As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist - the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as "the beast."
Discussing the murder of Moses Cannon, a transgender woman, Minneapolis radio host Chris Baker suggested that "some of the blame lie[s] with the American media who enables this fraud" and who "push this false reality." He also stated: "I believe the media and the rest of the enablers out there, they have this guy's blood on their hands because they create this false sense of reality and they enable people who need serious psychological counseling."
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On his Minneapolis radio show, Chris Baker repeatedly referred to Thomas Beatie, a pregnant transgender man, as a "mutilated lesbian" and called Beatie a "freak." Baker also stated: "If a lesbian gets pregnant, I'm fine with it. I'm OK. Just stop alternating reality and trying to force me to buy into your psychosis."
Several conservative talk radio hosts have accused Democrats of "trying to steal" the Minnesota senatorial election for Democratic challenger Al Franken over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R). They offer no evidence for the accusation; indeed, the state's Republican governor has said there is none.
Beyond the echelon of widely known conservative radio hosts with national audiences lies a vast network of lesser-known syndicated and regional radio hosts who have become key components of an echo chamber for conservative talking points and falsehoods. Like their better-known counterparts, these syndicated and regional radio hosts have played active roles this election season in promoting falsehoods and smears in an all-out effort to foment hate and distrust among their listeners for President-elect Barack Obama. While the hosts vary in the degree of vitriol they spew and in their ratio of rebuttable falsehoods to unbridled smears, Media Matters for America and Colorado Media Matters have identified common themes that many, if not all, have promoted over the past year.
Numerous conservative radio hosts, including Chris Baker, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Jim Quinn, Michael Savage and Brian Sussman, echoed the false claim, originating on the Drudge Report, that Sen. Barack Obama said in a 2001 interview that he regretted that the Supreme Court has not addressed the redistribution of wealth. In fact, the "traged[y]" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.
Radio hosts Michael Savage, Rick Roberts, and Chris Baker repeated the discredited claim that Sen. Barack Obama has not produced a valid U.S. birth certificate. In fact, the Obama campaign posted a copy of Obama's birth certificate on its "Fight the Smears" website, and reportedly provided the original document to FactCheck.org, whose staff concluded that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship."
On The Chris Baker Show, Minneapolis radio host Langdon Perry stated, "I'm convinced that Magic [Johnson] faked AIDS," to which host Baker replied, "Yeah, me too." Perry then called Johnson "the only cured AIDS guy ever."
On his radio show and website, Chris Baker promoted an Internet video in which the Rev. James David Manning of ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem says: "The difference between Obama's mama and Bristol Palin is that Obama's mama was trash. I mean, she was dirt. She was a bag of trash sitting on the sidewalk waiting there in Honolulu on one of those streets for the garbage truck to come by and pick her up and take her to the dump."
While discussing Gov. Sarah Palin's assertion that Sen. Barack Obama was "palling around with terrorists," radio show host Chris Baker called Obama a "little bitch" who "won't even stand up to a smoking-hot chick from Alaska." Baker did not note that The New York Times article Palin cited for her claim about Obama's association with William Ayers reported that "the two men do not appear to have been close," or that the Obama campaign did indeed respond to Palin's claim.
Minneapolis radio host Chris Baker said Gov. Sarah Palin "shoulda had a little cleavage going" during the vice-presidential debate, and that he "noticed a panty line on her."
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On his radio show, Chris Baker said, "I don't think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I'm not that excited about women voting, to be honest." Baker later said: "But that's just me. I'm a pig, and that's fine. All right? And we'll see that, I'm sure, on a lame-ass website very soon. But I don't think hobos ought to vote at all. They're nuts. And I think that there needs to be a little more care in who votes."
Radio host Chris Baker repeatedly referred to Sen. Barack Obama as "Nicolae Carpathia," the Antichrist character in the Left Behind book series, including one instance in which he stated: "I'm getting really sick of being told that if I disagree with Barack Obammy, the Nicolae Carpathia candidate, that I'm a racist."
Responding to a Media Matters item, Chris Baker said: "Media Matters people can kiss my supple buttocks. What I say is what I say, and if they don't like it, instead of hiding like a bunch of commie girls, they can challenge me if they like."
On his radio show, Chris Baker stated in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments on the Wall Street crisis: "Another reason why it's very rare to find a woman worthy of serving in political office." Moments before, Baker said, referring to Pelosi, "Get another facelift, lady."