After Smearing Obama For Years, Fox Decries Supposed "Insults," "Scare Tactics" From Obama, Biden


Fox News has recently expressed outrage over alleged "insults" and "scare tactics" that President Obama and Vice President Biden have used during speeches around the country, with Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asking if such strategies are "turning off the independent voters." But Fox News has spent years relentlessly insulting and smearing both Obama and Biden, and have used scare tactics to attack Obama.

Fox Decries Supposed "Insults" And "Scare Tactics" From Obama And Biden

Doocy: "You've Got To Wonder Whether The Use Of The Insult[s] And The Scare Tactics Is Turning Off The Independent Voters." On the October 20 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy discussed President Obama and Vice President Biden's remarks on the American Jobs Act. Doocy claimed that "it sounds like [Biden has] been using some scare tactics" and that Obama "has been insulting Republicans" and asked "whether the use of the insult and the scare tactics is turning off the independent voters." From the broadcast:

DOOCY: Let's talk a little bit about this. The president of the United States and the vice president have been all over the country pushing their $35 billion jobs bill. And if you've been watching, the vice president in particular, it sounds like he's been using some scare tactics. Either pass the bill or rape is going to go up across the country, who knows? And the president of the United States himself has been insulting Republicans. And you've got to wonder whether the use of the insult and the scare tactics is turning off the independent voters who wind up putting people into the White House. Are they? Here are the president and vice president.

[start video]

OBAMA: Maybe they just couldn't understand the whole thing all at once. So we're going to break it up into bite-sized pieces. So they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation.


BIDEN: This is an emergency. Three-hundred thousand teachers have been laid off.


BIDEN: In many cities, the result has been, and it's not unique, murder rates are up. Robberies are up. Rapes are up. [cut] Ladies and gentlemen, response times have gone from five minutes to over an hour in some of your cities.


OBAMA: And then you got their plan, which is let's have dirtier air, dirtier water. [cut] They want to gut regulations. They want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants. They want to drill more.

[end video]

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Now, I mean, you know the counterargument to that, because this is not the picture dictionary section of life. You know that the Republicans aren't going on the dirt -- running on the dirty water, dirty air platform. You just know that regulation seems to be stifling the economy. And you also know that it's not a matter of people not wanting to hire cops and retain teachers. It's wondering if we're running in a deficit, is it worth putting $35 billion into the black hole after you did that three years ago? But in the big picture, do independents look at that and hear the counterargument? Do they understand that that necessarily isn't the fact?

DOOCY: That's the question.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): I don't know. It's obviously a strategy that this administration has come up with, and maybe they have some internal polling that shows them that this works, to vilify other Republicans, and maybe it works with independents when they just hear those quick little pieces of sound, that they think, "Oh, Republicans do want to make water dirtier." I don't know. They must have some research -- or, this is the only campaign strategy left with 9.1 percent unemployment. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/20/11, emphasis added]

During the segment, on-screen text read, "A Campaign Of Insults?":

Campaign of Insults

Hannity: Biden "Upping The Ante When It Comes To Absurd And Irresponsible Scare Tactics." On the October 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity claimed that "the vice president is now upping the ante when it comes to absurd and irresponsible scare tactics." Fox News contributor Ann Coulter called it "part of the theme with the Democrats" to try to "produce mobs when they don't get their way politically." From Hannity:

HANNITY: And the president has trumpeted the fact that the GOP jobs bill will bring you dirtier air, dirtier water. But his vice president is now upping the ante when it comes to absurd and irresponsible scare tactics. Now, without stimulus two, according to the vice president, rapes and murders will skyrocket. Take a look.


HANNITY: Hey, don't screw around with me on this. Rape and murder is going to go up unless you pass the president's bill. Your reaction?

COULTER: I'm so glad you played that for me. Because I'd heard about it, I had no idea how completely crazy it was.


COULTER: This is part of the theme with the Democrats. I mean, for 30 years they have been trying to get, you know, be able to miraculously produce mobs when they don't get their way politically. Back in 2004, Elizabeth Edwards warned that there would be riots if John Kerry didn't win. Al Gore specifically speaking to a black audience warned them not to react with violent acts if Kerry/Edwards ticket didn't win.

HANNITY: Wait, I can one-up you. He also said to predominantly black audience "Republicans don't even want to count you in the census."

COULTER: No, but what I'm talking about - yes, he said a lot of stupid things. What I'm talking about is specifically trying to get blacks to riot. You know, how about you riot, white boy?

HANNITY: Oh, boy.

COULTER: I mean, they aren't rioting. It's always Democrats trying to gin up this mob by threatening. [Fox News, Hannity, 10/20/11]

Yet Fox Has Spent Years Insulting And Smearing Obama And Biden ...


