Fox News personalities' pattern of violent rhetoric

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN & SOLANGE UWIMANA

On February 3, Fox Business host John Stossel told New York magazine that he has "Barney Frank in effigy" hanging above his sofa. Stossel is just the latest in a long line of Fox News personalities using violent rhetoric.

John Stossel

Stossel said he has "Barney Frank in effigy" hanging above his sofa. In a February 3 interview with New York magazine, when Stossel was asked, "What's hanging above your sofa?" he responded: "Barney Frank in effigy." [New York, 2/3/10]

Glenn Beck

Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said: "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." [Fox News' Glenn Beck, 3/30/09]

Beck talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine. On the August 6, 2009, edition of this Fox News show, Beck stated:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you -- I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck 8/6/09]

Beck: "To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter." Telling his listeners that they "are going to learn so much on Friday," Beck compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters" and commented: "I'm going to find these big progressives and, to the day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter." He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care where -- I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they have done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution, our republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people are waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to losing our republic. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 1/20/10]

Beck: "Grab a torch." Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch." [Glenn Beck, 1/6/10]

Bill O'Reilly

O'Reilly: "[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller -- well, you know. Can't be vigilantes. Can't do that. It's just a figure of speech." On the November 6, 2006, broadcast of his radio show, Bill O'Reilly said of the late Dr. George Tiller: "[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller -- well, you know. Can't be vigilantes. Can't do that. It's just a figure of speech." [Westwood One's The Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 11/6/06]

Dick Morris

Morris: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." During a long conspiracy theory about a "super-national authority" that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, Morris asserted that because Obama's policies are "internationalist ... [t]hose crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." [Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09]

Ralph Peters

Peters stated that if a Taliban-held soldier is a deserter, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." Peters, who repeatedly appeared on Fox News to discuss the attempted bombing, asserted of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009 and appeared in two Taliban propaganda videos: "[W]e know this private is a liar; we're not sure if he's a deserter." Peters added that if he is a deserter, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills." NBC's Jim Miklaszewski subsequently reported that the Pentagon said Peters' comments "could endanger" the captured soldier. [Fox News' America's News HQ, 7/19/09]

Michael Scheuer

Scheuer: "The only chance we have as a country right now is" for bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon" in U.S. Scheuer, who has frequently appeared on Fox News as a terrorism expert, said during an appearance on Glenn Beck, "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States." [Glenn Beck, 6/30/09]

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