Buyer Beware: Why Advertisers Should Still Be Wary Of Financially Supporting Fox News

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

Buyer Beware: Why Advertisers Should Still Be Wary Of Financially Supporting Fox News

Before Glenn Beck announced that his Fox News show is ending, more than 300 advertisers had dropped their ads from the show due to Beck's reckless vitriol, demonstrated pattern of deceit, violent rhetoric, repeated use of racially charged rhetoric, and propagation of anti-Semitic stereotypes. However, even with Beck leaving, advertisers have plenty of reasons to be concerned about associating their brands with Fox News, as extremist rhetoric pervades the network, from the management to the so-called "news" shows to other Fox personalities. For example:

  • Washington managing editor Bill Sammon tied Obama to socialism before the 2008 election, even though he admitted later that he didn't believe the charge at the time.
  • Fox straight "news" host Megyn Kelly relentlessly pushed the tenuous claim that DOJ engaged in racially charged "corruption."
  • Fox hosts Steve Doocy, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly, have all called on Obama to release his birth certificate -- even though he did in June 2008.
  • Fox News contributor and retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters suggested that the Taliban should kill a U.S. solider it had captured if the soldier turned out to be a deserter, stating that "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." Peters' remarks were later condemned by a bipartisan group of 23 veterans serving in Congress.

For a more comprehensive list of examples, see below:

Fox Management Spreads Extremist Rhetoric:

Fox "News" Reporters Spread Extremist Rhetoric:

Fox Personalities Spread Extremist Rhetoric:

Fox Management Spreads Extremist Rhetoric:

Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon Tilts Fox's "News" Coverage To The Right

Sammon Has Repeatedly Been Caught Distorting Fox's "News" Coverage. Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon has repeatedly been caught politicizing the coverage of Fox's "news" programs, even resorting to deception to do so. It was revealed in a series of emails leaked to Media Matters that Sammon:

  • Tied Obama To Socialism Even Though He Didn't Believe The Charge At The Time. In the days before the 2008 election, Sammon sent his staff a list of Obama's supposed ties to socialism and then repeatedly appeared on-air to discuss them -- even though he admitted that he privately did not believe Obama to be a socialist at the time. [Media Matters, 3/29/11]
  • Ordered "News" Reporters To Cast Doubt On Climate Science. Sammon directed staff to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed ... without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question." [Media Matters, 12/15/10]
  • Directed "News" Staff To Use "Government Option" Instead Of "Public Option" During The Health Care Reform Debate. In 2009, Sammon told staff not to use the phrase "public option," but instead "government option" and similar phrases, which echoed GOP pollster Frank Luntz's advice on how to turn public opinion against reform efforts. [Media Matters, 12/9/10]
  • Slanted Coverage Of Obama's 2009 Speech In Cairo By Highlighting That The President Did Not Use The Word "Terror." Following Obama's June 2009 speech in Cairo, Sammon fired off an email to his "news" staff, noting his check of "Obama's 6,000-word speech to the Muslim world did not turn up the words 'terror,' 'terrorist' or 'terrorism.' " Despite the fact that Obama devoted a significant section of his remarks to denouncing and confronting Al Qaeda and other "violent extremists," the criticism was repeated by Sammon and other personalities throughout the network's coverage. [Media Matters, 2/8/11]

Roger Ailes Defended Beck's Nazi Rhetoric, Then Compared NPR Execs To Nazis

Fox News President Roger Ailes Defended Glenn Beck's Frequent Use Of Holocaust Imagery, Called NPR Execs "Nazis." In July 2010, representatives from the Jewish Funds for Justice met with Fox News president Roger Ailes to discuss the group's concerns about Beck's frequent use of Nazi rhetoric to attack them and other progressives. While Ailes reportedly agreed it was a problem and promised to speak with Beck about it, just a few months later Ailes was defending Beck's extreme rhetoric and employing it himself. As Esquire reported, Ailes responded to complaints of Beck's continued Nazi rhetoric to smear George Soros in the fall of 2010 by saying, "Well have you ever heard of freedom of speech?" days before he himself referred to NPR executives as Nazis:

Then, in short order last fall, Beck devoted three programs to attacking Jewish financier George Soros, in part by implicating him as an agent of the Holocaust. Did Ailes take the resulting uproar seriously? "I think Rupert got a few letters," he told Esquire. "He sent them down to me. I answer them -- I just say, Well have you ever heard of freedom of speech? It's in the Constitution, we do it, and I'm sorry you didn't like, but if Mr. Soros would like to come on our channel and present an alternative view, we would be happy to have him."

