Fox's Gibson, Barnes equated Iranian president's letter with positions of Democrats, progressivesMay 11, 2006 4:20 PM EDT ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER & BEN FISHEL
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On the May 10 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson claimed that the "biggest difference" between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent letter to President Bush and "Democrat talking point[s]" is that the Iranian president "was actually nice about Jesus and Christians." The previous day, on Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes had similarly asserted that Ahmadinejad's letter "reads ... [like] some left-wing document," adding that "maybe MoveOn.org will want to run text or something."
Referring to Ahmadinejad's letter, Gibson asserted: "Christians are not acting like Christians, says the Iranian president. Democrat talking point. WMD lies, says the Iranian president. Democrat talking point. Human-rights abuses in Gitmo [Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, site of the U.S. detention facility for terrorist suspects]. Another Democrat talking point. The gap between haves and have-nots. The Iranian president and the Dems in lockstep on that one, too."
Gibson and Barnes are just the latest conservative commentators to compare Ahmadinejad's letter to Democratic talking points. As Media Matters for America recently noted, radio host Rush Limbaugh said the letter contained "Democratic talking point[s]" and "even some liberal Hollywood Jewish people talking point." Further, CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck said the Iranian president "sounded ... a lot like [filmmaker] Michael Moore" in the letter to Bush.
Ahmadinejad's 18-page letter, which touched on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the unlawful detainment of prisoners, also expressed skepticism about whether the Holocaust occurred:
One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families. Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?
In the letter, Ahmadinejad also wonders whether September 11 could have been "planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services -- or their extensive infiltration." Ahmadinejad has previously referred to the holocaust as a "myth" and suggested that Israel be moved to Europe, the United States, Canada, or Alaska.
From the May 10 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:
GIBSON: Now it's time for "My Word." Terry McAuliffe and the other Democrats should pay close attention to their talking points these days. That nut job running Iran, President -- let's see if I can pronounce it -- Ahmadinejad, sent President Bush a letter, and if it weren't postmarked Tehran, it might have been mistaken for a crank letter from an angry leftist in L.A. or Boulder or Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Christians are not acting like Christians, says the Iranian president. Democrat talking point. WMD lies, says the Iranian president. Democrat talking point. Human-rights abuses in Gitmo. Another Democrat talking point. The gap between haves and have-nots. The Iranian president and the Dems in lockstep on that one, too.
The biggest difference? Ahmadinejad was actually nice about Jesus and Christians. Nobody should believe him, but he said nice things about Jesus Christ, and he kept muttering after each mention, "Peace be upon him."
I'm not saying the Iranian nut-job president who wants to wipe Israel off the map is a Democrat. He's anything but. However, the loyal opposition in this country probably doesn't want to be sounding like him. And if he's borrowing their talking points, maybe they should adjust a bit.
From the May 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
BRIT HUME (host and Washington bureau managing editor): What to make of this letter. What does it tell us? Is it -- I mean, the -- Condoleezza Rice was peppered with questions from the AP yesterday about why this wasn't seen as an important diplomatic opening.
BARNES: Because it wasn't. I mean, look, this was a bunch of accusations about Bush. It had nothing to -- this was not an overture in any way whatsoever. I'll have to say, this is the most amazing document I have ever seen that might be considered diplomatic. Just -- I mean, I -- I think I took diplomatic history in college and there was never anything like this, where he says -- you left out the -- the line that I thought was interesting. He said, "And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serves him." You know, it ...
BARNES: I mean -- I mean, he's even -- he's even dumping on Bush's faith. Now, do you expect the president to say, this letter -- it also insinuates that he knew about 9-11 ahead of time or somehow American intelligence was involved in it and so on. And it reads, I mean, just some left-wing document. Maybe MoveOn.org will want to run text or something.
HUME: Does it tell you anything you didn't feel like you knew about the man and -- and -- and sort of what he thinks and -- and how he figures into the power structure over there?
BARNES: Well, he certainly -- I wasn't sure -- I didn't think he would be able to echo, pretty accurately, the far-left-wing complaint about President Bush and his administration. But he's got it all in there.