Pelosi Death Threats Linked to Fox News

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
jlevin@mediamatters.org

Pelosi Death Threats Linked to Fox News

Media Matters' Burns: There are "real consequences" to network's history of violent rhetoric

WASHINGTON - Today, after the mother of
Gregory
Giusti -- the man arrested for allegedly threatening Speaker Nancy
Pelosi's life over health care reform -- stated that Fox News was a
factor in her son's alleged actions, Media
Matters for America
released the following statement:

"The violent language and scare
tactics we see on Fox News every day have real consequences,"
said
Eric
Burns, President of Media Matters.
"This is a network that ran a 14-month
campaign against health care reform,
which left their viewers confused and angry. The question is, now
that one of those viewers has allegedly threatened Speaker Pelosi's life
over health care reform, is Fox News going to do anything about it?"

BACKGROUND

On April 7, the
Los Angeles Times reported
that "[s]everal
federal officials say the man [Giusti]
made dozens of calls to Pelosi's homes in California and
Washington, D.C., and to her husband's business office. The suspect
allegedly
recited her home address and said that if she wanted to see it again,
she
should not support the healthcare overhaul bill that was recently
signed."
The same day, Giusti's
mother, Eleanor Giusti, made the following comments to ABC's San
Francisco affiliate,
KGO-TV:

ELEANOR GIUSTI: Greg has -- frequently gets in with
a
group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not
consistent with
myself or the rest of the family and -- which gets him into problems.
And
apparently I would say this must be another one that somehow he's gotten
onto
either by -- I'd say Fox News or all of those that are really radical,
and he
-- that's where he comes from.

As Media Matters has
noted, Fox News hosts and guests have repeatedly
used

violent rhetoric and apocalyptic language to describe health care reform
and other issues. Additionally,
a number of network personalities have a history of issuing
inflammatory
remarks
about Pelosi.
Most notably, Glenn Beck discussed "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine:

INFLAMMATORY REMARKS
ABOUT PELOSI

  • Beck
    talks about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine.

    Glenn Beck stated:

BECK: So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to -- you
gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you
-- I
want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.

I really just wanted to thank you for having me
over
here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a
major
Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I'm not.

By the way, I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look
forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have -- you
know,
on health care, energy reform, and the economy. [Glenn Beck, 8/6/09]

  • Cal
    Thomas: Pelosi's "deliberately provocative" walk across Capitol
    was like "the march through Skokie,
    Illinois, by the
    Nazis."
    Columnist Cal Thomas said, "When Nancy
    Pelosi went through those tea partiers, it was like -- what should
    we
    analogize this to? -- the march through Skokie, Illinois,
    by the Nazis. It was deliberately provocative. They wanted a
    reaction." [Fox News Watch,
    3/27/10]
  • Fox & Friends re-enacts
    pro-life
    heckler who told Pelosi to "burn in hell."
    Co-host Steve
    Doocy played a heckler who shouted, "Nancy Pelosi, you'll burn in
    hell!" during a Pelosi speech while co-host Alisyn Camerota
    imitated
    Pelosi. After they re-enacted the events, co-host Peter Johnson Jr.
    laughed. [Fox & Friends,
    10/30/09]
  • Beck
    asks if Pelosi was "inciting" tea partiers with House gavel --
    "a big hammer."
    Beck asked, "If [Pelosi]
    was really worried about violence and she thought these people were
    violent, why would you grab a big hammer and walk into a sea of
    these
    people?" He later asked, "Did anyone say to Nancy Pelosi,
    'You're inciting these people. You're slapping them across the
    face'?"
    [Glenn Beck, 3/25/10]
  • O'Reilly
    says Pelosi is pushing "Fidel Castro stuff."
    Bill
    O'Reilly stated that "Nancy Pelosi and her far-left crew want to
    raise
    the top tax rate to 45 percent. That's not capitalism, that's Fidel
    Castro
    stuff, confiscating wages that people honestly earn. [The
    O'Reilly Factor
    , 11/4/2009]
  • Beck
    lists Pelosi among California's
    "really dangerous people" that include communists,
    eco-terrorists,
    Black Panthers.
    Beck stated that "California has become
    quite a hotbed
    for all kinds of radicals -- communists, socialists, all in the
    1960s, but
    they were here before -- progressives. Now, eco-terrorists, they're
    here.
    You have the Panthers formed here. Nancy Pelosi is here. A lot of
    really
    dangerous people in a state as volatile as this one, and it is on
    the
    edge." [Glenn Beck, 2/9/10]
  • O'Reilly
    hosts tea party activist who says it "would have been more symbolic
    had [Pelosi] had a whip."
    On The O'Reilly Factor,
    tea party
    activist Kevin Jackson characterized the walk to the Capitol by
    Pelosi and
    other members of Congress on the day the House voted for health
    care
    reform as "this very wealthy white lady leading a group of black,
    you
    know, men up to the thing with her gavel in her hand. It would have
    been
    more symbolic had she had a whip." [The
    O'Reilly Factor
    , 3/31/10]
  • Miller:
    Pelosi has a "sub-reptilian intellect."
    On The
    O'Reilly Factor
    , radio host
    Dennis Miller claimed that voters "did not want to turn $1.2
    million
    over to a sub-reptilian intellect like Nancy Pelosi." After
    O'Reilly
    compared Pelosi's comments following the November 2009 elections to
    "George Custer at the Little Big Horn, before the arrow went
    through
    his throat," Miller added, "This woman could lose a game of
    Tic-Tac-Toe to an amoeba, for God's sakes. It will show you the
    holes in
    the system we have that this is the most powerful woman in the
    United States of America.
    Look at her -- she's sub-reptilian. ... Empty, vapid, nobody's
    home."
    [The O'Reilly Factor, 11/4/09]
  • Miller:
    "If you go in with her and the long knives ... you better be ready
    to
    play hard."
    Dennis Miller said of Pelosi:
    "There's blood in the water on her, and I hope they bring in
    Cousteau's kid to document it because this is going to be a
    beautiful
    demise. ... It's going to get ugly, and if you go in with her and
    the long
    knives, I would warn you -- and you're not a plastic surgeon, you
    better
    be ready to play hard, because you will get the speaker's gavel
    from her
    when you pry it from her cold, dead hand, as they say in the
    trade."
    [The O'Reilly Factor, 5/19/09]
  • Doocy
    thought O'Reilly asking if Pelosi is a "kook" was a "great
    question."
    On Fox
    & Friends
    , Doocy played a clip of O'Reilly asking Sarah
    Palin, "Do you think that [Pelosi's] a kook? ... Do you think she's
    actually crazy?" Doocy added, "What a great question: 'Is she a
    kook?' " [Fox & Friends,
    1/13/10]