Within days, Ailes himself referred to the executives who fired Juan Williams from NPR as Nazis. [Esquire, 1/21/11, Media Matters 1/21/11]

Ailes Apologized To ADL For Calling NPR Execs "Nazis," But He Did Not Apologize To NPR Or Back Down From His Defense Of Beck. In a November 19, 2010, article, NPR reported that while Fox News president Roger Ailes apologized to the head of the American Defamation League for calling NPR executives "Nazis" (Ailes reportedly stated that he should have said "nasty inflexible bigot" instead), he "has not apologized to NPR executives." Furthermore, Ailes did not apologize for his defense of Beck's rhetoric, but instead reportedly said he was upset at the rabbis who called for an end to Beck's rhetoric. [NPR, 11/19/10]

Beck's Rhetoric Later Prompted 400 Rabbis To Urge Fox To Sanction Beck. Beck's Nazi rhetoric continued into January 2011, prompting the Jewish Funds for Justice to write a letter, signed by 400 rabbis, condemning Beck. Beck responded by comparing Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/22/11, via Media Matters]

Fox "News" Reporters Spread Extremist Rhetoric:

Fox "News" Shows Heavily Promote Race-Baiting NBPP Story

Right-Wing Activist Alleged Racially Charged "Corruption" In Obama DOJ's Handling Of New Black Panther Party Case. In 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), one of whom was carrying a nightstick, stood outside a Philadelphia polling place. The NBPP members were later brought up on civil charges of voter intimidation. In 2010, Fox News eagerly and aggressively promoted the allegations pushed by J. Christian Adams, a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department, and his supporters that President Obama's Justice Department engaged in racially charged "corruption" in the New Black Panther Party case by choosing not to pursue voter intimidation charges against the NBPP. In fact, Bush's Justice Department, not Obama's, made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against the NBPP, and no voters came forward to say they were intimidated from voting on account of the NBPP's presence. [Media Matters, 7/19/10]

Despite Falseshoods, Megyn Kelly Led Media "Kicking And Screaming" To Baseless New Black Panther Party Allegations. The push was led in large part by Megyn Kelly, who bragged that she helped Fox News drag the rest of the media to the story "kicking and screaming." [Fox News, America Live, 7/12/10, via Media Matters]

Kelly Devoted More Than Three And A Half Hours Of Her "News" Show To Hyping Scandal; Fox Gave Total Of 88 Seconds To Its Debunking. Media Matters found that in the fifteen days following Kelly's initial June 30, 2010, interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of J. Christian Adams, six Fox News shows devoted 95 segments and more than eight hours of airtime to the phony New Black Panthers scandal -- including more than 3.5 hours on Kelly's "news" show alone. By contrast, those shows have devoted a total of two segments and 88 seconds to the Justice Department's release of the results of an internal investigation clearing DOJ officials of any wrongdoing or misconduct in that case. [Media Matters, 4/13/11]

Other Racially Charged Rhetoric On Fox "News" Shows

Kelly On Sotomayor's "Wise Latina" Remark: "Sounds To A Lot Of People Like Reverse Racism." In 2002, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit at the time, remarked on the importance of judicial diversity in determining race and sex discrimination cases, stating that in those cases she "would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." On May 26, 2009, when Sotomayor was a Supreme Court nominee, America's Newsroom co-host Megyn Kelly joined conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, by stating that Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark "sounds to a lot of people like reverse racism, basically. Like she's saying that Latina judges are obviously better than white male judges, and that that's her assumption, and people get worried about putting a person like that on the U.S. Supreme Court." Kelly later added, "I've looked at the entire speech that she was offering to see if that was taken out of context, and I have to tell you ... it wasn't." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 5/26/09, via Media Matters]

Tucker Carlson: When Dems Say Reid Supports Civil Rights, "What They're Saying Is He's For Racial Set-Asides." On Happening Now, discussing 2008 comments by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson said that he was "amazed by the number of Democrats you hear saying we support Reid because he supports civil rights -- as if his opponents don't support civil rights." Carlson then claimed that "what they're saying is he's for racial set-asides, therefore, given that pay-off, he gets a pass when he uses the phrase 'negro dialect.' " [Fox News, Happening Now, 1/11/10, via Media Matters]

