Since the first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, conservatives have used the disease to try to stoke fear. Their anti-government conspiracy theories about the disease all sound remarkably similar, whether they are aired on Fox News, right-wing radio, or elsewhere.
Conservative media outlets, including Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham, are fanning the flames of Ebola panic and anti-immigrant sentiment by highlighting the unfounded opinions of fringe medical expert Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, the former director of an organization that claimed that undocumented immigrants caused a leprosy epidemic.
After news outlets reported the discovery of an Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham hosted Dr. Elizabeth Vliet to inform listeners about the disease. Vliet used the platform to accuse President Obama of “underplaying the risk” of Ebola and suggested the disease could be transmitted through the air, an opinion that runs contrary to widespread medical opinion.
Vliet’s facts are completely wrong about Ebola’s transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that Ebola “is not spread through the air.” A Vox report points out that “basically every health agency in the world agrees” that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air.
Medical experts also agree that it’s highly unlikely Ebola could mutate into a form that changes its mode of transmission. In fact, such a thing has never been observed in medical history, according to Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He writes, “We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted”:
When it comes to viruses, it is always difficult to predict what they can or cannot do. It is instructive, however, to see what viruses have done in the past, and use that information to guide our thinking. Therefore we can ask: has any human virus ever changed its mode of transmission?
The answer is no. We have been studying viruses for over 100 years, and we’ve never seen a human virus change the way it is transmitted.
HIV-1 has infected millions of humans since the early 1900s. It is still transmitted among humans by introduction of the virus into the body by sex, contaminated needles, or during childbirth.
Hepatitis C virus has infected millions of humans since its discovery in the 1980s. It is still transmitted among humans by introduction of the virus into the body by contaminated needles, blood, and during birth.
There is no reason to believe that Ebola virus is any different from any of the viruses that infect humans and have not changed the way that they are spread.
Vliet’s medical degree and penchant for hyping anti-immigrant myths has helped develop her reputation as the far right’s go-to expert for medical conspiracy theories. In August, Vliet wrote an exclusive column for WND.com titled, “Illegals Bring Risk Of Ebola.” In her article, the Vliet parroted other anti-immigrant voices by suggesting undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border were spreading Ebola and that the government was concealing their diagnoses.
Despite “zero evidence” that migrants have carried Ebola through the U.S.-Mexico border, Vliet’s opinion was cited by Breitbart, Infowars, and Newsmax, a continuation of a long conservative tradition of smearing immigrants as dirty or diseased.
Vliet is also the former director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a group of far-right conspiracy theorists with a history of making false claims about undocumented immigrants carrying disease. Mother Jones reported on the organization’s connections to the Tea Party and examined the contents of the AAPS’ publication Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, noting “the journal erroneously claimed that illegal immigration had caused a leprosy epidemic in the US”:
The publication’s archives present a kind of alternate-universe scientific world, in which abortion causes breast cancer and vaccines cause autism, but HIV does not cause AIDS. Cutting carbon emissions represents a grave threat to global health (because environmental regulation would make people poorer and, consequently, sicker). In 2005, the journal erroneously claimed that illegal immigration had caused a leprosy epidemic in the US, a claim that was reported as fact in more mainstream outlets such as Lou Dobbs’ show.
h/t: Brian Powell at MMFA
Conservative media began politicizing the first case of Ebola virus diagnosed in the United States almost immediately, speculating as to whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could be trusted to contain the virus considering its ties to the Obama administration and about Obama’s own role in the diagnosis.
