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Fox News host John Gibson gave Democratic attorney Julian Epstein "an A" after Epstein repeated the false claim that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) "apparently circulated a memo about [Supreme Court nominee Samuel] Alito saying that he was soft on mobsters," adding that such a claim was "dangerously close to an ethnic slur." In issuing the "A," Gibson agreed with American Center for Law and Justice chief counsel Jay Sekulow, another guest on that edition of The Big Story with John Gibson.
Media Matters has repeatedly debunked the claim that the DNC memo said Alito was "soft on mobsters" or referred to Alito's ethnicity. The claim was first made by MSNBC's Chris Matthews; his comments were repeated by the Republican National Committee and right-wing websites such as WorldNetDaily and NewsMax.
From the November 14 edition of Fox News' The Big Story With John Gibson:
EPSTEIN: There was one other word I wanted to say real quickly, which was the DNC apparently circulated a memo about Alito saying that he was soft on mobsters. And I think that whoever was responsible, whether it was the DNC or someone else, that party owes Mr. Alito an apology. I think it was dangerously close to an ethnic slur. I think that kind of stuff has no place in our politics. And I think Democrats will have plenty of room to criticize Mr. Alito, but I think whoever is responsible for that owes him an apology.
GIBSON: Hey, good going, Julian, you get a little mark.
SEKULOW: Julian gets an A from me.
GIBSON: He gets an A today.