Former Fox News Host E.D. Hill On Obama: "A Fist Bump? A Pound? A Terrorist Fist Jab?" Teasing a segment on the "gesture everyone seems to interpret differently," E.D. Hill, then the host of Fox News' America's Pulse, said: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? ... We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says." In the ensuing discussion with a "body language expert," Hill referred to the "Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound," but at no point did she explain her earlier reference to "a terrorist fist jab." Hill later stated of her remark: "I apologize because unfortunately, some thought that I personally had characterized [the fist bump] inappropriately. I regret that. It was not my intention." [Fox News, America's Pulse, 6/6/08, 6/10/08, via Media Matters]

Violent Rhetoric on Fox "News" Programming

Ralph Peters Suggested That If A Taliban-Held Soldier Is A Deserter, "The Taliban Can Save Us A Lot Of Legal Hassles And Legal Bills" By Killing Him. Fox News contributor and retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters asserted of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009 and appeared in two Taliban propaganda videos: "[W]e know this private is a liar; we're not sure if he's a deserter." Peters added that if he is a deserter, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." NBC's Jim Miklaszewski subsequently reported that the Pentagon said Peters' comments "could endanger" the captured soldier, and his remarks were condemned by a bipartisan group of 23 veterans serving in Congress. Following the flood of criticism, Peters' subsequently stated of the soldier: "I do hope for his family's sake this guy comes back safely." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 7/19/09, via Media Matters; Letter from 23 members of Congress, 7/21/09, via Media Matters; Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/21/09, via Media Matters]

Cal Thomas Claimed Health Care Reform "Is An Outrage" And "A Sham"; "Euthanasia Is Coming." On Fox News' America's News HQ, columnist Cal Thomas said the health bill is "a triumph of the humanistic, atheistic philosophy. Instead of being endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, those rights are going to be taken away by bureaucrats who will decide whether you get a hip replacement or a heart bypass, based on your age and your ability to pay more taxes." He continued:

It is an outrage. It is a sham. Euthanasia is coming. You can call them death panels. That's exactly what they're going to be. We are going to really be sorry for this, but, unfortunately, when the guy in the white robe comes to give us our little pill, as President Obama told ABC, the 100-year-old woman who wants to live must get in order to make it equal for everybody and not to spend so much, it will be too late. [Fox News, America's News HQ, 11/21/09, via Media Matters]

Fox "News" Shows Attack Latinos

Fox "News" Shows Spread Falsehoods About DREAM Act. Media Matters documented several Fox "news" programs spreading falsehoods about the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for certain immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. For example, Lou Dobbs falsely claimed on America's Newsroom that the DREAM Act "permits those who have avoided their deportation hearings" and "[t]hose guilty of misdemeanors," and Fox News host Greg Jarrett falsely claimed on America Live that "for millions of illegals, the Dream Act ... would fulfill their dream of jumping right to the front of the line and becoming U.S. citizens." [Media Matters, 11/24/10]

Fox "News" Shows Have Repeatedly Used "Illegals" Slur. Fox "news" shows have repeatedly used the "illegals" slur when referring to undocumented immigrants. For example, on April 19, Fox News repeatedly used the term on two of its "news" shows, America Live and Special Report. On America Live, Fox News correspondent Molly Hennenberg stated that "President Obama has chided Republicans for not getting on board with the Democrats' view of immigration reform which is a pathway to citizenship for illegals and border security." During the same segment, Fox displayed the caption "Border Patrol Apprehended 445K+ Illegals Entering The U.S. In FY 2010." Similarly, on Special Report that evening, Hennenberg stated that "Democrats want a pathway to citizenship for illegals." While the term is often used on Fox News, prominent journalists' associations have denounced its use by the news media, noting that it "criminaliz[es] the person, not the action," and "skew[s] the public debate on immigration issues." [Media Matters, 4/20/11; Media Matters, 2/5/10]

Fox News' Trace Gallagher Conflated "Hispanics" With "Illegals." On the November 15, 2010, edition of America Live, Fox News correspondent Trace Gallagher conflated "Hispanics" with "illegals." While discussing a study that found that 100,000 "Hispanics" had left Arizona since the passage of the state's anti-immigration law (SB 1070), Gallagher asserted that the study found that "100,000 illegals have now left Arizona." [Fox News, America Live, 11/12/10, via Media Matters]

Fox Personalities Spread Extremist Rhetoric:

Fox Embraces Birtherism

Sean Hannity: "Produce The Birth Certificate, It's Over And Done With." On the March 24 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity asked: "What's the deal? Produce the birth certificate, it's over and done with." He later again demanded that Obama "[s]how the birth certificate" and asked, "Why won't they release the birth certificate?" In fact, Obama has released his birth certificate. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/24/11, via Media Matters; Media Matters, 4/7/11]

