Fox News on the Spot in Marc Lamont Hill Scandal

October 26, 2009

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, used his company's annual meeting on October 16 to announce the firing of Fox News contributor and O'Reilly Factor regular Marc Lamont Hill. This is the left-wing cop-killer apologist that we (Accuracy in Media) have written about for weeks. We called him the Van Jones of Fox News Channel. We said Fox News was as bad as Obama on the matter of background checks for their employees.

Interestingly, both Van Jones and Marc Lamont Hill are public supporters of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Both were also associated with the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

The announcement of Hill's firing was made as I was questioning Murdoch about why Hill was hired in the first place. Hill's support for cop-killers, had been highlighted on his own web pages. Hill had also spoken before a black communist group¯something he had proudly listed in his official curriculum vitae.

Had Fox News examined any of this before hiring him?

If Fox News executives and personalities had done any elementary analysis, they might have discovered that back in 2007, he wrote an article, "Why I Support the Fairness Doctrine," hyping a study by the Center for American Progress on the alleged need to challenge conservative domination of talk radio. A graphic by the article depicted Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh as the targets of this effort (O'Reilly then had a radio show).

Hill wrote that "the Fairness Doctrine will provide us with a much-needed respite from the conservative media assault that has undermined democratic discourse and social justice."

Who would have thought that Hill would later regularly appear on O'Reilly's Fox News show in the name of "fair and balanced?"

All of this adds to my belief that Fox News¯and O'Reilly in particular¯were bullied into adding this "progressive" voice to their line-up. The problem is that they rushed into it without checking out Hill's background.

Remember that Hill wasn't just a guest; he was a paid contributor, meaning that he had special status and a contract with the channel. In addition to multiple appearances on "The O'Reilly Factor," he also appeared on "Hannity," "Huckabee," and "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren.

I told Murdoch that I understood why Fox News wants to appear "fair and balanced," but that this was ridiculous. Murdoch must have come to the conclusion that it was ridiculous as well, and he said Hill was out. Many members of Murdoch's board were in the room of the New York Hotel where he made this announcement.

Prior to Murdoch's surprise announcement, Fox News press people had only given one statement on the controversy¯about how the company disagreed with Hill's support for convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, a terrorist member of the Black Liberation Army who fled to Cuba with the assistance of the Weather Underground. Other than that, Fox News must have thought the controversy would blow over, since David Horowitz's NewsReal Blog and Accuracy in Media seemed to be the only ones hammering the issue on a regular basis. 

Many conservatives stayed silent, apparently because they didn't want to offend Fox News and risk not getting a chance to go on the air of one of the channel's programs. 

When I started writing about Hill's involvement in these activities, including his published support for Khallid Muhammad, the black racist known as "America's Black Hitler," some of Hill's controversial articles on these topics suddenly started mysteriously disappearing from his web pages. By then, it was too late. The truth was already out.

And Fox News had a burgeoning scandal on its hands.

One of Hill's dubious claims, made in an interview with me, was that he had not written an article, signed "Marc," in tribute to Assata Shakur. Nevertheless, there was no doubt that Hill supported the terrorist. Her police mug-shot photo was plastered all over his Twitter page. The controversy caused him to replace that with photos of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. 

Hill called cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal a freedom fighter and political prisoner. That article is still on his website.

Was there something else in Hill's background that was proving troublesome?  And which was not discovered prior to this hiring? The complete story has not yet been told.

When Murdoch's announcement of Hill's firing started to make news nationally, a blog associated with the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) went after Fox News as if a major injustice had occurred. It suggested that Hill was a respected "liberal analyst" and that the firing may have had something to do with Hill having defended Van Jones.

CAP is the place that hired Van Jones before he went to work for the White House. Hill is highlighted on the website of Campus Progress, an affiliate of CAP, which brings him to college campuses around the nation.  One such appearance is listed on Hill's curriculum vitae as "March 2006, The Hip-Hop Generation Has Something To Say. Invited Panelist at Temple University/Center For American Progress."

This was Dr. Hill's area of expertise¯hip-hop culture. Yet he appeared on Fox talking about various domestic and foreign policy issues.

Only two months earlier, in January 2006, Hill lists a lecture he gave on "The Importance of Ideological Training in the New Millenium (sic)" at the Polymathematic University, also known as the "Political Education Program for the Poor Righteous Communist Party."

So here we have someone who speaks at a communist school and on behalf of the Center for American Progress (run by the co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Project, John Podesta) and then proceeds to burrow into Fox News as a paid contributor. No wonder "Think Progress" was alarmed at his firing.

Radio talk-show host Michael Smerconish, who co-authored the book, Murdered by Mumia, with Maureen Faulkner, about the killing of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner by Mumia Abu-Jamal, has another interesting piece of information about this sordid affair.

He disclosed on his Monday radio show that Maureen Faulkner had written an email to Bill O'Reilly last week questioning why he had Hill on his show so many times. She said:

"Bill. I've considered you a friend and I've appreciated your support over the years considering the murder of my husband, police officer Daniel Faulkner, at the hands of Mumia Abu-Jamal 29 years ago. Through the years I've learned that I cannot fight every battle that comes my way regarding this case. But I'm also like you, Bill, coming from an Irish-Catholic family and I must speak out when I believe a pinhead is being given a forum on your show. I always choose to confront a person directly to see their reasoning for making what I believe to be an error in judgment. So I'm asking you why Fox has chosen to pay Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D., to be a paid commentator and consultant on Fox."

She went on in the email to describe Hill's support for her husband's killer.

Smerconish said he was subsequently told by Maureen Faulkner, after the Hill firing, that "it's really not my efforts that brought this about. Cliff Kincaid has been all over this since September and maybe beyond this."

On behalf of Faulkner, Smerconish thanked us for our efforts.

The email from Maureen Faulkner may have gotten to O'Reilly. But if O'Reilly did play a role in letting Hill go, did he play a role in getting him hired in the first place?

The people are demanding answers.

In response to the Hill firing and the repeated use of Hill by O'Reilly, Katheryn O'Shaunessy wrote me, saying, "I personally do not like Bill O'Reilly any more. He is too liberal for me. He has 'sold out' and I am disappointed in Bill. I am a hair designer in San Francisco, the most sick liberal city in America, and the few conservatives that live here are 'banning Bill' because he has gone 'wishy-washy' and we don't like him anymore. His 'cuteness' doesn't cut it! He doesn't have the 'guts' that Glenn Beck has and I will bet you a dollar to a donut that Glenn's ratings pass Bill's in the very near future, maybe by next week."

Come on, Bill. Did you recommend hiring the pinhead? If not, why did you put him on the air so many times? It's time to emerge from your own no-spin zone. 

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