Fox News Promotes Eric Bolling, Noted Bigot, Conspiracy Theorist, And Muppet-Hater
Research ››› ››› CAT DUFFY, ZACHARY PLEAT & JARED HOLT
In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s departure from Fox News following an advertiser boycott stemming from sexual harassment settlements involving the prime-time host, Fox News announced a new lineup that includes giving host Eric Bolling his own show at 5 p.m. This promotion comes despite Bolling’s history of trafficking in racist stereotypes, promoting fear of Muslims in America, and engaging in conspiracy theories, including the birtherism made famous by now-President Donald Trump.
Eric Bolling Given His Own 5 P.M. Show On Fox News
The Hill: Fox News Gives Eric Bolling His Own Show At 5 P.M. After Fox News announced Bill O’Reilly’s departure, the network “unveiled its new weeknight schedule.” In addition to moving Tucker Carlson Tonight to the 9 p.m. slot, the network announced that “Fox will be filling the 5 p.m. slot with a new show hosted by Eric Bolling,” according to Politico. From the April 19 article:
Fox News host Tucker Carlson is moving into Bill O’Reilly’s highly coveted 8 p.m. time slot in the wake of O’Reilly’s departure from the network.
Fox unveiled its new weeknight schedule moments after announcing O’Reilly was leaving the network in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” will move from it’s current 9 p.m. spot into O’Reilly’s longtime 8 p.m. slot.
Taking over at 9 p.m. will be “The Five,” a panel show with six co-hosts: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bock Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.
The move to prime time is an apparent promotion for “The Five,” which previously aired at 5 p.m, as its name indicated.
Fox will be filling the 5 p.m. slot with a new show hosted by Eric Bolling, a longtime O’Reilly fill-in. Bolling's show will debut May 1, with “Special Report with Bret Baier” stretching to two hours to fill the time until then. [The Hill, 4/19/17]
Bolling Has A Long History Of Pushing Bigotry, Promoting Conspiracy Theories, And Shilling For Trump
Bolling: “I’m Just Laughing” At The Idea That “Anything A Guy Can Do, A Woman Can Do Better.”
[Fox News, The Five, 2/25/15]
Bolling: I Can't Find Sexism Against Hillary Clinton Because "She Does Really Well With Women Voters."
[Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/28/16]
Fox's Eric Bolling On Girls Playing Football: "This Is More Of The Wussification Of American Men." The Five co-host Eric Bolling used a story about a young girl wanting to play on a football team to lament about “the wussification of American men." [Fox News, The Five, 6/27/13]
Bolling Had To Apologize For Asking If The First Female UAE Pilot Who Bombed Islamic State “Would Be Considered Boobs On The Ground.” Bolling had to apologize for asking if the first female pilot for the United Arab Emirates, who conducted bombing against Islamic State terrorists, “would be considered boobs on the ground.” Bolling said he “got home” and “got the look” from his wife and “realized some people didn’t think it was funny at all.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/25/14]
Bolling’s Race Problem
Bolling Told Maxine Waters To “Step Away From The Crack Pipe.”
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/16/12]
Bolling: "You Could Use Mexicans To Build The Wall."
[Fox News, The Five, 3/16/16]
Bolling: "I Don't Think There's Racism," Because We Have A Black President And Black Entertainment Channels.
[Fox News, The Five, 1/22/14]
Bolling: Rappers Should Be Happy White People Are Buying “The Black” Music And “Financing Their Lifestyles.” [Fox News, The Five, 6/27/16]
Bolling Calls Former President Obama, Former Attorney General Eric Holder "Race Merchants" For Defending Voting Rights Act. [Fox News, The Five, 7/25/13]
Fox's Bolling: "In America, We Create, We Make iPhones," Whereas The Chinese Make "Finger Trap[s]." [Fox News, The Five, 12/1/11]
Bolling Tweet: President Obama Is "Chugging 40's" In Ireland "While Tornadoes Ravage MO."
