California politicians call for Fox News host to resign over slur

Co-host Bob Beckel on FOX News' 'The Five' at FOX Studios on February 26, 2014 in New York City.

BERKELEY Calif. (Reuters) - Two California politicians have called for a host of Fox News Channel's "The Five" program to resign, saying Bob Beckel's use of the term "Chinamen" was racist.

The pundit is facing criticism for using the word on air last week as well as for suggesting Chinese computer science students come to study in the United States only to pose a security threat.

Judy Chu, a Democratic U.S. congresswoman from California, said on Monday she was deeply offended and that Beckel should go immediately.

"He condemns an entire ethnic group as being threats to national security and uses racial slurs while doing so," Chu said in a statement. "The implications go far beyond the Chinese community by promoting a culture of intolerance that has no place in our society."

Fox News Channel said Beckel's comments will be addressed on Monday night's episode of "The Five" and noted that they were made by him and not the network or the show at large.

A California state senator on Saturday called on Beckel to resign. Ted Lieu, who represents suburban Los Angeles and is running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat, called himself "one of those 'Chinamen' with 'Oriental' eyes" who immigrated to the United States and majored in computer science.

"I also served on active duty in the United States Air Force and continue to serve my country in the Reserves," Lieu said.

"Mr. Beckel's comments are more than just racist and stupid. His ignorant views are dangerous."

Beckel also told his co-hosts that Americans should be worried about Chinese people because "there's billions of them. All they do is hack into our stuff. They send us cheap toys, all of which have lead in them so they kill the kids."

A liberal political pundit working for a conservative-leaning news network, Beckel last year said on "The Five" that his eyes look "oriental" after he swims.

An agent for Beckel did not immediately return calls for comment.

(Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee; Editing by Daniel Wallis amd Will Dunham)