Political Animal


July 14, 2011 5:00 PM Bolling pulls a Giuliani

By Steve Benen

Last year, Rudy Giuliani, hoping to take some sort of cheap shot at President Obama, told a national television audience, “We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama.”

Last night, Fox News’ Eric Bolling pulled a Giuliani.

Bolling, perhaps best known for his on-air racism, hosted a roundtable discussion on the Republican cable news network. When the subject turned to presidential “fear-mongering,” loyal Bushie Dana Perino said it was “ridiculous” to even bring up her former boss’ bogus claims about weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds.

Bolling had her back. (via Oliver Willis)

“Whether they did or didn’t, America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.”

No one on the panel interjected. The host then changed the subject.

For quite a while, many Americans connected the attacks of Sept. 11 to the phrase “Never Forget.” On Fox News, just two months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, this has apparently been replaced with “Easily Forget.”

I mean, really. A paid media professional, hosting a nationally televised program on a top-rated news network, can’t remember any domestic terrorism from the entire Bush era? It’s one thing for, say, the anthrax attacks to skip one’s mind, but Eric Bolling has no memory of 9/11?

I realize he’s a shameless partisan activist. I also realize Bolling will say literally anything to try to make Republicans look better, even when they’ve failed spectacularly. But this gem has to belong in the Hack Hall of Fame.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Cranky Observer on July 14, 2011 5:01 PM:

    Well, Leon Panetta, Obama's new Secretary of Defense, gave the old "you are in Iraq due to 9/11" speech to the troops last week, so it doesn't seem to be exclusive to Fox.


  • Texas Aggie on July 14, 2011 5:09 PM:

    There has to be more to it than what is in the article. I cannot believe that even on Fox they are so stupid that they would expose themselves to ridicule by forgetting about 9/11. Are they now going to Wikipedia and trying to readjust history to show that 9/11 occurred during Obama's presidency, or Clinton's?

  • zandru on July 14, 2011 5:11 PM:

    In a Sane World

    ...the other news outlets would be highlighting and sneering at this little Fox Pas. Heck, instead of the "stupid dawg tricks" section of the news, they could substitute Today's Fox Pas. As a regular feature, it would be simultaneously funny, memorable, and serve the public interest. Plus, it would undercut Fox as a competitor.

    Well, that's in a sane world, where the media outlets competed for viewer eyeballs, advertiser revenue, and reputation.

    At least we can do our parts by passing this one along.

  • T2 on July 14, 2011 5:16 PM:

    what was the one under Obama? That guy with some explosive underwear that didn't explode? The guy who shot the AZ congresswoman?

  • DAY on July 14, 2011 5:17 PM:

    9/11 was on Clinton's Watch. Or Carter's. JFK/Bay of Pigs?

    Everybody Knows the Democrats are soft on terror.

  • Swift Loris on July 14, 2011 5:22 PM:

    Is it possible he meant attacks by domestic terrorists? Homegrown terrorism?

  • Blue Girl on July 14, 2011 5:23 PM:

    what was the one under Obama? That guy with some explosive underwear that didn't explode? The guy who shot the AZ congresswoman?

    Major Hassan and the killing spree at Ft. Hood qualifies, I think.

  • N.Wells on July 14, 2011 5:27 PM:

    "9/11 never happened, and it was all Clinton's fault. Obama whiffed by not following through on Bush's Mission Accomplished / Bring It On triumphs against Bin Ladin. Git yer news here, fresh news, made to order daily....."
    Does anyone want to bet in favor of Fox ever announcing a correction?

  • r on July 14, 2011 5:30 PM:

    Be honest -- don't you envy their ability to live in fantasy land? Things are so much easier there...

  • G.H.J. on July 14, 2011 5:46 PM:

    he just corrected himself 20 minutes ago. he said that he meant no attacks 'after 9/11' and that 16 of friends perished in the attack

  • Josef K on July 14, 2011 6:03 PM:

    He's still an asshole.

  • lou on July 14, 2011 6:06 PM:

    even if you discount 9-11, there's the sniper attacks and the anthrax attacks.

  • sinclair on July 14, 2011 6:15 PM:

    Good thing Bush wasn't president in December of '41 ... "Pearl what?"

    Roll yer own reality, I guess. But we knew that already.

  • Cha on July 14, 2011 6:20 PM:

    9/11/2001 happened on bush, asleep at the wheel, watch and President Obama got Osama fucking bin laden.

    Those rabid stupid idiots at fox news are paid to be lying assholes by rupert, I'm not a criminal, murdoch.

  • hell's littlest angel on July 14, 2011 6:39 PM:

    In Bolling's defense, he is a remarkably fucking stupid man.

  • idlemind on July 14, 2011 7:34 PM:

    One word: anthrax.

  • bardgal on July 14, 2011 7:54 PM:

    Hmm. I guess If 9/11 never happened, then the FBI must be investigating Rupert for not wiretapping those victims?

    Fox makes douchbaggery into an art form.

  • T-Rex on July 14, 2011 8:41 PM:

    Well, 9/11 kinda sorta doesn't count, you know? Because it was an act of war, not terrorism, although "terrorism" and "terrorist" became the Bush administration's favorite buzzwords for the remaining 7 years of his "presidency*." Because, you see, no one could have predicted 9/11, except for all those CIA agents running around with their hair on fire who did and the guy who made a special trip to Crawford to read the PDF to Bush (the guy we're not supposed to know was George Tenet) because he didn't trust President My Pet Goat to read it himself.

    So anyway, because 9/11 was a unique one-off that no one could possibly have predicted, it doesn't count, and neither does the anthrax, which was domestic terrorism, therefore an Isolated Incident. What matters is that "George Bush" is a like totally White Anglo Saxon Protestant Name, and "Barack Hussein Obama" isn't.

    Any other questions?

  • CalGal on July 14, 2011 8:56 PM:

    Of COURSE they're going to forget 9/11 when it suits their rhetorical needs.

    Facts have a LIBERAL bias, don't you know.

    USING facts makes you a LIBERAL!

  • CalGal on July 14, 2011 8:59 PM:

    Well, Blue Girl, If Maj. Hassan qualifies, so does Timothy McVeigh.

    I'm not sure crazy person shooting a bunch of people qualifies as the sort of "coordination" we now associate with "terrorist attacks."

  • Squeaky McCrinkle on July 14, 2011 9:36 PM:

    Sadly, Fox has nothing to worry about if the cringing cowardism displayed by Nancy Pelosi and others (when asked if they were aware of the unfolding Murdoch story) is any guide. Business as usual.

  • Old Uncle Dave on July 14, 2011 10:13 PM: