Scandal: Fox News Hires Apologist For Cop-killer
October 5, 2009
By Cliff Kincaid
The "conservative" Fox News Channel (FNC) has hired Marc Lamont Hill, a public supporter of convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, as a paid "analyst" and "contributor." He has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor," hosted by Bill O'Reilly, more often than other FNC programs.
A member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA), a group that worked with the communist terrorist Weather Underground, Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Chesimard, killed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster "execution style" by shooting him in the head as he lay wounded by gunfire, according to the State Troopers Association of New Jersey. She was convicted of murder and went to prison but escaped to Cuba.
The Officer Down Memorial Page features a page in honor of Foerster. He was only 34 years old when he was killed. The killer is still "at large," being protected by Communist Cuba.
The decision to feature Hill as a paid FNC commentator has infuriated supporters of the police and law enforcement.
Hill, a fast-talking commentator, is described on his own website as someone who specializes in hip-hop culture and "started a literacy project that uses hip-hop culture to increase school engagement and reading skills among high school students." It also says that he works with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, "focusing on drug informant policy." The ACLU favors legalization of all drugs.
James Pera, a retired San Francisco Police Sergeant who saw first-hand the violence of the BLA and the Weather Underground, asked, "Why does O'Reilly pander to this tool of the left? I don't know. What I do know is that I am tired of hearing this bombastic blowhard continually calling people such as Hill 'a standup guy, for coming on the program.' Hill is not a standup guy. In my opinion, he is a left-wing radical, race-bating, white-hating propagandist."
This "stand-up guy" has a contract with Fox News Channel to provide left-wing commentary and serve as a punching bag for O'Reilly for a fee. Still, what did O'Reilly and the other FNC hosts, including conservative Sean Hannity, know about Hill's service to the ACLU and the far-left?
If they can bash the Obama Administration for not vetting left-wing radical Van Jones, shouldn't they explain how Marc Lamont Hill was hired and who hired him?
Larry Grathwohl, who had infiltrated the Weather Underground for the FBI and wrote the book, Bringing Down America, said, "I must wonder what background checks, if any, were conducted before allowing him to become a regular on the O'Reilly show. I find it absolutely unacceptable that someone so far to the left and so strongly anti-law enforcement could be given a position as a regular contributor on any Fox news program. This simply reinforces the belief on the part of many Americans today that ratings are more important than substance."
Hill has been commenting on such topics as racial profiling, CIA torture photos, Mexican drug wars, and Iran . But he refused in a telephone interview to say how many thousands of dollars he is being paid and whether he informed FNC about his controversial views on the Shakur case before he was hired by the cable channel.
Ted Deeds, national spokesperson for the Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA), told Accuracy in Media that he was very concerned about the use of Hill as a regular commentator.
"LEAA has had the opportunity on multiple occasions to appear on Bill O'Reilly's program," he said. "We have found him to be a fair, objective and considerate host as it relates to law enforcement issues and concerns. We assume he was not aware of the apparent support provided by one of his Fox News analysts, Marc Lamont Hill, to a convicted cop-killer. We would hope that, upon review, if Bill determines that this gentleman has this tie, that he takes decisive and public action and stands up for America's police against those who glorify a cop-killer."
As a commentator on issues that go far beyond his expertise on hip-hop culture, Hill was recently on the Greta Van Susteren Fox News Channel show defending Obama's ousted green jobs czar, Van Jones, a communist who also had a record of anti-police agitation. Hill said, "…it's so disappointing that the Obama administration didn't fight for Van Jones. They put him up there. They hired the guy. And then throw him under the bus when it's politically expedient. It's very disappointing."
Conservative activist and former radical David Horowitz made the disclosures about Hill's controversial views in a blog about what he viewed as FNC's big mistake in using Hill as a commentator on foreign policy and other matters for which he has no qualifications or credentials.
Horowitz noted that Hill is so devoted to convicted killer Assata Shakur that the wallpaper of his Twitter page is plastered with police photos of her.
Bill Shine, Senior Vice President of Programming for FNC, released a statement to Accuracy in Media saying, "On his twitter page, Marc Lamont Hill is expressing a personal opinion which represents his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel."
