The Fox Nation joined conservative radio host Mark Levin in smearing Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) as being “drunk” when he delivered a January 28 speech on the Senate floor. Fox Nation's suggestion follows right-wing attacks, which were made “without evidence,” that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was drunk when he delivered a Senate speech in early January.
Levin: “Happy hour on the Senate floor ... he sounds drunk to me”
During the January 29 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Mark Levin Show, Levin played portions of “moron” Leahy's January 28 remarks about the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC and said:
LEVIN: Is he slurring his speech? I have to ask the question; I'm not accusing him of anything, I'm saying, listen carefully -- is he slurring his speech?
Is this guy sober on the Senate floor? What's going on with -- we had this, this Baucus on there, slobbering through his speech. Rewind it. Let's take it from the beginning. I won't interrupt, 40 seconds, happy hour on the Senate floor.
While Leahy spoke, Levin played sound effects of drinks pouring followed by an automobile crashing. Levin added: “Wake up the guys at Hot Air and Free Republic and these other places and let them know we have an audio for them. ... I think we have a senator with wobbly legs. I think we have a senator with beer breath -- I could be wrong. I'll leave it to you to decide. Honestly, he sounds drunk to me, doesn't he? But don't worry. He wants to run the country with the other drunks. Blaaahh.”
Fox Nation: “Is Leahy Drunk on Senate Floor?”
From The Fox Nation, accessed on February 1:
Fox Nation later changed its headline to, “Conservative Radio Host Levin: Is Leahy Drunk on Senate Floor?”
Fox News and conservatives baselessly accused Baucus of being “hammered” on Senate floor
In early January, Glenn Beck repeatedly attacked Democratic senators for their purported alcohol abuse, citing little or no evidence. Beck echoed the right wing's discredited, baseless claim -- promoted by Internet gossip Matt Drudge -- that Baucus had been “hammered” on the Senate floor, and claimed that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) had decided not to run for re-election because “there are a few bars [he hasn't] hit in Connecticut.” In a statement issued to Politico, Baucus' office flatly denied the “unfounded, untrue” allegation, while The Washington Independent's David Weigel stated of “the completely baseless, Drudge-driven 'Max Baucus was drunk' smear” : “Baucus talks like this all the time. ... Baucus mumbles occasionally. OK, a lot. Accusing him of being drunk on the job, without evidence, is shameful, and I'm flabbergasted at the number of journalists who are doing it.”