VIOLENT, APOCALYPIC
RHETORIC

  • Palin: "Don't Retreat, Instead -
    RELOAD!"
    Palin
    posted
    a list of House Democrats who voted for health care reform with
    crosshairs
    aimed at their locations. In a March 23 tweet about her map, Palin wrote:
    " 'Don't Retreat, Instead -- RELOAD!' " Palin's list was
    criticized by conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who introduced and
    endorsed Palin during the 2008 campaign, as helping
    foster

    a climate of violent rhetoric. Hasselbeck added that the list is
    "purely despicable" and "insane."
  • Beck: "Grab a
    torch."
    Asserting that politicians are
    addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who
    are
    bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's
    future out
    of town? Grab a torch." [Glenn
    Beck
    , 1/6/10]
  • Huckabee: Members of
    Congress "should be tarred and feathered as the original tea
    partiers
    would have done."
    As RightWingWatch.org
    noted, Fox News host Mike Huckabee said
    of members of Congress in January:

HUCKABEE: Every member of Congress knows in his gut
what's in the people's interest and what's in K Street's interest. If
you think your
real boss is some smug guy in a corner office with his Gucci loafers up
on a
mahogany deck and not the folks back home, those folks who voted for
you, who
gave you 25 or 50 hard-earned bucks, who put up yard signs and made
calls for
you, you deserve to lose. Shame on you, you shouldn't just be fired, you
should
be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done.
That's my
view and I welcome yours. [Fox News' Huckabee,
1/25/10]

  • Stossel said he has
    "Barney Frank in effigy" hanging above his sofa.
    In

    a February 3 interview with New York magazine,
    when Fox Business host John Stossel was asked, "What's hanging
    above
    your sofa?" he responded: "Barney Frank in effigy." [New
    York
    , 2/3/10]

  • Morris: "Those
    crazies in Montana
    who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going
    to take
    over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case."

    During a long conspiracy theory about a "super-national
    authority" that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, Fox News
    contributor Dick Morris asserted that because President Obama's
    policies
    are "internationalist ... [t]hose crazies in Montana who say,
    'We're
    going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' --
    well,
    they're beginning to have a case." [Fox News' Your World
    with Neil Cavuto
    , 3/31/09]
  • Beck portrays Obama,
    Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the
    heart
    of the bloodsuckers."
    Beck aired a graphic
    portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said, "The
    government
    is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out
    of the
    economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the
    heart of the bloodsuckers." [Glenn
    Beck
    , 3/30/09]
  • Beck: "To the
    day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter."