CDC Announces First Case Of Ebola Diagnosed In United States
CDC: First Case Of Ebola Found In Texas. In a September 30 joint press release with the Texas Health Department, the CDC confirmed that the first case of Ebola had been diagnosed in the United States earlier in the day:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20. [Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 9/30/14]
Right-Wing Media Jump To Politicize Diagnosis
Fox Host To CDC Director: Given That You’re Part Of Obama Administration, “Why Should We Believe You” On Ebola Facts? On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy asked CDC Director Tom Frieden why he should be trusted to talk about the Ebola virus given his role in the Obama administration:
DOOCY: One other theme we got on the email, Doctor, was this — and this is a political thing, but you’re part of the administration. They feel that the administration has misled a lot of people on a lot of things. Why should we believe you when you’re telling us this stuff? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/1/14]
Laura Ingraham Wondered If We Should “Believe What The Government Is Telling Us About Ebola,” Considering What It Said About Obamacare. During the October 1 edition of her radio show, Laura Ingraham asked if listeners “believe what the government is telling us about Ebola,” pointing to a “crisis in leadership, in confidence, in credibility, in competence in our nation.” Discussing what she deemed to be the country’s “biological incapability of telling the truth,” Ingraham tied the Ebola diagnosis to the Affordable Care Act, claiming that “none of” what the government said about Obamacare has come true. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 10/1/14]
Ingraham: Obama’s “Core Ties To The African Continent” Are Influencing His Response To Ebola And Endangering U.S. Later on her radio program, Ingraham accused Obama of having political reasons for failing “to stop these planes from coming in from Sierra Leone.” She went on: “Obama, familial connection with Africa. He has an enormous amount of, I think, you know, core ties to the African continent. He’s mindful of his own family history there. … Come on, it doesn’t make any sense not to have stopped these flights from coming in.” [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 10/1/14]
Right-Wing Blogger Jim Hoft: “Obama Defers Deportation of Liberians On Same Day TX Ebola Patient Enters Hospital.” On his Gateway Pundit blog, Jim Hoft linked the Ebola case to Obama’s decision to defer deportation proceedings for Liberian refugees, writing, “Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum on September 26th to defer deportations of Liberians, the same day the Texas Ebola patient first visited the hospital.” [GatewayPundit.com, 10/1/14]
Fox’s Tantaros: Despite What CDC Says, The Government Can’t Handle Ebola If It “Can’t Even Build A Website.” During the October 1 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered, co-host Andrea Tantaros asserted her belief that the United States isn’t “as prepared as we think we are” to handle Ebola because “the government can’t even build a website. So I do have doubts and questions.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 10/1/14]
Fox’s Katie Pavlich: “Obama Sending Troops To Combat Ebola Worked Out Really Well.” In a September 30 tweet, Fox News contributor and Townhall.com editor Katie Pavlich tied the Ebola diagnosis in Texas to the Obama administration’s earlier efforts to combat the virus in Africa:
Well, Obama sending troops to combat Ebola worked out really well.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 2014
Fox’s Tammy Bruce: “The Obama Legacy Continues” With Ebola Diagnosis. In a September 30 tweet, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce discussed the CDC’s confirmation of an Ebola diagnosis by asserting that it was part of the “Obama legacy.”
The Obama legacy continues. “CDC Confirms Patient In Dallas Has The Ebola Virus” http://t.co/g6hy3vulSu— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) September 30, 2014
On the September 23 edition of her radio program, ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham mocked José Díaz-Balart for conducting a bilingual interview with María Cruz Ramírez on his MSNBC show. Ingraham said, "I can’t even follow what he’s saying because it’s so herky-jerky. Are we sure he’s a native Spanish speaker?"
Díaz-Balart responded on the September 26 edition of the Telemundo show Un Nuevo Día, saying, “It happens to many people everywhere, all the time. But you know what? We are here to contribute. To take our families forward. To contribute to this country.”
Translation by Miguel Ferrer
Laura Ingraham unloads on MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart in xenophobic rant [TW: Xenophobia, Ethnocentrism, Hate Speech, Hispanophobia, Mexiphobia, Anti-Immigrant Bigotry]
Right-wing radio host and anti-immigration crusader Laura Ingraham launched a tirade Tuesday against MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart, mocking Díaz-Balart for translating his interview with an unauthorized immigrant and calling it “annoying” that he pronounced the woman’s name in a Spanish accent.
On Monday, Díaz-Balart invited María Cruz Ramírez, a mother of three children from Mexico, to discuss immigration reform. Díaz-Balart translated Cruz Ramírez’s answers into English, drawing Ingraham’s ire.
“First of all, I can’t even understand what he’s saying because it’s so herky-jerky,” she said. “Are we sure even he’s a native Spanish speaker at this point?”
Ingraham also inveighed against calling undocumented youth “dreamers.”
“If you’re an American kid growing up in Ohio – maybe you’re from Akron – can they call you a ‘dreamer’ on TV – or just the kids who are here illegally?” Ingraham asked.
Ingraham has used her platform on conservative talk radio to denounce immigration reform, and played a pivotal role earlier this summer in toppling then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary for his alleged heresy on the issue.
