Pat Robertson's recent call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has sparked significant media coverage. But Robertson, host of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America, is not the first to make a comment of this sort. Indeed, Media Matters for America has documented several other instances of conservative media figures advocating or musing about the execution of people with whom they disagree.
O'Reilly said LA Times' Kinsley wouldn't “get it” until terrorists “cut off his head”
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said that the Los Angeles Times editorial board wouldn't understand his objection to legal representation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, until terrorists kill editorial page editor Michael Kinsley.
From the May 17 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: No, no. I want you to read it. Go to LATimes.com. I want everybody in the country to read this editorial, 'cause it just -- I mean, you'll be sitting there pounding the table like I did. How can they -- how can they think this way? How can anyone think this way? You know, “Shutting down Guantánamo and giving suspected terrorists legal protections would help restore our reputation abroad.” No, it wouldn't. I mean that's like saying, well, if we're nicer to the people who want to KILL US, then the other people who want to KILL US will like us more. Does that make any sense to you? Do you think Osama [bin Laden] is gonna be more favorably disposed to the U.S. if we give the Guantánamo people lawyers?
E.D. HILL (co-host): No, of course not.
O'REILLY: I mean, but this is what they're saying. It is just -- you just sit there, you go, “They'll never get it until they grab Michael Kinsley out of his little house and they cut his head off.” And maybe when the blade sinks in, he'll go, “Perhaps O'Reilly was right.”
Glenn Beck confessed that he was “thinking about killing Michael Moore”
Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck said he was “thinking about killing [filmmaker] Michael Moore” and pondered whether “I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.”
From the May 17 broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, “Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,” and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, “Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death.” And you know, well, I'm not sure.
Syndicated columnist Ann Coulter argued that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether President Bill Clinton “did it,” but rather “whether to impeach or assassinate” him.
The quote appeared in Coulter's book High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton (Regnery, 1998):
In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he “did it,” even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate.