The 25 Most Offensive Moments in Fox News History

No Fox News is good Fox News.

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Complex Original

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By now, we've all seen the infamous Reza Aslan Fox News interview, likely with an accompanying headline that read, “Is This the Most Embarassing Interview that Fox News Has Ever Done?” While the sheer ignorance demonstrated by Fox News commentator Laura Green during the interview was impressive, this segment was just the latest in a long line of embarrassing, shameful moments in the 24-hour news network's inglorious history.

It's impossible to judge which Fox News segment has been the most offensive over the years. Like music and interior decorating, it is a matter of personal taste. Are you particularly passionate about gay rights? Ann Coulter might just be your offender of choice. Does racism make your blood boil? Bill O’Reilly must give you an aneurysm. Do you hate nothing more than seeing feminism set back decades in a matter of seconds? Google “Andrea Tantaros” and bring your stress ball.

The commentators of Fox News are the Harlem Globetrotters of creating offensive propaganda out of half-truths and stereotypes. Marvel at the network's ability to make even the most banal story into a springboard for hateful rhetoric with the 25 Most Offensive Moments in Fox News History

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We Don't Need Gender Equality, Claim Two Men

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Air date: August 2013

Good news ladies, FOX News has declared the fight for gender equality over. Why? Well, you see, boys play with guns and girls want to be princesses. John Stossel joined FOX host Steve Doocey to answer the question, "Why are feminists still pushing the need for gender equality?" Rather than actually answer that question, Stossel made a bunch of offensive statements that have no relationship to each other and served only to demonstrate that he is an ignorant sexist.

Stossel started out with a bang, asserting that women should be making less money than man. He said, "Woman...often choose jobs that aren't so time consuming, not so dangerous." Stossel went on to assert that while he knows women are worse drivers than men as "they can't maneuver as well," they are just as likely to kill someone, so the playing field is even in that regard. Stossel went on to argue that Title IX "would have happened anyway," even if it hadn't, you know, existed.

Stossel has his own show on Fox Business Channel where he can be seen "ticking of men and women" with his deep thoughts. We'll be sure to check that one out right away.

Bill O'Reilly Hates on Hawaii, Stereotypes Asians

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Air date: January 2013

It seems that Bill O'Reilly has it in for Hawaii for some reason. We're not exactly sure where his distaste for Hawaii and Hawaiian people comes from—oh, right, it's the birthplace of President Obama. Nevermind. Boy, he is not a fan. Don't get Papa Bear wrong, he loves Hawaii as a vacation destination, but "when he's there, he's under water" not "talking to pinheads."

What O'Reilly can't understand is that Hawaii is quite liberal despite how many Asians, who "are not liberal by nature, usually more industrious and hardworking," live there. Why do O'Reilly's imagined ideas about Hawaii run counter to his stereotypes about Asian people? We're not really sure, since this entire drama is playing out within the confines of O'Reilly's skull, but we'll tell you that Hawaiian Asian-Americans were not happy with his comments. Colleen Hanabusa, an Asian-American Congresswoman representing Hawaii, went on The O'Reilly Factor and tried her best to school him between his shouting and spewing half-baked statistics. 

Mr. Rogers: "An Evil, Evil Man"

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Air date: May 2008

When the team at Fox is bored with racebaiting and feminist bashing, they sometimes take a moment to denigrate our childhood heroes. Though the brilliant minds at Fox have taken on the Muppets and Sesame Street in the past, their smeer job on Mr. Rogers was the low point of their child entertainer bashing. The Fox & Friends team referred to Mr. Rogers as an "evil, evil man" for making the younger generation feel "special."

Perhaps we spoke too soon when we said that Fox was taking a break from racism with this segment. The network manages to get some stereotyping in there when one of the pundits claims, "Students from Asian countries who did not watch Mr. harder." As Mr. Rogers was dead at the time of the reports, he couldn't fire back, but Sesame Street and the Muppets have jabbed back at Fox's anti-puppet stance.

Everything About Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally

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Air date: August 2010

Usually, when you get offended, you can point to a concrete statement that is derogatory or belittling in some way. Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally was offensive in ways we hadn't really seen before. Though he never said anything particularly incendiary at the rally, the iconography and implications surrounding the event were simultaneously empty and offensive.

Of course, the man who once said that Barack Obama has "a deep-seated hatred of white people or white culture" worked some racist undertones into his rally. Beck claimed that his rally would "reclaim the civil rights movement" (presumably from black people for white people). In case that wasn't clear enough for you, Beck planned his megalomaniacal exercise on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Taking a tone quite different from the vitriol-filled monologues he spews on television, he stopped there, implying racism, but never stating his prejudice out right.

