John Gibson (political commentator): Wikis

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John Gibson
Born John David Gibson
July 25, 1946 (1946-07-25) (age 63)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation talk show host
Years active 1969 – present
Spouse(s) Susan McHugh (February 3, 1979 - present)

John David Gibson (born July 25, 1946) is an American radio talk show host. As of September 2008, he hosts the syndicated radio program The John Gibson Show on Fox News Radio. Gibson was formerly the co-host of the weekday edition of The Big Story on the Fox News television channel.

Contents

Early career

Gibson earned a BA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He began his reporting career with The Hollywood Reporter (1969-1972) and worked for Atlantic Records (1972-1974). Gibson worked for KFWB-AM (1974-1975) and KEYT-TV (1975-1977). At KCRA, he was a feature reporter on the "Weeknight" magazine show (1977-1979) and San Francisco bureau chief (1979-1989).[1]

Beginning in 1992, Gibson worked as an NBC News correspondent in Burbank, California. In 1994, he became the first West coast correspondent for NBC News Channel. He covered the O.J. Simpson trial for NBC News Channel and Rivera Live on CNBC.[2] In 1996 he was named anchor for daytime programming on MSNBC.[1]

Career with Fox News

Gibson joined the Fox News Channel in September 2000 as the host of its news program The Big Story. He also wrote the New York Times bestselling books Hating America: The New World Sport and The War on Christmas.[2]

On March 12, 2008, Fox News Channel announced The Big Story was being replaced with America's Election Headquarters, a program more directly geared toward following the 2008 U.S. presidential election.[3] The Big Story was not renewed after the election and was replaced with The Glenn Beck Program in January 2009.

Controversies

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Cleveland school shooting

Following the 2007 SuccessTech Academy shooting in Cleveland, Ohio, on his radio show Gibson commented "I knew the shooter was white. I knew he would have shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again. And I could tell right away because he killed himself. Hip hoppers shooters don't do that. They shoot and move on."[4]

Gibson's comments were heavily criticized by colleagues in the media. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann called Gibson a racist,[5] Rick Sanchez of CNN called the comments "outrageous" and said Gibson "has some explaining to do",[6] Dan Abrams of MSNBC's Live with Dan Abrams said Gibson was "out of line",[7] and Media Matters for America criticized him as well.[8][9]

"Following the wrong religion"

During a November 17, 2005 appearance on the radio program Janet Parshall's America, Gibson said "Minorities ought to have the same sense of tolerance about the majority religion — Christianity — that they've been granted about their religions over the years."[10] A few minutes later in the same interview, he said "I would think if somebody is going to be — have to answer for following the wrong religion, they're not going to have to answer to me. We know who they're going to have to answer to."[10] Gibson's comments were criticized by Frank Rich of the New York Times,[11] and Media Matters for America.[10]

Gibson charged that Olbermann had "repeated a misquote to justify saying some truly disgusting things about me."[12][13][14] Olbermann responded "The audio clip is the definitive answer, and I would hope John would have the self- respect to acknowledge what he said and to leave the airwaves for good, because between the remark and the denial, he has, sadly, forfeited his right to stay here."[13][14][15]

Gibson vs. the BBC

Gibson claims that the British Broadcasting Corporation is anti-American, accusing the BBC of having "a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Americanism that was obsessive, irrational and dishonest".[16][17] He also claimed that reporter Andrew Gilligan, who was covering the 2003 Iraq War for BBC Radio 4 in Baghdad, had, "insisted on air that the Iraqi Army was heroically repulsing an incompetent American military".[18]

Gibson's criticisms were rejected by Ofcom when it investigated viewer complaints of Gibson's item.[19]

"Make more babies"

On The Big Story on May 11, 2006, Gibson responded to a Washington Post story which noted that the US Census reported "Nearly half of the nation's children under five are racial or ethnic minorities, and the percentage is increasing mainly because the Hispanic population is growing so rapidly."[20] Gibson said further: "Do your duty. Make more babies... half of the kids in this country under five years old are minorities. By far the greatest number are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic. Why is that? Well, the Hispanics are having more kids than others. Notably the ones Hispanics call gabachos, white people, are having fewer."[21]

Time's Massimo Calabresi wrote that Gibson's interpretation of the census data was "wildly wrong".[22] Gibson's remarks were criticized by Keith Olbermann[23] and Media Matters for America,[24] which later named his remark one of the top 11 "Most outrageous comments of 2006".[25]

Heath Ledger remarks

On the January 22, 2008 edition of his radio show, Gibson commented on actor Heath Ledger's death the day before. He opened the segment with funeral music and played a clip of the famous line "I wish I knew how to quit you" from Ledger's film Brokeback Mountain; he then said "Well, I guess he found out how to quit you." Among other remarks, Gibson called Ledger a "weirdo" with "a serious drug problem."[26] The next day, he addressed outcry over his remarks by saying that they were in the context of jokes he had been making for months about Brokeback Mountain, and that "There's no point in passing up a good joke."[27]

MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough called Gibson's remarks "sick",[28] while Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times called for him to be fired.[29]

Gibson apologized during the "My Word" segment of The Big Story.[30]

Eric Holder

In February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder had given a speech to Justice Department employees as a part of the observance of Black History Month during which he described the United States as being a "nation of cowards" in its reluctance to discuss racial relations. Gibson criticized Holder's remarks as inappropriate. John Sanders, who at the time was technology reporter for WBAL-TV in Baltimore, then edited Gibson's remarks which had followed news reports of a monkey who had escaped from a Seattle zoo making it appear that Gibson had compared Holder to a monkey "with a bright blue scrotum" on Fox. Sanders then posted the altered video on youtube.com as a joke.[31] However, the video was widely-publicized on news websites, including the Huffington Post, as if it were authentic.[31] Sanders was fired over the video, and Gibson said that the spread of the fake video has had a "personal" impact upon him.[31]

Books

  • Gibson, John. How the Left Swiftboated America: The Liberal Media Conspiracy to Make You Think George Bush Was the Worst President in History. (HarperCollins, 2009). ISBN 978-0061792892.
  • Gibson, John. The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought. (Sentinel HC, 2005). ISBN 1-59523-016-5.
  • Gibson, John. Hating America: The New World Sport. (ReganBooks, 2004) ISBN 0-06-058010-0.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "John Gibson Named Anchor For Daytime Programming on MSNBC Cable", PR Newswire, April 30, 1996
  2. ^ a b "John Gibson - Bio". Fox News. September 14, 2007. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,1240,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Fox Votes Out the Big Story", "New York Times", March 3, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-12.
  4. ^ The John Gibson Show, October 10, 2007
  5. ^ Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, October 11, 2007: transcript
  6. ^ Out in the Open, CNN, October 13, 2007
  7. ^ Live with Dan Abrams, MSBNC, October 11, 2007
  8. ^ "Gibson knew school shooter was white because "black shooters don't" shoot themselves; "they shoot and move on"", Media Matters for America, October 11, 2007
  9. ^ "Gibson defended his comments about race of school shooter, attacked "Soros-backed" Media Matters", Media Matters for America, October 12, 2007
  10. ^ a b c Media Matters - "Fox's Gibson: Christians tolerate those who are "following the wrong religion ... as long as they're civil and behave""
  11. ^ Frank Rich, "I Saw Jackie Mason Kissing Santa Claus", New York Times, December 25, 2005
  12. ^ The Big Story with John Gibson, Fox News, December 23, 2005
  13. ^ a b Media Matters - CNN's Reliable Sources cited Media Matters item in noting "nasty spat" between Olbermann and Gibson over Fox host's comment about those who "have to answer for following the wrong religion"
  14. ^ a b Reliable Sources, CNN, January 1, 2006
  15. ^ Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, December 27, 2005: transcript
  16. ^ Television - News - Ofcom criticises Fox News Channel - Digital Spy
  17. ^ The Daily Texan
  18. ^ Liar, liar. Editorial by John Gibson., published on FOXNews.com on January 29, 2004.
  19. ^ Standards Cases - Upheld Cases - The Big Story: My Word - Published in Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin Number 11 on June 14, 2004.
  20. ^ D'Vera Cohn and Tara Bahrampour, "Of U.S. Children Under 5, Nearly Half Are Minorities: Hispanic Growth Fuels Rise, Census Says", Washington Post, May 10, 2006
  21. ^ The Big Story with John Gibson, Fox News, May 11, 2006
  22. ^ Massimo Calabresi, "Is Racism Fueling the Immigration Debate?", Time, May 17, 2006
  23. ^ Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, May 12, 2006: transcript
  24. ^ Gibson: "Make more babies" because in "twenty-five years ... the majority of the population is Hispanic", Media Matters for America, May 12, 2006
  25. ^ "Most outrageous comments of 2006", Media Matters for America, December 22, 2006
  26. ^ "Fox Host John Gibson Mocks Heath Ledger's Death" Huffington Post. January 23, 2008.
  27. ^ "Gibson, acknowledging he mocked Ledger's death, said: 'There's no point in passing up a good joke' Media Matters for America. January 24, 2008.
  28. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8ZHN-Gl8V0
  29. ^ McNamara, Mary. "John Gibson should lose his platform" Los Angeles Times. January 26, 2008.
  30. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ8sFzuWouo&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edailykos%2Ecom%2Fstoryonly%2F2008%2F1%2F25%2F163014%2F652&feature=player_embedded
  31. ^ a b c Kurtz, Howard (February 25, 2009). "Reporter Loses Job Over Altered Video of Fox's Gibson". Washington Post: p. C1.  

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