But the statement leaves unanswered the question of what FNC knew about Hill before the channel hired him and what kind of salary they are paying him. Fox News executives and their corporate mouthpieces can be reached at this website.
What's more, an article on his web page, which appears under Hill's by-line and photo, declares that Shakur, who is still on the FBI's Most Wanted List, is "one of the great heroes in the Black Freedom Struggle" and proclaims, "Mother Assata: I am eternally grateful for your life and example. I give thanks to the ancestors for you. I pray for your continued protection and pledge to support you and our people until I die. In Beautiful Struggle, Marc."
Is this another "personal opinion?"
Curiously, Hill told me that he didn't write the article in question and that it was posted by someone else under his name. He said this kind of posting on his site hadn't been an issue "until now." How convenient.
He emphasized that he doesn't support a cop-killer. "If I thought that she had done it, I would not support her," he said. That goes without saying. Who in their right mind would support a convicted cop-killer?
However, the FBI is currently offering a reward of up to $1,000,000 for information directly leading to the apprehension of Shakur. This didn't stop Hill from supporting her.
Convicted in the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, she escaped from prison in 1979 with the help of members of the communist terrorist Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army and eventually fled to Cuba , where she received political asylum from the Castro government.
While Hill disputed reports that Shakur shot Foerster in the head, the website of America's Most Wanted, a Fox program, describes what happened this way: "On May 2, 1973, New Jersey State Police Troopers James Harper and Werner Foerster were patrolling the New Jersey Turnpike in the East Brunswick area. They stopped a car with three occupants and began to question them. The female passenger, JoAnne Chesimard, was a member of the Black Liberation Army. She suddenly pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and opened fire. Trooper Foerster was struck twice in the chest and Trooper Harper was hit in the shoulder. Chesimard then picked up Trooper Foerster's service weapon and shot him twice in the head, execution style, while he lay in the road."
Alluding to the involvement of other terrorists in getting Shakur out of prison after her murder conviction, the article on Hill's website which appears under his photo and by-line says that "Fortunately, with the help of her comrades and the ancestors, Assata was able to escape the belly of the beast in 1979 and emerge safely in Cuba, where she's been granted protection as a political prisoner. Despite the relentless efforts of the federal and state government, she remains safe in one of the last remaining palenques on Earth." Palenque is said to be a term for a runaway location where Africans can take refuge.
But when asked about the comments, Hill repeated that "I didn't write that" and "I didn't post that." He said he only supports people not being held in prison who are innocent. "I don't support violence or terrorism of any sort," he said.
The murder of Foerster has not been forgotten, especially by law enforcement in New Jersey, where the killing occurred.
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Cuba , gave a major speech on March 2 on the Senate floor warning against recognizing and working with the Castro regime, citing the Shakur case and others. "Some suggest that there be cooperation with Cuba on narcotics trafficking," he said. "Well, let them hand over the 200 fugitives from the United States that the FBI knows are in Cuba , including Joanne Chesimard, the convicted killer of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. Let her come back to the United States and face justice. There are 200 of them."
The use of Hill as a paid FNC commentator raises troubling questions for Bill O'Reilly, the channel's most popular host, who avoids the conservative label but regularly takes on the political left, which he describes as "secular progressives." Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council recently described O'Reilly as "a culture warrior who uses his national platform to promote life¯no matter what the personal or professional costs" and gave him the organization's "Media Courage Award."
But Jim Pera told AIM, "In my opinion, O'Reilly is one of the most insincere and buffoonish charlatans on T.V. today. He is a braggart, a bully, an exhibitionist and an opportunist, who pretends to be a conservative but, at best, is a fence sitter and an opportunist…"
Former FBI Weather Underground informant Larry Grathwohl, who appeared on the O'Reilly program to talk about the violence of the communist organization, said, "I have noted for some time now that Bill O'Reilly seems much more interested in the ratings and the appearance of 'fairness' than the impact of his observations and opinion(s). Mr. Hill always takes the left of liberal position, which works for Bill maintaining a more conservative posture and one of always allowing the other side to voice a position. This apparently fares well for Bill O'Reilly and the 'no spin zone' he claims to occupy but has left me confused at times as to what he believes and stands for."
What does Bill O'Reilly stand for? What is going on at Fox News? Who hired Marc Lamont Hill?