The rally was also Beck's coming-out party as America's Messiah. He truly believed that his rally would be a place where the "next George Washington" might be discovered amidst the pasty white fanny-pack-wearing masses in attendance. He says as much in the clip below.

The event itself consisted largely of vague platitudes about "hope" and "honor" spouted off by a patchwork of your neo-con favorites with generous smattering of Beck monologues throughout. Though there was much aspirational language, few tangible points were made. The massive ego trip in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial took on the Herculean task of being offensive without actually saying anything. Beck passed his own test with flying colors.

Bill O'Reilly Compares Gay Marriage To Goat Marriage

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Air date: March 2005, May 2009

On several occasions, Bill O'Reilly has made the brilliant argument that gay marriage is the same thing as legally enforced bestiality. For some reason, O'Reilly often chooses to cite "goat marriage" as a logical next step after gay marriage. We aren't sure where O'Reilly's goat fixation comes from, but it is deeply offensive and deeply troubling.

It is important to point out that O'Reilly has walked back his stance on gay marriage recently. In the spring of 2013, he stated, "We're Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else. That's a compelling argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible." We have not yet heard any updates on his stance on goat marriage, but we'll keep you posted with any updates.

Ann Coulter Mocks Gay Soldiers

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Air date: December 2010

Fox New's comedy show Red Eye is a response to The Daily Show and the The Colbert Report in concept only. As if Larry the Cable Guy and Dennis Miller weren't doing enough to prove that conservative humor simply isn't funny, Red Eye has swooped in to ensure that no one ever makes the mistake of believing neo-cons can make you laugh again. Though Fox News pundits never shy away from reminding you just how much they support our troops, apparently that support doesn't extend to our homosexual servicemen.

In the clip below, Ann Coulter proposes an all-gay division of the military "with the ice sculptures and the Liza Minelli and the cravats." Andy Levy won't stand for Coulter's comments, and responds "we don't stereotype gays here." Rather than pursue Coulter further, one of the panelists makes another gay joke to diffuse the situation: a classy end to a classy segment.

Andrea Tantaros Says She'd Look Great on Food Stamp Diet

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Air date: November 2012

Fox's Andrea Tantaros has the answer for all of you out there who have been struggling with your diet: go on food stamps. In response to Cory Booker taking the "Food Stamp Challenge" of living on food stamps for a month, Tantoros mused, "I should try it. You know how fabulous I'd be? I'd look so skinny."

Not to be outdone, one of her colleagues mused, "My wife probably could. My wife's 5'11", weighs 120 pounds." Host Stuart Varney found the whole thing quite funny, chuckling along as his guests mocked the poor.

Glenn Beck Suggests Obama Might Kill 10% of the US Population

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Air date: June 2010

Conservative talk of death panels and domestic concentration camps has generally been wrapped in vague implications and served up with caution. The trick they often employ is to make egregious statements like, "You and I are going to meet each other next week at a concentration camp in Southern Utah," and protect themselves from being branded fearmongers by beginning with, "I'm not saying we will ..." or "What makes you think we won't ..."

In this crazy rant, Beck takes his conspiracy theorist rhetoric a step further and claims that people who wish to "eliminate 10% of the U.S. population" and "kill 25 million people" are "everywhere in our government and education system." We can't think of a thing that our underpaid, overworked civil servants and teachers need more than to be branded as aspirant mass murderers.

Sarah Palin Decides Who Can Use the Word "Retard"

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Poverty No Longer a Problem Because Poor People Own Refrigerators

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Air date: August 2012

While the majority of America is concerned with the War on Poverty, Fox News is concerned with its War On the Idea That Poverty Is a Problem. There is no doubt that you are familiar with Fox News' usual attack on the poor, which is that they are lazy and spend their welfare money on Cadillacs and fur coats. This time, they tried a new tactic. Fox News, in conjunction with a Heritage Foundation study, claimed that if you own a refrigerator and a microwave, you aren't actually poor.

As any of you who have lived with the collegiate combo of a mini-fridge and a microwave in your dorm room know, having these things doesn't mean you have food. The segment, featuring the American Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector, went on to further denigrate the poor, using phrases like "living standards of the poor have increased rather steadily for the last 30 years" and "a typical poor family lives in a house or an apartment" to dismiss poverty out of hand. We prefer a heavy dose of booze to help us sleep at night, but meaningless statistics can help you with that too.

Mike Huckabee Blames Newtown Shooting on Abortion Pills

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Air date: December 2012

If you were looking for a discussion of gun control after the Newtown shooting, you weren't going to find it on Fox News. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine was told by sources that "David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox's weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun control policy on air." While we were treated to Fox pundits laying blame for the tragedy at the feet of everything from video games to abortion pills, it couldn't be suggested that the fact that a mentally ill man can get a Bushmater .223 in this country is part of the problem.

