House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) gave Fox News host Pete Hegseth a lesson in how a news organization is supposed to behave instead of engaging in the sin of silence when it comes to right-wing domestic terrorists who are engaging in violent acts against peaceful protesters.
“As you know, over the last couple of months, we’ve seen riots in Portland. President Trump made it clear, we’re going to send federal agents, law enforcement officers there to protect federal property as necessary.”
The host then accused Rep. Clyburn of comparing federal agents — many of whom who wore military garb and had no identifying insignia or names on their uniforms — to “the Gestapo,” asking:
“Why would you make such a comparison when what they’re doing is their job to protect federal property?”
“I don’t know if I ever compared what they’re doing to the Gestapo.”
“It’s right there in the transcript.”
Rather than deny it, Clyburn admitted he might have made the remark:
“Maybe I did. I am never one to think I can never misspeak. That is not to say what I feel. But what I do feel, what I’ve seen in Portland, reminds me very much of what I saw in Anniston, Alabama back in the ’60s, what I saw on the Edmund Pettus Bridge back in the ’60s, where state-sponsored and supported terrorism was visited upon people who were protesting peacefully.”
That response enraged Hegesth, who bellowed:
“They’re burning Bibles in Portland instead of holding them on the bridge like the peaceful protesters did in the 1960s.”
But the congressman refused to cede an inch to Hegesth:
“I don’t know anything about burning Bibles. Burning a Bible doesn’t do anything about burning down a federal building. Maybe you all have seen something I don’t know. What federal building has been under threat?”
The host countered:
“With all due respect, Congressman, you may be watching other networks. It’s been fireworks, Molotov cocktails, explosions, attacks at officers night after night after night.”
“I do defend [the officers] as well. But I don’t defend pretenders. We saw in Minneapolis a guy in black knocking out windows. When they arrested him, they found out he’s a white supremacist disguising himself. And that’s what’s going on all over.
“Look, I was in these movies back in the ’60s. I walked right alongside John Lewis and everybody else. And I can tell you, we never rioted. But there was rioting going on. Burn, baby, burn was not us. Somebody else, insurgents came in. Pretenders came in, in order to subvert the movement.”
Then the South Carolina congressman swatted down Fox News for refusing to report on right-wing violence that’s also taking place in the nation’s cities:
“And that’s what’s going on here. Black Lives Matter will not ever, the people connected to that will not burn down any buildings. But the people who are trying to incite stuff, the pretenders — not protesters, but pretenders — will do anything.
“You saw that on the camera yourselves and you should have reported it. Other places did.”
Right-wing terrorists don’t fit into the Fox narrative that black and brown people are the cause of all the violence in the United States. It’s the same bigoted line that Trump uses, and it’s meant to instill fear into people. More than anything else, Fox News is on the air to spread whatever lies the president vomits out on Twitter or at his press conferences. That’s why Fox has zero credibility and is in no position to lecture anyone else.
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