Listen to Ingraham’s latest rant below, courtesy of Media Matters:
Luke Brinker is Salon’s deputy politics editor. Follow him on Twitter at @LukeBrinker.
Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson Has A Solution For Ferguson Residents Upset With Law Enforcement: Disband Police And 911
From the 09.09.2014 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show:
Phil Robertson has almost singlehandedly ruined Duck Dynasty for Progressives/Liberals/Moderates.
Conservative media figures have wrongly accused Muslim groups and leaders of failing to denounce the violent acts of the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), despite the fact that numerous Muslim religious authorities, advocacy groups, and Imams have come together to denounce the Islamic State’s un-Islamic crimes against humanity.
Conservative Media Figures Complain That Few Muslim Voices Are Denouncing The Islamic State
Fox & Friends: “We Aren’t Hearing Much” Condemnation Of ISIS From Muslim Groups Like The Organization Of Islamic Cooperation Or Al-Azhar. On the August 21 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Anna Kooiman claimed that “we aren’t hearing much” from Muslim countries and groups in response to the brutal acts of violence committed by the Islamic State, while the network’s Middle East and terrorism expert Whalid Phares called on Islamic organizations Al-Azhar and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to condemn the terrorist group:
ANNA KOOIMAN: But what should other countries be doing? Specifically Muslim countries and what about Muslim groups? We aren’t hearing much from them this morning.
Why do you think it’s so important for Muslims across the country and all over the globe to speak out against ISIS?
WALID PHARES: The first institution should be Al-Azhar University, the equivalent of the Vatican in Egypt. They could do a lot by delegitimizing the work of ISIS. And second, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, it represents 57 Muslim governments. Some of these governments have criticized ISIS, but they need to coordinate at the international level. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/21/14]
Sean Hannity: “Where Are The Muslim Leaders” Speaking Out Against The Islamic State Terrorist Group? During the August 12 edition of Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, in a segment titled “The Silence of Muslims,” Hannity claimed that Muslims leaders have not been proactive in denouncing the “rise of radical Islam” and acts of terror committed by the Islamic State:
SEAN HANNITY: As we witness the rise of radical Islam all across the globe, and thousands of innocent non-Muslims are being terrorized for their faith, I can’t help but wonder, where are the Muslim leaders? Now, since September 11, 2001, radical Islamists have attacked all the places that you see there highlighted on the map on your screen, including, let’s see, New York, Madrid, Moscow, London, Washington, D.C.
So the question is, will prominent Muslims denounce and take on groups like ISIS, Hamas, and condemn and also fight against their unthinkable acts of terrorism?
We see this group ISIS - ‘convert or die.’ Why do I sense there’s not enough outspoken Muslims saying, you know, ‘We condemn this. This is not our religion. Stop doing acts of terror in the name of our religion.’I don’t hear those voices that loudly. [Fox News, Hannity,8/12/14]
ABC News’ Laura Ingraham: We’re Not Hearing Enough, “If Any,” Condemnation Of The Islamic State From The Muslim Community. Laura Ingraham, host of syndicated radio show The Laura Ingraham Show and contributor for both Fox News and ABC News, argued on August 11 that few, “if any,” in the Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State, asking, “Where are those people”:
LAURA INGRAHAM: And it would be nice if more in the Muslim world coming out and condemning what the Islamic State is doing. You’re not hearing enough of those voices, if any. I mean, where are those people? [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show,8/11/14]
In Reality, Top Muslim Leaders And Groups — Like The Organization of Islamic Cooperation — Have Condemned The Islamic State
The Organization Of Islamic Cooperation: The Islamic State Has “Nothing To Do With Islam,” Has Committed Crimes “That Cannot Be Tolerated.” As the Vatican’s internal news source reported, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 1.4 billion Muslims in 57 countries around the world, condemned the Islamic State’s persecution of of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, saying the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” is a “crime that cannot be tolerated.” According to the Vatican:
The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they ‘have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.’ [Vatican Radio, 7/25/14]
Al-Azhar: Islamic State Is Corrupt And “A Danger To Islam.” Lebanese paper The Daily Star reported that Al-Azhar’s Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s highest religious authority, denounced the Islamic State as a threat to Islam and said that the group both violates Sharia law and humanitarian law: “[They] give an opportunity for those who seek to harm us, to destroy us and interfere in our affairs with the [pretext of a] call to fight terrorism.” [The Daily Star, 8/13/14]
Arab League: “Strongly Denounced” The “Crimes Against Humanity” Carried Out By The Islamic State. On August 11, Nabil al-Arabi, the Arab League Chief, denounced acts committed by the Islamic State in Iraq as “crimes against humanity,” demanding that they be brought to justice. According to Al Arabiya News, he said in a statement that he “strongly denounced the crimes, killings, dispossession carried out by the terrorist (ISIS) against civilians and minorities in Iraq that have affected Christians in Mosul and Yazidis.” [Al Arabiya News, 8/11/14]
Turkey’s Top Cleric: Islamic State’s Threats Are “Hugely Damaging,” “Truly Awful.” Turkey’s highest ranking cleric, Mehmet Gormez, decried the Islamic State’s declaration of a “caliphate” and argued that the statements were damaging to the Muslim community, according to Reuters:
"Such declarations have no legitimacy whatsoever," Mehmet Gormez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, the highest religious authority in Turkey, which, although a majority Muslim country, has been a secular state since the 1920s.