A prime example of the kind of rhetoric Fox commentators used to change the conversation came courtesy of Mike Huckabee who stated, "Ultimately, you can take every gun away in American and somebody will use a bomb." Yup, they'll just go down to the bomb show at the expo. center and pick up a few dozen bombs.

The Reza Aslan Interview

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Air date: July 2013

We know you've already seen this, but if you've suffered a horrible bout of amnesia in the last month or so, let's recap. Reza Aslan has written a thoughtful, historical examination of Jesus's life, entitled Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Dr. Aslan holds a Ph.D in religious studies and is a noted scholar of multiple religions. Fox News host Laura Green had little use for Aslan's credentials. Green spent 10 minutes unraveling an issue that was confusing only to her: How could a Muslim write a book about Jesus?

To Aslan's credit, he kept his cool and attempted to lay down some basic ideas about scholarship, including the way that books are written, how scholars become experts in their field, and how their personal life has little to do with the quality of their work. It seems that Green missed out on the obligatory "death of the author" lecture in her Intro to Literature seminar in undergrad.

The lesson that we can take away from all of this is that you should pay attention in your English seminars or you might just find yourself an Internet laughingstock. Rather than rotting your mind with Green's assertion one more time, go ahead and watch Aslan's thoughts on the interview he shared with Piers Morgan or his thoughtful discussion with John Oliver on The Daily Show. Oliver illustrates just how great an interview can be when a host decides to read the work of their guest before they arrive. Also, Aslan actually has an opportunity to talk about his book in these two interviews, which is nice.

"Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" Chelsea Manning Intro

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Air date: August 2013

Fox News's anti-LGBT tendencies are well documented, so no one was surprised when the network handled the news that Bradley Manning intended to live the rest of her life as "Chelsea" tastlessly. Manning hopes to self-fund hormone therapy while she is behind bars, and far be it from Fox News to respect someone's decisions regarding their own life and body.

After the AP announced that they would begin referring to Manning with female pronouns, most news outlets followed suit. Fox News, of course, did not. The network didn't stop there: Fox & Friends chose to play Aerosmith's eardrum assaulting "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" as it introduced a segment on Manning. It would have been one thing to make a cogent (if backward and bigoted) argument for its stance, but its choice to mock Manning is reprehensible.

Host Tells Tamara Holder to "Know Her Role" as a Woman

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Air date: June 2013

Fox News pundits are usually good at keeping their sexism somewhat subtle. From the parade of bottle blonde beauties that always sit at the end of the table to best be objectified to their persistent slut-shaming, we're used to an undercurrent of anti-woman rhetoric from the "Fair and Balanced" network. From time to time, the network lets its guard down and lets lose some slap-to-the-face sexism.

Thus, no one was surprised when Bill Cunningham shouted down Tamara Holder by invoking the Rock and telling her to "know her role and shut her mouth." Holder asked for clarification if Cunningham meant "as a woman," to which Cunningham says, "Yeah." Just in case you thought that Cunningham might have misspoken, he came back and asked her, "Are you going to cry?" which we assume he wouldn't ask a man.

Greg Gutfeld Loves Him Some Sweatshops

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Air date: January 2013

On The Five, the hosts unsurprisingly extolled the virtues of unpaid internships. Their claims were predictably dubious and disrespectful to those who work for low or no wages. Then, the conversation went off the deep end. Fox's resident comedian Greg Gutfeld called the idea that "people toil for years on this [sic] low wage job" a "myth" and immediately topped himself, claiming that "the biggest myth of all time is that sweatshops are bad." Gutfeld went on to state that emerging economies "gotta have" sweatshops.

You can always rely on Fox News to start out with a conversation that is almost offensive and veer hard into the realm of ignorance and disrespect.

Glenn Beck Compares Cap and Trade Bill to 9/11

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Air date: March 2010

If you've ever watched Fox News, you know that it wants you to remember how terrible a day 9/11 was. This is a stance we totally agree with. Fox News, for all of its faults, respects the gravity of national tragedy and treats it with solemnity, something to be placed well outside the political fray—unless it benefits them not to.

Though there are innumerable examples of Fox News using 9/11 for political gain, perhaps the most egregious instance came in one of Glenn Beck's patented monologues delivered in 2010. No stranger to hyperbole, Beck claimed that the push for a cap-and-trade bill was "September 11th all over again except we didn't have collapsing buildings." The EPA defines cap and trade as "an environmental policy tool that delivers results with a mandatory cap on emissions while providing sources flexibility in how they comply." That definitely sounds very similar to the death of nearly 2,800 people in a hellacious inferno.

