker Bush.
CAVUTO: But they say -- and the Democrats -- we're talking about John Kerry, what he said -- post-Katrina, he's got a bum rap, slow to respond -- just heard Richard Simmons saying the money's still not getting there. What do you think?
KING: Well, I think that, you know, you have to take it for what it's really worth. You know, John Kerry, you know, I love the man. He's a great American, but he's a flip-flopper. So, when you're flip-flopping all the time, you don't know what stand he's really taking. So, we can disregard that.
Now, Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world. I adore him, his energy, his vitality to be able to exercise. But, in running a country, and knowing all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising. Know what I mean?
CAVUTO: That's a little mean. But, look, this anniversary bothered people for a lot of reasons, Don, that -- that a disproportionate number of people who were affected were minorities. Now, does that, on any level, bother you?
KING: No, because I think it's God's work. This is -- you must understand something. What Katrina did, in all of this devastation, this horror, and this tragedy, it exposed to this nation that we had a Third World nation within the most -- the most plush, luxurious, and wealthiest nation in the world. When you find that Katrina -- what -- the devastating part about Katrina, that we had people living in squalor and blight and want in Mississippi -- in New Orleans and in the Mississippi Delta belt --
KING: -- just as though they were in slavery in 1865. This is the exposure. Now, getting to take care of them, yes, little short there. You were tardy. But to recognize what it is now, and to have a mayor down there, that's [C. Ray] Nagin, and they've got the money that they have put up to be able to do --
CAVUTO: What do you think of Mayor Nagin?
KING: I like Nagin.
KING: I think sometimes, he -- you know, he steps over the bar. But so's do [sic] everybody else. You know what I mean? I think he's down there. He got re-elected. He stood the test of time.
CAVUTO: He threw a couple of zingers at the president.
KING: Yes. He does. He -- he, but you know --
CAVUTO: Do you agree with that?
KING: You know what?
KING: Those things come. But that's what democracy is, to be able --
KING: -- to make an opinion. But George Walker Bush is one of the best presidents we have ever had in the history of this country.
CAVUTO: Let me -- you -- you -- you don't broadcast this, but we did a little bit of research. You've given quite a bit of money for Katrina relief, matching public donations of $100,000 through the Salvation Army. You've given another $200,000 raised for the victims of Katrina in a separate fund campaign. And a lot of people, Don, are saying, great, great, great. But something happens between people like you giving the money, and then New Orleans getting the money.
KING: That's a problem that we have to really try to get at, you know what I mean, to find out where the organizational dis-structure is, and put it into a proper fitting. I think that --
CAVUTO: But do you think a lot of it's getting stolen?
KING: No, I don't think -- it may -- it may -- being misplaced or not going through the pipelines as readily as it should. And I think that's where our attention should be. Just as we have all of these great organizations, the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, and the IRS, we ought to have enough brains to find out how to funnel and channel money back to where the necessary --
CAVUTO: Well, we obviously don't. Because --
KING: You know, and that's -- That's a big shortcoming.
CAVUTO: There's no problem with Americans' hearts. You know, we're still giving a lot of money. But when I look at the kind of stuff that [Fox News anchor] Shepard Smith was showing today, homes that are still dilapidated, repairs still not getting done, cars still abandoned, you don't know who to blame -- local, state, federal officials. But when I've been down there, Don, they all say, God, we hate 'em all. Do you think that's justified?
KING: No, that's not justified. What we need to do is to find out what the problem is and attack that problem, which, you know, you have just demonstrated. And we must be able to resolve that, you know what I mean, because this is a country of the people, for the people, and by the people.
And -- and this -- this -- this country here is one of the greatest nations in the world, called America. And, so, now we should be able -- with all of the MIT graduates, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, we should be able to identify what the problem is, and resolve the problem by handling it appropriately, not through making speeches and attacking the president because he's to -- he's to blame for everything from the Johnstown Flood, to World War II, to the Lindbergh kidnapping. Anything that they can find, when they can't deal with it, they jump on George Walker Bush.
But let me tell you this. Even the Democrats that are castigating, vilifying, and character-assassinating him are so happy when they go to bed to know that they have a man in the White House that says what he means and means what he says, and resolves the protection of this nation.
CAVUTO: Nevertheless, better than 90 percent of African-Americans opted for his opponent in the last election.
KING: Because they didn't know any better. We've been --
KING: -- indoctrinated. We've been totally bamboozled. We've been thinking that the Democrats --
CAVUTO: So, what do African-Americans tell you, Don, when they say, "Hey, you're a big Bush supporter and all; that doesn't jibe"?
KING: Well, it -- it will jibe once they understand. Bush has made inclusiveness. You know, he had Colin Powell. And there's the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, as to security. You know, now, either Bush is totally insane, or he put two blacks, who are shiftless, worthless, no account, that we all lie, cheat and steal, you know what I mean, into positions of security, for both those who are proponents of America and those who are opponents of America.
KING: And so, he is either a man of God. Now, you know that Moses -- you know, God told Moses to go to the -- to the pharaohs, say, let my people go. Well, he touched George Walker Bush, and said, let my people in.
CAVUTO: All right.
KING: And he has done just that.
CAVUTO: Don King, always great seeing you. We're going to be seeing you very soon with your --
KING: It's Your World.
CAVUTO: -- with your big champ.
KING: Big red October. You know?
CAVUTO: Your seven-foot -- God, this guy is a monster.
KING: Seven-foot-two, 335 pounds.
CAVUTO: And we're not going to mess with him.
KING: And he's going to unify -- Vladimir Putin --
CAVUTO: I'm going to sic him on Bill O'Reilly, is what I'm going to do.
KING: Yes. He's going to be right there.
CAVUTO: Don, thank you very much.
KING: I love you, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right.
KING: Your World.