07/30/2007 11:24 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

FOX Dirty Trick: Swap "Democrats" for "Terrorists"

The effort by FOX News to equate the Democratic Party with terrorists reached a new low, yesterday, when top anchor Brit Hume used an oft-repeated Bush-Cheney phrase about the "War on Terror"--to describe the Democratic Party.

The phrasing, used this Sunday on FOX:

Hume: Make no mistake about. This is what a lot of Democrats and those who support them think. They think the war on terror is some kind of a political scam which the administration is using to undermine civil liberties and expand the power of the executive branch of the government. They do not treat it particularly seriously.

(full transcript and video at Crooks and Liars)

The peculiar phrasing "Democrats and those who support them" is the exact construction used in hundreds of White House communications about the "War on Terror," including the official description of Operation Enduring Freedom:

The United Nations Security Council unanimously enacted a binding
resolution requiring all member states to pursue terrorists and those
who support them
, including financial support systems.

The phrase "terrorists and those who support them" was first used in White House communications following September 11, 2001, and has since become widely understood as a way of speaking initiated by and associated with President Bush's "Global War on Terror."

Vice President Cheney has also used this phrase on many occasions:

On the night of September 11th, President Bush declared that the United States would make no distinction between terrorists and those who support them. This principle, the Bush doctrine, is now understood by all. Any person or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and will be held to account.

The phrase used by FOX News to describe terrorists is identical to the phrase used by the White House, with the word "terrorists" swapped for the word "Democrats."

Prior to yesterday's interview, Hume had used the terrorism wording at least once before to describe Democrats during national broadcasts on FOX News:

The Senate acts this week on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay
marriage, a vote that is expected to break almost perfectly along party lines, the
Republicans for it and Democrats against. Nevertheless, the issue has divided
some Democrats and those who support them.

News' Special Report with Brit Hume, June 6, 2006 - hat tip: Media Matters)

Hume's choice of words seems to indicate an effort by FOX News to use their corporate sponsored programming to promote the idea that the Democratic Party and American liberals are responsible for the violent acts against the United States. This idea has also been promoted by guests on FOX shows, including conservative author Dinesh D'Souza--who appeared on FOX News multiple times to claim that the the "Cultural Left" in America was responsible for the mass murders of 9/11.

The incident raises serious questions about FOX News' place in American politics.  Any news organization that steals language from President Bush's "War on Terrorism" and uses it to describe an American political party has breached the public trust given to them.

Moreover, Hume's deliberate use of "War on Terror" phrasing to describe questions creates serious problems for corporate sponsors associated with FOX News. 

In recent weeks, Bill O'Reilly has accused liberal bloggers as being "no different" than the KKK or the Nazi, but this is the first time that a high profile Washington news editor at FOX has been caught in a deliberate and repeated attempt to equate the Democratic Party with terrorists.