Bolling: "What's With All The Hoods In The Hizzy?" During the June 10, 2011, edition of his Fox Business show, Bolling teased a segment about Obama hosting Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, by saying: "Guess who's coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa's kleptocrats. It's not the first time he's had a hoodlum in the hizzouse." In a subsequent tease, Bolling said, "Smile for the birdie," while footage of a smiling Bongo with a flashing tooth, apparently made to resemble a gold-plated tooth, was shown on air. Bolling continued: "Our president's sitting with one of Africa's most wanted. It's not the first time he's had a hood in the big crib." Footage of rapper Common appeared on air as Bolling spoke. Bolling began the actual segment by saying: "So what's with all the hoods in the hizzy?" [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 6/10/11]
Bolling: "There's No Racial Aspect Of Profiling." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/30/16]
Bolling’s Anti-Muslim Record
Fox's Eric Bolling: "Every Terrorist On American Soil Has Been A Muslim."
[Fox News, The Five, 6/6/12]
Fox's Bolling Suggests Trump "Defy" 9th Circuit's Ruling And Continue The Muslim Ban.
[Fox News, The Five, 2/10/17]
Bolling: "If You're Going To Point A Finger At Someone For Having A Quote, Unquote, 'Muslim Ban,' Look At The Obama Administration."
[Fox News, The Five, 2/8/17]
Bolling: Downtown NYC Islamic Center "May Be A Meeting Place For Some Of The Scariest Minds -- Some Of The Biggest Terrorist Minds." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/19/10]
Bolling: "The People Who Flew Planes Into [The Twin Towers] Are Going To Be Represented 500 Feet Away" At The Downtown NYC Islamic Center. [Media Matters, 11/21/16]
Bolling Defended GOP Presidential Candidate Ben Carson’s Objection To A Muslim Being President. On the September 21, 2015, edition of Fox News’ The Five, Bolling said, “Unless you're willing to denounce Sharia law as the governing law over yourself, and anyone you oversee, I wouldn't vote for a Muslim either.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/21/15]
Bolling Defended Trump Lie About U.S. Muslims Celebrating 9/11: "I Know There Were Muslims" In The U.S. "Who Were Happy That The World Trade Center Came Down." [Fox News, The Five, 12/1/15]
Bolling Claimed The Obama Administration "Answers To The Quran First And The Constitution Second." On the September 17, 2012, edition of Fox News’ The Five, Bolling said, “The Obama administration, through all this appeasement and apologizing, answers to the Quran first and to the Constitution second.” Later in the show, Bolling said, “I have to clarify something very quickly. You remember when I said Obama, he answers to the Quran before the Constitution? What I meant was, rather than appeasing the Muslims, he should worry about free speech first. That's it. I'm done with it, and I don't want to hear about it." [Fox News, The Five, 9/17/12]
Bolling’s Conspiracy Theories
Bolling: Border On Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate "Had To Be Photoshopped In." Following the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate, Bolling claimed that the birth certificate's "green border … had to be Photoshopped in." Bolling also suggested Obama's birth certificate wasn't authentic because the doctor "who signed it" didn't tell his family he had helped deliver baby Obama. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 4/27/11]
Bolling Repeatedly Suggested That Obama "Let" The Deepwater Horizon Rig Leak So He Could Limit Offshore Drilling. Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, Bolling suggested on the May 3, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends that the Obama administration might have "let" the rig leak before "address[ing] it." On the May 27, 2010, edition of Happy Hour, Bolling again speculated about whether Obama "let" the rig leak so he "could renege on his promise ... to allow some offshore drilling." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/3/10; Fox Business, Happy Hour, 5/27/10]
Bolling Allowed Ann Coulter To Bring Lie That Obama “Attended Madrassas”Onto Fox News. While serving as a guest host for The O'Reilly Factor on December 28, 2009, and for Fox News' Glenn Beck on December 30, 2009, Bolling hosted conservative author Ann Coulter, who falsely claimed Obama "attended madrassas" or Islamic schools. As previously reported by Media Matters, Bolling did not challenge Coulter's claims on either show. [Media Matters, 12/31/09]