"Since the caliphate was abolished … there have been movements that think they can pull together the Muslim world by re-establishing a caliphate, but they have nothing to do with reality, whether from a political or legal perspective."
Gormez said death threats against non-Muslims made by the group, formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were hugely damaging.
"The statement made against Christians is truly awful. Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization," he told Reuters in an interview. [Reuters, 7/22/14]
CAIR Repeatedly Condemned The Islamic State As “Un-Islamic And Morally Repugnant.” In a July 7 statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called the terrorist group “un-Islamic and morally repugnant,” noted that the Islamic State’s “human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented,” and called on other Muslim community leaders to speak out against the violence. CAIR reiterated the condemnation of the Islamic State as “both un-Islamic and morally repugnant” on August 11, and on August 21, CAIR once again condemned the group, calling the killing of American journalist James Foley “gruesome and barbaric”:
We strongly condemn this gruesome and barbaric killing as a violation of Islamic beliefs and of universally-accepted international norms mandating the protection of prisoners and journalists during conflicts.
The Geneva Conventions, the Quran - Islam’s revealed text - and the traditions (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad all require that prisoners not be harmed in any way. There can be no excuse or justification for such criminal and bloodthirsty actions.
We also call on those holding Steven Sotloff and other prisoners to immediately release them unharmed so they may return to their loved ones. [Council on American-Islamic Relations,7/7/14; Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/11/14; Council on American-Islamic Relations, 8/20/14]
The Muslim Council Of Great Britain: “Violence Has No Place In Religion.” The Muslim Council of Great Britain condemned the Islamic State’s actions and expressed that they do not represent Sunni Muslims, according to The Independent. Shuja Shafi, a member of the council also said: “Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction.” [The Independent, 7/11/14]
The Islamic Society of North America: The Islamic State’s Actions “Are To Be Denounced And Are In No Way Representative Of What Islam Actually Teaches. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) released a statement denouncing the Islamic State “for its attacks on Iraq’s religious minorities and the destruction of their places of worship.” ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said, “ISIS actions against religious minorities in Iraq violate the Quranic teaching, ‘Let there be no compulsion in religion’ (Surat al-Baqara 2:256),” adding, “Their actions are to be denounced and are in no way representative of what Islam actually teaches.” [The Islamic Society of North America, 8/9/14]
100 Sunni And Shiite U.K. Imams: The Islamic State Is An “Illegitimate, Vicious Group.” As the Huffington Post reported, 100 Sunni and Shiite Imams from the U.K. came together to produce a video denouncing the Islamic State, releasing a statement that they wanted to “come together to emphasise the importance of unity in the UK and to decree ISIS as an illegitimate, vicious group who do not represent Islam in any way.”
