While discussing the recent murder of Kasandra Perkins at the hands of her boyfriend, NFL player Jovan Belcher, Fox News host Dana Perino claimed women who are "victims of violence" need to "make better decisions." Perino's comment is just the latest in a long line of Fox figures placing blame on female victims of crime or alleged crimes.
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Fox's Perino To Female "Victims Of Violence": "Make Better Decisions"
Fox Host Perino's Advice To Women Who Are "Victims Of Violence": "Make Better Decisions." On the December 5 edition of The Five, co-host Dana Perino stated that "women are victims of violence all the time." When co-host Greg Gutfeld responded that "[t]hey should have guns," Perino replied, "Well, maybe. Or make better decisions." [Fox News, The Five, 12/5/12]
Fox Figures Have Repeatedly Placed Blame On Female Victims
On Sexual Assault:
Bill O'Reilly: Rape, Murder Victim Was "Wearing A Miniskirt And A Halter Top. ... [E]very Predator In The World Is Gonna Pick That Up At 2 In The Morning." While discussing the rape and murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore during the August 2, 2006, edition of his now defunct radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly appeared to suggest that the clothing she was wearing at the time helped incite her killer, calling the girl "moronic" and saying: "She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at 2 in the morning." [Westwood One, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 8/2/06, via Media Matters]
Fox's Liz Trotta On Violent Sexual Assaults In The Military: "What Did They Expect? These People Are In Close Contact." On Fox's America's News HQ, Fox contributor Liz Trotta criticized the Department of Defense for increasing funding for support programs for victims of sexual assault: "I thought the mission of the Army, and the Navy, and four services was to defend and protect us, not the people who were fighting the war." Reacting to a Pentagon report finding a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults in the military since 2006, Trotta stated, "Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 2/12/12]
Geraldo Rivera Dismissed Sexual Assault During Discussion Of Alleged Rape Victim. While discussing charges of rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, on the July 1, 2011, edition of America's Newsroom, Fox host Geraldo Rivera claimed that immigrant women use rape allegations as a "new immigrant racket" to stay in the U.S.. After telling an anecdote about a friend's wife, Rivera concluded that the housekeeper Strauss-Kahn had allegedly assaulted "sought asylum claiming a rape charge, typical of the scenario, this immigration scam that they pull." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 7/1/11, via Media Matters]
On Sexual Harassment:
Fox's Tantaros On Alleged Sexual Harassment Victims: "At What Point Do Women Need To Take Some Responsibility?" In a November 9, 2011, New York Daily News column, Fox News host Andrea Tantaros addressed the sexual harassment accusations against then-GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain: "I'm not saying that Cain isn't guilty of sexual misconduct ... But this scandal should have every woman asking: At what point do women need to take some responsibility?" "The real question," according to Tantaros, is, "Why have dinner and drinks with a married man in the first place? Why not meet him in his office if your purpose is strictly professional?" [New York Daily News, 11/10/11, via Media Matters]
Hannity Attacks Cain Accuser For "Staying In The Car" With Him After Alleged Harassment. On his Fox News program, host Sean Hannity interviewed Gloria Allred, the attorney for one of Herman Cain's alleged sexual harassment victims. Hannity repeatedly questioned why the woman didn't immediately leave the vehicle after the alleged crime: "Why would one -- if that happened, and it was so traumatic, and it was so bad, why would she stay in the car with him?" [Fox News, Hannity, 11/10/11]
Fox's Gutfeld: Many Sexual Harassment Allegations Are "Done To Safeguard Future Reputation-Damaging Things." Discussing the Cain allegations on the November 1, 2011, edition of The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld said, "We're beginning to understand the ubiquitousness of sexual harassment claims and how because they're happening so often and they're everywhere and many of them are inherently meaningless -- they're done to safeguard future reputation-damaging things, and you might not be guilty." [Fox News, The Five, 11/1/11]
Fox's Hume: Superiors In The Workplace Are Now "At An Equal Or Greater Disadvantage" Than Their Employees. Discussing the sexual harassment allegations against Cain on Special Report, Fox senior political analyst Brit Hume expressed concern that "[y]ears ago, subordinate employees were at a terrible disadvantage when subjected to unwanted sexual advances by their superiors. Today, those superiors are at an equal or greater disadvantage. Not only are unwanted advances now against the law, but so is conduct that may be found to create, quote, 'an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.' " Hume went on, "The problem is that what is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to some may not be to others. Innocently intended compliments may be welcome to one person but may give offense to another." [Fox News, Special Report, 11/1/11, via Media Matters]
Click here to see how Fox mocked enhanced protections in the Violence Against Women Act.