Fox News attack machine smears Chicago as a violent city unsuitable for Olympics

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Led by Fox News, the conservative media have opened a new front from which to attack President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's support of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics: smearing the city as unfit to host the Olympic Games, often by citing individual instances of violence. For example, Sean Hannity, after citing a recent murder and an assault, asked whether Chicago is "a city where we want the Olympics," and Glenn Beck said, "Chicago is good at ... organized Mafi -- oops, did I say that out loud?"

Conservatives attack Chicago as unworthy of Olympic bid

Beck: "Chicago is good at ... organized Mafi -- oops, did I say that out loud?" On his October 1 show, Beck listed a number of ways in which, he claimed, "corrupt politicians" have "humiliated" Chicagoans, and suggested that residents are against the Olympic bid. Beck then said: "It's a tough choice, what should we do? What should we do? Well, in the America that I grew up in, we would use logic. The way the IOC normally does it is to select the city which presents the superior plan. OK, that makes sense. All right, does the best job in organizing. Oh, Chicago is good at community organizing, and organized labor, and organized Mafi-- oops. Did I say that out loud?" [Glenn Beck, 10/1/09]

Hannity: "Is this a city where we want the Olympics taking place?" On his October 1 Fox News show, Hannity said, "[E]arly this morning a 14-year-old boy was chased down a Chicago street and beaten with a pipe. ... This event occurs on the heels of the murder of Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old honor student who was beaten to death in a gang fight, and at the same time the president is lobbying to bring the Olympics to Chicago, which begs the question: Is this a city where we want the Olympics taking place?"

S.E. Cupp: "If I'm Rio, I'm not really worried." Also discussing the potential of Chicago hosting the Olympic games, Fox News contributor S.E. Cupp said on Hannity, "Have you have you been to Rio? I have. It's awesome. If I'm Rio, I'm not really worried." Later, in response to Fox News contributor Kimberly Guilfoyle's assertion that Chicago has "pressing problems" such as "lawlessness, violence on the street, innocent bystanders being killed, children beaten and unable to go to schools," Cupp said, "Yes, yes. I mean, who wants the Olympics in their backyard? Really, nobody. It's a circus."

Drudge headline: "OLYMPIC SPIRIT: VIDEO SHOWS BRUTAL GANG MURDER IN CHICAGO." On September 29, the Drudge Report linked to an article about the teenager who was beaten and murdered in Chicago under the following headline:

drudge

Malkin on teen murder in Chicago: "Flying to Copenhagen isn't helping." On September 28, blogger Michelle Malkin posted video of the teenager being beaten to death and wrote: "Community organizing has not stopped Chicago's teen violence epidemic. The Olympics will not solve this long-festering problem, either." Malkin also wrote, regarding the "out-of-control violence" in Chicago: "Flying to Copenhagen isn't helping."

Fox News attacks Obama's efforts to promote U.S. Olympic bid

Fox News criticizes Obama's purported misplaced "priorities," spotlight-seeking, as well as carbon footprint of trip. In recent days, Fox News hosts, contributors, and guests have used Obama's promotion of the Olympics bid as an excuse to attack him, while Malkin has devoted several posts on her website to an "Olympics Crony Watch" or "the Obamas' Chicago Crony Olympics bid." Attacks on Obama's efforts include Hannity saying that "it sounds" like Obama "is more concerned about bringing the Olympics to Chicago than winning the war in Afghanistan," Brent Bozell claiming Obama's trip to Copenhagen to promote the Chicago bid "is evidence that this man just cannot stay away from the klieg lights," and Bret Baier invoking the "carbon footprint" of Obama's trip to Copenhagen to smear the president.

Transcript

From the October 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: Now, early this morning a 14-year-old boy was chased down a Chicago street and beaten with a pipe. Now, his injuries sent him to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Now, this event occurs on the heels of the murder of Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old honor student who was beaten to death in a gang fight, and at the same time the president is lobbying to bring the Olympics to Chicago, which begs the question: Is this a city where we want the Olympics taking place?

[...]

CUPP: There's something going on here. I don't know if there was an arrangement made with the IOC, I don't know. Michelle Malkin's piece was very illuminating, I thought. But on the other hand? Have you have you been to Rio? I have. It's awesome. If I'm Rio, I'm not really worried. I mean, I don't know -- there's conflicting stuff going on here. I'll be surprised.

HANNITY: They have a national holiday on the day of the announcement. So they're fighting back.

CUPP: Well, Rio's awesome. No offense to Chicago. I love a good Cubs game.

GUILFOYLE: Everybody loves Rio.

CUPP: But Rio is awesome.

GUILFOYLE: That's what the White House is going to say, blame it on Rio, are you shocked? You know?

[crosstalk]

HANNITY: Half of Chicago doesn't want it -- 47-45 -- Chicago does not want this. They don't.

CUPP: That's right.

GUILFOYLE: Well, they have a lot of other, more pressing problems that they need to deal with right now like the story you just discussed. They have lawlessness, violence on the street, innocent bystanders being killed, children beaten and unable to go to schools. You know, that's where President Obama came from, but right now he's president of the United States, not mayor of Chicago. Focus.

CUPP: Yes, yes. I mean, who wants the Olympics in their backyard? Really, nobody. It's a circus.

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