Co-host Bob Beckel opened Monday’s episode of “The Five” on Fox News by labeling some of President Obama’s critics racist, and he closed by offering a bizarre and mumbled apology for recently using the ethnic slur “Chinamen.”
But while Beckel apologized for what he described as “some comments last week about Chinese people,” he said his apology was limited in scope because he plans to “continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is.”
The episode came a few days after Beckel’s comments drew serious criticism for his use of the ethnic slur. During Thursday’s episode of “The Five,” Beckel had been describing the Chinese as “single biggest threat to national security” when he uttered the word.
Monday’s episode kicked off with a wild exchange in which all five of the show’s co-hosts bantered about recent comments by Attorney General Eric Holder. The attorney general had said on Sunday there was a “racial component” to some of the opposition that he and President Obama have faced from critics.
But Beckel, the show’s token liberal who was facing calls for his firing or resignation because of his use of the Chinese ethnic slur, stepped in to defend Holder. Beckel said he agreed with the attorney general “completely.”
“There’s a certain segment, they’re very small, who don’t like Barack Obama because they’re racist,” Beckel said.
Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle interrupted Beckel, asking what his comments had to do with anything.
“So you think anyone who doesn’t agree with him is racist? Do you think they would consider all of you racist?” Beckel asked.
Co-host Eric Bolling shot back, claiming “most of the people at this table have at least been included in an article pointing at racism.”
“I don’t speak for everyone else. Maybe not you,” Bolling said, pointing in Beckel’s direction, “but I certainly have.”
The show soon moved on to other topics. No mention was made of Beckel’s ethnic slur until the final minutes of the program, during a segment titled “One More Thing.” It was then that Beckel was given the floor to address the comments.
During his apology, Beckel was nonspecific about what exactly he was apologizing for.
“I made some comments last week about Chinese people which apparently upset some people for which I apologize,” he said.
But he made it very clear his apology stopped there.
“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. “But I will continue to warn the American people about how dangerous China is to the U.S. security and to our business community.
“But to those who were offended, I do apologize. I do not apologize to the Chinese government, or for the habits, or for the murders or anything else.”
“His comments have no place in America,” Lieu said in a statement Saturday. “He must resign immediately.”