Huckabee notes "vile and hateful" attacks on Michelle Obama from "the blogs" -- what about from Fox?
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI & JUSTIN BERRIER
While interviewing Michelle Obama on his Fox News program, Mike Huckabee noted that "[t]here have been so many vile and hateful things said about your husband, said about you," citing "our political climate today and the blogs where people can" launch attacks "anonymously." However, many of the attacks against Michelle Obama, and her husband, haven't just come from "blogs" -- they've been pushed by Fox News personalities, who have characterized the First Lady as "bitter," "angry," "socialist," and unpatriotic.
Huckabee notes "vile and hateful" attacks on Obamas -- from "the blogs"
From the February 21 edition of Fox News' Huckabee:
HUCKABEE: There have been so many vile and hateful things said about your husband, said about you, not unlike what the Bush family went through. I think it's part of the --
HUCKABEE: -- horrors of our political climate today and the blogs, where people can anonymously and, in my word, cowardly, say things that they would never say if they had to tell us who they were. How do you deal with that, and how do you deal with it specifically not just for you and the president, but for your daughters?
Fox News on Michelle Obama: Patriotism problem, socialist, "militant anger," "bitter," "angry woman"
Hume, discussing Michelle Obama comment: "[T]here is this feeling" that Dems "are kind of embarrassed by patriotism." In February 2008, former Fox News host E.D. Hill asked Fox News' Brit Hume to explain "what in the world Michelle Obama meant when she said, in a very -- I kind of thought it was one of these hastily worded, you know, statements, kind of jumbled out there -- but it's very deliberately worded and slowly said, I have never been proud of America, really, until now." Hume replied: "I think this was something that she kind of thinks," adding, "[T]here is this feeling, and it has affected Democratic politicians for a long time, that they are kind of embarrassed by patriotism."
Hannity repeatedly distorted passage in Michelle Obama's senior thesis to suggest alumni views on race are her own. During February 2008 broadcasts of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity repeatedly distorted a passage from Michelle Obama's 1985 Princeton senior thesis to suggest that Obama was asserting her own views when she wrote that "[i]t is possible that Black individuals either chose to or felt pressure to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." Hannity raised the passage to wonder if "race [is] going to now be an issue" for the Obamas.
Hannity: "Do the Obamas have a race problem of their own?" On March 2, 2008, Hannity asserted, "As more is learned about Barack Obama's positions, his past, and his affiliations, it seems that the 'change' candidate has all the same problems with race as those before him." Hannity later added of Michelle and Barack Obama: "It's only fair to ask: Do the Obamas have a race problem of their own?"
Hill on Michelle and Barack Obama's dap: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?" Teasing a segment on the "gesture everyone seems to interpret differently" in June 2008, then-America's Pulse anchor E.D. Hill said: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? ... We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says." In the ensuing discussion with a "body language expert," Hill referred to the "Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound," but at no point did she explain her earlier reference to "a terrorist fist jab." After widespread ridicule, Hill "apologize[d]" for her remarks.
Gallagher pronounced Obamas "socialists," apparently because daughters get presents from Santa, not them. On Hannity & Colmes in July 2008, contributor Mike Gallagher falsely asserted that the Obamas do not give Christmas and birthday presents to their daughters, saying it's "proof positive that this is a socialist family." Gallagher further claimed that as a result of what he falsely asserted was the Obamas' refusal to give their daughters birthday and Christmas presents, the Obamas' children "are going to have a lifetime of therapy" and are "going to wind up on a bell tower someday if we don't send them presents."
Williams says Michelle Obama "sometimes uses" a "kind of militant anger." In August 2008, Fox News contributor Juan Williams asserted of Michelle Obama's upcoming speech at the DNC: "Well, she's got to be herself, but I do not think she can go for it all out in terms of this kind of militant anger that she sometimes uses."
Williams: Michelle Obama's "instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." During the January 26, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Williams claimed that Michelle Obama's "instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that "[i]f you think about liabilities for President Obama that are close to him -- Joe Biden's up there -- but Michelle Obama's right there." Williams continued: "[S]he's got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going. If she starts talking, as [Townhall Magazine contributor and Weekly Standard contributing blogger] Mary Katharine [Ham] suggested, her instinct is to start with this 'blame America,' you know, 'I'm the victim.' If that stuff starts to come out, people will go bananas, and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross."
O'Reilly: "She looks like an angry woman." During the September 16, 2008, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly stated of Michelle Obama: "Now, I have a lot of people who call me on the radio and say she looks angry. And I have to say there's some validity to that. She looks like an angry woman."
Hannity: Michelle Obama sounds "so bitter and angry." On the May 11, 2008, edition (retrieved from Nexis) of Hannity's America, Sean Hannity said: "This week, Michelle Obama still sounds angry. ... As Michelle Obama stumps for her husband to be the next president of the United States, it seems she doesn't have many positive things to say about America. In fact, her speeches always seem to have a negative tone to them. It seems her view of the United States is one of despair and hopelessness." Hannity later added: "This raises the question, why does Michelle Obama sound so bitter and angry as she campaigns for the White House?"
ABC News: "Fox News has never been a friendly place for Michelle Obama"
ABC's de Nies notes that Fox News "has repeatedly questioned the First Lady's patriotism." During the February 21 edition of ABC's World News, reporter Yunji de Nies said that "Fox News has never been a friendly place for Michelle Obama" and that the channel "has repeatedly questioned the First Lady's patriotism." De Nies reported that part of the reason Michelle Obama appeared on Huckabee was to correct viewers' perceptions of her.
Tapper: Obama campaign said Fox portrayal is not the real Michelle Obama. During the June 18, 2008, edition (retrieved from Nexis) of ABC's Nightline, Jake Tapper said that "opponents are trying to use Michelle Obama and her comments and false rumors about her to hurt her husband. Folks at Fox News have characterized Michelle Obama using the urban slang 'Obama's baby mama,' and they've asked if the fist bump she did with her husband the night he clinched enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination constituted this [ABC then played a video clip of Hill's "A terrorist fist jab?" remark]. ... The Obama campaign argues that the Michelle Obama you see on YouTube and on Fox is not the real Michelle."