New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino threatened a New York Post editor during what the Post called an "angry confrontation." Fox personalities have since praised Paladino for the altercation, calling him "refreshingly honest" and "iconoclastic," while criticizing the editor for being "unprofessional."
Last night, Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and New York Post state editor Fredric Dicker got into what the Post called an "angry confrontation" -- a confrontation that concluded with the candidate threatening the reporter:
It started when Dicker asked Paladino if he had any proof of his shocking allegation that Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo cheated on his former wife during their marriage.
"What evidence do you have for something most people would consider a smear?" Dicker asked.
Instead of responding to Dicker's question, Paladino accused him of sending a "goon" to stake out his former mistress at the home where she lives with their love child.
Sunday's Post featured a front-page story about Paladino's wife, Cathy, and his ex-lover, Suzanne Brady. It included an exclusive interview with Cathy Paladino.
"You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy!" Paladino told Dicker.
When Dicker asked how he planned to do that, Paladino replied, "Watch!"
"Are you threatening me?" Dicker asked.
When the candidate's aides jumped in to separate the men, Paladino, referring to Dicker, told them, "F- -k him."
The fight put Fox News' right-wing employees in a tough position: Would they stand with their News Corp. colleague and say that Paladino was out of line? Or would they stand with the Republican Party's gubernatorial candidate?
For Fox hosts Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee, party solidarity beat out company loyalty.
Discussing the incident on Hannity, Huckabee commented that Dicker "stepped way over the line," adding: "No matter what Carl Paladino said to him that may have seemingly provoked him, it was his professional duty to remain detached and to remain objective. He failed to do that." He went on to criticize Dicker for having "injected himself into the story" and being "unprofessional" and "confrontational."
Huckabee also said of Paladino, "I've never met Carl Paladino but I'll be honest with you Sean, I'm getting where I really like this guy. I like him because he just, he says all the stuff I always wanted to say but never could get away with."
For his part, Hannity acknowledged that Dicker's original question -- what evidence Paladino had for his claim that Cuomo had cheated on his former wife -- "was a legitimate question." But he went on to say that Paladino has a "legitimate complaint" against the Post, adding, "I'm kind of enjoying that he's got the establishment off-balance, and they don't know how to deal with this guy cause he's so outspoken." Hannity did not say whether the Post reporter had a "legitimate complaint" against Paladino after being threatened by him.
Then again, given News Corp's support for the Republican Governor's Association, one could argue that Paladino is almost as close to being Hannity's and Huckabee's colleague as is Dicker.
From the 2010 Values Voters Summit:
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From the July 28 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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As Media Matters noted earlier this month, Fox News host Mike Huckabee was given "a shot at broadcast television with a talk show on some Fox affiliates."
Unfortunately for the former Arkansas Governor, the show doesn't appear to be doing too well. According to a report from Broadcasting & Cable:
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's new talk show, which Fox is testing for six weeks this summer on seven stations, averaged a 0.6 rating/2 share in its Monday premiere. That's down 45% from its lead-in average of 1.1/4 and down 33% from its year-ago time period average.
As Huffington Post noted based on the Broadcasting & Cable report:
In some markets, the show drew 88% fewer viewers than its lead-in. The only market where "The Huckabee Show" outperformed its lead-in was Atlanta, B&C reports.
This morning, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron touted a recent survey by Public Policy Polling that found several prominent Republicans essentially tied with President Obama in theoretical 2012 match-ups. While Cameron found time to offer flattering descriptions of each of these "top Republicans," he neglected to mention that 75% of them are current Fox News employees.
Using a tag line Sarah Palin couldn't have scripted better herself, Cameron called her the "culture warrior tea party candidate." Palin was hired by Fox News in January, and since then has regularly appeared on various Fox News programs to not only attack the administration, but promote herself and other Republican candidates.
Cameron described Mike Huckabee as "the President of Iowa, having won its caucuses the last time and a social conservative." Huckabee also has a prominent platform as the host of a forthcoming Fox Television Stations group show, and a Fox News show, which he uses to attack the administration and promote his PAC and various GOP candidates around the country.
