Editor’s Note: Fox News is gearing up to push John McCain and Sarah Palin over the finish line and into the White House, which means taking ugly shots at Republican critics.

As Brent Budowsky notes in this guest essay, Fox News hosts found it amusing when one of their guests called MSNBC's new host Rachel Maddow a Lesbian:

Even by the low standards of the Republican News Network, a.k.a. Fox News, the attack on Rachel Maddow, as a "Lesbian Air America host," was a despicable new low.

Those words, an open appeal to bigotry and hate, said by an alleged media analyst named Tim Graham on Tuesday, were met with laughter and chortles by the Fox News team on air. This is sick and despicable stuff, even for Fox News.

Here is a message to Barack Obama: You need to spend more time fighting back against the lies and smears of a Swift Boat campaign more ugly than the campaign against John Kerry, and less time having sweet-talk meetings with Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes followed by professorial discourse with Bill O'Reilly.

This is war, Barack, and you had better fight back.

The sickness and dementia of a purported news network airing with smug laughs and happy chortles a naked appeal to hatred and bigotry in this attack on "a Lesbian Air America host" is a low that even a Republican cable organization like Fox should never stoop to.

Let’s see if the "Fox Democrats," such as Lanny Davis, Howard Wolfson and Susan Estrich, have the strength of principle to stand against this.

One of them – Lanny Davis – recently wrote about how proud he was that both parties nominated four great candidates.

Is this Fox Democrat proud the Republicans nominated Sarah Palin? Is this a Democrat, a real Democrat? A Democrat proud that Republicans nominated Sarah Palin? Huh?

Let’s see if Democrats can summon the steel and will and fight to answer the usual campaign of personal destruction and let’s see if Barack Obama can toughen up his game and play NFL Super Bowl football.

In the meantime, Fox News should be ashamed and embarrassed that they allow their shows to be used to attack "a Lesbian Air America host.”

Sick is sick. Despicable is despicable. And this is sick and despicable. And each and every Republican and Fox News Democrat should say so.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and to Rep. Bill Alexander, then the chief deputy whip of the House. A contributing editor to Fighting Dems News Service, he can be read in The Hill newspaper, where he is a columnist. He can be reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.

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