Bolling Floated Conspiracy Theory That DNC Staffer Murdered In D.C. “Was A Hit.” As guest host on the August 10 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Bolling and frequent Fox News contributor Monica Crowley floated the idea that a Democratic National Committee staff murdered in Washington, D.C, was the victim of a “hit” and that there was “something more here” than what the official reports of the murder stated. “Where there is smoke, there is fire,” Bolling said. “Lots of smoke right now.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 8/10/16]
Bolling Claimed United Nations Was Working To Achieve "Centralized Control Over All Of Human Life On Planet Earth." Bolling adopted conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theory that Obama's White House Rural Council was evidence that he was implementing a United Nations plan aimed at achieving "centralized control over all of human life on planet Earth" and then creating a new "One World Order." [Media Matters, 6/25/11]
Bolling Thought Obama Would Conduct A Military Strike In Libya To Benefit His Re-Election. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Bolling spun a conspiracy theory that claimed that when Obama mentioned a “bump in the road,” he was talking about American deaths in Libya, and that he might conduct a military strike in retaliation for those deaths -- but really for the benefit of his own re-election. Bolling said Obama should use a military strike “for the right reasons” instead of as “a campaign event.” [Media Matters, 9/26/12]
Bolling Claimed The Muppets Was “Brainwashing” Children With A Liberal Agenda. In 2011, Bolling speculated that the writers of the movie The Muppets were trying to “brainwash” children with an anti-oil-industry liberal agenda, asking, “Is there any Occupy Wall Street muppets?” [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 12/2/2011]
Bolling Thought Obama Was Trying To "Bring People Closer To The Cities" To Keep An Eye On Them. In 2012, Bolling claimed that “a lot of people” think the Obama administration is conducting “a whole social engineering thing” to bring people “closer to the cities” where there are “a lot more eyeballs they can keep on them.” [Fox News, The Five, 6/1/12]
Bolling: "Did [Soros] Know? Does He Know" About $2 Billion Petrobras Deal? During a guest appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends, Bolling revived the false conspiracy theory that Obama arranged for an Export-Import Bank of the United States loan to a Brazilian oil company in order to enrich billionaire philanthropist George Soros at the expense of the United States. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/24/11]
Bolling Admitted Being A “Fan” Of Trump Throughout Presidential Campaign
Daily Beast Reported That Bolling’s Colleagues Described Him As A “Trump Apologist.” The Daily Beast reported in a March 7 article that Bolling was “an unabashed Trump fan” whose colleagues have described him “as a Trump ‘apologist’ who ‘Trumpsplains’ the candidate's various offenses”:
[Eric] Bolling himself is an unabashed Trump fan.
The self-described "friend of [the] Trump family" has been described by his own colleagues as a Trump "apologist" who "Trumpsplains" the candidate's various offenses. Bolling's special guest for the network's New Year's Eve was none other than The Donald; and his interviews with the GOP frontrunner are games of slow-pitch softball. [The Daily Beast, 3/17/16]
Bolling: "I'm A Fan" Of Trump. When discussing Trump's decision to sue Univision on the July 1, 2015, edition of The Five, Bolling said, "Donald Trump is just being Donald Trump on and off the campaign trail. I'm a fan." [Fox News, The Five, 7/1/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Agrees With Greg Gutfeld's Assertion That Bolling "Love[s] Talking About Trump." On the July 24, 2015, edition of The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld said, "You love talking about Trump." Bolling responded by saying, "No, no, I do":
ERIC BOLLING: And so this is Friday, right? And now we're talking about this. And Martin O'Malley said, did mention this on Sunglass Sunday, right?
BOLLING: Five days later, because of the big Trump announcement, the big Trump hoopla that the media that's been following Donald Trump around everywhere, this was something we started to talk about on Monday.
GREG GUTFELD: But you love talking about Trump.
BOLLING: No, no, I do.
