Fox Trots Out Same Old Discredited Guests To Comment On Uprising In Egypt

Fox News has dragged out their regular roster of credibility-challenged experts to comment on the uprising in Egypt. Media Matters has compiled a list of these guests and the shows they appeared on, along with their past inflammatory remarks.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel Appeared On Fox News' January 28 And January 29 Coverage Of Egypt. Brigitte Gabriel appeared on the January 28, 2011, edition of Fox News' Hannity and the January 29, 2011, edition of Fox & Friends.

NYT: Gabriel Is A “Radical Islamophobe.” The New York Times' former public editor, Clark Hoyt, described Brigitte Gabriel as a “radical Islamophobe,” and stated that she defines “all practicing Muslims” as “radical Muslims.” Hoyt wrote the following article in response to reader comments from a New York Times Magazine interview:

Brigitte Gabriel is a provocative author and lecturer, a Lebanese-Christian who came to the United States after surviving the civil war that tore apart the land of her birth. She has made it her mission - one might say her crusade - to warn that radical Muslims, a term she defines as all practicing Muslims, are bent on taking over the West.

Gabriel has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks, “They Must Be Stopped.” Knowing her history, you don't need to guess who “they” are. Gabriel believes that Muslims cannot serve loyally in the U.S. military, that interfaith dialogue is “nonsense,” and that the difference between the Arab world and Israel is “barbarism versus civilization.” The Muslim world will not be satisfied until all infidels are converted or eliminated, she has said.

Stephen Lee, the publicist at St. Martins Press for Gabriel's new book, calls her views “extreme,” and I wouldn't argue with that.


As for the terms “crusader” and “radical Islamophobe,” both strike me as fair descriptions in the context of a magazine feature that is supposed to be edgier than the news columns of the newspaper. Though much of the interview seemed comparatively mild, Gabriel showed a few of the rhetorical flashes that have made her such a controversial figure. Moderate Muslims, she said, “at this point are truly irrelevant.” Public foot baths for Muslim students at American universities are “the way they are taking over the West. They are doing it culturally, inch by inch. They don't need to fire one bullet.” [The New York Times, 8/21/08]

Judith Miller

Judith Miller Appeared On Fox News' January 28 Coverage of Egypt. Fox News contributor Judith Miller appeared on the January 28, 2011, edition of Fox News' Studio B.

Miller's Series Of Articles On The Now-Debunked Claim That Saddam Had WMD Forced NY Times To Apologize For Its Coverage. As Franklin Foer wrote for New York magazine:

During the winter of 2001 and throughout 2002, Miller produced a series of stunning stories about Saddam Hussein's ambition and capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, based largely on information provided by [Ahmad Chalabi] and his allies -- almost all of which have turned out to be stunningly inaccurate.

For the past year, the Times has done much to correct that coverage, publishing a series of stories calling Chalabi's credibility into question. [New York magazine, 5/21/05]

Indeed, although the Times did not identify Miller by name, it did publish an editor's note in May 2004 apologizing for its coverage of the existence of WMD in Iraq, particularly articles based on the assertions of Chalabi and other Iraqi defectors:

But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged -- or failed to emerge.

The problematic articles varied in authorship and subject matter, but many shared a common feature. They depended at least in part on information from a circle of Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles bent on “regime change” in Iraq, people whose credibility has come under increasing public debate in recent weeks. (The most prominent of the anti-Saddam campaigners, Ahmad Chalabi, has been named as an occasional source in Times articles since at least 1991, and has introduced reporters to other exiles. He became a favorite of hard-liners within the Bush administration and a paid broker of information from Iraqi exiles, until his payments were cut off last week.) Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of these exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq. Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organizations -- in particular, this one. [The New York Times, 5/26/04]

Ralph Peters

Ralph Peters Appeared On Fox News' January 28 Coverage Of Egypt. Fox News contributor Lt. Col. Ralph Peters appeared on the January 28, 2011, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.

Peters Asserted If U.S. Soldier Held By Taliban Is A Deserter, “The Taliban Can Save Us A Lot Of Legal Hassles And Legal Bills.” Peters previously said of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009 and appeared in two Taliban propaganda videos: “We know this private is a liar, we're not sure if he's a deserter.” Peters added that, if Bergdahl is a deserter, “the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills.” [Fox News, America's News HQ, 7/19/09]

  • NBC's Jim Miklaszewski subsequently reported that the Pentagon said Peters' comments “could endanger” the captured soldier. [MSNBC, Morning Meeting, 7/27/09]

Peters: “I Am Sick Of Hearing That Islam Is A Religion Of Peace ... I Haven't Seen A Lot Of Southern Baptist Suicide Bombers.” On the September 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Peters said, “I am sick of hearing that Islam -- well, Islam is a religion of peace. Well, if Islam is a religion of peace, fine, start acting peacefully. But I haven't seen a lot of Southern Baptist suicide bombers lately, and I will not stand for moral relativism. 9-11 wasn't our fault -- it was fanatics who attacked our country because they hate what we stand for.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 9/10/09]

