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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exposed: Fox News' long history of race-baiting

Media Matters is on the case.  They are recording and exposing Fox News for what it is -- racist propaganda.  By facilitating and amplifying Breitbart's libel against Shirley Sherrod, they have exposed themselves and left themselves vulnerable.  Fox News claims that the White House and the NAACP are what made the story a story by the dismissal of Mrs Sherrod.  It was Fox Nation, the Web site extension of Fox News, that broke the story on the Web.  It was Fox Nation that was revving up the ratings for a lead up to Bill OReilly's 8:00p show.  It was the news bureau that broke this story causing the unfortunate reaction from the NAACP and the Administration.  Breitbart's false charge against Mrs Sherrod was a lie that fit Fox News narrative of spreading white resentment.  The best resource in exposing Fox News propaganda machine is Media Matters.  It was Media Matters that exposed Fox's "Willie Hortonization of Obama."  The key on air players and detail are discussed in the full article.  RGN

Fox News' long history of race-baiting
July 27, 2010 5:34 am ET

Howard Dean and Joan Walsh recently called out Fox News, criticizing what they called its "racist" handling of the deceptively edited Shirley Sherrod video clip. Indeed, Fox News and its personalities have a long history of aggressive race-baiting and racially charged commentary.

Walsh, Dean describe Fox as "racist," highlight Sherrod, New Black Panthers coverage
Howard Dean: Fox acted "absolutely racist." In a July 25 appearance on Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean told host Chris Wallace: "Let's just be blunt about this. I don't think Newt Gingrich is a racist, and you're certainly not a racist, but I think Fox News did something that was absolutely racist. They took a -- they had an obligation to find out what was really in the [Sherrod] clip. They have been pushing a theme of black racism with this phony Black Panther crap and this [Sherrod] business and [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor and all this other stuff."

Walsh: "It's true" that Sherrod is a victim of Fox racism. On the July 25 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Walsh, editor in chief, stated of Sherrod: "I'm not giving her a pass, but I think the idea that she shouldn't be able to say Fox or Breitbart is racist is preposterous. She gets to say that because it's true, and because, from her vantage point, it's especially true."

Walsh describes "Fox News's 50-state Southern strategy." In a July 25 post, Walsh noted that Fox News is hyping "one 'scary black people' and 'Obama's a racist' story after another" and wrote: "Fox News has, sadly, become the purveyor of a 50-state 'Southern strategy,' the plan perfected by Richard Nixon to use race to scare Southern Democrats into becoming Republicans by insisting the other party wasn't merely trying to fight racism, but give blacks advantages over whites (Fox News boss Roger Ailes, of course, famously worked for Nixon)."

Fox pushes phony Sherrod video, keeps pushing after full video debunks "racism" attack
Fox's reaction to Breitbart's bogus video: "Racist" Sherrod "must resign." On the July 19 edition of his show, Bill O'Reilly played the out-of-context clip of Sherrod and said: "[T]hat is simply unacceptable. And Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately." Sean Hannity asserted that Sherrod's comments were "[j]ust the latest in a series of racial incidents." Guest-hosting Fox News' On the Record, Dana Perino suggested Sherrod's remarks were racist, saying, "The video adds fuel to a growing controversy after the NAACP approved a resolution condemning the tea party movement for not denouncing racist members." The next morning, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said that Sherrod made "a speech to the NAACP that sure sounded racist." Later, after guest-host Alisyn Camerota asserted that Sherrod's remarks are "outrageous and perhaps everybody needs a refresher course on what racism looks like," Doocy responded that Sherrod's comments are "Exhibit A."

Even after Breitbart's racism smear was debunked, some Fox News personalities stayed on the attack. After the full video of Sherrod's remarks surfaced, indicating that her story was one of racial reconciliation rather than discrimination, some Fox News figures continued to attack Sherrod. Hannity asserted: "She still admits that she was discriminating against this white farmer." On Fox & Friends, guest host Juliet Huddy said that there "are things that I think are incriminating" in the full video of Sherrod's remarks that "I do think raise a lot of questions about whether or not she should be in the position that she held in the first place." Fox News contributor Dick Morris suggested that keeping Sherrod at the USDA would represent a "huge problem" for President Obama, adding, "It's like he has Reverend Wright on his staff." On The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley suggested that Sherrod may be among "radicals, racists, socialists" in the Obama administration.

Fox's nonstop hyping of the phony New Black Panthers scandal
Fox relentlessly pushes phony New Black Panthers scandal and uses it as an excuse for race-baiting. Fox News has hyped the manufactured scandal surrounding the New Black Panther Party more than 100 times. On America's Newsroom, Fox's Peter Johnson Jr. responded to a question from co-host Megyn Kelly about "what ... we know about [Attorney General] Eric Holder and his history of prosecuting this kind of case," by saying that "at Columbia college, he [Holder] was active in black student association[s] there" and that "at some point, there had been a takeover of the dean's office at Columbia." Morris used the New Black Panthers scandal to declare that Obama is "stereotyping himself as a racial president."

Fox baselessly links Obama and Holder to New Black Panthers case. Fox News figures baselessly asserted that Obama and Holder were involved in the Justice Department's decision in the New Black Panthers case. Kelly teased an interview with former Bush DOJ official Hans von Spakovsky by saying: "[S]erious allegations today that the decision to drop the now-infamous voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party may have reached all the way to the White House." Beck stated that "Obama comes in and decides suddenly in May of 2009 to drop the case." O'Reilly said Holder's "failure to prosecute is simply a dereliction of his sworn duty." Doocy asserted that "the attorney general drop[ped]" the charges against the New Black Panthers. And on Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, host David Asman claimed that Obama "is defending racists in ... letting the Black Panthers off." In fact, J. Christian Adams, the conservative activist who has pushed the phony story testified that he had no "indication" higher-ups were involved in the decision.

