Fox News ‘Liberal’ Isn’t So Sure About College Rape

fox-five-beckelNews flash: Someone said something stupid on Fox News Channel!

Actually, this time I think it matters more than usual. On the Five (2/19/13), a discussion of rape on college campuses included what you might call a skeptic’s take: Maybe there’s not really any such thing.

BOB BECKEL: When was the last time you heard about a rape on campus?


ERIC BOLLING: What are you talking about? It’s rampant.

BECKEL: It’s rampant? Where?

BOLLING: Rape on campus?

DANA PERINO: In particular, date rape on campus.


BECKEL: Date rape, yes, that’s one thing. Are you going to take a gun out and shoot your date?

GROG GUTFELD: Yes, maybe you should.

GUILFOYLE: If your date is a rapist, you shoot them.

BOLLING:  Can we move on? Let’s move on this.


You can see the video of this, if you must, here

On the upside, the most important thing to note about this is the fact that most of the panel knows that campus rape is a widespread problem.

So who’s this Beckel guy? One of Fox News‘ “liberals” (Extra!, 3/12).

Beckel issued an apology of a sort the next day:

I want to say one thing, yesterday, a number of people responded to what I said about date rape as if I didn’t think it was a serious issue. Of course, I think it’s a serious issue. It’s a horrible, horrendous issue.

And to simply put this: Rape is rape–whether it’s date rape or somebody coming in off the campus trying to rape somebody else, I very strongly feel that way. So, I just want to straighten the record out on that. I was simply trying to make–there is not a distinction to make. But date rape is rape. By any other definition, rape is rape.

Of course, people probably “responded to what I said about date rape as if I didn’t think it was a serious issue” because of the words he said on television that gave that impression.

But the other thing to know about the “liberal” Beckel is that he says these kinds of things all the time.  He once told viewers that after he went swimming, his eyes looked “Oriental.” He’s made passing references to “Chinamen” and “rednecks.” He thought that a speech by Indian-American Republican Bobby Jindal “reminded me of a call center ad in Mumbai.” These are just the ones I could find after spending 10 minutes searching around; presumably there are more.

It’s not always run of the mill bigotry, though. On Fox he said this about WikiLeaks‘ Julian Assange (12/7/10):

 A dead man can’t leak stuff…. This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I’m not for the death penalty, so…there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.

In most places, a record like this would probably lead your employer to tell you to take your act elsewhere.  But if you’re running a right-wing propaganda network, Bob Beckel’s a pretty valuable “leftist” to keep around.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.