Friday Night Fights III: Laura Ingraham Takes on Code Pink Co-Founder Medea Benjamin

After her stunning knockout of Fox News’s resident liberal Juan Williams last Friday night, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham was looking to defend her title this Friday against Medea Benjamin. For those unfamiliar, Benjamin is the co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink who heckled visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki during his address to Congress Wednesday (hat tip and video courtesy of Ms. Underestimated and Expose the Left).

Ingraham (once again guest-hosting the "O'Reilly Factor") was clearly ready for this one, as she stormed into the ring in the first round looking for a quick knockout. Such an opportunity presented itself when Benjamin actually said that the reason she was heckling the Prime Minister was because he refused to meet with her organization while in America. Ingraham pounced with a fury of rights and lefts:

“Are you kidding me?"

“You actually thought you were going to meet with the prime minister of Iraq?”

“Why should he meet with Code Pink?”

That was just the beginning, for when Benjamin jabbed with a statement that “we represent now, the majority voice in the United States,” Ingraham moved in like an angered Max Baer:

“Do you think that the majority of Americans see what you guys did this week on Capitol Hill, and are standing up going, yes, be rude to the Iraqi prime minister. Yes, be really rude and act like you're about 12 years old when the U.N. ambassador, who's trying to represent our country's interest is up on Capitol Hill testifying? You think people really think you guys are cool for doing that?”

Benjamin weakly parried, “The Iraqi prime minister was not representing the majority view of Iraqis,” to which Ingraham pounced: “Oh, so not only do you represent the majority view of Americans, you also actually represent the majority view of Iraqis? That's pretty cool.”

Round one clearly went to Ingraham. But, the best was yet to come as the champion set up her opponent nicely at the start of round two with the following exchange:

INGRAHAM: Number one, are you a human rights activist?

BENJAMIN: Yes.

INGRAHAM: What do you think would happen to you if you were trying to organize the group that you have now, let's say in Saddam's Iraq or in Iran today? What do you think would happen to you?

BENJAMIN: You'd probably be in jail if I was lucky and maybe dead if I wasn't.

Talk about walking into a punch. Now that Ingraham had her opponent perfectly set up, the champ moved in for the kill:

INGRAHAM: So then you would agree, would you not, that the current situation in Iraq, as difficult as it is, is much better for the cause that you say that you represent, which is human rights?

BENJAMIN: I fought against Saddam Hussein when Donald Rumsfeld was there shaking hands and saying this is a guy we can work with. I'm against all dictatorships. I'm against all human rights violations.

INGRAHAM: Now that's a John Lennon song. That's not a plan.

Eight, nine, ten...Winner, and still champion, Laura Ingraham. What follows is a full transcript of this segment, although this fracas can only be truly appreciated by watching the video.

INGRAHAM: And in the "personal story" segment tonight, twice this week, members of the anti-war group Code Pink have interrupted events on Capitol Hill by heckling politicians. There was this at Ambassador John Bolton's confirmation hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I strongly oppose the nomination of this man, John Bolton, as U.N. ambassador. He is a discredit to the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: And this during the Iraqi prime minister's speech to Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring them all down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chair notes the disturbance in the gallery. The sergeant in arms will secure order by removing those engaging in disruption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: And with us now is one of the culprits. Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Code Pink, who was charged with disruption of Congress. You don't have any leg irons on you or handcuffs, or anything? They sprung you.

MEDEA BENJAMIN, CO-FOUNDER OF CODE PINK: That's right. And I must say you look very pretty in pink, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Well, I would like to say that I was wearing it for you, but I just -- it was only the thing in my closet. OK, here's my question to you. How does heckling help the cause of human rights? I would assume you would agree that you're a human rights activist, right?

BENJAMIN: Yes. I don't like the word `heckling'. I would say.

INGRAHAM: That's what you were doing.

BENJAMIN: Speaking -- well, that's the world you use, but we saying that we're speaking up for the people who weren't being heard.

We tried through many means to meet with the prime minister. We called his office before he came. We.

INGRAHAM: Are you kidding me?

BENJAMIN: Oh, no, I'm serious.

INGRAHAM: You actually thought you were going to meet with the prime minister of Iraq?

BENJAMIN: We came very close. We spoke to the ambassador three times. And he said he got us a meeting. And then they never showed up for it. So we didn't have a chance. He spoke to George Bush. He spoke to Congress.

INGRAHAM: Why should he meet with Code Pink?

