KILMEADE DOUBLES DOWN, CONDEMNS MUSLIMS AGAIN…. On yesterday’s “Fox & Friends,” co-host Brian Kilmeade felt compelled to share his unique perspective on religion and terrorism: “[A] certain group of people attacked us on 9/11, it wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
That is, of course, both ridiculous and offensive, and had the makings of a Rick Sanchez Moment. Major media outlets didn’t quite see it that way — Kilmeade’s comments were widely ignored — but several online outlets (including this one) raised the visibility of his condemnation a bit.
So, Kilmeade returned to the subject on his Fox News Radio show. After taking note of some Muslim terrorists, he insisted once again, “Not every Muslim is an extremist, a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim. You can’t avoid that fact.”
Actually, you can avoid that “fact,” since it’s not a fact at all. There are many kinds of terrorists around the world who commit brutal acts of violence, and they’re not Muslim. Kilmeade’s bigotry has rendered him embarrassingly, shamelessly ignorant. But instead of walking back his ugly comments when he had the chance, Kilmeade decided to double down and repeat them.
Media Matters asked, “What does Brian Kilmeade have to say to get fired?” I’ve been wondering the same thing.
To reiterate a point from yesterday, the larger lesson seems to be that bigotry is acceptable, so long as it’s directed towards some groups and not others. If Kilmeade had said, “Not all Jews run media organizations, but all media organizations are run by Jews,” there’d probably be some pushback. If he’d told his national television audience, “Not all Roman Catholic priests are caught up in abuse scandals, but everyone caught up in abuse scandals is a Roman Catholic priest,” I suspect it would have been a bigger deal.