Eleanor Giusti, the mother of Gregory Giusti -- who was arrested after allegedly threatening the life of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her support of health care reform -- has stated that Fox News was a factor in her son's alleged actions. As Media Matters for America has documented, Fox News hosts and guests have a history of issuing inflammatory remarks about Pelosi, most notably Glenn Beck's discussion of "put[ting] poison" in her wine.
Mother of man accused of threatening Pelosi blames Fox News
From an April 7 news broadcast on San Francisco TV station KGO:
ELEANOR GIUSTI: Greg has -- frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family and -- which gets him into problems. And apparently I would say this must be another one that somehow he's gotten onto either by -- I'd say Fox News or all of those that are really radical, and he -- that's where he comes from.
Giusti allegedly "made dozens of calls" to Pelosi threatening her not to support health care reform. On April 7, the Los Angeles Times reported: "According to federal authorities, Giusti allegedly made dozens of calls to Pelosi's homes in California and Washington, D.C., as well as her husband's business office. He allegedly recited her home address and warned that she should not support the healthcare overhaul bill that was recently signed into law if she wanted to see her home again."
Fox hosts, guests have repeatedly launched inflammatory remarks at Pelosi
Beck talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine. Glenn 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]
Cal Thomas: Pelosi's "deliberately provocative" walk across Capitol was like "the march through Skokie, Illinois, by the Nazis." Columnist Cal Thomas said, "When Nancy Pelosi went through those tea partiers, it was like -- what should we analogize this to? -- the march through Skokie, Illinois, by the Nazis. It was deliberately provocative. They wanted a reaction." [Fox News Watch, 3/27/10]
Fox & Friends hosts agree Pelosi may be "giving people ideas" about assassination. Responding to Pelosi's statement that she has "concerns about some of the language that is being used" in the health care debate and referencing the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk, co-host Brian Kilmeade stated, "I think that she has to say, 'I take responsibility for some of it too.' ... The way she has been polarizing as a speaker, hardly a uniter." Co-host Gretchen Carlson added, "This is dangerous territory, to go down this path of equating what's going on now with health care reform and opposition to it to what happened to those two gentlemen in San Francisco politics 30 years ago. To me, strategically or not, to get emotional like that and try and compare the two is very dangerous territory." Kilmeade later said that such rhetoric is "giving people ideas." [Fox & Friends, 9/18/09]
Fox & Friends re-enacts pro-life heckler who told Pelosi to "burn in hell." Co-host Steve Doocy played a heckler who shouted, "Nancy Pelosi, you'll burn in hell!" during a Pelosi speech while co-host Alisyn Camerota imitated Pelosi. After they re-enacted the events, co-host Peter Johnson Jr. laughed. [Fox & Friends, 10/30/09]
Beck asks if Nancy Pelosi was "inciting" tea partiers with House gavel -- "a big hammer." Beck asked, "If [Pelosi] was really worried about violence and she thought these people were violent, why would you grab a big hammer and walk into a sea of these people?" He later asked, "Did anyone say to Nancy Pelosi, 'You're inciting these people. You're slapping them across the face'?" [Glenn Beck, 3/25/10]
O'Reilly says Pelosi is pushing "Fidel Castro stuff." Bill O'Reilly stated that "Nancy Pelosi and her far-left crew want to raise the top tax rate to 45 percent. That's not capitalism, that's Fidel Castro stuff, confiscating wages that people honestly earn. [The O'Reilly Factor, 11/4/2009]
O'Reilly -- who doesn't "want to overstate this" -- compared Pelosi to Marie Antoinette. After first stating that he didn't "want to overstate" the issue of Pelosi's use of military aircraft to return to her home district, O'Reilly said: "However, there's a Marie Antoinette factor to Nancy Pelosi ... saying, look, the whole country's blowing up, we're all suffering here because of the economy, but I, Marie Antoinette, I'm gonna do what -- if I gotta move that jet from San Francisco to Travis [Air Force Base] because it saves me 45 minutes in a car, I'm gonna do that." [The O'Reilly Factor, 3/11/09]
Beck lists Pelosi among California's "really dangerous people" that include communists, eco-terrorists. Black Panthers. Beck stated that "California has become quite a hotbed for all kinds of radicals -- communists, socialists, all in the 1960s, but they were here before -- progressives. Now, eco-terrorists, they're here. You have the Panthers formed here. Nancy Pelosi is here. A lot of really dangerous people in a state as volatile as this one, and it is on the edge." [Glenn Beck, 2/9/10]
O'Reilly hosts tea party activist who says it "would have been more symbolic had [Pelosi] had a whip." On The O'Reilly Factor, tea party activist Kevin Jackson characterized the walk to the Capitol by Pelosi and other members of Congress on the day the House voted for health care reform as "this very wealthy white lady leading a group of black, you know, men up to the thing with her gavel in her hand. It would have been more symbolic had she had a whip." [The O'Reilly Factor, 3/31/10]
Miller: Pelosi has a "sub-reptilian intellect." On The O'Reilly Factor, radio host Dennis Miller claimed that voters "did not want to turn $1.2 million over to a sub-reptilian intellect like Nancy Pelosi." After O'Reilly compared Pelosi's comments following the November 2009 elections to "George Custer at the Little Big Horn, before the arrow went through his throat," Miller added, "This woman could lose a game of Tic-Tac-Toe to an amoeba, for God's sakes. It will show you the holes in the system we have that this is the most powerful woman in the United States of America. Look at her -- she's sub-reptilian. ... Empty, vapid, nobody's home." [The O'Reilly Factor, 11/4/09]
Miller: "If you go in with her and the long knives ... you better be ready to play hard." Dennis Miller said of Pelosi: "There's blood in the water on her, and I hope they bring in Cousteau's kid to document it because this is going to be a beautiful demise. ... It's going to get ugly, and if you go in with her and the long knives, I would warn you -- and you're not a plastic surgeon, you better be ready to play hard, because you will get the speaker's gavel from her when you pry it from her cold, dead hand, as they say in the trade." [The O'Reilly Factor, 5/19/09]
Doocy thought O'Reilly asking if Pelosi is a "kook" was a "great question." On Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy played a clip of O'Reilly asking Sarah Palin, "Do you think that [Pelosi's] a kook? ... Do you think she's actually crazy?" Doocy added, "What a great question: 'Is she a kook?' " [Fox & Friends, 1/13/10]
Fox has history of violent rhetoric, apocalyptic health care reform language
Media Matters has previously documented Fox News' recent history of violent rhetoric and the apocalyptic language the network's employees used to describe the then-impending passage of health care reform.