Dishonest Hoffa Reporting Is Just Latest Attempt By Fox To Smear Unions As Violent Thugs


Fox News dishonestly edited a Labor Day speech by Teamsters President James Hoffa to push the falsehood that Hoffa encouraged violence against Tea Party activists. This is the latest example of Fox's pattern of smearing union leaders, members, and supporters as violent thugs.

Fox Dishonestly Edits Hoffa Speech To Paint Him As A Thug Advocating Violence Against Tea Partiers

Fox Airs Dishonestly Edited Version Of Hoffa's Remarks That Cropped Out His References To Voting. During the September 5 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly aired a dishonestly edited version of Teamster President James Hoffa's Labor Day speech to make it seem that Hoffa urged violence against Tea Party activists. In fact, fuller context makes it clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress. In the segment, Republican consultant Brad Blakeman decried the comments as "thuggery at its best" and "the kind of remarks you'd expect out of Tony Soprano," adding that "when a union president says 'let's take these sons of bitches out,' that usually means someone's legs are going to get broken, somebody's going to disappear." [Fox News, America Live, 9/5/11, via Media Matters]

Fox's The Five Airs Dishonestly Cropped Video. In the first segment on The Five, Fox again aired a dishonestly edited version of Hoffa's remarks that cropped out his references to voting Republican members of Congress out of office. [Fox News, The Five, 9/5/11, via Media Matters]

For more on Fox's dishonest reporting of Hoffa's speech, see here and here.

Fox Frequently Attempts To Smear Union Members And Their Supporters As Violent Thugs

Bolling Referred To Union Workers As "Union Thugs." From the April 14 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, guest-hosted by Eric Bolling:

BOLLING: Welcome to the Glenn Beck program, I'm Eric Bolling in for Glenn. Tonight, Obama's fuzzy budget math exposed. Plus, union thugs coming out with their own day of rage, how's that gonna work out? We have a lot to cover, let's go. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/11/11, via Media Matters]

Fox & Friends Falsely Portrayed Protesters Of Wisconsin Union-Busting As "Violent." On the March 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced a segment on Republican Wisconsin state senator Glenn Grothman being heckled by a chanting crowd of protesters by falsely claiming the protesters were "getting restless and, dare I say, violent." However, the video Fox aired showed no evidence of violence occurring. In fact, at one point during the video, a protester can be heard to shout "don't touch him." Moreover, Grothman himself reportedly said "he didn't think he was ever in any real danger." [Media Matters, 3/3/11]

Fox Hyped Bogus Report That Fox Reporter Mike Tobin Was "Assaulted" By WI Protesters. In March 2011, Fox News detailed the physical abuse Fox reporter Mike Tobin had to endure while reporting on the Wisconsin protests over WI Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate public employees' collective bargaining rights. For instance, Fox Nation posted the headline "Wisconsin a Combat Zone? Fox's Mike Tobin Assaulted by Demonstrator During Live Shot" and Fox "straight news" anchor Megyn Kelly also referred to the "assault" Tobin had to endure. However, a video that captured the incident in which Tobin claimed he was "punched" by a Wisconsin activist shows the "punch" never actually happened. When contacted by Media Matters for comment, Tobin did not respond. Instead, a Fox spokesperson called Media Matters and said that Tobin would have no further comment on the matter. [Media Matters, 3/2/11]

Malkin Called Richard Trumka "Thug In Chief At The AFL-CIO." From an appearance by Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin on the February 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY (host): All right, well let's first of all, your reaction to that comment, you know I mean, when a congressman of the United States who is lecturing us just like the president on incivility, and the rhetoric in the country and blaming people who are innocent for the actions of a madman, for him to go out well every once in a while you need to go out in the streets and get a little bloody, that sounds like he's inciting violence, doesn't it?