Hannity On Obama's Birth Certificate: "Can't They Just Produce It, And We Move On?" On the March 23 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity asked, "What do you think about this birth certificate issue? I mean, it has not been my main issue, but it kind of does get a little odd here after a while. Can't they just produce it and we move on?" [Fox News, Hannity, 3/23/11, via Media Matters]

For examples of Hannity hyping birtherism, SEE HERE.

Doocy: Birth Certificate Produced By Obama's Campaign "Is Not The Exact Birth Certificate." After airing Donald Trump's birther claims from his March appearance on ABC's The View, Doocy stated during the March 24 edition of Fox & Friends that the Obama campaign "did produce -- before the election -- something called a certificate of live birth, which is not the exact birth certificate, but something that the state says indicates that he was born there." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/24/11, via Media Matters]

Trump Told Unquestioning Fox & Friends Hosts, "I'm Starting To Wonder ... Whether Or Not [Obama] Was Born In This Country." On March 28, Fox & Friends hosted Trump, who stated, "I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/28/11, via Media Matters]

For more on how Fox News hyped birtherism and promoted birthers, SEE HERE.


On Fox & Friends, Dick Morris Says Obama "Might Be The First Anti-American President We've Ever Had." On the April 13, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson asked guest and Fox News contributor Dick Morris about a nonproliferation treaty Obama had signed. Morris responded by attacking Obama for signing the treaty and went on to say that Obama "might be the first anti-American president we've ever had." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/13/10, via Media Matters]

Beck: "A Lot Of People Would Speculate" That Obama Has "Contempt For The History Of America Or America Or Western Civilization." From the May 21, 2010, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

GLENN BECK (host): Would you say -- because I never got the impression that FDR had contempt for America, but I think Woodrow Wilson did. And a lot of people would speculate that maybe Barack Obama has a little contempt for the history of America or America or Western civilization. Do you see a pattern or a similarity between the two of them in that?

BURTON FOLSOM (Hillsdale College history professor): I think in that instance you're right. Franklin Roosevelt, his ancestry went way back and he did in his own way had a love for America that Wilson and Obama simply do not quite share. At least they don't share any kind of respect -- deep respect for the Constitution. Wilson thought it was out-moded, and so does Barack Obama. [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 5/21/10, via Media Matters]

Fox Contributor Tammy Bruce: Obama Has "Some Malevolence Towards This Country Which Is Unabated." On the September 17, 2009, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce said:

BRUCE: If this man [Obama], if we captured Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri and the one-eyed Sheikh, the three stooges over there in Pakistan somewhere -- if Barack Obama captured those guys or killed them, I would be looking at this man slightly differently. But ultimately it comes down to his inability to govern and the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence towards this country which is unabated. [Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, 9/17/09, via Media Matters]

For more on Fox News figures calling Obama anti-American, SEE HERE.


Carlson: "Some Would Say" That Obama Is "Apologizing To These Muslim Terrorists ... Instead Of Taking Them Head On." On the January 7, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson responded to a story that counterterrorism official Michael Leiter stayed on vacation after the attempted 2009 Christmas Day attack by saying "that would be the microcosm of what some people say is the macrocosm of this administration's viewpoints [sic] on the war on terror. That, some would argue, that if it's not taken seriously or if you have a different ideology about apologizing to these Muslim terrorists, some would say, instead of actually taking them on, head on, then this is the kind of action that you get from your top people." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/7/10, via Media Matters]

Dobbs: Obama To Start Ruling "By Fiat" Because "This Has Been Too Complicated, This Democracy Thing." On the February 16, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, guest Lou Dobbs responded to a story about Obama's ability to communicate his message by falsely claiming, "What I find interesting, Steve, is now they're announcing that they're going to do things by executive order, by fiat" because "this has been too complicated, this democracy thing." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/16/10, via Media Matters]


Beck: Obama Is A "Racist" With A "Deep-Seated Hatred For White People Or The White Culture." On the July 28, 2009, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Beck called Obama a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people." From the show:

BECK: This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is, but you can't sit in a pew with Jeremiah Wright for twenty years and not hear some of that stuff, and not have it wash over.


BECK: I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. He has a -- this guy is, I believe, a racist. Look at the things that he has been surrounded by. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/09, via Media Matters]

Hannity Defends Beck's Claim That Obama Is "Racist." After guest Penny Lee noted on the March 9, 2010, edition of Hannity that Glenn Beck called Obama racist, Hannity stated: "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]

Murdoch On Beck's Claim That Obama Is "Racist": "He Was Right." In a November 6, 2009, interview with Sky News Australia political editor David Speers, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said of Beck's allegation, "[Obama] did make a very racist comment, about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And, you know, that was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the president, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right." News Corp. spokesman Gary Ginsberg subsequently stated that Murdoch "does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist." [Media Matters, 3/19/10]

Laura Ingraham: Obama Administration "Has Set Back Race Relations In This Country, Perhaps A Generation." From the July 22, 2010, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

LAURA INGRAHAM (Fox News contributor): This president was ushered into office with this great media concoction, unjustified, that he was going to be some racial healer, OK? That was created in the media. That was a fiction created by the media. Victor Davis Hanson writes a brilliant piece about this today. And he's absolutely dead on.