Saudi Arabia’s Highest Religious Authority: Terrorists Like The Islamic State Is The “Number One Enemy Of Islam.” On August 19, Al Jazeera reported that Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, the country’s top religious authority, said that terrorism is anti-Islamic and said that groups like the Islamic State which practice violence are the “number one enemy of Islam”:
Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on Earth, destroying human civilisation, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims. [Al Jazeera, 8/19/14]
Muslim Public Affairs Council: Condemned The Islamic State And Called For “Stand Against Extremism.” On August 20, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released a statement condemning “the barbaric execution of American Journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).” MPAC urged “all people of conscience to take a stand against extremism” and offered condolences to Foley’s family. MPAC also noted the importance of countering ISIS and other extremist groups by working “to empower the mainstream and relegate extremists to the irrelevance they deserve.” [Muslim Public Affairs Council, 8/20/14]
"Lynch Mob" Or "Freedom Riders": Laura Ingraham's Take On Ferguson Protests Vs. Bundy Ranch Standoff
Laura Ingraham’s opinion on the merits of a protest movement seem to vary considerably from month to month. Ingraham recently characterized protestors in Ferguson, Missouri as a “lynch mob” and downplayed the story as a “local, criminal” story, but in April the radio host helped to elevate the standoff between scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and federal law enforcement agents while suggesting his supporters’ violent threats against the government constituted a mere “act of civil disobedience.”
Police in Ferguson, Missouri are currently using heavy force to crack down on citizens protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, at the hands of an officer of the mostly white St. Louis County Police Department. Journalists have been arrested on baseless or suspect justifications, and events in the St. Louis suburb have exploded into a national news story.
On August 14, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham complained that the events were receiving too much attention and suggested Brown’s death was nothing more than a “local, criminal” story. Ingraham, a nationally syndicated radio host and contributor for both ABC and Fox News, blamed the media for sensationalizing and nationalizing the story, claiming the media presence “perpetuates the unrest and the discontent on the ground.”
"You bring in the satellite trucks," Ingraham said, "And then people start playing to the cameras on scene."
Ingraham’s disdain extended to the protestors, whom she grotesquely equated to a “lynch mob.”
Ingraham struck a much different tone earlier this year, when racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to comply with court orders instructing him to remove his trespassing cattle from federal land.
Conservative media outlets hyped the situation at the time, and gun-toting, (mostly white) militia members subsequently streamed into Nevada from across the country to confront federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management with threats of violence. As some protestors set up sniper positions with guns aimed at federal officers, and others warned that enforcement efforts against Bundy would be met with violence, Ingraham appeared on Fox News to help nationalize the story and suggest the NV protestors were merely engaged in “an act of civil disobedience.” The Bundy Ranch confrontation, according to Ingraham, was the front lines of a larger, national battle against federal government land grabs, and she characterized the use of 200 agents needed to enforce the law as ”a ridiculously disproportionate response.”
On her radio show at the time, Ingraham even characterized Bundy’s supporters as ”new Freedom Riders,” likening them to a renowned group of civil rights activists who protested segregation in the 1960s.
h/t: Brian Powell at MMFA
Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham baselessly suggested that Muslims aren’t condemning the violent tactics employed by the extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), though in reality many prominent Muslim voices have strongly denounced the group.
Recent news reports have documented shocking acts of terror that have made ISIS the “most feared organization in the Middle East.” The group has warned Christians that they must either “convert to Islam or die,” and according to Secretary of State John Kerry, its “grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide.”
During an August 11 conversation about ISIS’ threats against Iraqi Christians with the National Review's Nina Shea, Laura Ingraham claimed that few, if any, Muslims have spoken out against the group:
INGRAHAM: And it would be nice if more in the Muslim world coming out and condemning what the Islamic State is doing. You’re not hearing enough of those voices, if any. I mean, where are those people?
But in reality, many Islamic leaders have strongly denounced ISIS, and thousands more Muslims have gathered to promote messages of peace.
Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which represents 1.4 billion Muslims in 57 countries around the world, condemned ISIS’ threats against Christians in Iraq, saying the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” is a “crime that cannot be tolerated.” In an interview with Reuters, Turkey’s highest ranking cleric, Mehmet Gormez, similarly decried ISIS’ threats against Christians and argued that the statements were damaging to the Muslim community: “Islamic scholars need to focus on this (because) an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization.”
In a July 7 statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called ISIS’ actions “un-Islamic and morally repugnant.” CAIR noted that the group’s “human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented” and called on other Muslim community leaders to speak out against the violence. The Muslim Council of Great Britain’s Shuja Shafi also said: “Violence has no place in religion, violence has no religion. It is prohibited for people to present themselves for destruction.”
Brooks made the accusation in response to National Journal columnist Ron Fournier’s comment on “Fox News Sunday” that the Republican Party is becoming “the party of white people.”
The congressman defended his stance on immigration, arguing that “every single demographic group” would be negatively impacted by an increase of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
"Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue," Brooks said. "If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big. And they lose and they lose big."
