Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fox News' Progressive Attitudes on Race

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

If there's anything Fox News loves more than liberals, it's black liberals, not to mention African-Americans in general. The same goes for gays, Muslims, and all God's Children™. Overall, the Fox News crew are a credit to their... profession.

Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars posted on some news from New York Times blog The Caucus on 3/29/07:

Fox News Channel is announcing today that it has cut a deal with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute to sponsor two debates, one with Democrats and another with Republicans in the 2008 presidential race.

As many of you might remember, Nevada Democrats and Majority Senate Leader Harry Reid were slammed by liberal blogs for agreeing to a Democratic debate with Fox News a few weeks ago, and backed out of the deal under pressure. Liberal activists complained that Fox News was slanted toward Republicans, would distort the debate, and should be shunned. The breakpoint occurred when Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, in a joke at an an awards dinner, poked fun at President Bush for confusing Senator Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden. (Mr. Obama later said he didn’t take offense, but many in the blogosphere did.)

As Crooks and Liars notes, the group Color for Change is not happy with this development, and has issued a statement:

"The CBC Institute's decision is shamefully out of step with most Black voters, and we will continue to push on the CBC Institute to drop this deal." Rucker goes on to say, "Every presidential candidate now must decide whether to legitimize Fox - a network that calls Black churches a cult, implies that Senator Barack Obama is a terrorist, and uses the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to call Black leaders ‘racist.' We will be launching a petition at www.ColorofChange.org asking presidential candidates to attend the CBC Institute's CNN debate and reject the Fox debate."

Here's that petiton.

Blue Herald covered several of these developments previously (Here's the BH Fox News category). Predictably, the Republican pundits accused the Democrats of being cowards. But, as we noted in Rightwing Cartoon Watch #16:

Yeah, we all know how John McCain and George W. Bush have lined up to be interviewed by The Nation, Air America, and Keith Olbermann on Countdown.

In "Playing to the Freepers," Digby examines the crackerjack coverage Fox News provided for a 2003 Democrat debate. In "Legitimate Beef," Digby did a nice summing up and linked many of the best pieces on the defeat of the debate proposal, including this piece by Matt Stoller:

We argued that Fox News is not a news channel, but a propaganda outlet that regularly distorts, spins, and falsifies information. Second, Fox News is heavily influenced or even controlled by the Republican Party itself. As such, we believe that Fox News on the whole functions as a surrogate operation for the GOP. Treating Fox as a legitimate news channel extends the Republican Party’s ability to swift-boat and discredit our candidates. In other words, Fox News is a direct pipeline of misinformation from the GOP leadership into the traditional press.

Thankfully, Fox News immediately proved our point with a press release after the debate cancellation that made the following remarkable claim: "News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic caucus which appears to be controlled by radical, fringe, out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party."

We luv you guys, too. Good riddance.

In case you missed it, Jurassic Pork assembled a great collection of Fox News screenshots, showing their fantastic, unbiased reporting (previously featured in The Bullshit Matrix).

Still, there's a special love for African-Americans over at Fox News. Thanks to Jesus' General for the tip — here's "Fox Attacks — Black America":

Fox Attacks is maintained by Robert Greenwald, who made the invaluable documentary Outfoxed.

Yup, fair, balanced, enlightened, and progressive on racial attitudes, that Fox News! Of course, what can one expect from people who blithely reveal their homophobia while running with a manufactured scandal on Hillary Clinton's accent? (A scandal further debunked in RWCW #16.) Why not question why no major Republican presidential candidates or politicians saw fit to celebrate the civil rights movement, as did Obama and Hillary Clinton?

As Fox Attacks shows, it's not as if bigotry and bias on Fox News comes down to one isolated incident. Then there's how they handled Bill Bennett's controversial comments back in Fall 2005 (covered here and here). You can always count on Brit Hume to thunder and bully his way about racial issues, because, as we've noted several times before, remember, the problem is not racism, it’s the damn left making a big deal out of it. Or as we also noted, in regards to Hume and Bennett:

I have to say, nothing eases my mind more than a rich, middle-aged white man assuring me that the comments of another rich, middle-aged white man were not in fact racist. Pass another wine cooler and the clam dip.

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