I believe much of what's been done in this administration, unfortunately, has set back race relations in this country, perhaps a generation. I predicted that would happen a year ago on my radio show. And I stand by that today. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/22/10, via Media Matters]

For more Fox News figures claiming that Obama has racial animosity or is biased because of his heritage, SEE HERE.


Fox Nation Twists Motorcade Van Getting Rear-Ended To Claim That "Biden Motorcades Keep Mowing People Down." In February 2010, Fox Nation hyped an article about a traffic incident involving Biden's motorcade, which caused only minor injuries, under the headline, "Biden Motorcades Keep Mowing People Down." [Fox Nation, 2/16/10, via Media Matters]


Fox & Friends Twisted Biden's "One Child" Comment In China To Claim He "Len[t] Credence To Forced Abortion Law." During his August trip to China, Biden made remarks on the economic challenges faced by rapidly aging populations in the U.S. and China and also commented on China's "one child" policy. On the August 23 edition of Fox & Friends, guest and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham claimed that Biden's remarks meant he "basically [said] it's OK to have, you know, government control of childbirth." On-screen text aired during the segment claimed:

Biden Abortion Smear

[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/23/11, via Media Matters]

Fox's Andrea Tantaros Distorts Biden's "One Child" Comment To Claim He "Agrees" With China's Policy. On the August 23 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros claimed that Biden's comment on China's one child policy meant that he "agrees" with the law. [Fox News, The Five, 8/23/11, via Media Matters]

For the truth on Biden's remarks, SEE HERE.


Fox Nation Claimed Biden Said Americans Are "Too Dense To Realize Obama's Accomplishments." A July 2010 headline on Fox Nation claimed that Biden said that "People [Are] Too Dense to Realize Obama's Accomplishments." [Fox Nation, 7/19/10, via Media Matters]

For the truth on Biden's remarks, SEE HERE.

... And Have Used Scare Tactics To Attack Obama


Varney: "You're Asking Me, Is [Obama] A Socialist, And The Answer Is: He Sure Looks Like One." On the February 25, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Stuart Varney said, "You're asking me, is [Obama] a socialist, and the answer is: he sure looks like one." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/25/10, via Media Matters]

Fox's Morris Said Obama Is A "Socialist" Who Wants To "Seize Private Property." On the December 15, 2010, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Dick Morris said that Obama is a "socialist" who wants to "seize private property." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/15/10, via Media Matters]

Fox Linked Obama To Socialism At Least 35 Times In The Week Before The 2008 Election. A March 29, Media Matters report found that Fox News hosts linked Obama to socialism 35 times in the week preceding the 2008 election. These references followed an October 27, 2008, email that Fox News executive Bill Sammon sent to Fox staff highlighting what he described as "Obama's references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists" in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father. [Media Matters, 3/29/11]

For more on Bill Sammon's email and his confession of his real thoughts on Obama and socialism, SEE HERE AND HERE.


Kilmeade Asks, "If [Obama] Was Worried" About People Thinking He's Muslim, "Wouldn't He Have ... Kept His Name As Barry And Not Barack?" On the August 30, 2010, edition of the show, Kilmeade reacted to news that "24 percent of this country thinks the president is a Muslim" by asking, "If he was worried about that, wouldn't he have changed -- kept his name as Barry and not Barack?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/30/10]

Hume Claimed Jerusalem Post Story Quoted Obama's Half-Brother About "Muslim Background." On the June 16, 2008, edition of Special Report, then-host Brit Hume stated that Malik Obama, Obama's half-brother, "tells The Jerusalem Post that 'if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.' " [Fox News, Special Report, 6/16/08]

  • Hume Later Issued An On-Air Correction For The False Claim That Malik Obama Had Said Barack Obama Has Such A Background. From the June 24, 2008, edition of Fox News' Special Report:

HUME: And finally, last week, we quoted The Jerusalem Post in the story about Barack Obama's half-brother Malik Obama. The Post reported that in an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Malik Obama said his brother would be a good president despite his Muslim background. It now turns out that the Post did not quite understand what Malik Obama was saying in the interview and paraphrased him incorrectly. Malik Obama did not say that his older brother has a Muslim background. The Jerusalem Post has since removed the story from its website, and we regret the error. [Fox News, Special Report, 6/24/08]

Fox News' Special Report Asks Of Obama: "Islam Or Isn't He?" During a June 4, 2009, segment, Fox News' Special Report aired a quote by Obama national security official Denis McDonough, in which he talked about how Obama "experienced Islam on three continents" and grew up in Indonesia with a Muslim father, and asked: "Islam or Isn't He?" [Fox News' Special Report, 6/4/09]

Beck: Obama's Comments On His Christian Faith Are "Not Something That Most Christians Recognize." From the August 29, 2010, edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

BECK: What does the president believe? Four different speeches since he's been president, he has told -- and mainly students -- that your salvation is directly tied to the collective salvation. That -- that's not something that most Christians recognize.