BENJAMIN: Just because we represent now, the majority voice in the United States.

INGRAHAM: How many - oh, so Code Pink speaks to the majority of Americans?

(CROSSTALK)

BENJAMIN: (INAUDIBLE) of The New York Times, CBS?

INGRAHAM: Do you think that the majority of Americans see what you guys did this week on Capitol Hill, and are standing up going, yes, be rude to the Iraqi prime minister. Yes, be really rude and act like you're about 12 years old when the U.N. ambassador, who's trying to represent our country's interest is up on Capitol Hill testifying? You think people really think you guys are cool for doing that?

BENJAMIN: Well, I tell you, we get hundreds and hundreds of emails.

INGRAHAM: Hundreds?

BENJAMIN: .and calls saying thank you so much for standing up to us.

INGRAHAM: No.

BENJAMIN: But Laura, let me just say one thing. The Iraqi prime minister was not representing the majority view of Iraqis.

INGRAHAM: Oh, so not only do you represent the majority view of Americans, you also actually represent the majority view of Iraqis? That's pretty cool.

BENJAMIN: Well, 87 percent of Iraqis want a timetable for withdrawals.

INGRAHAM: Yes, yes. Well, I've seen those polls.

BENJAMIN: And the majority of Americans want it.

INGRAHAM: I have a couple questions for you.

BENJAMIN: OK.

INGRAHAM: Number one, are you a human rights activist?

BENJAMIN: Yes.

INGRAHAM: What do you think would happen to you if you were trying to organize the group that you have now, let's say in Saddam's Iraq or in Iran today? What do you think would happen to you?

BENJAMIN: You'd probably be in jail if I was lucky and maybe dead if I wasn't.

INGRAHAM: So then you would agree, would you not, that the current situation in Iraq, as difficult as it is, is much better for the cause that you say that you represent, which is human rights?

BENJAMIN: I fought against Saddam Hussein when Donald Rumsfeld was there shaking hands and saying this is a guy we can work with. I'm against all dictatorships. I'm against all human rights violations.

INGRAHAM: Now that's a John Lennon song. That's not a plan. What's the plan to keep America safe today?

BENJAMIN: The plan to keep America safe, well let's start with Iraq. In Iraq, there is a reconciliation plan that the Iraqis have come up with. And we are saying let's support the Iraqi, Sunni, Shia, Kurds.

INGRAHAM: Right.

BENJAMIN: .who are trying to bring reconciliation.

INGRAHAM: And that's what prime minister Maliki said that he was actually pursuing, but you think he's not really doing that.

BENJAMIN: He tried to pursue it. In fact, he was about to announce it, but it included one thing, Laura, that George Bush forced him to take out. And that was a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops. President of Iraq, vice president of Iraq.

INGRAHAM: You think that's a good message for the terrorists today?

BENJAMIN: They all said we want a timetable. Well, I think the only way out of Iraq is that people sit down and start negotiating.

INGRAHAM: Yes, this is my question to you. If you - you live in a -- let's say you live in a dangerous neighborhood, and you had an alarm system on your house, would you ever advertise a decision that you were making to do away with your alarm company's monitoring of your house? Wouldn't that be signaling to criminals, come in, take what you want? Would you do that?

BENJAMIN: And if you were about to go off the cliff, which is what George Bush is doing to us in Iraq.

INGRAHAM: You see my point.

BENJAMIN: .in this incredible quagmire, wouldn't you stop and say hey, let's sit down. We should never have invaded Iraq.

INGRAHAM: OK.

BENJAMIN: They do not threaten us. We should not be there. And the Iraqis don't want us to be there. They have to come up with a solution.

INGRAHAM: Who's responsible today for women in Afghanistan being allowed to vote? People being allowed to freely choose among lots of different candidates for the Iraqi parliament? Who's responsible for that?

BENJAMIN: Well, I think in the case of Afghanistan, it's positive that women have the right to vote, but there is still a.

INGRAHAM: You don't want to give George Bush credit for anything, do you? You don't want to give him credit for Afghanistan, having the vision, or Iraq?

BENJAMIN: Are we supposed to go around the world freeing people? Or are we supposed to find who attacked us on 9/11? We let Usama bin Laden go. And instead, we invaded the wrong country, Iraq. And we should get out of there.

INGRAHAM: I think you should try to give those talking points on a military base in Iraq and see how far you get. But we appreciate you - you're stand up to come in and talk to us. I'm glad you're out of jail.
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.