On the August 3 edition of Fox News host John Gibson's nationally syndicated radio program, the show's executive producer, who goes by the name “Angry Rich” on the program, claimed Democratic presidential candidate former Sen. John Edwards (NC) “whored his wife's cancer as a fundraising gimmick.” He also went on to call him “a fraud” and “a pansy.” Gibson referred to Edwards as “the Breck Girl,” “Silky,” and “the biggest fraud running for president.” Gibson and “Angry Rich” were attacking Edwards for saying that Democratic candidates should give back campaign contributions from News Corp., the parent company of Fox News Channel, while accepting advance and expense money from HarperCollins, another News Corp. division that had published a book written by Edwards; Gibson played an audio clip of Edwards stating that money was donated to charity. They also attacked Edwards for his refusal earlier this year to participate in a debate co-sponsored by Fox News.
From the August 3 edition of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show:
GIBSON: Fraud alert. Fraud alert. This is Angry Rich's favorite subject, and it's getting to be mine as well.
AUDIO CLIP: Fraud alert.
GIBSON: Our John Gibson program fraud alert today focuses on the biggest fraud running for president, and that takes some doing. We're talking about the Breck Girl, Silky, the former senator from North Carolina, the baron of a 28,000-square-foot manse, the protector of the poor while ensconced on a pillow of 100 million dollars.
ANGRY RICH: A man who whored his wife's cancer as a fundraising gimmick.
GIBSON: John Edwards today was going after other Democratic candidates, and by other he meant Hillary Clinton, for taking money as political contributions from Rupert Murdoch or from certain employees or executives of either the Fox News Channel or News Corporation, which owns the Fox News Channel. Edwards has a real kind of problem about Fox. He just -- well, actually he doesn't have a problem about Fox. He realizes there are a whole bunch of really far-lefters who hate Fox and he's busy sucking up to them.
EDWARDS [audio clip from August 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room]: Well, I had a book called Home that HarperCollins published --
ANGRY RICH: That sucked.
EDWARDS [audio clip]: There was an advance from HarperCollins. Every dime of they money they gave to me has gone to charity, which I committed to do, and I met my commitment. It's gone to things like Habitat for Humanity, helping low-income kids go to college, the International Rescue Committee, so the money is all gone. Not to me, but to important charitable causes. But that's not the point, Wolf. The point of this is that I don't want to see Rupert Murdoch, or anybody else for that matter, owning every newspaper in America. What we've seen with the consolidation of the media is not healthy for this country.
GIBSON: Give me a break. Oh my God.
ANGRY RICH: What a fraud.
GIBSON: Unbelievable. All right, if you're not going to give back the money because it went for charity, how about giving back the money you got on your tax breaks for filing for those charitable contributions? You know, when you hand over a half a million dollars to a charity, you get a quite healthy tax break. Fraud alert. Fraud alert. Fraud alert.
[audio clip from March 13 edition of The Situation Room]
WOLF BLITZER (host): The Democratic Party in the state of Nevada was going to host the debate together with the Fox News Channel, but you've pulled out, they subsequently canceled that whole debate. Why did you decide to pull out, given the fact that over the years you have appeared as a guest on Fox many, many times?
EDWARDS: Well, first of all, we've got a whole series of debates planned in this --
EDWARDS: -- presidential campaigns. Debates, forums --
EDWARDS (SOUND CLIP): -- I've been through this before, as you know, Wolf --
EDWARDS (SOUND CLIP): -- and I think we had 35 or 40 of these debates and forums in the last --
EDWARDS (SOUND CLIP): -- presidential campaign, and we have a bunch of debates in Nevada, not just in general --
GIBSON How --
EDWARDS: -- and I didn't see any reason --
GIBSON: How on earth?
EDWARDS: -- under the circumstances to give Fox a special forum.
GIBSON: How on earth did he --
EDWARDS: I think they have a long history in how they deal with Democrats --
EDWARDS: -- and how they talk about Democrats, and I saw no reason to give them a specialized forum.
BLITZER: So, are you still going to be a guest on their various programs?
EDWARDS: I'll make that judgment as the campaign goes on as the occasion arises, but on this particular case, I thought it was important for me to say I'm not going to be there.
[end audio clip]
GIBSON: Bull, bull --
AUDIO CLIP [from the movie My Cousin Vinny]: Everything that guy just said is bull(bleep).
GIBSON: -- bull, bull, bull. I mean, first of all, he won't come on Fox.
ANGRY RICH: Because he's a pansy.
GIBSON: Because he's afraid. He's afraid of a question. He's afraid of the questions that might be asked of him, like, “Say, Senator, about your poverty program, which would raise the minimum wage to nine dollars and 50 cents an hour, what exactly would that do to small businesses? Say, Senator, how come half of your contributors are lawyers? Would you be in the pocket of trial lawyers who rape the economy?”
Nicholas J. Natalicchio is an intern at Media Matters for America.