I don't -- I'm not demonizing it. I disagree with it. The pope has said -- he's actually demonized it. People aren't recognizing his version of Christianity, just like -- and 48 percent of the African American community doesn't recognize it either, by the way. They didn't recognize it with Jeremiah Wright. They don't recognize it now. [Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, 8/29/10]

For more on Fox News' attacks on Obama's religion, SEE HERE.


Fox & Friends Pushed False Smear That Obama Attended A "Madrassa." On the January 19, 2007, editions of Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends, Kilmeade, along with Doocy and Carlson, spent several segments advancing a false report that Obama was raised a Muslim and attended a madrassa, or Islamic school, as a child in Indonesia. At one point, Doocy asked: "When people find out this stuff, they're going to go, 'Why didn't anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised as -- spent the first decade of his life raised by his Muslim father as a Muslim and was educated in a madrassa?' " Kilmeade responded, "Yeah, is that a problem?" He added: "Evidently, when he was a little kid, he went over to Indonesia and went to a madrassa. He -- in his two best-selling books, he doesn't really mention this in detail." [Fox News' Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends, 1/19/07]

  • Fox & Friends Had To "Clarify" Their Remarks. On the January 22, 2007, edition of Fox & Friends First, Doocy said he had to "clarify" the show's reporting on the fabricated madrassa story,stating that "Mr. Obama's people called and they said that that is absolutely false. They said the idea that Barack Obama went to a radical Muslim school is completely ridiculous." [Fox News' Fox & Friends First, 1/22/07, via Media Matters]

On The O'Reilly Factor and Glenn Beck, Coulter Claimed Obama "Attended Madrassas." On the December 28, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor and the December 30, 2009, edition of Glenn Beck, conservative columnist Ann Coulter said Obama attended madrassas as a child. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/28/09; Fox News, Glenn Beck, 12/30/09, via Media Matters]

For more on how Fox News pushed the false madrassa story, SEE HERE.


Fox News' Johnson: Health Care Reform "A Subtle Form Of Euthanasia." Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. said on the July 27, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends:

JOHNSON: Some people are saying, well, this is a health care reform, other people say -- maybe me -- that this is a subtle form of euthanasia. And when you start looking at the proposals, you say, God, what's happening?

One of the proposals, Section 1233, talks about advanced care planning consultations. And that's a fancy term where a doctor goes to you every five years once you're 65, or more if you're chronically ill, and explains to you the benefits of so-called palliative care, of not giving active treatment. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/27/09, via Media Matters]

Johnson: Provision "Is Kind Of Our 2009 Brave New World, Soylent Green, 1984, Aldous Huxley Kind Of World." Johnson said on the July 28, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends:

JOHNSON: Advanced care planning consultation is kind of our 2009 Brave New World, Soylent Green, 1984, Aldous Huxley kind of world where you come in and see a doctor at age 65, and if you're chronically ill you come in every year, and your doctor who will be trained -- and they will spend billions of dollars on training doctors to be counselors -- that you have options. You don't have to go into a hospital. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/09, via Media Matters]

Kilmeade Wonders If "Seniors [Are] Going To Be In Front Of The Death Panel." On the August 10, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said:

KILMEADE: [E]veryone's talking about seniors, and they're talking about the middle class and affordable health care. If the upper class is paying for the next two classes, and are seniors going to be in front of the death panel? And then just as you think, OK, that's ridiculous, then you realize there's provisions in there that seniors in the last lap of their life will be sitting there going to a panel possibly discussing what the best thing for them is. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/10/09, via Media Matters]

Morris: Medicare Advisory Board "Is Really The Death Panel That Sarah Palin Was Talking About." From the December 23, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends:

MORRIS: The Medicare Advisory Board you speak about is a particularly dangerous thing, because it's going to set up for Medicare only, for the elderly only, protocols and standards of care where they are going to be saying no, you can't give this person a hip replacement, they are too old, and no, you can't treat this person with colon cancer with the best drug available. I know it increases the chance of his dying, but it's beyond the cost parameters that we are prepared to allow. And this will be done by this federal board, which is really the death panel that Sarah Palin was talking about. That's an oversimplification, but the basic concept isn't far wrong. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/23/09, via Media Matters]

For the full timeline of the "death panels" smear and the real facts on the health care law, SEE HERE.

Fox News Channel
Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson
FOX & Friends
Attacks on Barack Obama
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.