    Telling his listeners that they "are going to learn so much on
    Friday," Beck compared himself to "Israeli Nazi hunters"
    and commented, "I'm going to find these big progressives and, to
    the
    day I die, I'm going to be a progressive hunter." He added:

BECK: I'm going to find these people that have done
this to our -- you know, to our country, and expose them. I don't care
where --
I don't care if they're in nursing homes. I'm going to expose what they
have
done and make sure that the people understand, because our Constitution,
our
republic -- if it survives -- it will only survive because the people
are
waking up and through the grace of God, because we are that close to
losing our
republic. [Premiere Radio Networks' The
Glenn Beck Program
, 1/20/10]

  • Beck:
    "This is the end of prosperity in America
    forever ... the end of America
    as you know it."
    Telling his audience, "You
    must not allow this to pass," Beck stated in November 2009 that
    "they're going to get passed that 60-vote barrier. And they'll get
    there by people like [Sen.] Joe Lieberman, who's a reasonable guy
    and has
    good intent. You'll get passed it by people like that, who say, you
    know
    what? Look, we got to be reasonable; we have to have a debate. And
    then
    Harry Reid will go for the 51 count and he'll pass this thing. And
    it will
    be a nail in the coffin of America."
    Beck added: "You must -- must get on the phone in your districts.
    You
    must wake everybody up you know. This is the end of prosperity in
    America
    forever if this bill passes. This is the end of America as you know
    it."
    [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn
    Beck Program
    , 11/19/09]
  • Beck:
    "[T]he fundamental transformation of America is complete."

    Beck also said: "Not only are they doing health care, but they are
    doing education in this same bill. Education and health care." He
    added: "It is overwhelming the system. And I'm telling you, if this
    bill passes -- health care and education all in one bill -- if this
    passes, the fundamental transformation of America is complete.
    There's
    no going back from this point. It must not pass." [The Glenn
    Beck Program
    , 3/15/10]
  • Beck:
    "If you can be deemed someone who maybe shouldn't have a baby, they
    can have their people come in."
    Beck said on his
    Fox News show: "You know and I know in this 2,300-page bill that
    includes education, the control that this government has is
    endless. They
    will -- if this passes, they will control every aspect of your
    life."
    Beck further said: "They will be able to -- there is places in here
    that if you can be deemed someone who maybe shouldn't have a baby,
    they
    can have their people come in. The government is in our homes on
    this." [Glenn Beck, 3/16/10]
  • Beck:
    We lose "the Democratic Party to the socialists."

    On his March 19 Fox News program, Beck stated: "If this passes, I
    think it makes the election of people like Lindsey Graham, who are
    the
    compromise with big government, darn near impossible, because you
    can't
    tone this one down. You've got to pull this back by strong
    constitutionalists. Don't we -- if this passes, don't we lose,
    really, the
    Democratic Party to the socialists? And the Republican Party either
    has to
    be, you know, real federalists, real people that understand
    controlled
    power, or you are going to have a third party?" [Glenn Beck,
    3/19/10]
  • Moore:
    "This is a dark day for America if we pass this
    bill."
    Discussing the market reaction to passing the
    health bill, The Wall Street Journal's
    Stephen Moore said on Fox News: "I think personally -- I think that
    the markets have always thought for the last year and a half that
    eventually this day would come. And I think, by the way, this is a
    dark
    day for America
    if we pass this bill." [America's News HQ, 3/21/10]
  • Cal
    Thomas claimed health reform "is an outrage" and "a
    sham"; "[e]uthanasia is coming."
    On Fox
    News' America's News HQ,
    Thomas said the health bill is "a triumph of the humanistic,
    atheistic philosophy. Instead of being endowed by our creator with
    certain
    inalienable rights, those rights are going to be taken away by
    bureaucrats
    who will decide whether you get a hip replacement or a heart
    bypass, based
    on your age and your ability to pay more taxes." He continued:

THOMAS: It
is an outrage. It is a sham. Euthanasia is coming. You can call them
death
panels. That's exactly what they're going to be. We are going to really
be sorry
for this, but, unfortunately, when the guy in the white robe comes to
give us
our little pill, as President Obama told ABC, the 100-year-old woman who
wants
to live must get in order to make it equal for everybody and not to
spend so
much, it will be too late. [America's News HQ, 11/21/09]

  • Hannity:
    "If we get nationalized health care, it's over; this is
    socialism."
    In November 2009, Sean Hannity said, "When you
    look at
    the extreme czars, and you look at Barack Obama, and you look at
    the
    Barack Obama that portrayed himself one year ago as a very
    different
    candidate, you know, why -- I feel like I have been vindicated. I
    was
    excoriated for saying he is far more radical than people know. You
    know,
    what do you see about him? Do you think he is far -- do you think
    he's a
    socialist? Do you think he's -- because I think this is -- if we
    get
    nationalized health care, it's over. This is socialism, and that's a
    kind
    word." [Fox News' Hannity,
    11/2/09]
###

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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