Fox News Apologizes After Hillary Clinton Compared to 'Herpes' On-Air


There is a growing sentiment among many conservatives that the once reliably right-leaning Fox News Channel has been increasingly moving not just to the center, but even a bit toward the left, now more closely resembling a less biased version of CNN or MSNBC instead of standing apart ideologically.

Unfortunately for the network’s diminishing reputation among conservatives, Fox News has done little to push back against that narrative, and instead seems only to keep offering up evidence which supports it.

The latest such example involved two Fox News hosts issuing on-air apologies to viewers and failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after a conservative guest made an ill-advised and admittedly inappropriate on-air joke which compared Clinton to a sexually transmitted disease.

The Washington Examiner reported that the apologetic Fox News hosts were Rick Leventhal and Arthel Neville, who felt compelled to issue an apology following the controversial remark from Turning Point USA’s Director of Spanish Engagement Anna Paulina.

Paulina was brought on to engage in a debate with Democratic strategist Doug Schoen — moderated by Leventhal — about the continuing talk that Clinton should be further investigated for her use of private email to conduct classified government business, among other things.

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Leventhal had noted that he was “amazed” that Clinton still commanded so much media coverage, despite everything else going on around the world, to which Paulina jokingly replied, “She won’t go away. She’s like herpes.”

A visibly stunned Leventhal said, “Um, OK, that’s news that we are breaking here … Not appropriate.”

The split shot that included Paulina was quickly dropped from the screen and Leventhal resumed speaking with Schoen for a moment prior to offering up an apology to viewers and the remaining guest.

“We’re going to wrap this segment a little early, Doug, because of some of the language used in the segment and we apologize to our viewers for that,” said Leventhal.

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A brief moment later, it was Neville’s turn to issue an apology for the offensive joke uttered on-air by Paulina. Neville said, “We want to reiterate that we do not condone the language that Anna Paulina just displayed here, and we apologize to Secretary Clinton for that. Fox News does not condone her sentiment.”

You can watch parts of the segment — which has been edited down and condensed — right here:

To be sure, Paulina’s joke comparing Hillary Clinton to the sexually transmitted disease that never truly goes away — herpes — was disgusting and unnecessary and inappropriate for the discussion during a straight news segment in the middle of the day.

On a more opinionated segment later in the evening, or as part of the more comedic programming on the weekend … maybe it would have be slightly more acceptable … but certainly not in the middle of the day.

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That said, while it was entirely understandable for Paulina to be immediately removed from the air — and even for the hosts to apologize to viewers for what they had heard her say — the additional apology extended to Clinton herself by Neville, obviously designed to distance the network from the remarks of the guest, seemed just as unnecessary as the original comment that precipitated the apology.

Meanwhile, viewers of all the major networks — from broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, to cable news heavyweights CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — routinely hear guests, and sometimes even hosts, make similarly disgusting and inappropriate and unnecessary remarks about President Donald Trump.

Those guests and hosts, however, are rarely removed immediately from the air or publicly admonished for their commentary, and the president most assuredly is never issued an apology like Clinton just received.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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