Even if you’ve never watched Fox News, you’ll know its hyper-right-wing proclamations on political issues should be taken with an artery-clogging slug of salt. But sometimes, Fox News pundits also share their views on pop culture, which is why the Red Hot Chili Peppers have just been branded the “worst band on the planet”. Anthony Kiedis and co. got off pretty lightly, though, compared to this lot.
‘Beyoncé causes unwanted teen pregnancies’
In 2014, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly suggested that Beyoncé’s ‘Partition’ video would cause unwanted teenage pregnancies. After telling viewers the video “glorifies having sex in the back of a limousine”, O’Reilly argued: “Girls look up to Beyoncé, particularly girls of colour. She’s an idol to them… I’m saying: Why on earth would this woman do that? Why would she do it when she knows the devastation that unwanted pregnancies – and fractured families – why would Beyoncé do that?” Queen Bey has yet to respond.
‘Rap music is killing religion’
Last year, O’Reilly claimed that there is a link between the rise of rap music and the decline of organised religion in the US. “There is no question that people of faith are being marginalised by a secular media and pernicious entertainment,” he said. “The rap industry, for example, often glorifies depraved behaviour. That sinks into the minds of some young people – the group that is most likely to reject religion.” Run The Jewels’ Killer Mike responded to O’Reilly with a classic clap-back: “He’s more full of shit than an out-house.”
‘Miley Cyrus gets depressed if not constantly given attention’
O’Reilly also offered a unique interpretation of the creative decisions behind Miley Cyrus’s 2013 VMAs performance – the one with the foam finger and the twerking and Robin Thicke. “She’s like a lot of women in showbusiness,” he reasoned. “If they don’t have attention every 10 seconds, they get depressed.” Okaaaay.
‘Kendrick Lamar incites violence’
When Kendrick Lamar performed ‘Alright’ while standing on top of a vandalised police car at the 2015 BET Awards, Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera claimed the rapper was inciting violence, arguing: “This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years.” Lamar responded by asking rhetorically: “How can you take a song that’s about hope and turn it into hatred?”
Muse are libertarians
Fox News’ Glenn Beck must have thought he was on safer ground when he praised Muse live on air in 2009. “These guys are brilliant, they know the time that we live in. They are libertarians from England,” he told viewers. “All of the lyrics are just dead on, on what’s coming our way.” However, Beck later claimed he had been asked to take back his support for the band, telling viewers: “I just got an email from representation of Muse. They would like me to retract my endorsement. My apologies to Muse for saying that I like them. I didn’t mean to destroy all their credibility and all their coolness. Let me just set the record straight. Muse – I hate them. It’s an awful album and you should never go out and buy it.”