Fox News has begun attacking participants of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests across the country, claiming they are "deluded" and have "absolutely no purpose or focus in life." Fox's attacks stand in stark contrast with its relentless promotion and support of the tea party protests of 2009 and 2010.
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Fox Attacks "Deluded" Protesters Who Have "Absolutely No Purpose Or Focus In Life"
Johnson: "I Would Think" Wall Street Protesters "Are Deluded In A Lot Of Ways." On the October 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. attacked the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, claiming, "Clearly, I would think these folks are deluded in a lot of ways and probably provide the best argument for national service for 18-year-olds that we have ever seen." Johnson later said of the protests: "I don't know what it is. I don't think they know what it is. But it's costing Americans millions of dollars in tax dollars in order to arrest them." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Watters: Wall Street Protesters Are "The Sludge" Of "Every Left-Wing Cause." On the September 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News producer Jesse Watters said of the protests: "I think if you put every single left-wing cause into a blender and hit power this is the sludge you'd get. And it's basically anti-capitalism. And they want to redistribute the wealth. But if you eliminate capitalism, there is no wealth to redistribute." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
Guilfoyle: Protesters Have "Absolutely No Purpose Or Focus" And Are "Just Looking To ... Dirty The Streets." On the September 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle said of the protests: "It's like Woodstock meets Burning Man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life. No wonder, they have nothing but free time to be down there. They make up a slogan or a cause as they go along. And they are just looking to, like, go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don't have any, like, idea about what they are doing there." During the segment, an on-screen graphic stated, "Lunatics of the left wing." From Hannity:
[Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
Doocy Complains Boston Protesters Got "Between Me And A Steak Dinner." On the October 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy complained that a Boston branch of the Wall Street protests got "between me and a steak dinner." Later, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked, "What's their message?" Doocy replied, "They don't know." Co-host Gretchen Carlson called the protesters "slightly disingenuous." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/3/11]
Fox Relentlessly Promoted And Endorsed Tea Party Protests Of 2009 and 2010
Fox News "Hop[ped]" Aboard Tea Party Express With Rampant Promotions, Live Coverage. On August 28, 2009, Fox News devoted live coverage and publicity to the kickoff of the Tea Party Express. Fox News' coverage followed numerous promotions of the tour on Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Nation, and FoxNews.com. [Media Matters, 8/28/09]
Fox News' Embedded Reporter Jenkins Touted Tea Party Express. Despite his claim to be "simply reporting" on 2009 Tea Party Express rallies, Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins, who traveled with the cross-country bus tour, repeatedly expressed support for the protesters, whom he referred to as "the America that Washington forgot." [Media Matters, 9/2/09]
Tea Party Express Highlighted Fox News Coverage To Raise Money. In a fundraising email to supporters, the Tea Party Express highlighted Fox News' coverage while soliciting donations, writing that "CNN and Fox News have confirmed they will be covering the launch of the 'Tea Party Express II: Countdown to Judgment Day' -- and other national networks are arranging to cover the tour as well." [Media Matters, 10/20/09]
"Back By Popular Demand": Fox News Promoted Tea Party Express II. During the October 25, 2009, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Dave Briggs hosted then-Tea Party Express co-chairman Mark Williams and tea party activist Lloyd Marcus, introducing them by stating: "Well, the bus tour that took the country by storm is back by popular demand. The Tea Party Express kicks off its second national tour today in San Diego, California." Briggs invited Williams -- who was a known birther -- to plug the organization's website and closed the interview by a playing portion of Marcus' "Tea Party Anthem." [Media Matters, 10/25/09]
Fox Nation Promoted The "Tea Party Express II." Fox Nation promoted the Tea Party Express II, asking readers, "Will You Join the Tea Party Express II?" Fox Nation also advertised the tour's start date and planned stops. [Media Matters, 10/13/09]
Tea Party Express Praised "Great Television News Coverage" From Fox News And CNN. In an email to supporters, the Tea Party Express praised "some of the great television news coverage this effort has received. Media coverage is an important aspect of the Tea Party Express tours -- it's all about getting our message out to millions of Americans -- to inform them that there is an active political resistance against the socialist agenda of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid." [Media Matters, 11/17/09]
Fox Highlighted "Major Grassroots Support" Of Fox-Promoted Tea Party Express II. In October 2009, Fox Nation and Fox News both promoted the kickoff of the "Bigger & Better" Tea Party Express II. Tea Party Express' Mark Williams appeared on the November 12, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends to discuss the conclusion of the Tea Party Express II tour. Co-host Gretchen Carlson noted that the tour "focused on small town U.S.A.," while Steve Doocy lauded the tour for its "major grassroots support." [Media Matters, 11/2/10]
Fox Provided Unending Coverage Of Tea Party Express III Kickoff Rally, Along With Its Keynote Speaker. Fox News provided all-day coverage of the March 27, 2010, kickoff rally for the Tea Party Express III bus tour, with the network's hosts and on-site reporter Casey Stegall frequently praising the rally's participants. At one point, Fox aired a graphic of the bus over the text, "Conservative Woodstock?" Fox provided live coverage of the event's keynote address -- given by Sarah Palin. [Media Matters, 11/2/10]
"Party On!" Fox Relentlessly Promoted October 2010 Tea Party Express Tour IV. Despite News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's statement that he doesn't think Fox "should be supporting the Tea Party," Fox News and Fox Business relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express, devoting numerous segments to the launch of its October 2010 tour -- the fourth such tour -- as well as hosting its chairman for softball interviews. [Media Matters, 4/8/10, 10/19/10]