UPDATE: Bolling clarifies his remarks at the end of the show. See below.
The detention of Nakoula Bessaly Nakoula, the California filmmaker who produced an anti-Muhammad video that enraged anti-American mobs in the Middle East, aroused a national debate on the First Amendment.
On Monday’s broadcast of “The Five” on the Fox News Channel, co-panelist Eric Bolling said that act represented something else: President Barack Obama’s administration holding the Quran in higher esteem than the U.S. Constitution.
“I don’t want to cut you off — can we throw the picture up of the filmmaker again, where he is all in disguise and the cops are leading him out?” Bolling said. “To me, America changed. Someone emailed that picture — Mark Levin sent this to me to take a look at this. America changed at that moment. To use what is being called a flimsy ploy to bring a guy in for questioning proves that the Obama administration through all the appeasement and the apologizing answers to the Quran first and Constitution second. There is no reason for him to be brought in.”
That drew objections from Bolling’s colleague Bob Beckel, the show’s lone liberal voice, and led to the following exchange between Bolling and Beckel:
BECKEL: Come on that is just outrageous statement — even for you that’s outrageous statement. Of all the things you said and I love you, brother, but that is the most outrageous statement I’ve ever heard.
BOLLING: Why was he brought in?
BECKEL: He was brought in because he was being investigated for parole jumping.
GREG GUTFELD: Suddenly, they find that.
BECKEL: I agree, but I tell you one thing, if he had any sense, this is a guy who is apparently a Coptic Christian.
GUTFELD: You defended them.
BECKEL: That’s right, I have. But it does not mean that I would have suggested to him that they put together a film like this that was bound to incite an incite-able group of people.
At the end of yesterday’s “The Five,” Bolling said what he meant with his remarks was that instead of “appeasing the Muslims, he should worry about free speech first.”