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10/07/2015 01:14 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2017

19 Of Fox News' Most Ridiculous Moments

The good, the bad and the downright offensive.

Fox News turns 19 this Wednesday, and what a 19 years it’s been.

Since launching on Oct. 7, 1996, Fox has grown into a reliable ratings juggernaut among cable news stations by elevating bombastic personalities, keeping its coverage unabashedly right-leaning and frequently stoking conservative fears. 

To commemorate the anniversary of America’s most controversial cable network, we’ve compiled some of the most outlandish, offensive and off-putting moments Fox News has ever aired. 

 

  • 1 Anchor Asks Why A Muslim Would Write About Christianity
    "You're a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" Fox's <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/video
    New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
    "You're a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" Fox's Lauren Green asked scholar and author Reza Aslan during a 2013 interview.

    Face, meet palm.
  • 2 'Terrorist Fist Jab'
    In June 2008, Fox News ran a segment analyzing Barack and Michelle Obama bumping fists after a campaign rally. 

    The whole thing is ridiculous -- "This fist thump, is that sort of a signal that young people get?" anchor E.D. Hill asked at one point -- but the worst moment came as Hill teased the segment.

    "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?" she said. "The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently."

    Hill later apologized for the remark.
  • 3 Poverty Isn't That Bad, Because Poor People Have Fridges
    A 2011 "Your World with Neil Cavuto" segment based on a Heritage Foundation study posited that the definition of poverty has changed, because most poor households own "modern conveniences" like refrigerators, air conditioners and microwaves.

    The clip, with its repeated use of scare quotes around the word "poor" and its suggestion that people below the poverty line actually have it pretty good, was absurd enough to merit a Stephen Colbert takedown.
  • 4 Karl Rove Won't Accept Obama Winning Ohio
    Karl Rove was not pleased when Fox's analysts called Ohio for Obama in 2012, securing the president's victory over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. 

    The GOP strategist challenged the call, repeatedly claiming the "decision desk" had prematurely declared victory for Obama. The standoff between Rove and the Fox analysts culminated with Megyn Kelly going to the decision room herself, a camera trailing her as she walked down the hallway.
  • 5 Megyn Kelly To Kids: Santa Is Definitely White
    "For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we're just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids."
  • 6 Bill O'Reilly Tells Son Of 9/11 Victim To 'Shut Up'
    In 2003, Bill O'Reilly interviewed Jeremy Glick, whose father was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. The conversation almost immediately grew heated as O'Reilly challenged Glick's anti-war stance, while Glick accused O'Reilly of using 9/11 to advance his own agenda.

    "You evoke 9/11 to rationalize everything from domestic plunder to imperialistic aggression worldwide," Glick said. 

    "I've done more for the 9/11 families by their own admission," O'Reilly replied. "I've done more for them than you will ever hope to do, so you keep your mouth shut."

    The famously temperamental host grew increasingly angry, yelling over Glick through the remainder of the interview. 

    "Shut up. Shut up," O'Reilly said. "Cut his mic. I'm not going to dress you down anymore, out of respect for your father."
  • 7 'Fox & Friends' Perpetuates Dumb, False Pirate Meeting Story
    In 2012, Obama's re-election campaign tweeted an old photo of the president holding court with a "pirate" in the Oval Office in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day. (The photo was part of a joke from the 2009 White House Correspondents' Dinner.)

    Despite factual errors in the timeline, the Drudge Report seized on the photo and suggested that Obama had met with the pirate instead of with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in the United States to attend a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. 

    "Fox & Friends" kept the story alive, repeatedly discussing the nonexistent controversy. 

    "So much for the Middle East peace," said "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy.
  • 8 'When Was The Last Time You Heard About A Rape On Campus?'
    When Bob Beckel argued in 2013 that rape doesn't really happen on college campuses, it was certainly a low point -- his colleagues on "The Five" appeared stunned by his remarks and shut him down. But the network's poor coverage of the issue has continued. In late 2014 and 2015, as the University of Virginia/Rolling Stone controversy unfolded, Andrea Tantaros claimed that media scrutiny of sexual assault was creating a "war on boys." A few weeks later, Brit Hume questioned the veracity of campus rape statistics and claimed that liberals have created an "almost entirely false narrative" around the issue.
  • 9 Glenn Beck's Over-The-Top Theatrics
    Glenn Beck's flair for the dramatic was front and center on his Fox News show, which ran from 2009 to 2011. Subtlety had no place amid Beck's antics, which included pretending to douse an actor in gasoline, throwing a fake frog into boiling water, frantically scrawling on his chalkboard and, of course, organizing the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, D.C.
  • 10 'Obama's Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs'
    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/05/fox-nation-calls-obama-bi_n_919487.html" target="_blank">Sigh</a>.
    Fox Nation
  • 11 O'Reilly's 'Goat Marriage' Fixation
    For years, O'Reilly claimed that legalizing gay marriage would open the door to interspecies nuptials. Among the animals he speculated that humans might marry: goats, ducks, dolphins and turtles. 

    The anchor appears to have shifted his stance since then, saying in 2013 that he "doesn't feel strongly" about same-sex marriage.
  • 12 'Campaign Cowboys' Take Over Election Coverage
    Things get weird on Fox late at night.
  • 13 Annual Hysteria Over The 'War On Christmas'
    According to Politico, "The O'Reilly Factor" first aired a segment on the supposed liberal campaign against Yuletide in December 2004. Since then, the network has made it an annual tradition to rail against Festivus and the expression "happy holidays."
  • 14 Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin's Hoodie Was Responsible For His Death
    "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was," Rivera said in 2012 after Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, an unarmed black teenager. "Leave the hoodie home."
  • 15 Andrea Tantaros Wants To Try The Food Stamp Diet
    During a 2012 discussion about food stamps on Fox Business, Tantaros was asked how she would adapt to a food budget of just $133 a month.

    "I should try it, because do you know how fabulous I’d look?" she said. "I'd be so skinny. I mean, the camera adds 10 pounds, it really does. I'd be looking great."
  • 16 Television And Movies Are Indoctrinating Our Children!
    Nothing gets Fox riled up quite like the idea of liberal Hollywood brainwashing children via television and movies. In the past few years, the network has claimed that SpongeBob is pushing a global warming agenda, "The Lorax" is selling green energy policies, Mr. Rogers is "evil" for telling children they're special and "Frozen" is threatening masculinity.
  • 17 O'Reilly's Team Follows Reporter On Vacation
    In 2009, HuffPost's own Amanda Terkel, then a reporter for ThinkProgress, was followed and ambushed by an "O'Reilly Factor" producer while she was on vacation.

    Read Terkel's account of the incident here.
  • 18 Greg Gutfeld Has Thoughts On Fossil Fuel
    "Isn't <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/23/greg-gutfeld-dinosaur_n_5870896.html" target="_blank">fossil fuels</
    Roy Rochlin via Getty Images
    "Isn't fossil fuels the ultimate renewable energy? It's renewed once. It used to be a dinosaur. Now it's fuel. How is that not renewable?"
  • 19 Male Pundits Freak Out Over Women Being Primary Breadwinners
    During a Fox Business segment in 2013, male Fox personalities Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson and Juan Williams expressed concern over a study about women who are the primary earners in their households. Erickson argued that "the male typically is the dominant role" in nature and that it was "anti-science" to claim otherwise.

    Megyn Kelly later tore into her male colleagues for their remarks. 

    "What makes you dominant and me submissive and who died and makes you scientist-in-chief?” she said to Erickson, according to ThinkProgress.
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