Sarah Palin On Trump Allegedly Sending Researchers To Hawaii To Investigate Obama's Birth Certificate: "More Power To Him."
On the April 9 edition of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin said of Trump's claim that he sent researchers to Hawaii to investigate Obama's birth certificate: "More power to him." Palin later stated, "I think that [Obama] was born in Hawaii, because there was the birth announcement put in the newspaper, but obviously, if there's something there that the president doesn't want people to see on that birth certificate, that he [seems to] be going to great lengths to make sure that it isn't shown, and that's kind of perplexing for a lot of people." [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 4/9/11, via Media Matters]

Steve Doocy: "He Could End It Simply, Just Show [The Birth Certificate] To Us." During an interview with Trump on the April 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy responded to Trump's claim that Obama "has not given a birth certificate" by saying, "He could end it simply, just show it to us, and it'd be over." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/11, via Media Matters]

"Bor[ed]" Of Birth Certificate Issue, O'Reilly Calls For Obama To "Put This Whole Thing To Bed." On the April 8 edition of his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly said that the birth certificate issue is "getting boring" and that Obama should "put this whole thing to bed." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/8/11, via Media Matters]

After Hosting Trump Birther Theories, Fox & Friends Increased Promotion Of Trump's Weekly Fox & Friends Appearances. Following Trump's public embrace of birther theories, Fox News began to increase their promotion of Trump's regular weekly segment on Fox & Friends. [Media Matters, 4/3/11]

Fox Personalities Push Claim Obama Has Problem With "The White Race"

Bill Sammon In 2008: Obama's "Views On The White Race" Are "Fairly Controversial." During a 2008 appearance on conservative Hugh Hewitt's radio program, Bill Sammon, then a Fox News contributor and now Fox News' Washington managing editor, said, "I've always felt that it's not going to be Jeremiah Wright's views on race that are necessarily going to doom Barack Obama's presidential bid. It's Barack Obama's own views on the white race which are, I think, fairly controversial." [Salem Radio Network, The Hugh Hewitt Show, 3/28/08, via Media Matters]

Hannity Defended Beck: "Can One Conclude That There Are Issues With The President? Black Liberation Theology?" On the March 9 edition Fox News' Hannity, after guest Penny Lee brought up that Beck "called the president of the United States, almost -- you know, referred to him as a racist," Sean Hannity defended Beck, saying: "But wait a minute. Wait, hang on a second. When the president hangs out with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, I'm -- can one conclude that there are issues with the president? Black liberation theology?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/9/10, via Media Matters]

Gingrich: Obama Has A "Kenyan, Anti-Colonial" Worldview. In a September 2010 interview with National Review Online, then-Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich asked: "What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" He added: "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior." [NRO, 9/11/10]

Huckabee: Obama Purportedly Returning Churchill Bust "A Great Insult To The British," Done Because Of "Kenyan Father And Grandfather." On the February 28 edition of WOR's The Steve Malzberg Show, Fox News host Mike Huckabee asserted:

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather. [WOR, The Steve Malzberg Show, 2/28/11, via Media Matters]

  • Huckabee Later Implausibly Claimed He "Simply Misspoke" When He Asserted Obama Himself Grew Up In Kenya. Huckabee later claimed that he "simply misspoke when I alluded to President Obama growing up in 'Kenya' and meant to say Indonesia." Numerous media figures have noted that Huckabee's defense is implausible: He made the false assertion twice, said Obama grew up "with a Kenyan father and grandfather," and claimed that Obama's learning about Kenya's Mau Mau Rebellion led him to develop a deep-seated hatred of the British. [HuckPac.com, 3/1/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Personalities Push Violent Rhetoric

Morris: "Those Crazies In Montana Who Say, 'We're Going To Kill ATF Agents Because The U.N.'s Going To Take Over' -- Well, They're Beginning To Have A Case." During a long conspiracy theory about a "super-national authority" that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, Fox News contributor Dick Morris asserted that Obama's policies are "internationalist" and that "[t]hose crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09, via Media Matters]

Scheuer: "The Only Chance We Have As A Country Right Now Is" For Bin Laden To "Detonate A Major Weapon" In U.S. Michael Scheuer, who has frequently appeared on Fox News as a terrorism expert, said during an appearance on Glenn Beck, "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/30/09, via Media Matters]