MALKIN: It sure does, and get a little bloody is the union way. This has been big labor's motto for decades now, and I think its very interesting that we have the likes of Richard Trumka, the thug in chief of the AFL-CIO who's been leading and instigating so many of these protests across the country, he certainly shares that motto, get a little bloody now, and I urge every one of your viewers Sean to get informed about this man's bloody legacy and his rise to power. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/23/11, via Media Matters]

Beck: "Powerful" Unions That Are "Led By Communists" Want To "End The Western Way Of Life As You And I Understand It." From the February 7 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: Do you remember the big progressive One Nation rally? One Nation stuck out to me. It's what Van Jones autographed one of my books, he wrote, "Glenn, let's just be one nation." Working together -- working together with the red star in between. Working together on what? Towards what is what bothered me, especially when you saw all of these groups together. What does the Young Communist League have to do with the UAW or the steelworkers? Progressive, socialist, Marxist groups, religious groups, green groups, communist, powerful unions led by communists, SEIU, AFL-CIO. Radical groups like La Raza.

What did all of these groups -- what were they all working together for? Well, in one way or another, they want to end the Western way of life as you and I understand it. They may disagree on exactly what the new way of life will be. For example, Van Jones, he wants a new green utopia. At least that's what he says. Leave old, gray capitalism to a new green capitalism. And then he says, will it stop there? Oh, no, it won't be enough. Another one might want a communist utopia. But they'll work that out later. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 2/7/11, via Media Matters]

Beck Claimed Unions "Shared The Wealth" "At The End Of A Baseball Bat." From the March 1, 2010, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: [SEIU President] Andy Stern has shared the wealth, and now the unions and their pensions are in jeopardy because sharing the wealth whether it has been at the barrel of a gun like Maoists or at the end of a baseball bat like unions -- it doesn't work. I told you that back in April, the SEIU national industry pension fund announced it had been put in what the feds called critical status or the red zone. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/1/10, via Media Matters]

Cavuto Told Union Spokesman: "You Politely Do Your Tony Soprano Thing." From the January 11, 2010, edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

NEIL CAVUTO (host): Stewart, you don't think a deal's going to be made? You don't think these guys meeting with the president right now are going to leave without some sort of a deal?

STEWART ACUFF (Utilities Workers of America official): I think there is a -- I think going on right now there is a very good, healthy discussion between natural allies. And we would remind the president that union members worked very, very hard for him and taxing health care --

CAVUTO: Ah, well see Stewart, that's what makes you good, because you politely do your Tony Soprano thing, albeit in your little sweater vest there, 'cause you're such a decent guy. But you're saying Mr. President, may I remind you that you are sitting in this room because of us, which is a very nice way of saying "tread slowly big guy." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 1/11/10, via Media Matters]

Beck Suggested SEIU Head Wanted To "Beat Those Company Heads Into Submission" With Baseball Bats. From the December 9, 2009, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: As an employer, you'll be compelled to share private conversations that you have with people that talk to you about unions at your company. Yes, you'll be forced to turn over that private information in your business. I have a better idea. Why don't we just mandate that SEIU president Andy Stern just is in charge of every corporation in America, you know what I'm saying? Wouldn't that be great?

Hey, maybe we could just give him the name and address of every executive in American business and provide Andy and his goons with, you know, the free baseball bats. You know, that way they can just beat those company heads into submission, metaphorically speaking. Of course, no union thugs would ever use something like that. [Grunt]

By the way, I've decided what I want for Christmas. Andy, I know you watch this program. I'd like an Andy Stern baseball bat signed by you. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 12/9/09, via Media Matters]

Beck Used Blatant Distortions To Smear SEIU As Violent Organization Of "Thugs." During the November 16, 2009, edition of his Fox News show, Beck fired off a series of attacks to claim that SEIU members are "thugs" who "beat down" opponents and command elected officials. In fact, Beck's claims were nothing more than blatant distortions used to smear the SEIU, Andy Stern, and President Obama. These distortions included: A quote falsely attributed to Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME) that suggested Michaud was "bribe[d]" or "scare[d]" by Obama and SEIU; falsely smearing Stern as a communist because he said, "Workers of the world, unite;" a totally baseless suggestion that Stern was to blame for an altercation involving SEIU critic Ken Hamidi, and an absurd claim that "even the Boy Scouts aren't safe from SEIU's thuggery." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/16/09, via Media Matters]

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