UPDATE: Bob Beckel offered a semi-apology Monday evening to those who were offended by his racial slur. He promised to continue to speak out against China and “China apologists.”
Congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and other lawmakers are calling on Fox News to fire Bob Beckel after the talking head called “Chinamen” the single biggest threat to national security.
“I am outraged and disgusted by the use of the word ‘Chinamen’ and his other racist and xenophobic comments,” Honda said in a statement. “I agree with State Senator Ted Lieu, Campbell Councilmember Evan Low and everyone else who has called on Fox News to fire Beckel. The ignorance and hatred in his comments are repugnant. The fact that he has yet to apologize for these comments is inexcusable. As the founder of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, I know that words hurt, and slurs are used to intimidate. Fox News needs to do the right thing and fire Bob Beckel.”
Beckel dropped the racial slur last week during an episode of The Five. He was commenting on a New York Times article about Chinese hackers breaching computer networks of a U.S. government agency.
“As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen—Chinese people—how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us,” Beckel blustered.
The other panelists cringed at the comment.
“This is going to end up on ‘The Soup,’” one remarked.
The incident wasn’t Beckel’s first on-air slur against Asians. Last year he said on the show that his “eyes blew up” after a swim and “it made me look Oriental.”
“I am one of those ‘Chinamen’ with ‘Oriental’ eyes that immigrated to America and majored in computer science,” Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said. “We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by Fox News host Bob Beckel. His comments have no place in America, and this is at least the second time he has used racial slurs. He must resign immediately.”
Glenn Beck—no stranger to stepping in it—mocked the media’s outrage at Beckel’s comments.
“You’re shocked by anything Bob Beckel might say?” he said on his show, referring mainly to a Huffington Post intern’s tweet expressing alarm.
Beckel has a lengthy rap sheet of bigoted gaffes.
In August 2012, he called Jewish Americans who took part in a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Israel “a bunch of diamond merchants we don’t know the names of.”
A couple months later, while weighing in on San Francisco’s public nudity ban, Beckel speculated that most nudists, when they were children, were “probably gang-banged. I don’t know!”
He then laughed, adding, “They were probably sexually assaulted. I don’t know!”
By Beckel’s standards, one could basically get away with saying anything by simply adding “I don’t know.”
For example: Bob Beckel is a racist waste of space. I don’t know! (Except we do know.)
He’s also downplayed the problem of college campus rape.
Fox News announced that Beckel will address his “Chinamen” comment in tonight’s edition of The Five.