Fox Attacks Muslims

Kilmeade: "Not All Muslims Are Terrorists, But All Terrorists Are Muslims." On the October 15 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade defended Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's comments on the October 14 edition of ABC's The View by claiming the show's hosts "were outraged that somebody was saying there's a reason -- there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9-11. It wasn't just one person. It was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." Later that day on his radio show, Kilmeade claimed that it's a "fact" that "every terrorist is a Muslim." Kilmeade later apologized, saying on Fox & Friends: "I'm sorry about that, if I offended or hurt anybody's feelings. But that's it," and clarifying on his radio show that he "should have said" that "all terrorists who killed us on 9-11 with the Cole and the Khobar and the '98 embassies" were Muslim. [Media Matters, 10/18/10; Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 10/18/10, via Media Matters]

Peter Johnson Jr.: New York Muslims Should "Give Up Their Rights" In Order To Be "Good Neighbors." Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. stated on the August 20, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends that the issue of the Park51 Islamic center is "about neighbors becoming good neighbors." He added: "Any American can assert a right. Great Americans give up their rights to help those they share nothing else with but a love of this country." On September 3, Johnson repeated that those building the Islamic center should "give up their First Amendment rights." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/20/10, 9/3/10, via Media Matters]

O'Reilly: "[T]here Is A Muslim Problem In The World." On the October 18, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, O'Reilly stated that "folks are fed up with politically correct nonsense. There's no question there is a Muslim problem in the world" and "most Americans well understand the danger coming out of the Muslim world." His on-screen text read: "The Muslim Dilemma." [Fox News, O'Reilly Factor, 10/18/10, via Media Matters]

Fox Attacks Latinos

Fox Hosted Anti-Immigrant Leader To Launch Baseless Attacks On DREAM Act. On November 30, 2010, Fox & Friends hosted William Gheen, president of the anti-immigrant Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), to attack the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to legal status for certain immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Gheen not only rehashed falsehoods about the bill, but also levied several absurd claims, such as that the bill would "displace and replace" millions of American citizens and that its passage would mean that Americans can "kiss the borders of the United States goodbye." Gheen and ALIPAC have a long history of extreme nativist rhetoric and have been linked to white supremacist groups. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/30/10, via Media Matters]

Fox & Friends Hosted Hate Group Head To Push "Anchor Baby" Myth. Similarly, on March 30, Fox & Friends hosted Dan Stein, head of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), to fearmonger both about "anchor babies" and so-called "birth tourism." But the "anchor baby" concept is a myth, pushed by anti-immigrant groups like FAIR, which has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center; additionally, the number of children born to women visiting the United States is "fairly miniscule." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/30/11, via Media Matters, ]

Fox Launched All Out Assault On The DREAM Act. During the debate over the DREAM Act, Media Matters documented Fox News personalities repeatedly attacking the bill. For example, Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl claimed the bill provided "a safe harbor for criminal aliens," Fox News legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed the bill "incentives illegality," and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher claimed the bill is akin to a bankrobber's child being allowed to keep the proceeds of a robbery. [Media Matters, 11/24/10]

Fox Provides Home For Anti-LGBT Bigotry

Huckabee Uses Role At Fox News To Launch Anti-Gay Attacks. Media Matters has documented that since becoming a Fox News host, Mike Huckabee has frequently launched anti-gay attacks, including comparing homosexuality to drug use and incest, claiming that same-sex marriage is a threat to a "stable society," and promoting virulently anti-gay guests. [Media Matters, 3/2/11]

Fox Repeatedly Launched Anti-Gay Attacks On Obama's Safe Schools Official Kevin Jennings. During the fall of 2009, Media Matters documented Fox News frequently turning its attention to smearing Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools director and gay rights activist Kevin Jennings, including Fox Nation referring to Jennings as a "pervert"; Kirsten Powers, Hannity and several other Fox personalities claiming Jennings should be fired for allegedly facilitating statutory rape; and Fox News contributor Karl Rove falsely calling Jennings an "in-your-face advoca[te]" of NAMBLA. [Media Matters, 10/9/09]

Fox Personalities Dubiously Suggested Obama's DOMA Decision Is Unlawful. Several Fox figures decried the Obama administration's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act. For example, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley called the decision "a form of dictatorship," Hannity suggested the move is unlawful, and Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg claimed Obama violated his oath of office. In fact, presidents from Thomas Jefferson to George W. Bush have opted against defending statutes they viewed as unconstitutional. [Media Matters, 2/25/11]

Bill O'Reilly Has Repeatedly Claimed Same-Sex Marriage Could Lead To People Marrying Animals. O'Reilly has repeatedly suggested that gay marriage could ultimately allow for a person to marry "a turtle," "a goat," "a duck," and "a dolphin." [Media Matters, 5/12/09]

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