From the Los Angeles Times:
Why exactly is John Gibson still on the air?
Three days ago, the Fox News talk-show host opened his radio show with hate-filled, and prepared, mockery of actor Heath Ledger’s death. Auditory clips of Ledger’s most famous film, “Brokeback Mountain,” played with a background of funeral music, ending with his character’s lover, Jack Twist, saying, “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
“Well, he found out how to quit you,” Gibson chortled before launching into a show that repeatedly referenced the 28-year-old actor’s death as if it were some sort of joke.
Never mind that the cause of death has yet to be established. Never mind that even if it were a drug overdose or a suicide, it would still be a tragedy, and not because he was a movie star but because he was a 28-year-old human being.
After the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and other groups denounced Gibson’s behavior, he at first defended it as a joke, explaining that he had long made fun of the “quit you” line and wasn’t about to stop now. Then Thursday, clearly responding to increased pressure, he issued a statement during Fox News’ “The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert,” saying he was sorry if some people were offended by his remarks and also that he was sorry Ledger had died.
He’s sorry that other people are stupid enough to be offended by his remarks? No apology for what he said, only that other people took offense to it.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Gibson’s remarks was their premeditation. The opening had been scripted. Then he enjoyed his ghastly jaunt so much he could not let it drop. The Imus excuse — that he made a regrettable off-the-cuff comment — does not even apply, actually. Gibson’s defense — I have been making fun of gays for years, why should I stop just because someone died? — is truly chilling, while his “I’m sorry if some of you found my remarks offensive” is a classic non-apology.
That Gibson would choose the event of a young man’s death — a young heterosexual man, it must be said — to exercise his “right” to homophobia is not just a matter of taste, it’s an issue of policy. What is Fox News’ policy about the language of hate?
But old Gibby is not only a homophobe, he’s a racist, too! From Media Matters:
On other topics, Gibson has claimed that he knew an Ohio school shooter was white because “[b]lack shooters don’t” kill themselves, “they shoot and move on”; asserted that the demonstrators who gathered in Jena, Louisiana, “wanna fight the white devil”; mocked Comedy Central host Jon Stewart for emotional remarks he made shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and claimed that Iraqis are “knuckle-dragging savages from the 10th century,”…
On the August 3, 2007, edition of Gibson’s radio program, Angry Rich [Gibson’s sidekick] claimed Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards “whored his wife’s cancer as a fundraising gimmick.” He also went on to call him “a fraud” and “a pansy.”
Gibson also claimed that progressives would “wave … the terrorists off to another building” if a hijacked plane approached the headquarters of The New York Times, but otherwise maintain that “we deserve it. So, come on, jihadis. Work your magic.”
On the May 11, 2006, edition of The Big Story, Gibson advised viewers during the “My Word” segment to “[d]o your duty. Make more babies.” He then cited a May 10, 2006, article, which reported that nearly half of all children under the age of 5 in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: “By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic.”
During his May 16, 2006, “My Word” segment on The Big Story, Gibson claimed there are “[s]ome misunderstandings” regarding his May 11 comments, adding that he’s “been accused of being a racist.” Gibson explained: “My concern was simply that I didn’t want America to become Europe, where the birth rate is so low the continent is fast being populated by immigrants, mainly from Muslim countries, whose birth rate is very high,” adding, “I said … it was also a good idea if people other than Hispanics also got busy and have more babies. Those people would include both blacks and whites. I suppose Asians, too.”