"Frothing," "Rabid," "Slobs": The Right-Wing Media's Smear Campaign Of Pro-Union Protesters

››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON

As labor supporters in Wisconsin have protested Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union legislation, right-wing media have smeared the protesters with numerous insults, including labeling them "slobs," "rabid," and "frothing."

Right-Wing Media Hurl Insults At Union Supporters

Limbaugh: Wisconsin Protesters Are "Long-Haired, Maggot-Infested Michael Moore Fan[s]." During the March 10 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated: "Every hard working American family I know is led by a long-haired, maggot-infested Michael Moore fan bussed in from out of state to raise holy Hell, shutting down the Wisconsin state Capitol building chanting 'this is what democracy looks like.'" [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/10/11]

Red State: Protesters Are A "Union Mob" Of "Criminals" And "Thugs." In a March 10 Red State post, Ben Howe called union protesters a "union mob" and referred to them as a "band of criminals and thugs." From the post:

[C]onservatives believe in protest as well as the rule of law. And when we don't get our way, we win at the polls, not at the end of a stick.

This crowd is downright frightening as they surround and harass this reporter for doing nothing more than turning his camera on. I suppose they can be forgiven for calling him a NARC since "Riot Control" is in the name and that's clearly what is needed to calm down this band of criminals and thugs.

Thank God their desire to vandalize the Capitol overcame their desire to bully a stranger. [Red State, 3/10/11]

Hoft: "Angry Leftist Mob Storms WI Capitol Pushing-Shoving Screaming 'Peaceful Protest.'" In a March 10 post to his Gateway Pundit blog, Jim Hoft mocked the "peaceful protest" language used to identify the union protesters in Wisconsin, labeling them an "angry leftist mob," and "raging leftists." [Gateway Pundit, 3/10/11]

Hoft Warns: "Look Out - The Thugs Are Coming." In a March 10 post, Hoft warned: "Look Out - The Thugs Are Coming... SEIU to Hold Mass Rallies Today in Wisconsin." Hoft further wrote: "Be warned. Be careful." [Gateway Pundit, 3/10/11]

Fox Nation Calls Protesters "Rabid Leftists." In a March 9 post, Fox Nation described Wisconsin protesters as "Rabid Leftists." [Media Matters, 3/9/11]

Fox Nation: "Warning, Frothing Radicals Running Wild." On its Twitter page, Fox Nation promoted its March 9 post calling protesters "Rabid Leftists" by stating, "Warning, Frothing Radicals Running Wild." [Media Matters, 3/9/11]

Fox Nation: "Howling Liberals Interrupt John Kasich Speech." A March 8 Fox Nation headline stated, "Howling Liberals Interrupt John Kasich Speech." In the post, Fox Nation referred to the protesters as "leftist bullies." [Fox Nation, 3/8/11]

Fox Nation Calls Protesters A "Shrieking Leftist Mob." A March 8 Fox Nation headline referring to pro-union protesters at a GOP-hosted town hall event stated, "Shrieking Leftist Mob Shuts Down Town Hall Meeting in Wisconsin." [Media Matters, 3/8/11]

Hoft: "Leftist Bullies" "Jeer Ohio Governor Kasich." In a March 8 post titled, "Predictable. Angry Leftists Jeer Ohio Governor Kasich During State Of State Address," Hoft wrote: "Most of the leftist bullies were forced to stand outside the Chamber Door today during Ohio Governor John Kasich's State of the State Address. However, at least one shrieking protester interrupted the republican governor during his speech today." [Gateway Pundit, 3/8/11]

Hoft Calls Protesters "Loons." In a March 7 post, Hoft stated: "Bummer. Protests Dwindle at Wisconsin Capitol - Only A Couple Dozen Loons Show Up Today." [Gateway Pundit, 3/7/11]

Fox Nation Declares Union Supporters "Despicable" For "Disrupt[ing] GOP Senators' Meal At Restaurant." A March 4 Fox Nation headline stated: "Despicable Union Supporters Disrupt GOP Senators' Meal at Restaurant." [Fox Nation, 3/4/11]

Hoft: "It Will Cost Up To $7.5 Million To Clean After Protest 'Slobs.'" In a March 3 post, Jim Hoft repeated remarks made by Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R) in which he referred to Wisconsin protesters as "'smelly' leftist 'slobs' who are turning the state capitol into a 'pig sty.'" [Gateway Pundit, 3/3/11]

Fox Nation: "Judge Orders Union Agitators Out of Wisconsin Capitol." In a March 3 post regarding the decision by a Wisconsin judge to order union protesters to leave the Capitol building, Fox Nation referred to protesters as "Union Agitators." [Fox Nation, 3/3/11]

Fox & Friends Falsely Portray WI Protesters As "Violent." On March 3, Fox & Friends used a video of Wisconsin protesters confronting a GOP state senator to attempt to portray the protesters as a "violent" "mob." In fact, the video showed no evidence that violence occurred during the incident, prompting the photographer who shot the video to slam Fox's coverage as "a genuinely dangerous narrative that Fox News is helping to create." [Media Matters, 3/3/11]

Beck: "Some Of The Teachers" Protesting In Wisconsin "Are Just Useful Idiots." On the February 28 broadcast his radio show, Glenn Beck stated: "Some of the teachers, some of the people who are there, really are just useful idiots. They don't know what's really going on. They don't know that this is a coordinated effort." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 2/28/11]

Wash. Times Compares Protesters To "Spoiled Brat[s]." In a February 21 editorial, The Washington Times wrote that "Wisconsin's labor protests have been likened to the Middle East uprisings, but they have more the flavor of a spoiled brat's temper tantrum." The Times added, "It is as if labor activists have adopted the motto, 'Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.'" [The Washington Times, 2/21/11]

Malkin: Protesters Engaging In "Thuggery." On the February 17 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin attacked the protesters, saying, "If this brave Republican governor can stand up to the immense amount of power and thuggery, essentially, by these unions, it bodes very well for other states." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/17/11]

Napolitano Calls Wisconsin Protests "Union Temper Tantrums." On the February 17 edition his Fox Business show Freedom Watch, host Andrew Napolitano said, "This is the second day in a row union temper tantrums have ... deprived Wisconsin kids of their education." [Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 2/17/11]

McGuirk: Protesters Are "Act[ing] Like A Bunch Of Selfish Spoiled Europeans." On the February 17 broadcast of Fox News' Hannity, Fox Business' Imus in the Morning producer Bernard McGuirk said of the protesters: "For these guys, the people in Wisconsin, these protesters to act like a bunch of selfish spoiled Europeans is almost embarrassing." [Fox News, Hannity, 2/17/11, accessed via Nexis]

Malkin: Protesters "Stormed" Capitol For Demonstration; Teachers Used Students As "Kiddie Human Shields." In a February 16 post about protests in Wisconsin, Malkin wrote that the SEIU "and its allies stormed in for a sleepover protest" at the state Capitol building. She later wrote of teachers staging a protest: "Kiddie human shields become kiddie sacrificial lambs." In a later post, Malkin called the protesters "union thugs." [MichelleMalkin.com, 2/16/11, 2/16/11]

Beck Characterizes Union Protests As "Riots" And "Uprisings." On the February 16 edition of his radio show, Glenn Beck stated of union protests: "You are about to see this president start embracing the uprisings in this country. You are going to see him embrace the teachers unions and all of the unions that are marching on the streets." Beck later characterized the protests as "riots in the streets." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 2/16/11]

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