Outrageous comments are nothing new to the conservative media -- one might even call them a defining characteristic. The Most Outrageous Comment of the 2009 came when Fox News host Glenn Beck asserted that Obama is a “racist” who has “exposed himself as a guy” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture,” but right-wing media figures made plenty of other unhinged remarks throughout the year:
Racially charged remarks
The election of the first black U.S. president led to a slew of racially charged comments that were truly outrageous:
- Limbaugh on Obama: “We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black”
- Jesse Lee Peterson: “I think we all agree that Barack Obama was elected by, mostly by black racists and white guilty people.”
- Criticizing federal response in KY, Quinn claimed Obama “basically sees white people as kind of a you know, sort of an evil fact of life”
- Savage: Obama is “biggest liar in the history of the presidency,” and he's “getting away with it... because he's a man of color”
- Limbaugh: "[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering"
- Limbaugh: Obama is “the greatest living example of a reverse racist”
- Limbaugh: “Obama's entire economic program is reparations”
- Bay Buchanan on “quota queen” Sotomayor: “Her whole life was dedicated to demanding special privileges”
- Pat Buchanan: “This has been a country built, basically, by white folks”
- O'Reilly tease: "[S]hould white Americans be concerned about Judge Sotomayor?"
- Quinn to “race-baiting” African-American “ingrates” : “get on your knees” and “kiss the American dirt” because slavery brought them to U.S.
- Savage declares: “The white Christian heterosexual married male is the epitome of everything right with America”
War on the poor
In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, some right-wing media figures attacked the poor:
- Cunningham on the poor: “They're poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals”
- Cunningham on Section 8 housing: “I like keeping all those degenerates in one location so we can keep an eye on them” ; residents “sit around and fornicate, defecate”
- Bill Cunningham claims stimulus “give[s] ACORN up to $4.2 trillion” and contains "$350 million to hand out condoms and birth control pills so the poor can fornicate like rabbits"
- Limbaugh fill-in Davis: Cash for Clunkers “helps your shiftless cousin buy more meth,” lets you buy “carton of Luckys”
- Boortz: People living in Katrina trailers, Section 8 housing and on welfare shouldn't be allowed to vote
- Boortz welfare rant -- “human parasitic garbage lining up to get their applications to loot”
War on women
Right-wing media figures also engaged in sexism and downright misogyny:
- Quinn calls Pelosi “Bolshevik Bitch with a Mallet”
- Limbaugh: If Pelosi “wants fewer births, I have the way to do this and it won't require any contraception: You simply put pictures of Nancy Pelosi ... in every cheap motel room. ... That will keep birthrates down because that picture will keep a lot of things down”
- Limbaugh airs clip of Hillary Clinton, asks his listeners, “Doesn't that remind you of your first, and maybe your second, both, your ex-wives?”
- Limbaugh on Pelosi: “The third person in line for the presidency in this country is a complete airhead”
- Limbaugh: "[Granholm's] a ditz. Pelosi is a ditz. Obama is a menace and a danger."
- Savage claims that “as a result of women on Naval ships,” they have become “floating brothels”
- Limbaugh: Hillary Clinton wasn't let into Marines because “they didn't have uniforms or boots big enough to fit that butt and those ankles”
- Post's Milbank, flashing Hillary Clinton photo: “We won't tell you who's getting a bottle of Mad Bitch” beer
- Quinn on Pelosi: “This bitch is trying to get us to lose the war!”
- Ingraham: “Nancy Pelosi basically did everything except sell her own body” to pass health care reform bill
- Beck on Landrieu: “We're with a high-class prostitute”
- Echoing Beck, Limbaugh claims Landrieu “may be the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution”
Attacks on GLBT community
In addition to a sustained assault on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, right-wingers made outrageous attacks based on sexual orientation:
- Savage: “One of the reasons America is suffering right now is because so many people who are gay have not had children. ... Some of the most wonderful genetic material is going to waste”
- Hannity and “Great American” panelists fearmonger about Jennings “indoctrinating” children, “promoting homosexuality”
- Limbaugh: "[W]e all know that Barney [Frank] patrols Uranus"
- Quinn:"[T]the last time I checked, two guys doing the bone dance with Mr. Sphincter was not going to produce the next generation of children"
- Robertson: Many “made homosexual because of a coach or a guidance counselor or some other male figure who has abused them”
- O'Reilly again claims that if gay marriage was legalized, “you could have married a duck”
- Pat Robertson suggests “ultimate conclusion” of legal same-sex marriage is legal polygamy, bestiality, child molestation, pedophilia
Revolutionary and paranoid rhetoric
Right-wingers frequently employed paranoid and revolutionary rhetoric and suggested that progressives, including Obama and Democrats in Congress, were betraying America.