Racially charged rhetoric a major part of Fox News' history
In addition to their racially charged coverage of the Sherrod tape and New Black Panthers case, as highlighted by Dean and Walsh, Fox's employees have relentlessly stoked racial tensions on Fox News.

Rupert Murdoch
Fox News' race problem starts at the very top. Its parent company's chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, baselessly claimed that Obama made a "very racist comment" and that Glenn Beck's characterization of Obama as a "racist" was "right." Murdoch also hired Roger Ailes as Fox News Channel president despite his prior history of using race for political gain.

Murdoch says Beck's "racist" comment "was right." Responding to Beck's description of Obama as a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," Murdoch said in a November 6, 2009, interview with Sky News Australia that while that "was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the president, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right." Murdoch also claimed that Obama "did make a very racist comment." A News Corp. spokesperson reportedly later told Politico that Murdoch "does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist."

When asked what "very racist comment" he was referring to, Murdoch says he "denied that absolutely." On November 19, 2009, Media Matters asked Murdoch to explain what he meant by his remark that Obama made a "very racist comment." Murdoch said, "I denied that absolutely." He added: "I don't believe he's a racist."

Roger Ailes
Before launching Fox News Channel, Ailes worked as a media consultant for several Republican campaigns in which evidence shows he appealed to racial fears and biases for political gain, and as executive producer for Rush Limbaugh's television show, during which Limbaugh made controversial statements about race. Under Ailes, Fox News has routinely engaged in race-baiting, as evidenced by the comments of Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and other Fox News personalities.

As Nixon campaign consultant, Ailes reportedly looked for a "Wallaceite cab-driver" to bring up race at televised town hall meetings. As media consultant for Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, Ailes directed televised town hall meetings in which Nixon answered questions from a supportive audience. According to historian Rick Pearlstein, Ailes suggested Nixon take a question from a "good, mean, Wallaceite cab-driver. Wouldn't that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, 'Awright, Mac, what about these niggers?' " Pearlstein wrote, "Nixon then could abhor the uncivility of the words, while endorsing a 'moderate' version of the opinion. Ailes walked up and down a nearby taxi stand until he found a cabbie who fit the bill."

Ailes on 1988 strategy against Dukakis: "The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it." Along with Lee Atwater, Ailes was credited with helping George H.W. Bush come from behind to beat Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. Part of that winning strategy included portraying Dukakis as "soft on crime" and connecting him with convicted felon Willie Horton. Horton committed assault, armed robbery, and rape in Maryland during a weekend furlough -- a program granting temporary release to prisoners that Dukakis supported but was created under the previous governor. While the Bush campaign did not produce the Horton ad that was widely criticized as "racist," Ailes did produce the "Revolving Door" ad that similarly attacked Dukakis for the furlough program. The campaign also created "The Risk," a negative ad that referenced "a furlough escapee" who "terrorized a Maryland couple." Ailes has been quoted as saying, "The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it."

Ailes was media consultant for 1989 Giuliani campaign, whose attacks on Dinkins "prey[ed] upon the fears of the Jewish community." While Ailes was media consultant for Rudy Giuliani's first campaign for New York City mayor, the campaign placed an ad in a prominent Yiddish newspaper, The Algemeiner Journal, that featured an image of Giuliani's opponent David Dinkins -- who would become New York City's first African-American mayor -- alongside Jesse Jackson. The ad also displayed a photo of Giuliani with President George H.W. Bush, with the headline reading: ''Let the people of New York choose their own destiny" [New York Times, 9/30/1989]. Howard Kurtz reported that "Ira Silverman, vice president of the American Jewish Committee, said the Giuliani ad seemed a 'legitimate campaign tactic,' but said that he found it 'troubling' because it 'preys upon the fears of the Jewish community' " [Washington Post, 9/29/1989]. National Public Radio has further reported: "Giuliani also tagged Dinkins as a 'Jesse Jackson Democrat.' That was an appeal to the city's large contingent of Jewish voters, who had despised Jackson ever since he used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe New York City. In this context, Giuliani's signature issue of crime took on racial overtones, says political consultant Norman Adler." One of Giuliani's ads featured a New Yorker stating, "I'm tired of living in New York and being scared."

Ailes produced Limbaugh's television show. Ailes served as executive producer for Limbaugh's syndicated television show, which ran from 1992 to 1996. On his TV show, in response to Spike Lee's recommendation that African-American children be permitted to skip school to view Malcolm X, Limbaugh once said: "Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater and then blow it up on their way out" [Nexis transcript of Limbaugh's show on October 29, 1992]. And after Sen. Strom Thurmond -- who in 1948 ran for president on a States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) platform that advocated racial segregation -- told a gay service member during a 1993 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on gays in the military, "Your lifestyle is not normal," and asked if he had every sought psychiatric help, Limbaugh stated of Thurmond: "He is not encumbered by trying to be politically correct. He's not encumbered by all of the -- the so-called new niceties and proprieties. He just says it, and if you want to know what America used to be -- and a lot of people wish it still were -- then you listen to Strom Thurmond." Limbaugh added, "He got a standing ovation. Now people -- people applauded that. People applaud -- because -- you know, Strom Thurmond can say it because he's 90 years old and people say, Ah, he's just an old coot. He's from the old days,' and so forth. But that's what most people think. They just don't have the guts to say it. That's why they applaud when somebody does say it that directly and that simply" [Nexis transcript of Limbaugh's show, May 11, 1993].

For the full article and on-air personalities

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