Following the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, Fox News has repeatedly discussed terrorism with analysts who have proved themselves not credible to discuss American foreign policy by making false or outrageous statements about foreign policy or terrorism. For example, Fox hosted Stephen Hayes, whose false comments about a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda had to be corrected by the Pentagon; Michael Scheuer, who said that "the only chance we have" is for Osama bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon" in the United States; Ralph Peters, who previously said on Fox News that if the soldier the Taliban captured had deserted his post, then "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles"; and Judith Miller, who reported a series of stories on Saddam Hussein's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction that the Times later corrected in an editor's note.
Conservative media figures have politicized the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack to criticize President Obama's handling of national security matters. But their assertions about Obama's and former President Bush's handling of terrorism and national security are replete with myths and falsehoods.
For the second time this week, Fox's America's Newsroom hosted "Gunny" Bob Newman, senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Foundation, to discuss the Christmas Day bombing attempt. Newman is a "terror expert" with such genius solutions for homeland security as calling for all Muslim immigrants to the United States to "be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times."
One wonders why a network purportedly trying to achieve a "fair and balanced" reputation would host someone who questioned whether President Obama's visit to a concentration camp was somehow to blame for the shooting of a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in June 2009.
Then again, we're talking about Fox News.
Some other highlights from the estimable "Gunny" Bob:
From the January 6 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
From the January 4 edition of America's Newsroom:
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From the September 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Today, Neil Cavuto hosted Bob Newman -- a Colorado radio host who Cavuto presented as a "terror expert" -- to discuss the shooting at the Holocaust Museum. During the segment, Newman raised questions about whether President Obama's recent visit to a concentration camp or his statement about Israeli settlements were factors in the shooting:
CAVUTO: But Bob, normally when you're in tough economic times, it does bring out the sort of -- the home-grown loonies. And I wonder whether that's what we have to worry about, or we should be not forgetting. What do you think?
NEWMAN: That is oftentimes one of what is called the lead-up catalyst -- what led to this particular act that was mentioned just a few moments ago? What was the president of the United States doing last week? He was visiting a Holocaust site in Germany with Chancellor Merkel. And a day or two before that, he was mentioning some things about the Jews in regards to the settlements in the West Bank. Were those factors here? Well, we don't know. That's what the investigation is for. Remember, simply because something might seem obvious upfront -- this has to be it -- not necessarily. And that's where the FBI will come in. They'll get to the bottom of it.
Cavuto didn't say anything else about Newman's background, so here are a couple highlights from his radio show, The Gunny Bob Show.
Newman called for all Muslim immigrants to the U.S. "to be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times":
NEWMAN: I want -- tell me if I'm wrong or tell me if I'm right. I want every Muslim immigrant to America who holds a green card, a visa, or who is a naturalized citizen to be required by law to wear a GPS tracking bracelet at all times. And the FBI and the NSA should monitor their phones and their emails, all communications -- electronic -- at all times, as well as bug their places of work and their residences. If they don't like the idea, or if they refuse, throw their asses out of this country. All mosques and community centers as well as Muslim organizations must be monitored. We know with the arrests today that the Muslim terrorists are absolutely, positively here -- and we invited them to our country! And I think maybe it's time that we should stop doing that. Call me kooky, but I think maybe it's time for a little moratorium on Muslim visas, period. Hey, I'm sorry, guys -- I know that a lot of you are great people. I know you just like to do business here or become a U.S. citizens and be a peaceful person. I know that. But you know what? You better get control of your own people. Once you get control of them, then come see us again and we'll think about -- however many decades down the road it is -- we'll think about maybe opening our doors to you again. But you are doing absolutely freaking nothing to help, to, to help this nation. And that's that. [5/8/07]
Newman said of "terrorist-hugging" Obama: "What are you gonna do, Obama, come to Denver and try ... to whip my white ass?"
NEWMAN: Barack Obama goes off on the patriotic right and says he's a tough guy, and if ya challenge his wife, you better be careful. Oh, really? Barack Obama is threatening those who challenge his vile wife. Saying that conservatives better, quote, "lay off my wife," close quote, or else. He says those who take his wife to task, quote, "should be careful," close quote, because his wife's comments, his wife's beliefs, and his wife's complaints about this country are off-limits to public debate and scrutiny if it comes from, apparently, white conservatives. What is this clown now, some sort of a bad ass? What are you gonna do, Obama, come to Denver and try, key word try, to whip my white ass? Son, you are not some sort of macho tough guy, trust me. You are just another blowhard, make-believe thug who wants to be the most powerful man on Earth. You're a far-left, terrorist-hugging politician, not the bad-boy gangsta you want people to believe you are. Listen, sonny, why don't you grow a spine, and at least one cojone, and accept one of the many invitations I have extended for you to appear on The Gunny Bob Show, heard in 38 states, many of which are rather important to your election plan? Oh, and if you ever do muster the courage to do so, we will definitely be talking about your wife and her myriad personal problems. [5/19/08]
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.