GUTFELD: That's what's you talked about. [Fox News, The Five, 7/24/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Praised Trump In Interview: "I Like What Donald Trump Is Saying. I Like What He's Doing." During an interview with Trump on the August 1, 2015, edition of Fox News' Cashin' In, host Eric Bolling praised the then-candidate, saying:
ERIC BOLLING: Yeah, so I've come out and said I like what Donald Trump is saying, I like what he's doing. I have a lot of -- a lot of my fans supports him, my fan base says I like Donald because he says what he means, means what he says, and it's refreshing to hear it. But I get beat up, even from some people in my own tent at times, for defending some of the things you're saying. [Fox News, Cashin' In, 8/1/15]
Bolling: Trump Is Making The Rest Of Republican Presidential Field Better. On the June 17 edition of The Five, Bolling said Trump “is making the rest of the field better because he's speaking his mind" and "he's got the rest of the field thinking":
[ERIC] BOLLING: Well. Look, I'm not done Donald Trump's spokesperson, but I will tell you I understand where he's coming from. We need to get tough with China. We need to get tough with all the other countries that are dumping their goods into America without any fees, but if we try to sell into Brazil, we try to sell into China, Japan, some of the other developed and developing countries, they charge us a fee, a tax. So it's like this unfair trade balance that goes on. I get it. He says get tough with them.
With regards to the southern border, we talked about it yesterday. And I had no idea what his plan was, but I suggested maybe -- I don't know, maybe telling Mexico we're going to pay you $2 less per barrel of oil. Every barrel we buy from you, all the millions of barrels per day that we buy from you and spend the money securing the border. Whether it's a fence, whether it's a moat, whatever you do. Even if it's not even a fence, even if it's a border patrol, pay the border patrol through that. Look, here's the thing. Donald Trump is making the rest of the field better because he's speaking his mind. He's talking to people who have ideas and who are angry about the way politics have been for the last 20, 30, 40 or 50 years. And then finally, someone's willing to step up and have some other ideas. Let's at least try them. Let's at least think about them. See whether or not you like Donald, but you think he can be your president or not, he's got the rest of the field thinking. I think that's a good thing. [Fox News, The Five, 6/17/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Gushed Over The Trump Family: "When The Kids Talk, It's Just, It's Amazing." On the July 18, 2016, edition of Fox News’ The Five, Bolling showered the Trumps with praise for raising “kids like that who love him the way they do” and who are “amazing” when they speak. Bolling also said Trump’s marriage seemed like “a great relationship all the way around.” [Fox News, The Five, 7/18/16]
Bolling Described Himself As “A Friend Of Trump Family” In a Tweet.
Actually I've been a friend of Trump family for well over a decade.. but thanks for the cheap shot.. https://t.co/aejHQrOTpa
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) October 2, 2015
Bolling: People Calling For Boycotts Of Trump Products Are "Economic Terrorists." On the July 2, 2015, edition of The Five, Bolling criticized those calling for boycotts of Trump's products as "economic terrorists." [Fox News, The Five, 7/2/15]
Bolling Defended Trump After He Attacked John McCain's War Heroism. On the July 20, 2015, edition of The Five, Bolling defended Trump's remark that Sen. John McCain wasn't a war hero, suggesting "it just kind of fell out of his mouth" and that Trump "wished he could take it back":
BOLLING: Geraldo, do you really think that Donald Trump has disrespect or doesn't think that someone who is captured by the enemy and spent five years in captivity isn't a war hero? Do you honestly think that.
RIVERA: I think.
BOLLING: Do you think it just kind of fell out of his mouth and he, you know, he would wished he could take it back. Don't forget, the context of this was someone asked him about John McCain's service to the veterans and he said John McCain who dropped the ball as far as the veteran's administration. [Fox News, The Five, 7/20/15, via Nexis]
Bolling Has Been Forced To Apologize For Other Inappropriate Remarks
Bolling Forced To Apologize For Claiming Obama Was A Drug Dealer.