Fox News host Bob Beckel declared himself a proud “Islamophobe” Monday on “The Five” — and it was only the latest in a long string of racist and offensive statements the network’s token liberal has uttered on-air.
Beckel is the perfect liberal mouthpiece for the “fair and balanced” network. He serves as the lone counterweight to the other four hosts of “The Five,” defending President Barack Obama’s policies when his colleagues put him on the spot.
But in the next breath, Beckel is just as likely to slight the Muslim or Chinese communities as he is to drop a progressive talking point. He also falls back on his “old-timer” status — he frequently uses the term “broad” — to soften the landing of his demeaning comments about women.
Here is a sampling of the craziest, most racist things Beckel has said over the past couple years. It’s in reverse chronological order, for those of you keeping track.
Challenging a conservative author to a knife fight
Beckel issued an on-air physical challenge in October to a conservative author who ambushed former IRS official Lois Lerner.
He’d been incensed by a stunt video showing Jason Mattera hounding Lerner with questions as she walked her dogs in Washington, D.C.
“I would like you to call me any time, any place, and let’s let you and I discuss it ’cause you’re a coward, you’re a punk, you pick on people and you deserve to have your ass kicked,” Beckel said. “And I wanna do it. Get in touch with me.”
“And bring a knife, punk,” he added later.
Calling a woman a “slut”
Beckel actually got pushback from his female co-hosts when he referred to the star of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” as a “slut” for having sex with a man who didn’t end up winning the reality TV competition.
“I’m not kidding you, she sleeps with somebody else and then doesn’t tell the guy about it –” Beckel said.
His colleague Andrea Tantaros cut him off with a barbed retort: “Oh excuse me Bob, you probably sleep with a different woman every night.”
Beckel revealed his own lecherous side a few months later during a discussion of a viral anti-street harassment video that showed the catcalls one woman received as she walked through New York City in a plain T-shirt and jeans.
“She got 100 catcalls, let me add 101,” Beckel said. “Damn, baby, you’re a piece of woman.”
Railing against the Chinese
Beckel used a racial slur to refer to Chinese hackers last summer.
After calling China the number one security threat to the United States, Beckel couldn’t quite catch himself before saying “As usual, we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamen — uh, Chinese people — how to do computers.” To make matters worse, he played on more stereotypes when he said the Chinese “send us cheap toys, all of which got lead in them and kill kids.”
The backlash was swift. U.S. Reps Judy Chu (D-CA) and Ted Liu (D-CA), then a state senator, called on Beckel to resign over his use of the slur. But beyond saying he apologized for upsetting some people, Beckel wasn’t contrite.
“I do not apologize for the things I said about China, and I won’t go into the litany of it now, because there are too many China apologists in this country,” he said later. “But I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the U.S. security and to our business community.”
That wasn’t even the first time Beckel had dropped a slur against Asians. In 2013, he described his eyes upon waking up from a nap as “Oriental.”
Suggesting a ban on building mosques
The arc of Beckel’s Islamophobia is long.
After a group of Nigerian Islamic radicals, Boko Haram, carried out a deadly attack on a boarding school in summer 2013, Beckel said that if he were running the government no more mosques would be built until it was clear which Muslims living in the country were terrorists.
Beckel repeated the line after Islamic militants opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Kenya a couple months later, declaring that no more mosques should be built in the U.S. until Mulims “stand up and denounce what’s happened in the name of your prophet.” He later walked back the comment and acknowledged that the U.S. allows its residents to practice their religions.
Earlier that same year, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Beckel had also suggested that the U.S. stop Muslim students from entering the country “so that we can at least absorb what we’ve got, look at what we’ve got and decide whether some of the people here should be sent back home or sent to prison.”
Questioning whether campus rape exists
“When’s the last time you heard about rape on a college campus?”
That question sounds outrageous today, given the national media circus around Rolling Stone’s now-crumbling investigation into the University of Virginia’s handling of an alleged gang rape at a fraternity. And it was outrageous when Beckel said it nearly two years ago.
Back in February 2013, “The Five” was discussing legislation in Colorado that would allow women to carry concealed weapons on campus to prevent sexual assault. Hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino and even Eric Bolling were all outraged by Beckel’s skepticism.
Beckel was again forced to clarify his comment and acknowledge that rape on college campuses was a serious issue.
“It’s a horrible, horrendous issue. And it’s simply put, this, rape is rape. Whether it’s date rape or it’s somebody coming in off the campus trying to rape somebody else,” he said later. “I very strongly feel that way. And so, I just want to straighten the record out on that.”