Ingraham then told Brooks that characterizing Democrats’ rhetoric as a “war on whites” was “a little out there.”
"That’s what they are doing though," he responded.
Listen to Brooks’ interview with Ingraham here.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham has a plan to deal with undocumented immigrants that is so radical that even Fox News host Bill O’Reilly called it “draconian.”
On Wednesday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham explained how she would reform the immigration system in the United States.
“First thing you do is starting deporting people, not by the hundreds, not by the dozens, by the thousands,” she said. “And that means entire families, not just a father or a mother. But we keep families unified by deporting all people who are here illegally.”
Ingraham proposed that federal, state and local law enforcement would work together to find all of the “illegal aliens.”
Next, she said that the United States should block all visas to countries who would not repatriate their citizens.
“Number three, I think there has to be an end to this thing called birthright citizenship, some people call it anchor babies,” she continued.
In addition to punishing companies that hire undocumented workers and building a wall along the southern border, Ingraham also proposed making it impossible for immigrants to get housing or use banks. And she would deny any government services like welfare to people who have an undocumented immigrant living in their home.
“Why are you allowed to enter into a rental agreement to live in this country?” she asked. “That should not be allowed. So, there are a lot of common-sense steps that we can take.”
O’Reilly pointed out that “mass deportations” and effectively forcing all immigrants to be homeless would meant that “the Republican Party would become obsolete.”
“You do that kind of a draconian action, mass deportations would be draconian,” he argued. “I think that there is a better way to do it without destroying the Republican Party, which absolutely I believe would happen.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, broadcast July 3, 2014.
Dear Laura, you know you’ve gone way overboard when even Billo The Clown (who’s been very critical of undocumented immigrants) thinks your proposals to deal with the immigration problem are draconian.
At least 15 Fox News personalities recently campaigned with organizations that were either created or heavily-funded by the billionaire Koch brothers.
Just days after Rep. Eric Cantor was ousted in a Republican primary, right-wing media are outraged at the ideological credentials of his likely replacement as House majority leader. Conservatives are calling Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “dimwitted,” “pro-amnesty,” and “just another in a long line of big spenders who thinks the Democrats in charge of government are the problem, not government itself.”
The Washington Post reported that McCarthy is the “overwhelming front-runner” to be the majority leader after he “appeared to have consolidated ranks in almost every corner of the House GOP caucus and seemed well positioned to win next week’s snap election to succeed Rep. Eric Cantor.” The Los Angeles Times similarlyreported McCarthy “is all but assured of becoming the next House majority leader.”
Cantor has endorsed his “dear friend” McCarthy, stating: “He’d make an outstanding majority leader, and I will be backing him with my full support.”
But the prospect of McCarthy replacing Cantor has drawn strong condemnation from conservative pundits, including radio hosts Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, who campaigned against Cantor.
On his June 10 broadcast, radio host Mark Levin said Republicans need “a conservative in that slot, not that dimwitted McCarthy.” On June 12, Levin said that McCarthy has positions that “are identical to Cantor’s and Boehner’s. He’s a moderate Republican, he’s pro-amnesty. He was the Republican whip. Do you know what the Republican whip means? It means whip them into line. Whip the votes into line. He not only went along with [House Speaker John] Boehner and Cantor on all these issues, but he was the enforcer.” Levin also tweeted, “House GOP learned nothing from Cantor defeat; pushing disastrous McCarthy for majority leader.”
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said on the June 11 edition of Fox & Friends that McCarthy is “kind of joined at the hip” with Cantor and Boehner on immigration reform. She added that if “they put Kevin McCarthy in there, I think they’re creating more problems for themselves.” On her radio show on June 12, Ingraham said McCarthy “is more out there on immigration reform, I think, coming from California too, than Eric Cantor was. So if you loved Eric Cantor, you’re going to just — you’re going to have a man crush on Kevin McCarthy. That’s going to work out really well for us.”
Erick Erickson wrote a June 11 RedState post headlined, “Not McCarthy.” The Fox News contributor wrote that “McCarthy is not very conservative and, for all of Cantor’s faults, lacks Cantor’s intelligence on a number of issues. Lest we forget, McCarthy had several high profile screw ups as Whip and has not really seemed to ever improve over time.” In another post called “The Stupid Party,” Erickson wrote that McCarthy “is just another in a long line of big spenders who thinks the Democrats in charge of government are the problem, not government itself.”
