Fox News thinks anti-gay protesters are “left-wing”

Only in the bizarro universe of Fox Nation can an organization that thinks Obama's the Antichrist be liberal

Topics: Fox News, Westboro Baptist Church, Homophobia, LGBT Rights, Newtown shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting,

Fox News thinks anti-gay protesters are "left-wing" (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

What do you call an organization that despises gay people, hates Muslims and thinks Barack Obama is the Antichrist? If you’re Fox Nation, the spinoff website that’s all Fox and none of the News, you call them “left-wing.” Or at least that’s what the site — best known for attacking Obama’s “Hip-Hop Barbecue” for creating no jobs (but featuring plenty of black people) – called the Westboro Baptist Church, the notorious cult that pickets the funeral services of fallen soldiers.

When Westboro members planned to protest the funerals of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, they were met by counter-protesters, including a group of bikers called the Patriot Guard Riders, which specifically organized to “shield the mourning family [of fallen servicemembers] and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors,” i.e., Westboro activists.

But in Fox Nation’s telling, it was “conservative bikers” versus the “Left-Wing Westboro Cult” and its  pastor, “Democrat Fred Phelps.” This was an aggregated blog post from the ever-reliable Jim Hoft, who blogs as Gateway Pundit. But even he didn’t call Westboro “left-wing,” and merely took issue with a local newspaper calling them “right-wing.”

The Patriot Guard Riders eschew any political ideology. And Phelps, while once a Democrat, damned the party in the 1990s for its support of gay rights, and picketed inaugural balls surrounding Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1996, shouting obscenities at Vice President Al Gore. Whether Phelps still calls himself a Democrat or not, he has nothing in common with the party today. And why should his party registration even be of relevance?

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As Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman asks, “Here’s a question: How far to the right do you have to be that the Westboro Baptist Church is to your left?” It’s a good question for Fox Nation, whose views on homosexuality, Islam and Obama probably have more in common with Westboro’s than those of Democrats.

Alex Seitz-Wald
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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