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Mark Levin, host of “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Fox News, speaks during the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., Saturday, November 6, 2021.
The White House denounced Fox News on Friday, accusing the right-wing network of “standing up in the name of hatred” after one of its hosts attacked the Jewish heritage of two CNN anchors over their coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas.
“Not only does Fox News align with those who fan the flames of hatred, but Fox pays their salaries,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a scathing statement, marking the second time this week that the Biden administration publicly condemned the network for its hosts’ comments.
The rebuke came in response to Mark Levin, a right-wing personality and Fox News weekend host, who raged against CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper in recent days as they ranted on his talk show. nationally syndicated radio station.
Levin falsely claimed that Blitzer’s parents “were not victims, in one way or another, of the Holocaust.” In fact, Blitzer’s parents were survivors of Nazi-era concentration camps, and all four of his grandparents were murdered during the Holocaust. Levin added that he thought CNN was “filled with self-hating Jews.”
In separate comments, Levin also attacked Tapper as a “self-hating Jew” and said he was “a propagandist for the enemy.”
CNN on Thursday evening condemned the comments as “extremely misinformed, inappropriate and shameful,” and said Levin’s “anti-Semitic rhetoric is dangerous, offensive and should be universally denounced.”
The White House added its rebuke to Fox News on Friday.
“Lying to insult the pain families endured during the Holocaust has absolutely no place in America. None,” Bates said. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time in recent months that a Fox News host has made sickening remarks about the Holocaust. »
“Furthermore, this isn’t even the first time this week that a Fox host has chosen to abuse their platform and spread hate,” Bates continued, referring to Islamophobic remarks made by the Fox host. prime time Jesse Watters on Arab Americans and the entire Muslim world.
“Even after the heartbreaking murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian American child and a surge in violence against Muslims and Arab Americans two days ago, Jesse Watters made vile comments that attack the dignity of all Americans , saying he was “done” with the Arabs. Americans and Muslims,” Bates added.
A Fox News spokesperson had no immediate comment.
But Levin stood by his comments Thursday evening while responding to CNN’s condemnation of his remarks.
“My anti-Semitic rhetoric? That’s why I despise these people and you should too,” Levin said on his radio show. “They think they’re going to intimidate me?” They think they’re going to silence me?
Levin went on to say that CNN “is one of the most pro-Hamas media outlets in the country.” CNN has repeatedly described Hamas as a terrorist organization and the channel has – through on-the-ground interviews, digital reporting and on-air reporting – spent considerable time highlighting the horror that unfolded during the group’s attack on Israel last month.
Levin also attacked CNN anchor Poppy Harlow, saying she was “giving aid and comfort” to Hamas by asking Democratic Senator Dick Durbin whether a humanitarian ceasefire should be implemented.
In recent months, the White House has adopted an aggressive stance toward Fox News, denouncing some of the extremist rhetoric made by the channel’s hosts.
In July, the White House condemned comments about the Holocaust made by host Greg Gutfeld, calling them a “horrible, dangerous and extreme lie” that “insults the memory of the millions of people who suffered from the evils” committed by the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. diet.
And earlier this week, the White House denounced the comments made by Watters, on which Fox News remained silent.