Kilmeade -- who pushed madrassa myth -- doesn't get why Obama blames the media for Muslim falsehood
Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
On his radio show today, the easily-confused Brian Kilmeade said he doesn't "get" why President Obama is "blaming the media" for the falsehood that the president is Muslim. Kilmeade added that Obama's criticism is "way out of bounds":
KILMEADE: Why are you blaming the media when it was a poll of the Pew Research poll of the people, and a Time Magazine poll of the people, that said, 1 out of 5 thinks you're a Muslim? Are you still blaming the media? I say that's way out of bounds!
KILMEADE: Is he really blaming the media when it's a people poll that's producing these results, he's blaming the media for causing these results. I don't get it.
Had Kilmeade bothered to actually read the poll he was referencing -- a Pew Research poll released a few weeks ago -- he would have learned that people get the falsehood primarily from the media: "When asked how they learned about Obama's religion in an open-ended question, 60% of those who say Obama is a Muslim cite the media. Among specific media sources, television (at 16%) is mentioned most frequently. About one-in-ten (11%) of those who say Obama is a Muslim say they learned of this through Obama's own words and behavior."
Kilmeade's media defense is especially ironic considering he was one of the first national media personalities to spread the false myth that Obama was educated in a madrassa. In January 2007, Kilmeade said of Obama: "Evidently, when he was a little kid, he went over to Indonesia and went to a madrassa."
From the Media Matters archives:
On the January 19, 2007, editions of Fox & Friends First and Fox & Friends, Kilmeade, along with co-hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson, spent several segments advancing a false report that Obama was raised a Muslim and attended a madrassa, or Islamic school, as a child in Indonesia. At one point, Doocy asked: "When people find out this stuff, they're going to go, 'Why didn't anybody ever mention that that man right there was raised as -- spent the first decade of his life raised by his Muslim father as a Muslim and was educated in a madrassa?' " Kilmeade responded, "Yeah, is that a problem?" He added: "Evidently, when he was a little kid, he went over to Indonesia and went to a madrassa. He -- in his two best-selling books, he doesn't really mention this in detail."
Later, Kilmeade did not challenge a caller's assertion that Obama being raised a Muslim "could possibly give him ... better insight on the enemy, [because] maybe he doesn't consider terrorists the enemy," but rather, said to the caller: "Well, we'll see about that." Later that same day on Fox & Friends, Doocy said of the false madrassa story: "This is huge." Kilmeade replied: "It's big about his background. It's also interesting. He had two best-selling biographies. It did not come up -- was not directly addressed."
On the January 22, 2007, edition of Fox & Friends, the co-hosts "clarif[ied]" their previous reporting on the madrassa story. During that segment, Doocy said: "Mr. Obama's people called and they said that that is absolutely false. They said the idea that Barack Obama went to a radical Muslim school is completely ridiculous," as Media Matters for America documented. Kilmeade stated that the Obama camp "wanted to make it clear they had nothing to do -- he had nothing to do with going to any radical Islamic school, and he was very angry about it."
Still, Kilmeade can't understand why Obama blames the media for spreading the Muslim myth.