Before ABC News on Sunday night described Charlton Heston as “polarizing” for his conservative views and CBS News dubbed him “controversial,” the Fox News Channel aired a obituary piece which impugned Heston as “infamous for his politics, including his belief that the Bill of Rights is built upon the bedrock of the Second Amendment.”
The MRC's Rich Noyes caught the characterization on Fox & Friends Weekend, at about 7:12 AM EDT Sunday morning, in a pre-packaged piece narrated by Bill McCuddy, though he was never identified or shown, possibly because he is no longer with FNC.
The Oxford dictionary defines “infamous” as “well known for some bad quality or deed” or “morally bad; shocking.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary: “Having a reputation of the worst kind: notoriously evil,” or “causing or bringing infamy: disgraceful.”
My Monday morning NewsBusters item, “Nets Remember Heston as 'Polarizing' and 'Controversial,'” recounted:
Remembering Charlton Heston, who died Saturday night in his Beverly Hills home at age 84, the ABC and CBS anchors on Sunday tarnished the actor's political activity on behalf of conservative causes, particularly his leadership of the NRA, as "polarizing" and "controversial." Dan Harris, anchor of ABC's World News, asserted: "As President of the National Rifle Association, he became one of the most-polarizing figures in American politics." CBS Evening News anchor Russ Mitchell declared: "Once the quintessential big screen hero, in his later years he drew as much attention for his controversial politics."
Those pro-gun rights views were certainly "controversial" to network journalists who disagreed with him and so hit him repeatedly from the left on the issue in 1998 and 2001 morning show interviews, especially Katie Couric....
From McCuddy's story aired on Sunday, April 6:
In his later years, Heston was known for his Republican views, but when he first became politically active, he voted Democratic -- for Kennedy and then Johnson. He was also an early supporter of civil rights, and marched on Washington....
As famous as he was for his film roles, he became infamous for his politics, including his belief that the Bill of Rights is built upon the bedrock of the Second Amendment, and in 1998 began his long presidency of the National Rifle Association. It was also during this time that he underwent treatment for prostate cancer.