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John Gibson

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John Gibson is a news commentator on Fox News, hosting The John Gibson Show on Fox News Radio. Until March 2008, when the show was canceled, Gibson hosted the weekday edition of Fox News' The Big Story.[1] He has also filled in for Bill O'Reilly on both The Radio Factor and The O'Reilly Factor.

Prior to joining Fox News, Gibson hosted news talk programs on MSNBC, where he covered the Monica Lewinsky scandal at length. He began his career in the late 1960s as a staff reporter for the entertainment trade magazine, the Hollywood Reporter, and was a reporter and weekend anchorman at KCRA, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California, during the 1980s. He later joined NBC News as a correspondent before moving to MSNBC.

Books

Gibson is the author of Hating America: The New World Sport (2004) and The War on Christmas (2005). In the latter, he argues that "a cabal of secularists, so-called humanists, trial lawyers, cultural relativists and liberal, guilt-racked Christians, not just Jewish people" are trying to secularize Christmas.

Controversial statements

Media pundit John Gibson's controversial statements brought criticism when he referred to religions other than his own as "wrong."[2] He is also known for making similarly bombastic statements with regard to race.[3]

  • On his December 15, 2000, edition of The Big Story, Gibson offered suggestions as to what do with the disputed ballots from the contested Florida election: "I mean, should we burn those ballots, preserve them in amber, or shred them?" Indicating that this was "a case where knowing the facts actually would be worse than not knowing," Gibson explained: "George Bush is going to be president. And who needs to know that he’s not a legitimate president? Al Gore? Jesse Jackson? His political opponents? How does it do any good for the country to find out that, by somebody’s count, the wrong guy is president?"[4]
  • When London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics, Gibson said that he regretted that Paris had not been chosen because it would have subjected that city to the threat of terrorism: "It would have been a delight to have Parisians worried about security instead of New Yorkers. It would have been exquisite to watch."[5] He also has stated that no one would care if France was a victim of a terrorist attack.[6]
  • Gibson said that White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove should be given "a medal" for outing covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, adding that Plame "should have been outed by somebody."[7]
  • On the January 19, 2006, edition of The Big Story, Gibson charged that Osama bin Laden "is talking to America's far left and saying, 'You know what. We're on the same side. So why don't you work on that hardhead George W. Bush?' Bin Laden told us Thursday that our far left has been working for him. It's their poll results he quotes."[8]
  • After British police shot Brazilian immigrant Charles de Menezes several times in the head, Gibson cheered the police on his July 22, 2005 show: "The tackle-and-kill team is incredible.... Can you imagine the job of those cops? Tackle the guy wearing a vest bomb and hope your colleague is right behind with the gun to put five bullets in the noggin before he sets off the bomb." The fact that Menezes had been killed because he was mistaken for a suicide bomber didn't seem to faze Gibson: "Turns out he didn’t have a bomb, and turns out he wasn’t one of the four bombers Thursday,” he said. Nonetheless, Gibson declared:
Got to admire the cojones of those Brit cops to go after him like that. All of this trumps any of my other complaints that the Brits weren’t making the right noises about fighting terror. They like to go about things a bit more quietly than us. Not my style, but okay, fine—as long as they get the five in the noggin of the right bomber boy.[9]
  • Gibson described the Third World as including "a huge number of so-called nations, little more than spots on the map that would get invaded, taken over, subsumed, eliminated, except no-one wants to get stuck with their problems of poverty, disease and corruption."[10]
  • On the May 11, 2006 broadcast of The Big Story, Gibson called for his viewers (whom he seems to think are all white) to have more children. His reasoning appeared to be in part to prevent Hispanics (who he doesn't consider white) from ever being a majority in America. [11][12]
  • Gibson said regarding protesters supporting the Jena Six: "[W]hat they're worried about is a mirage of 1950s-style American segregation, racism from the South. They wanna fight the white devil. ... [T]here's no -- can't go fight the black devil. Black devils stalking their streets every night gunning down their own people -- can't go fight that. That would be snitchin'."[13]
  • Commenting on the death of actor Heath Ledger, Gibson baselessly asserted that Ledger was "snorting heroin" and said, "Well, he found out how to quit you," a reference to a line from a film starring Ledger, Brokeback Mountain. Remarking later on the idea he would complain that his words were taken out of context, Gibson said, ""No. I meant them, whatever they were. I don't remember what they were, but whatever they were, I meant them," adding, "There's no point in passing up a good joke."[14] Gibson later apologized for his remarks, acknowledging that "some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive."[15]