Newt Gingrich, whom Cameron described as the "big ideas guy in the GOP," has been a "political contributor" for Fox News since 1999. Like fellow potential 2012 potential candidates/Fox employees Palin and Huckabee, Gingrich uses his Fox News platform to promote himself and attack the administration. In a nice example of being able to do both at the same time, Gingrich recently appeared on Fox News Sunday to promote his latest book and claim that Dems are currently threatening America as much as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."
Fox News president Roger Ailes recently claimed he's "not in politics anymore. I don't do politics, I do the news." Based on the actions of his network, Ailes doesn't see much difference between the two.
Add Greta Van Susteren name to the list of would be political candidates employed by Fox News. Though, in Van Susteren's case, she'd only run if she were guaranteed victory. How daring.
This according to an "Answer This…" interview of Van Susteren by Politico's Patrick Gavin:
What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail?
Run for Governor of Wisconsin.
Van Susteren wouldn't have to look far for high-level campaign help if she did decide to run. John Coale -- her husband -- served as an adviser to Palin after the 2008 presidential campaign. As Media Matters noted just days ago:
As we've detailed, Coale said he started Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, as well as a legal defense fund for her. SarahPAC, by the way, issued the Palin-centric video that Van Susteren was promoting on her show for the second night in a row during Gingrich's appearance.
While Van Susteren has denied any close ties with Palin, she has also repeatedly failed to disclose her husband's ties -- not while promoting the SarahPAC video last night, and not last November when she "hopped on the bus" with Palin as she was promoting her memoir.
For Fox News, Van Susteren is hardly the first employee to indicate an interest in public office:
Heck, even when they aren't running or indicating their interest in running for public office, it seems like Fox News employees keep themselves busy raising campaign cash and campaigning for Republicans:
Mike Huckabee again used his Fox News program to showcase a Republican candidate that he's also promoting through his political group Huck PAC. On his July 10 show, Huckabee hosted and touted Republican congressional candidate Star Parker, who's running for California's 37th Congressional District as a Republican. During his introduction of Parker, Huckabee said, "And by way of personal disclosure, Star is a friend, I've endorsed her, she's in the middle of a campaign. So I didn't want anyone to say, 'Oh, but you know Star.' Yes, I do, and I like her a lot."
Parker appeared on the program in a segment with "Democratic" pollster Pat Caddell and former Clinton administration official Lanny Davis to be, according to Huckabee, "as fair and balanced" as possible.
Huckabee, through his Huck PAC, released a statement in support of Parker on May 6, stating that she "is one of the most powerful communicators and debaters I've seen, and I can't wait to watch her deconstruct the liberal agenda live from the House floor." Parker has also been endorsed by Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Karl Rove.
From the July 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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From the July 8 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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In 2000, an online movement of activists concerned with Dr. (Ph.D. in physiology not psychiatry) Laura Schlessinger's homophobic commentary organized an effort to get the controversial radio host's newly minted daytime television talk show pulled from the airwaves. According to StopDrLaura.com:
Over a ten-month period starting on March 1, 2000, this Web site galvanized thousands of activists across the US, Canada and beyond into an online juggernaut that forced Dr. Laura Schlessinger off television. In that short time, the pro-bono StopDrLaura.com registered over 50 million hits and 3 million visitors, while over 170 advertisers abandoned Dr. Laura's television show in the US and Canada, leading many to call the StopDrLaura.com campaign the first successful TV boycott in history (and winning it the Internet's prestigious "Golden Dot" award from George Washington University). Dr. Laura's TV show was finally canceled on March 30, 2001.
As Joe Strupp noted yesterday, Fox News host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee " is getting a shot at broadcast television with a talk show on some Fox affiliates."
The Times reports: "'The Huckabee Show,' ... will have a preview run on weekdays for six weeks on some of the stations owned by the Fox Television Stations group, including WNYW in New York, KDFW in Dallas/Fort Worth, and WAGA in Atlanta. The preview, by the syndication unit of News Corporation, Twentieth Television, will begin on Monday, July 26."
