Fox News’ 5 worst moments of 2013

It was another banner year for Rupert Murdoch's propaganda shop. Here are the most cringeworthy moments VIDEO

Topics: Video, Best of 2013, Fox News, medica criticism, reza a, Muslims, Jesus, Geraldo Rivera, Trayvon Martin, Ben Carson, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, Editor's Picks, ,

Fox News' 5 worst moments of 2013Megyn Kelly (Credit: AP/Richard Drew/Salon)

Along with death and taxes, Fox News is one of the few things we can depend on in this world. Just as the sun rises and sets, it’s a given that, over the course of 12 months, many ridiculous, offensive, stupid and bewildering things will be said by persons seated in front of a Fox News studio camera. Whether it’s from the hosts, guests or mere contributors, you can be assured that someone is going to say something that was better left unsaid.

With that in mind, join us as we go through some of the lowest lows from Fox News, moments to remind us that when it comes to lizard-brained inanity, no one holds a candle to the guys and gals at Fox.

5. Bill O’Reilly says Asians aren’t liberals because they’re “industrious and hard-working.” 

O’Reilly may be considerably less relevant today than he was around 10 years ago — but he’s still totally racist! While this aside about Asian people isn’t quite so outlandishly bigoted as his infamous recollection of that one time he ate at a place with black people, it’s still a brain-dead comment founded entirely on a racial stereotype. And, in fact, it’s kind of doubly (or triply) racist because it implies that people who vote for liberal politicians are not industrious or hard-working. Other than that, though, it was a totally defensible thing to say.

4. Megyn Kelly insists Santa Claus is white.

As Salon’s Daniel D’Addario has argued, Kelly is basically a slicker version of Bill O’Reilly, so it shouldn’t come a surprise to find her world rocked by the possibility that a fictional character isn’t necessarily white. Yet there’s something remarkable about seeing a grown person, someone who is supposedly relatively sophisticated, so overcome with cultural panic. And while Kelly’s non-apology apology, in which she accused her critics of race-baiting, was arguably more offensive, the original meltdown makes this list for so deftly mixing the ridiculous with the absurd.



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3. Ben Carson compares LBGTQ people to NAMBLA, bestiality supporters.

For Ben Carson — who, in another life, was a very respected and successful neurosurgeon — 2013 was a breakout year. With his anti-Obama speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson became one of the right’s favorite new talking heads. At one point, the Wall Street Journal even urged him to run for president. Unfortunately, Carson soon revealed himself to be more paranoid than presidential, likening LGBTQ people to all manner of sexual criminals. Subsequent comments would make clear that this was not a one-off from Carson; when it comes to politics, he really is this terrible.

2. Geraldo Rivera says jurors would have shot Trayvon Martin sooner than Zimmerman did.

Geraldo Rivera is just the worst, and his coverage of the Trayvon Martin trial was him at his worst. Rarely has one man had such an extended freakout over one article of clothing as did Rivera concerning Martin’s hoodie. What makes this moment of Rivera’s life all the more regrettable, though, is the way he just blithely assumes everyone else (especially women, it seems) is as deathly terrified of young black men as he is. Extra cringe points to Steve Doocy’s “Wow!” in response to Rivera’s assertion.

1. Lauren Green interviews Reza Aslan, can’t figure out why a Muslim would write a book about Jesus.

With the possible exception of Megyn Kelly’s white Santa comments (delivered during a slow news day, not incidentally) no Fox News moment garnered more attention — and outrage — than Lauren Green’s brutally embarrassing and ignorant interview of Reza Aslan. Aslan was there to talk about his book “Zealot,” a historical work about the Jesus. The whole thing is just torturous to watch, but the absolute, no doubt, rock-bottom, worst-of-the-worst moment is probably when Green compares a Muslim writing about Jesus to a Democrat writing about Reagan. Say this much for the segment, though: It’s the kind of thing you only really get at Fox News. Thank god for that.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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