Juan Williams again baselessly attacked Michelle Obama, claiming "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff"

››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

On The O'Reilly Factor, Juan Williams again baselessly attacked first lady Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that Michelle Obama's "instinct" is to "blame America" or be "the victim," and said she has "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Williams also said that she could be a "liabilit[y]" or an "albatross" for President Barack Obama. Williams previously claimed Michelle Obama sometimes uses "this kind of militant anger."

During the January 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, NPR news analyst and Fox News political contributor Juan Williams again baselessly attacked first lady Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that "[i]f you think about liabilities for President [Barack] Obama that are close to him -- [Vice President] 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."

Williams provided no evidence for the claims that Michelle Obama's "instinct" is to "blame America" or be "the victim," nor did he provide examples of her having "this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going." Additionally, Williams did not provide any evidence that she could be a "liabilit[y]" or an "albatross" for Obama. Ham also smeared Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying of Michelle Obama: "[S]he's got to not drop sound bites like she did during the campaign that were not helpful to her husband, because, frankly, if you want to be an unpleasant, heavy-handed first lady, you're going to -- well, you'll end up like Hillary Clinton."

As Media Matters for America documented, Williams previously claimed that Michelle Obama sometimes uses "this kind of militant anger." During the August 25, 2008, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, referring to Michelle Obama's then-upcoming speech at the Democratic National Convention, Williams claimed: "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, you know. She can be, it seems, rather cynical or dismissive of people," adding, "I don't think she wants to get anywhere near the race issue, anywhere near the militance issue." Williams gave no examples of what he claimed to be "this kind of militant anger" that Michelle Obama "sometimes uses."

From the January 26 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

BILL O'REILLY (host): All right, Juan, Michelle Obama. I don't know much about Mrs. Obama, but she now has the power of the first lady's pulpit, which is considerable. How do you think she's going to use this power, Juan?

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I mean, what they say is that she's going to make an effort with military families, she's going to try to do more with kids, especially her own kids. They make the point she's not going to be involved with policy as an adviser to her husband, but actually going to try to keep control of the family with her mother, President Obama's mother-in-law, who's living at the White House. And then, finally, don't forget, she's got to be a role model. We've never had a black woman in this position before, and she's a mom, she's a wife, and she's going to be a role model to millions of people, not just African-Americans.

O'REILLY: OK, but, usually, Mary Katharine, usually, first ladies take on a cause. Laura Bush was illiteracy, and I'm not sure what Mrs. Obama's cause is going to be, do you know?

HAM: Well, she's talked about taking on the juggling of family and work, which probably entails some sort of family leave discussions, national discussions on that. She has a policy director who's fairly to the left on those issues, although she is going to start with military families, which I think is the best political move --

O'REILLY: That's good.

HAM: -- when you're talking about supporting families. But, you know, she's got to walk a fine line. Everybody's saying, you know, she's not a talking -- you know, she's not just a nice first lady who's just going to be quiet. On the other hand, she's got to not drop sound bites like she did during the campaign --

O'REILLY: Right.

HAM: -- that were not helpful to her husband, because, frankly, if you want to be an unpleasant --

O'REILLY: All right. Well, I'd like to note --

HAM: -- heavy-handed first lady, you're going to --

O'REILLY: Yeah. Sure, anything that she says will be used against her.

HAM: -- well, you'll end up like Hillary Clinton. So -- yeah.

O'REILLY: Absolutely. Anything she says.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. And let me just -- let me just tell you this: If you think about liabilities for President Obama that are close to him -- Joe Biden's up there -- but Michelle Obama's right there. Michelle Obama, you know --

O'REILLY: But it's not her fault in the sense that --

WILLIAMS: -- she's got this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going. If she starts talking, as Mary Katharine suggested, her instinct is to start with this "blame America," you know, "I'm the victim." If that stuff starts to come out --

O'REILLY: Yeah, it'll be death.

WILLIAMS: -- people will go bananas --

O'REILLY: Right.

WILLIAMS: -- and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross.

O'REILLY: She's not going to do that. She's not going to do that.

WILLIAMS: I hope not.

O'REILLY: Finally, I'm going to give you both 20 seconds --

HAM: She's been smarter about it lately.

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