NEW YORK — According to sources close to Fox News president Roger Ailes, “The Five” co-host Bob Beckel has received a substantial bonus for inflammatory, on-air remarks he recently made concerning Muslims. Beckel—who is promoted as a liberal commentator—will reportedly earn an extra $86 thousand for saying that construction of new mosques and visas given to Muslim students should be suspended until the Muslim world condemns jihadi violence.
Sources say Mr. Ailes was “thrilled to hear Bob stand up for American values,” by insinuating that all Muslims support terrorism, including this weekend’s attack on a mall in Kenya, which left scores of people dead. “Remarks like Beckel’s produce one of two reactions,” one Fox News producer said. “Either the viewer shouts in agreement or screams in disgust. Which is great, because either way, they keep watching.”
On Monday’s edition of “The Five,” Beckel said there should be “No more Muslim students coming here with visas, no more mosques being built here until you [Muslims] stand up and denounce what happened in the name of your prophet . . . The point is that the time has come for Muslims in this country and for other people around the world to stand up and be counted. If you can’t, you’re cowards.”
Beckel will receive his bonus despite the fact that many Muslim-American and foreign groups have already denounced the Kenyan attack; Fox News commentator contracts specifically state that bonuses “will not be dependent upon commentators’ statements having any basis in the factual, sane world,” and stipulate only that commentators will “provoke emotions via obtuse and/or xenophobic language on a nightly basis.”
Beckel’s colleague, Bill O’Reilly, said that Beckel went “above and beyond” on his show Monday. “He really deserves that bonus,” O’Reilly said. “People don’t realize how difficult and exhausting it is to constantly come up with fresh, pigheaded things to say on air.”