More than two years after Glenn Beck used his Fox News show to deceptively edit then-Obama administration official Anita Dunn's comments referencing Mao Zedong, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld echoed Beck's false portrayal of what Dunn said by airing a similarly edited clip.
Fox' Gutfeld Plays Deceptively Edited Dunn Clip
Gutfeld: "At Least She's Open In Her Admiration For Mass Murderers." From Fox News' The Five:
GUTFELD: See what I did there? I pulled a Goldberg on a Goldberg, which is why I love Anita Dunn, Obama's former communications director. At least she's open in her admiration for mass murderers. Remember this?
DUNN [video clip] Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.
GUTFELD: So she gets a wow over Mao, but not from Mitt, as she made her case on the Face [the Nation]. [Fox News, The Five, 5/15/12]
In 2009, Beck Aired Similarly Edited Dunn Clip, As Did Special Report
Beck: "I Don't Think Mao Should Be Anybody's Favorite Anything." From the October 19, 2009, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: This clip is from a high school graduation back in June of this year. And here is what the White House communications director had to say to the teenagers there.
DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most.
BECK: OK, "not often coupled with one another" -- laughter -- "but the two people I turn to most." I don't think Mao should be anybody's favorite anything, especially not your favorite political philosopher or one that you turn to most, given that his political philosophies included shooting political opponents in the head.
BECK: Let's watch it again and just bask in the irony and get ready to laugh this time, now that you know she was making a funny. Watch.
DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/19/09, via Media Matters]
Beck Falsely Claimed Dunn "Idolizes" And "Worships" Mao. Throughout much of one edition of his Fox News show, Beck falsely claimed that Anita Dunn "worships" and "idolize[s]" Mao, asserting that "70 million dead" under Mao was "her hero's work." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/15/09, via Media Matters]
Fox Host Bret Baier: Dunn Said Mao Was "One Of Her Two Favorite Political Philosophers." From the October 19, 2009, edition of Fox News' Special Report:
BRET BAIER [host]: Brit, Anita Dunn has responded to a piece of tape that was first run on Glenn Beck's show in which she references what she calls one of her two favorite political philosophers Mao Zedong, the former communist leader of China. Here is that sound bite real quick and then her reaction.
DUNN [video clip]: Two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most. [Fox News, Special Report, 10/19/09, via Media Matters]
Fox's Brit Hume: Dunn "Also Said That This Is The Two People She Turns To Most." After Baier aired the same truncated quote on Special Report as Beck, Brit Hume responded: "Well, she also said that this is the two people she turns to most. This doesn't sound like it was a one-off attempt to make a joke and imitate the Republican strategist Lee Atwater." [Fox News, Special Report, 10/19/09, via Media Matters]
What Dunn Actually Said: Mao, Mother Teresa "Deliver A Simple Point"
Dunn: "You're Going To Make Choices. ... Everybody Has Their Own Path." From Dunn's speech, as aired on the October 15, 2009, edition of Beck's Fox News show:
DUNN: A lot of you have a great deal of ability. A lot of you work hard. Put them together, and that answers the "Why not?" question. There's usually not a good reason.
And then the third lesson and tip actually come from two of my favorite political philosophers, Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa -- not often coupled with each together, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say, "Why not?" You're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here's the deal: These are your choices. They are no one else's.
In 1947, when Mao Zedong was being challenged within his own party on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything on their side. And people said, "How can you win? How can you do this? How can you do this against all of the odds against you?" And Mao Zedong said, you know, "You fight your war, and I'll fight mine." And think about that for a second.
You know, you don't have to accept the definition of how to do things, and you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths, OK? It is about your choices and your path. You fight your own war. You lay out your own path. You figure out what's right for you. You don't let external definition define how good you are internally. You fight your war. You let them fight theirs. Everybody has their own path.
And then Mother Teresa, who, upon receiving a letter from a fairly affluent young person who asked her whether she could come over and help with that orphanage in Calcutta, responded very simply: "Go find your own Calcutta." OK? Go find your own Calcutta. Fight your own path. Go find the thing that is unique to you, the challenge that is actually yours, not somebody else's challenge. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/15/09, via Media Matters]
Dunn Said She "Picked Up" Mao Reference From GOP Strategist Lee Atwater, Intended It As "Irony." From a CNN article:
White House communications director Anita Dunn fired back at criticism from TV commentator Glenn Beck on Friday, saying that a Mao Tse-tung quote Beck took issue with was picked up from legendary GOP strategist Lee Atwater.
"The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me," Dunn told CNN.
As for Beck's criticism: "The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing." [CNN.com, 10/16/09]
Beck, Fox Continued To Repeat Distortion Of Dunn's Remark
Beck: Dunn Is A "Mao-Lover." On his radio show, Beck said that Dunn is "the Chairman Mao-lover, lizard lady," adding, "I expected, like, lasers to shoot out of her eyes." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 2/19/10, via Media Matters]
Pinkerton Attempted To Revive Dunn Smear. On a February 2011 edition of Fox News Watch, panelist James Pinkerton said that Dunn "was citing Chairman Mao as her inspiration. ... Folks, Google it. Anita Dunn, Chairman Mao, you'll see." Panelist Alan Colmes pointed out that Pinkerton was taken Dunn "out of context" and that "that's not what she said." [Fox News, Fox News Watch, 2/12/11, via Media Matters]