Fox News is no stranger to inventing media bias or glossing over its own history of name-calling, but today Fox managed to do both in a single segment. During a discussion of actress Susan Sarandon's widely condemned remark that the pope is a “Nazi,” Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson and Fox News contributor Bernie Goldberg agreed Sarandon's comment is not being covered by “the mainstream media” :
CARLSON: Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon this week calling the pope a Nazi. She was explaining how she sent the pope a copy of the book Dead Man Walking, but was trying to clarify which pope she sent it to and said, quote, “The last one, not this Nazi one we have now.” But have you heard about that? So where is the mainstream media on this? Joining me now is Fox News contributor Bernie Goldberg, author of A Slobbering Love Affair. Good to see you in person.
GOLDBERG: Good to see you.
CARLSON: All right, so, do you believe that there's hypocrisy in the media here? She says this, and we don't hear about it.
GOLDBERG: There's no question about it.
Goldberg then said he finds the Nazi name-calling “tiresome” and added, “If everybody we don't like is a Nazi, what word do we reserve for Hitler? ... [T]he only people that are Nazis are Nazis” :
GOLDBERG: But leading up to the media point -- I just find this tiresome. I mean, the pope is a Nazi. Bush was a Nazi. Cheney was a Nazi.
GOLDBERG: But if everybody we don't like is a Nazi, what word do we reserve for Hitler? I mean, we should just get one thing straight -- that the only people who are Nazis are Nazis. That's number one. Now, the media point is especially interesting to me, because I look at this stuff. This is not going to be a big story. I guarantee you, this will not be a big story. And I'm even willing to say, fair enough, because she made this bigoted remark in passing. Fine, she didn't make a speech about it. Well, when Hank Williams Jr. made a stupid remark on this program a week ago, that became a big story.
GOLDBERG: There is a never-ending, Gretchen, a never-ending double standard when it comes to these things in the media. They protect their own, and when conservatives do it, it fits the template, well, we all know conservatives are bigots, they think. Therefore, that becomes a big story.
First off, to answer Carlson's question, “Where is the mainstream media on this?” : They're all over it. It's a complete fabrication to suggest otherwise. If Fox had bothered to Google the words “Sarandon” and “Nazi,” they would have found The Washington Post covered it, as did Reuters, The Associated Press, ABC News, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times. So it's not clear where the “hypocrisy in the media” is.
Second, Goldberg seems to be forgetting what network he's on when he says that calling people Nazis is “tiresome” and that “the only people that are Nazis are Nazis.” He acknowledges that Hank Williams Jr. compared President Obama to Hitler on Fox & Friends, but he doesn't mention the Fox figures who have also likened their opponents to Nazis or Hitler.
Bill O'Reilly has said liberal blog Daily Kos is “like the Nazi Party,” said The Huffington Post uses “the same exact tactics that the Nazis used,” and compared liberals who support gun control to Hitler. Sean Hannity said during the now-cancelled Hannity & Colmes that a Muslim congressman's using the Quran to be sworn in was the same as using “Hitler's Mein Kampf ... the Nazis' bible.” Ann Coulter, while on The O'Reilly Factor, called Media Matters one of the “little Nazi block watchers.”
And, of course, former Fox News host Glenn Beck set the record for calling his opponents Nazis and otherwise invoking Nazi imagery. On his now-cancelled Fox News show and on his radio show, he has called progressives “brownshirts” ; equated children singing about Obama with the “Hitler Youth” ; compared Fox News to Jews during the Holocaust; linked health care reform to Nazis; and compared the auto bailouts to the actions of German companies “in the early days of Adolf Hitler,” just to name a few.
And it's not just Fox hosts and contributors -- the Nazi rhetoric also comes straight from the top. Last November, chairman Roger Ailes said of NPR executives, following the firing of Juan Williams, “They are, of course, Nazis.” He added that the NPR executives “have a kind of Nazi attitude” and “are the left wing of Nazism.”