Peters: Fort Hood Shooter Is Part Of A “Protected Species” And Was “Running Around In His Little Islamist Suit.” During the November 9, 2009, edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, Peters said that the Fort Hood shooter was a “protected species” who was “running around in his little Islamist suit.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11/09/09]

Peters On Fort Hood Shooting: “It's Clear That The Problem Is Islam.” On the November 10, 2009, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Peters criticized Obama for calling the Fort Hood shooting “incomprehensible,” saying: “No, it wasn't hard to comprehend and it's not now. It was the act of an Islamist terrorist” who “believed he was doing the will of Allah in accordance with the Quran. Not hard to understand -- the evidence is there.” Peters concluded: “It's clear that the problem is Islam.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/10/19]

Michael Scheuer

Former CIA Official Michael Scheuer Appeared on Fox News' January 30 Coverage Of Egypt. Michael Scheuer appeared on the January 30, 2011, edition of Fox News' America's News HQ.

Scheuer: “The Only Chance We Have As A Country Right Now Is” For Bin Laden To “Detonate A Major Weapon” In U.S. Michael Scheuer, who has frequently appeared on Fox News as a terrorism expert, said during the June 30, 2009, edition of Glenn Beck, “The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States.” [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/30/09]

Scheuer: “We're Not Killing Enough People” In Afghanistan. In a February 7, 2010, appearance on Fox & Friends, Scheuer said that the capture of Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is not important “in the long run,” because “you win wars by killing people, not capturing people,” and commented that currently, “we're not killing enough people” in Afghanistan, “we're simply apologizing.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/07/10]

Scheuer: Democratic Administrations Are “Pro-terrorist”. During an August 31, 2009, appearance on The Live Desk, Scheuer said that the CIA had “grown pretty used to Democratic administrations” that are “in many senses, pro-terrorist.” [Fox News, The Live Desk, 8/31/09]

Scheuer: Obama “Giving Aid And Comfort To The Enemy.” In an August 28, 2009, appearance on Fox & Friends, Scheuer said that President Obama has “given aid and comfort to the enemy, both psychologically, and materially” by allowing the Justice Department to investigate CIA interrogators' past alleged use of torture. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/28/09]

Scheuer Implored U.S. To Act “Like A Superpower” And “Destroy” North Korean Navy. Michael Scheuer said that the U.S. should have attacked North Korea “months ago” after “they sank that North Korean -- or South Korean boat.” From the November 23, 2010, edition of Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: Joining us now is the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer. Michael, first off, what message did North Korea send, and what message can we send back as the chief ally to South Korea, this morning after they sent fire into that island last night?

SCHEUER: I think the message they sent was they don't believe we're going to defend the South Koreans to any great extent. The message we should have sent when they sank that North Korean boat -- or South Korean boat -- several months ago was we should have destroyed as much of North Korean Navy as we could immediately. I also suspect that we should have destroyed -- had been ready to hit them again this morning because now the media and the politicians will talk their way out of defending South Korea and let the North Koreans get away with another act of war.

KILMEADE: So Michael, the heck with what China thinks, just go take them out because we are assigned -- we are an assigned defender of South Korea?

SCHEUER: I think that's right. I think we need to act as what we are. We are a superpower, we have interests of our own and the North Koreans can do without a navy for a while. They can rebuild it. Instead of spending money on nuclear stuff, they can build new boats.

KILMEADE: Yeah, let their people starve. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/23/10]

Liz Trotta

Fox News Contributor Liz Trotta Appeared On Fox News' January 30 Coverage Of Egypt. Liz Trotta appeared on the January 30, 2011, edition of Fox News' America's News HQ.

Trotta Suggested “Knock[ing] Off” “Both” Osama And Obama. During a May 25, 2008, segment on Fox News' America's Election HQ, while discussing the media coverage of Hillary Clinton's remark on Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta said:

TROTTA: The vast right-wing conspiracy blame has been undermined by her [Clinton's] evasions, by her outright lies, if I may say, by her pandering, by her race-baiting, and now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama -- Obama -- well, both if we could.

ERIC SHAWN (host): Well - talk about how you really feel. [Fox News, America's Election HQ, 5/25/08]

Trotta Later Apologized For Her Remarks. During the May 26, 2008, edition of America's Election HQ, Liz Trotta apologized for her “lame attempt at humor.” From the Huffington Post:

A day after she had referred to Barack Obama as “Osama' and quipped that both of them should get bumped off, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta was given an opportunity today to offer a ”clarification," as host Bill Hemmer put it.

After talking for a couple of minutes about Hillary Clinton's own “backtracking” on her comment about the Robert F. Kennedy assassination on Friday, Hemmer noted that “some people” were “criticizing you” for her Osama/Obama remark on Sunday.

Trotta said she was sorry, while also suggesting her remark was nothing particularly unusual or awful in this campaign year.

She said, " Oh yes, I am so sorry about what happened yesterday and the lame attempt at humor. I fell all over myself, making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate, for that matter, and I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I have offended. It is a very colorful political season"-- she chuckled at this point--“and many of us are making mistakes and saying things we wish we had not said.” [Huffington Post, 5/26/08]