Bill O'Reilly Attempts to Shame Son of 9/11 Victim

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Air date: March 2006

The son of a 9/11 victim, Jeremy Glick, publicly opposed the American invasion of Afghanistan, along with 50,000 other people. O'Reilly had Glick on his program with the intent to take him to the woodshed for dishonoring the memory of his father who "wouldn't be approving of this."

Clearly, O'Reilly wasn't expecting a cogent argument from Glick, who pointedly accused O'Reilly of capitalizing on the grief of 9/11 victims, and asked him, "Why would I want to brutalize and futher punish the people of Afganistan?" Rather than engage in rational debate, O'Reilly yelled in Glick's face, "They killed your father! They killed your father!" O'Reilly then cuts his microphone out of "respect for [his] father." Class act.

Ann Coulter Jokes About Tiller Murder

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Air date: June 2009

Ann Coulter is at her very best when her attempts at humor betray her as the callous sociopath she really is. In response to the murder of Doctor George Tiller, Coulter went on The O'Reilly Factor and said, "I don't really like to think of it as murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester." O'Reilly and Coulter went on to use the occasion of Tiller's death to pat themselves on the back for their negative coverage of the doctor during his life.

It's worth mentioning that Coulter did take the time to clarify, "I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists." Well, at least there's that. It is safe to say that if you have to go on the record to clear up whether or not you are pro-murder, then you should re-evaluate your role in the cultural dialogue. Oh, and of course Coulter threw in a nice dose of Islamophobia at the end, as she had gone five minutes without taking any swings at Muslims and she had a quota to fill.

Bill O'Reilly Suggests Shawn Hornbeck Enjoyed His Adbuction

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Air date: January 2007

After a Missouri boy escaped his kidnapper following four years of captivity, Bill O'Reilly decided it would be a good idea to blame the boy for being in captivity as long as he was. Because he "taunted his parents on their website" and had "piercings," as O'Reilly reasoned, this child was partially to blame for his own abduction.

Bill O'Reilly took a stand that no sane person would take and stated that he didn't buy Shawn Hornbeck's refusal to run from his captive. O'Reilly went on to say that his kidnapping was "a lot more fun" than a life without forced sodomy and constant assault. In the aftermath of these comments, Lowe's Hardware store dropped O'Reilly as their sponsor, though it hasn't stopped O'Reilly from remaining a prime-time favorite at Fox News.

Demonizing Trayvon Martin

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Air date: Many between 2012-2013

If you've tuned in to Fox News in the last year or so, you likely saw a picture of a smiling George Zimmerman contrasted with a darkened picture of Trayvon Martin. Throughout the network's coverage of Zimmerman's trial, Fox News systematically took steps to demonize Trayvon and paint Zimmerman as a responsible gun owner who had no choice but to shoot Martin to death.

The images of Martin aired on Fox News painted Martin as thuggish. The smear campaign against Martin didn't stop there, either. Geraldo Rivera claimed in a discussion with Bill O'Reilly that Martin dressed "like a wannabe gangster" and wearing a hoodie made him like "everyone who ever robbed a convenience store." He later stated on Fox and Friends that "if [Zimmerman's jurors] were armed, they would have shot and killed Trayvon Martin a lot sooner than George Zimmerman did." Apparently, everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a jury of their sociopathic peers.

Debate Audience Boos Gay Serviceman

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Brian Kilmeade Claims "All Terrorists are Muslim"

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Andrea Tantaros Blames Feminism for Statutory Rape

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Air date: January 2013

According to Andrea Tantaros, feminism encourages statutory rape. On air she said, "Everything has become so sexualized now. Women who [commit statutory rape] feel like it's not as stigmatizing as it was before. There's something about feminism that let's them know I can do everything that a man does. I can even go after that young boy. I deserve it."

As if it weren't bad enough to simply describe statutory rape as a byproduct of feminism, Tantaros also implied that a man having sex with an underage girl is OK in her book. She said, "Men have been doing this for a long's more acceptable than when a woman does it."

Dana Perino Tells Victims of Violence to Make Better Decisions

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Air date: December 2012

What has former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino been up to since holding down the toughest job in the world? Criticizing victims of abuse, as it turns out. According to the team over at The Five, if you're a woman who is being abused, you have two choices: buy a gun or make better decisions.

Blaming victims is always a tasteful way to debate an issue, but this is particularly ridiculous. How exactly does Ms. Perino propose that victims "make better decisions?" When we woke up this morning, we were thinking about becoming victims of a violent attack, but then, after a cup of coffee, we thought better of it and changed our minds.

Servicewomen Should Expect to Be Raped

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