Chinese Media Blast Fox News Host Bob Beckel Over 'Chinamen' Rant
There is growing pressure on Fox News Channel to fire The Five co-host Bob Beckel over inflammatory comments he made about Chinese people during a July 10 taping of the show, including using the racially charged term "Chinamen."
Responding to a report that Chinese hackers had attacked U.S. government databases, Beckel, a former Democratic Party operative, went on a rant, saying: "Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S. Do you know what we just did? As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen, uh, Chinese people, how to do computers, and then they go back to China and hack us.”
In China, Beckel's anti-Chinese tirade spread through social media sites like wildfire, with comments on Sina Weibo particularly strong. One Weibo user said: “Of course it’s understandable that a swine in a pig sty would say swine words.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV aired the Beckel clip and reposted it on its Weibo account. Within hours the post had been shared over a thousand times and had received thousands of comments. The Beckel story was also picked up by other prominent Chinese news outlets including Global Times, 163.com, as well as Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, which said Beckel's comment showed that "racial discrimination still exists among some 'white men'."
Chinese-American groups in the U.S., as well as politicians from areas with significant Chinese-American populations, have called on Fox News to fire Beckel for the offense caused. Albert Wang, Bay Area chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association said: "Chinese-Americans play a pivotal role in the development of U.S. advanced technology, making up half of Silicon Valley's scientists and engineers. They were deeply hurt by Beckel's words." California State Senator Ted Lieu was forthright in his statement, calling on Beckel to "resign immediately."
Beckel attempted to make an apology for his use of the term 'Chinamen' on the Monday edition of The Five but reiterated his stance that the Chinese government was a threat to U.S. national security.
Beckel has been a contributor on Fox's The Five since it's debut in June 2011 and a frequent source of controversy. This is not the first time he has used racial slurs. In August 2011, Beckel caused a stir when he called NFL quarterback Michael Vick a "redneck" and in his attempts to backtrack on any racial connotations said: "When I talk about rednecks; blacks are rednecks, whites are rednecks, I was a redneck, Chinamen are rednecks.”
The backlash against Beckel in China is reminiscent of the recent outrage that engulfed ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! over a skit it aired involving a child suggesting that "killing everyone in China" was a effective solution to the U.S. government's debt problem. The episode lead to street protests from Chinese-American groups and a high-level Chinese government official calling on ABC to fire Kimmel. Kimmel apologized for the incident on several occasions.