Gibson vs. the BBC

Gibson criticized the British Broadcasting Corporation as anti-American, accusing it of having "a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Americanism that was obsessive, irrational and dishonest."[16]Ryan Ash and Elliott Ash, "Fox News: Bastion of irrationality", The Daily Texan, December 9, 2005.</ref> He also charged that reporter Andrew Gilligan, who was covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq for BBC Radio 4, had "insisted on air that the Iraqi Army was heroically repulsing an incompetent American Military."[17]

Britain's Office of Communications rejected Gibson's critique, finding that Gibson had misrepresented Gilligan's reporting. "The manner in which John Gibson delivered these lines and the fact that he indicated that Gilligan said it 'on-air' gave the distinct impression that he was quoting Gilligan directly," the regulatory body said. "It did not appear that he was summarising Gilligan’s reporting. Furthermore, Fox News failed to provide any evidence, except that it felt that Gilligan’s reporting of the U.S. advance into Baghdad was incorrect, that supported this statement."[18]

Bibliography

  • Gibson, John (2005). The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. Sentinel. ISBN 1-59523-016-5.
  • Gibson, John (2004). Hating America: The New World Sport. Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-058010-0.

References

  1. "Fox Votes Out the Big Story", The New York Times, March 12, 2008.
  2. "Fox's Gibson: Christians tolerate those who are 'following the wrong religion ... as long as they're civil and behave' ", Media Matters for America, December 1, 2005.
  3. "Gibson: "Make more babies" because in "twenty-five years ... the majority of the population is Hispanic' ", Media Matters for America, May 12, 2006.
  4. "He’s Being as Hateful as He Can: Why can’t John Gibson make the big time at Fox?", Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, September/October 2005.
  5. "My Word: Missed Opportunity", FoxNews.com, July 6, 2005.
  6. "Fox's Gibson on 'golden opportunity' missed: If France had been selected for 2012 Olympics, terrorists would 'blow up Paris, and who cares?' ", Media Matters for America, July 8, 2005.
  7. "Fox's Gibson: Rove deserves 'a medal ... Because Valerie Plame should have been outed by somebody' ", Media Matters for America, July 13, 2005.
  8. John Gibson, "My Word: Bin Laden's Talking Points From Far Left?", FoxNews.com, January 19, 2006.
  9. John Gibson, "My Word: Five in the Noggin", Fox News.com, July 22, 2005.
  10. "John Gibson oozes hate and contempt for Third World nations, UN", News Hounds, April 6, 2005.
  11. "Gibson: "Make more babies" because in "twenty-five years ... the majority of the population is Hispanic' ", Media Matters for America, May 12, 2006.
  12. 'Gibson responded to criticism of "make more babies" remarks -- by invoking Europe's rising Muslim population", Media Matters for America, May 18, 2006.
  13. "Gibson on Jena demonstrators: 'Black devils stalking their streets,' but 'they wanna fight the white devil' ", Media Matters for America, September 24, 2007.
  14. "Gibson, acknowledging he mocked Ledger's death, said: 'There's no point in passing up a good joke'", Media Matters for America, January 24, 2008.
  15. addresses controversy over his comments on death of actor Heath Ledger", Media Matters for America, January 24, 2008.
  16. "Ofcom criticises Fox News Channel", Digital Spy, June 14, 2004.
  17. John Gibson, "My Word: Liar Liar", FoxNews.com, January 29, 2004.
  18. "The Big Story: My Word", Office of Communications (Ofcom).

External links