- Morris: “Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case”
- Limbaugh: “Thank you President Obama. Thank you CNN. You are doing the job that everybody expects of you, taking every tradition and institution that defined this country's greatness and trying to rip it to shreds”
- Limbaugh claims White House is "[p]erfectly timed, perfectly programmed, perfectly educated to destroy capitalism ... and they're in the process of doing it"
- Fox's Charles Payne: "[O]ne day, I think that we are heading toward a one-world sort of government. I think Obama probably likes that"
- Limbaugh attacks state of Maine, says “saw the state off and let it float out to sea”
- Claiming Obama is “letting our troops literally bleed and die” in Afghanistan, Beck suggests he will “pay for it” in afterlife
- Savage: "[L]ikelihood is very high" that “martial law will be declared” after “equivalent of the Reichstag fire” occurs
- Savage: “There are internment camps being planned” and the National Guard is going to “run” them
- Limbaugh: “if we had any good luck, Honduras would send some people here and help us get our government back”
- Beck guest Scheuer: “The only chance we have as a country right now is” for bin Laden to “detonate a major weapon” in U.S.
- Beck: "[I]f we don't have some common sense, we're facing the destruction of our country... it's coming"
- Rodgers: A “few million dead Americans” will “wake up” public “to the fact that they have elected an anti-American President”
- CBS golf analyst Feherty: "[I]f you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it ... there's a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death."
- Morris on Obama's foreign policy: “If you're an enemy of America... he's in bed with you... The way to get popular with this administration is to be an enemy of the United States”
- Beck: “You can't convince me that the founding fathers wouldn't allow you to secede”
- Beck imitates Obama pouring gasoline on “average American” ; says: “President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the Republic”
- Newsmax columnist: Military coup “to resolve the 'Obama problem' ” is not “unrealistic”
Conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate were conclusively debunked during the 2008 campaign, but that didn't stop several right-wing commentators from continuing to push the smear:
- Limbaugh: “Barack Obama has yet to have to prove he's a citizen. All he'd have to do is show a birth certificate”
- Dobbs asks: "[S]hould he produce his birth certificate -- the long form, the real deal? Should he be a little more forthcoming? ... What is the deal here? I'm starting to think we have a -- we have a document issue. Do you suppose he's un -- no, I won't even use the word undocumented. It wouldn't be right."
- Liddy claims Obama “born” in Kenya; warns guest to “to avoid the corpses of the illegal aliens” while passing through desert
- Limbaugh: “God does not have a birth certificate. Neither does Obama.”
- Hannity: Given his father's birthplace, what's wrong with asking if Obama has a “legitimate birth certificate?”
Nazis and fascists and communists, oh my!
There were far more attacks on Obama and other progressives as Nazis, fascists, communists, Marxists, socialists, and similar labels than we have space for, so here are some of the most ridiculous examples:
- Days after decrying those who say Democrats are “trying to turn us into communist Russia,” Beck claimed Obama “has Marxist tendencies”
- Beck continues long history of invoking Nazis by comparing Fox to the Jews during the Holocaust
- Quinn agrees with caller that Democrats “took over the country without firing a shot,” adds “so did Hitler”
- Savage: Obama “is a neo-marxist fascist dictator in the making”
- In CNBC host Cramer's “U.S.S.A.” : “Comrade” Obama is a “Bolshevik” who is “taking cues from Lenin”
- Limbaugh: “Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate”
- Hannity suggests SCOTUS nominee will be “somebody extremely radical” since Obama's policies have been “radically left” and “socialist”
- Dick Morris' self-confessed conspiracy theory: Obama “wants his plan to fail...so that he can make the case for bank nationalization and vindicate his dream of a socialist economy”
Plenty of other remarks defied categorization but certainly merited mention among the Most Outrageous Comments of 2009:
- Limbaugh likens Democrats to murderers, rapists, and “this Muslim guy” that “offed his wife's head”
- Limbaugh on EFCA: “One day Tony Soprano will walk in with a lead pipe and he will start beating people upside the head to vote to unionize”
- Ingraham guest host Bruce on the Obamas: “We've got trash in the White House”
- Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires “going after the blood of our businesses,” suggests “driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers”
- Beck: “Nobel Peace Prize should be turned down by Barack Obama and given ... to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project”
- Perino: “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term”
- Fox's Wallace on ACORN booking: I wish we “were going to have the prostitute [Giles] because she's pretty cute”
- Beck encourages “day of Fast and Prayer for the Republic” on Yom Kippur
- Dobbs on Howard Dean: "[H]e's a bloodsucking leftist -- I mean, you gotta put a stake through his heart to stop this guy"
- Beck jokes about “put[ting] poison” in Nancy Pelosi's wine
- Brandishing bat, Beck declares, “Anyone not on board, look out, because you too could be the next victim of the killing spree”