Current TV host John Fugelsang lambasted Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and contributor Lisa Daftari for their segment linking the Al Jazeera America network with terrorist "sleeper cells" in Detroit.
"How can someone so smart and so pretty have a show that's so stupid and so ugly?" Fugelsang said on Thursday, without acknowledging the irony of criticizing the two women's apparent Islamophobia by equating their looks with their intelligence. "But if this little bit of TV gold illustrates something, it's why Fox News is truly a mecca for people who hate Mecca."
Kelly and Daftari's commentary came not long after an Islamophobic attack by Bill O'Reilly on Al Jazeera following its acquisition of Current in January 2013. But Fugelsang did point out that he does not think that the people running Fox News are bigots.
"They're businesspeople," Fugelsang said. "Businesspeople who pay on-camera people to smear Muslim people so bigoted viewing people can please the ratings people. Stupid talk for stupid racists by very smart executives. And if that's the kind of programming Fox wants, I get it. I'm a capitalist. But I have a Muslim cousin, a Jewish sister-in-law, an atheist brother and an ex-nun mother. So I don't get to hate on anybody."
While Daftari complained about "Qatari petro-dollars" backing Al Jazeera, Fugelsang pointed out that oil money is also behind Fox News in a big way, in the form of the network's second-largest shareholder, Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.
"I gotta say, I love it when the people who brought us George W. Bush warn us of the evils of oil money," he quipped.
"During the beginning of the so-called war on terror, they offered the U.S. and its allies use of their air base, and America currently has three bases there," Fugelsang noted. "President George Bush visited Qatar in 2003 — or, if you're Megyn Kelly, infiltrated it."
Fugelsang also pushed back on Daftari's statement that "sleeper cells" had been detected in Detroit, an apparent reference to a 2001 case that ultimately came apart under allegations of misconduct by prosecutors.
"It's true, as [Daftari] just pointed out, that there are many Muslims in the state of Michigan," he said. "They're not sleeper cells. They're hardworking people who came to America to escape oppression and seek a better life — even if that life includes being slapped in the face by ignorant race-baiting McCarthyite neo-cons like Ms. Daftari on Fox News."
Watch Fugelsang's commentary, aired Thursday night on Current, below.