On the October 11 edition of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show, a caller said that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is "the devil," and purported to explain: "There's no way that anyone with the middle name 'Hussein' could rise to that level of power in the United States without being the devil, in my opinion." Rather than challenge the caller, host John Gibson expanded on the caller's reference to Obama's name, and said: "[B]y the way, do you know what the name 'Barack' means?" explaining: "It's the name of the mythical horse that carried the prophet Mohammed to heaven." The show's producer, known on-air as "Angry Rich," added: "Front page Media Matters tomorrow, guaranteed," to which Gibson responded: "Yeah, I'll probably make Media Matters with that one. But it's true. It means 'Lightning,' I think, is what the word means."
According to the Britannica Online Encyclopedia, the word "Buraq" means, "in Islamic tradition, a creature said to have transported the Prophet Muhammad to heaven. Described as 'a white animal, half-mule, half-donkey, with wings on its sides . . . ,' Buraq was originally introduced into the story of Muhammad's night journey (isra') from Mecca to Jerusalem and back, thus explaining how the journey between the cities could have been completed in a single night." According to Yale University's Kamusi Project -- the "Internet Living Swahili Dictionary" -- the Swahili word "baraka," meaning "blessing," is derived from the Arabic word "bariki," as Media Matters for America has noted. As detailed in his book, Dreams from My Father (Crown, July 1995), Obama had previously gone by a nickname, "Barry," rather than by his given name, "Barack," which was also his father's name. Media Matters was unable to determine if "Buraq" and "Barack" are linguistically related.
From the October 11 edition of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show:
GIBSON: All right, Al Gore, the man who would be president. [Caller] in West Haven, Connecticut, what do you think of the "Draft Gore" movement?
CALLER: Hey, John. I always thought he was going to run. I've been saying it for a year now. And if there's a loving, caring God, he'll get the nomination. I'm a hard-core conservative --
GIBSON: You have noticed, [caller] -- I don't mean to interrupt you, but --
CALLER: Go ahead.
GIBSON: -- you have noticed that his principal rival seems to have wrapped up the race.
CALLER: Oh -- oh, I don't believe so at all.
GIBSON: You don't?
CALLER: I don't believe so at all. No, we've got a lot of time. I mean, you know, years ago, they didn't even get this close, you know, I mean --
GIBSON: Well, I mean, the first -- the Iowa and New Hampshire things are in early January, and that -- within a -- I think the first big Super Tuesday is early February, and then it's done. I mean, the delegates are committed, and unless they're going to go into open rebellion against who they are committed to -- and would assume it'd be Hillary -- that, I don't see how he gets the nomination. How would that happen?
CALLER: I don't know, but I believe he's going to win, I always did, and here's why: I just don't think if there's a God he's going to let us have this criminal family come in, or the devil win. I just can't see it. I can't see it.
GIBSON: Which one's the criminal family, and which one's the devil?
CALLER: Well, the Clintons are obviously the criminals, and the devil is Obama. There's no way that anyone with the middle name "Hussein" could rise to that level of power in the United States without being the devil, in my opinion.
GIBSON: Just -- by the way, do you know what the name "Barack" means?
CALLER: Excuse me?
GIBSON: Do you know what the name "Barack" means?
CALLER: God, I can't wait to hear.
GIBSON: It's the name of the mythical horse that carried the prophet Mohammed to heaven.
ANGRY RICH: Front page Media Matters tomorrow, guaranteed.
GIBSON: Yeah, I'll probably make Media Matters over that one. But it's true. It means "Lightning," I think, is what the word means.
[Caller], you know, I, too, am so looking forward to a Gore run because I wonder whether Gore has changed his ways and whether that kind of off-putting pomposity of the first run and his tendency to seem to be talking down to people has gone away.