The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein wrote that if “Republicans respond to the shocking primary defeat of Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., by elevating his handpicked successor Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., it would be beyond tone-deaf. It would be pure absurdity.” Klein went on to complain that McCarthy “voted for a Hurricane Sandy relief bill that included spending that was unrelated to providing emergency aid, fought for the farm and food stamp bill, fought reforms to the federal sugar program, and backed an extension of the corporate welfare agency known as the Export-Import Bank.”
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor tweeted that “GOP picking McCarthy shows DC elites are not serious about listening to grassroots. They need to lose more elections” and ”#GOP desperate to lose base by backing McCarthy. #tonedeaf.”
Laura Ingraham Campaigned Against Eric Cantor To Push Her Perfect Anti-Immigrant Candidate To Victory
Conservative radio host and ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham made good on her promise to primary any Republican candidate who didn’t share her anti-immigrant views, actively campaigning against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) by endorsing his victorious opponent Dave Brat and making appearances at rallies to support him.
Cantor Loses To Challenger Dave Brat In VA Primary Upset
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Loses In Primary To Dave Brat. On the night of June 10, Rep. Cantor lost in the Republican primary to his conservative challenger Dave Brat, widely considered a longshot to win the race:
Meet Dave Brat, an economics and ethics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, who launched a long-shot — and ultimately successful — bid to oust House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from his seat representing Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.
Brat, who admits that he has supported several Cantor candidacies over the years, says he mounted his improbable primary campaign because the House GOP’s No. 2 leader has lost touch with his constituents, “veering from the Republican creed.”
"Years ago he had a good conservative track record, but now he’s veered off," Brat told ABC News during an interview on Capitol Hill in May. "If you go to Heritage and look at their score, I think he’s at about a 53 right now. I mean, that’s an F-minus." [ABC News, 6/10/14]
Brat Attacked Cantor’s Views On Immigration In Campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported that Brat “has repeatedly accused [Cantor] of supporting amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally”:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who goes before GOP primary voters on Tuesday, has faced a sharp attack from his underfunded opponent, who has repeatedly accused him of supporting amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally.
Back home, Mr. Cantor has responded to the attacks by emphasizing his opposition to “amnesty,” while also making sure that no pro-immigration legislation reaches the House floor, at least for the moment.
It was somewhat unexpected, mostly because Mr. Cantor is not exactly a champion for an immigration overhaul. He says he supports citizenship for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, but he has yet to introduce much less schedule a vote on this idea. He personally blocked a vote this spring on an amendment to a defense policy bill that would let young illegal immigrants brought to the country by their parents earn green cards by serving in the military. And when he put his agenda out for House action in June, immigration was conspicuously absent.
Still, Mr. Brat has attacked him relentlessly on the issue. [The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/14]
Ingraham Blasted Republicans For Supporting Any Pathway To Citizenship
Ingraham: Republican Politicians Supporting “Special Pathway” For Undocumented Immigrants ”Are In Violation Of Their Oath Of Office.” During a discussion with Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) on the February 4, 2014 edition of her radio show, Ingraham told him that “we don’t want any bill,” adding:
INGRAHAM: As far as I can tell, any Republican who stands up and says ”We are going to give a special pathway to the people who are here illegally” are in violation of their oath of office. That is my take on it. And I think we have millions of people across the country who are ready to throw all of you out of office unless you stand up for the American worker. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 2/4/14, via Media Matters]
Ingraham Advised Boehner To Step Away From Immigration Reform “Trap.” On the July 10, 2013 broadcast of her radio show, Ingraham likened immigration reform to a “trap” and stated that she was pressuring Boehner to make sure that he ultimately “walk[ed] away from this trap set” by congressional Democrats and other immigration reform supporters. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 7/10/13]
Ingraham: Immigration Reform Will Be “The End Of The Republican Party.” On the April 17, 2013 edition of her radio show, Laura Ingraham claimed that immigration reform “will be the end of the Republican Party as we know it.” [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 4/17/13]
Ingraham Repeatedly Stumped For Anti-Immigrant Candidate Brat
