(Fox News)

"A skinny, ghetto crackhead": The Obama smears that won't get you suspended from Fox News

Stacey Dash and Ralph Peters have been punished for their coarse language. It's far too little far, far too late


Eric Boehlert
December 9, 2015 3:00PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on Media Matters.

Fox News doesn't like dirty words.

That -- and that alone -- seems to be the takeaway after two Fox contributors were suspended yesterday after they went on the air and called the president of the United States a "total pussy" who's afraid to fight terrorists, and for not giving a "shit" about the threat they pose.

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In a forum known for noxious rhetoric and schoolyard taunts, "pussy" and "shit" apparently went too far in Fox's never-ending dive to the bottom.

But anyone who's surprised by the epithets probably hasn't been paying attention to Fox News' truly ugly take on American politics and the way President Obama was been singled out for mindless, degrading ridicule for years.

Sadly, calling Obama a "pussy" who doesn't "give a shit" represents the next logical/malicious chapter when you've spent seven years trying to portray the president as a monster of historic proportions who's committed to stripping citizens of their liberties and getting them addicted to government dependencies like a drug dealer. This is what happens when you've spent the majority of the last decade weaving dark fantasies about the president as unworthy of the Oval Office and feverishly depicting him as a heartless traitor who resents America.

When you view the president, as a person, as being utterly beneath contempt and undeserving of respect, "pussy" and "shit" are bound to tumble out eventually.

Fox executives insisted the insults went beyond acceptable boundaries. But it was telling that Fox host Stuart Varney let contributor Ralph Peters ramble on for six additional sentences after calling Obama a "pussy" before stepping in and offering an admonishment: "You can't use language like that on the program, OK? I'm sorry."

And let's also acknowledge that Fox has zero track record of penalizing its popular hosts and contributors for their often-egregious transgressions. It seems Fox only discovers its ethics manual when B and C-list players like Peters are involved. Fox famously refused to forcefully punish Glenn Beck and his violent, unhinged rhetoric. The network only parted ways with Beck when selling advertising on his toxic shows becameimpossible; which meant the host was costing Fox lost revenue.

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So here's an admittedly incomplete list of offenses that don't rise to level of suspension for Fox News employees -- or for regular guests, getting booted off the Fox airwaves:

*Calling Obama a racist.

*Likening Obama to "a skinny, ghetto crackhead."

*Calling Michelle Obama fat.

*Wishing somebody would shoot Obama.

*Admittedly lying on-air about Obama having "advocated socialism."

*Announcing "all terrorists" are Muslim.

*Suggesting George Soros will have you killed.

*Habitually lying about your own journalism career.

*Calling Black Lives Matter activists "garbage" "sub-human creeps" who are part of a "murder movement."

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*Condemning Obama for "chugging a few 40s" in a pub.

*Hypothesizing about the death of Obama's daughters at Benghazi.

*Urging people to "punch" Obama supporters in the face.

*Stating Obama was hosting a "hoodlum in the hizzouse," when the president of Gabon came to the White House, and having the segment accompanied by a graphic with the words "Hoods in the House."

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*Claiming Obama doesn't want to protect Americans from terrorism.

*Promoting anti-Semites.

*Saying "Nazis" run public radio in America.

Of course, that last example involved Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. So it's easy to see why the channel employs such invisible standards when it's run by somebody who compares NPR hosts and producers to Nazis.

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Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

MORE FROM Eric Boehlert

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Barack Obama Fox News Media Matters Ralph Peters Stacey Dash

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