Like Schlessinger, Huckabee is a regular offender when it comes to homophobic commentary. Just days ago Huckabee admitted he's opposed to gay marriage, in part, because of the "ick factor."
It remains to be seen whether grassroots activists will take to the internet as they did with Schlessinger to force The Huchabee Show's cancelation.
Here's just a sampling of Huckabee's most recent anti-gay commentary:
You can find more about Huckabee's record when it comes to LGBT issues, including his 1992 support for isolating people with HIV/AIDS away from the general population, right here.
We've noted before that Fox News has a number of potential 2012 GOP candidates on payroll including former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum.
Having all these formers on staff certainly puts the right-wing cable news network in the drivers seat as the 2012 race for the Republican nomination begins to take shape in the coming year.
We noted in February that Palin was asked on Fox News Sunday to analyze the potential field and whether she'd be among those running. Well, Huckabee -- host of his own weekend Fox News program -- played the same role today on Fox News Sunday, offering his thoughts of the potential 2012 line-up and if he'd be a candidate.
Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee weighed in on the gamut of likely 2012 Republican presidential candidates during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday." And while the Arkansas Republican offered diplomatic praise for his colleagues -- while candidly admitting that he too was thinking of mounting a bid -- his remarks stood out for their coldness to one: Mitt Romney.
As for his own candidacy:
"I haven't closed the door. I think that would be foolish on my part, especially when poll after poll shows there is a strong sentiment out there. I end up leading a lot of the polls. I'm the Republican that clearly at this point does better against Obama than any other Republican. I'm not totally unaware of that. But that is a long way from making a decision to run for president."
In an upcoming New Yorker profile, set to run in the magazine's June 28 publication, Mike Huckabee admitted that part of his opposition to gay marriage stems from "the ick factor," adding that "the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationshiop, biologically, that doesn't work the same."As Media Matters has noted, Huckabee has previously drawn "parallels between homosexuality" and drug use, incest and polygamy.
From the Ariel Levy's upcoming June 28 New Yorker profile of Huckabee:
One afternoon in Jerusalem, while Huckabee was eating a chocolate croissant in the lounge of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, I asked him to explain his rationale for opposing gay rights. "I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes," he said. "Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn't work the same."
I asked him if he had any arguments that didn't have to do with God or ickiness. "There are some pretty startling studies that show if you want to end poverty it's not education and race, it's monogamous marriage," he said. "Many studies show that children who grow up in a healthy environment where they have both a mother and a father figure have both a healthier outlook and a different perspective from kids who don't have the presence of both."
In fact, a twenty-five-year study recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that children brought up by lesbians were better adjusted than their peers. And, of course, nobody has been able to study how kids fare with married gay parents. "You know why?" Huckabee said. "Because no culture in the history of mankind has ever tried to redefine marriage."
But in the Old Testament polygamy was commonplace. The early Christians considered marriage an arrangement for those without the self-discipline to live in chastity, as Christ did. Marriage was not deemed a sacrament by the Church until the twelfth century. And, before 1967, marriage was defined in much of the United States as a relationship between a man and a woman of the same race.
Regardless of the past, wouldn't Huckabee be curious to know whether allowing gay people to marry had a positive or negative effect on children and society?
"No, not really. Why would I be?" he said, and laughed.
Because saying that something ought to be a certain way simply because that's the way it supposedly has always been is an awful lot like saying "because we said so." And Huckabee is supposed to be the guy who questions everything.
(h/t to Talking Points Memo for first reporting on Huckabee's remarks)
Fox News host Mike Huckabee sure knows how to keep it classy.
The former Arkansas Governor managed to make a crack about marriage equality and the physical appearance of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Helen Thomas all in one ill-conceived attempt at humor in a forthcoming New Yorker profile. Ariel Levy writes:
At times, he seems unable to resist the force of his own funniness. I joked with him once that I would write about his (fictitious) affair with Nancy Pelosi. He e-mailed back, "The only thing worse than a torrid affair with sweet, sweet Nancy would be a torrid affair with Helen Thomas. If those were my only options, I'd probably be FOR same-sex marriage!"
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