Ingraham Blog Promotes Dave Brat Rally Appearance. On June 2, Ingraham’s blog promoted her appearance at a rally for Dave Brat, touting his “consistent, principled stance against Amnesty.” The post, which includes a statement from Brat, cites an upcoming House vote on amnesty as a reason to support Brat: “A new report shows that House Leadership is eyeing a vote on Amnesty just 5 days after the June 10th primary is over. Is this a coincidence? Vote Brat and stop amnesty once and for all.” [LauraIngraham.com, 6/2/14]
DuringBrat Rally, Ingraham Says She Wishes Cantor Had Been Traded For American Prisoner Of Taliban. At a June 4 rally for Dave Brat, Laura Ingraham said she wished Obama had traded Eric Cantor for Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held captive by the Taliban:
INGRAHAM: I kind of wish, thinking about this, that President Obama would have thought this through a little bit more. And maybe, for getting Sgt. Bergdahl out of captivity, instead of sending five Taliban MVPs over there, he could have just traded one Eric Cantor. [MSNBC, The Last Word, 6/10/14]
Ingraham's Website Posts Election Day Reminder: Vote Brat, Stop Amnesty. An Election Day post on Laura Ingraham’s blog slammed Eric Cantor for “announcing that he will work with Barack Obama to pass amnesty for illegal children,” and told readers to instead “VOTE DAVE BRAT TODAY.” [LauraIngraham.com, 6/10/14]
Ingraham Blamed Cantor For The"Enticement" Of Immigrant Children In Humanitarian Crisis. On the June 3 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham blasted congressional Republicans and Democrats who support any kind of immigration reform, including Rep. Eric Cantor, for the “enticement” of the immigrant children into the country, which she described as “an invasion facilitated by our own government.” [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 6/3/14, via Media Matters]
Ingraham Attends Henrico, VA Rally For Brat. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham’s attendance at a June 3 rally for Virginia congressional candidate Dave Brat:
Dave Brat drew some star power Tuesday night in the final week of his bid to beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 7th Congressional District’s Republican primary.
Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio talk show host, author and political commentator, attended a Brat rally at a country club in Cantor’s Glen Allen neighborhood in Henrico County. [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/3/14]
Fox Personalities Tout Ingraham’s Role In Brat’s Defeat Of Cantor
Fox News Personalities Praise “The Power Of Talk Radio” For Dave Brat’s Unseating Majority Leader Eric Cantor. During the June 10 edition of The Kelly File, Fox’s Brit Hume claimed Laura Ingraham and other conservative radio show hosts’ support of Dave Brat helped him to defeat Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Hume added, ”There are parts of this country where if Laura Ingraham, and Ann Coulter, and Mark Levin are on the radio supporting you, that’s worth a lot. … In the right place, with the right constituency, those people hold real power.” Kelly chimed in that it was “the power of talk radio.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/10/14, via Media Matters]
Fox’s Kelly: Ingraham’s Support Was “Instrumental” In Brat’s Victory Over Cantor. During Fox News’ live coverage of Rep. Cantor’s primary defeat, Fox host Megyn Kelly said Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, and others “were instrumental, perhaps, in causing this event tonight.” When she interviewed Ingraham later in the show, Kelly more firmly called her “instrumental” in Cantor’s defeat, noting that “she campaigned for Brat, she rallied for Brat, and must be very pleased with the results tonight.” During her interview, Ingraham continued to warn the GOP away from immigration reform. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 6/10/14]
Conservative radio host and Fox, ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham used a sound bite from a Taco Bell commercial to mock the plight of hundreds of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America who are being held in a makeshift shelter in southern Arizona.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that nearly 60,000 unaccompanied children who will make the dangerous trip from Central America over the next year fleeing violence will require care. In Nogales, Arizona, the Department of Homeland Security made available a warehouse to house thousands of children, but according to local media outlets, it has not been without problems. CBS Houston reported that some of the children have complained to the consul of Honduras that the food provided by the shelter is making them sick.
On the June 10 edition of her radio show, Ingraham responded to this news by dismissing the children’s plight, saying, “I bet there are a lot of American kids who would like free food before they go to bed at night.” She followed her comments with a sound clip from a Taco Bell advertising campaign of the 1990s, in which a chihuahua says repeatedly, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”
Ingraham is no stranger to controversial sound effects. On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech”, the radio host used the sound of a gunshot to cut off a sound bite of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) — a man whose skull was infamously fractured by a state trooper on “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, AL, in 1965.
She also repeatedly engages in smearing and denigrating immigrants.
h/t: Brian Powell at MMFA