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I just got this in email form from an old friend. I think it’s important to realize how underhanded much of the media can be: using inappropriate or offensive, derogatory language, and then giving a pat apology after the fact, when the damage is already done. It’s insincere and sneaky.
I don’t get involved in politics that much, but I think it’s crucial that journalism be held accountable to the citizenry. It’s a fundamental part of democracy. The press should be free, but there is a certain honor and culpability that is being lost, I think.
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Right now, Fox News is trying to paint Barack Obama as foreign, un-American, suspicious, and scary. They’re trying to send Americans the message that our country’s first viable Black candidate for President is not “one of us.”
I’ve joined on to ColorOfChange.org’s campaign to push back on Fox, publicly demanding they stop their race-baiting and fear mongering. If that doesn’t work, then we’ll go to their advertisers and the FCC. I wanted to invite you to sign on as well. It takes only a moment:
Here’s what happened recently:
After Senator Obama won the nomination, he and his wife gave each other a “pound” in front of the cameras. [Ed: George Bush, Sr. also did this recently, with absolutely no media attention at the time.] Fox anchor E.D. Hill called the act of celebration a “terrorist fist jab.” Then last week, a Fox News on-screen graphic referred to Michelle Obama as “Obama’s baby mama”–slang used to describe the unmarried mother of a man’s child. [Ed: I think Fox was trying to be hip and funny. But in a really inexcusably stupid way.] It was a clear attempt to associate the Obamas with negative cultural stereotypes about Black people, an insult not only to Michelle Obama but to women and Black people everywhere.
After each of the incidents mentioned, Fox issued some form of weak apology. But what does it mean when you slap someone in the face, apologize the next day, then slap them again on the third? It means the apology is meaningless.
These aren’t one-time incidents–they’re part of a pattern that continues no matter how often Fox is forced to apologize. Fox has a clear record of attacking and undermining Black institutions, Black leaders, and Black people in general. [Ed: Just a few examples here, here, here, here, and here. Some of these incidents could be simple mistakes or errors in judgment. But it sure does seem to happen a lot. Editorial control? Educating your interns and caption writers a little more?]]
If we don’t push back now, we will see more of the same from now until November. Please join me in helping to bring an end to Fox’s behavior.