Fox News: Simultaneously Pandering To And Insulting Latinos

Fox News has been at the forefront of advancing anti-Latino propaganda for years. Their coverage of issues affecting the Latino community has been as decidedly biased as … well, everything else on Fox News. And nothing is more representative of this bias than Fox’s approach to immigration. The network is relentlessly opposed to any comprehensive solution that treats immigrants like human beings.

Today Fox managed to outdo themselves in demonstrating their overt prejudice while at the same time ingratiating themselves to what they acknowledge is a large and growing audience. The following stories were posted in response to today’s announcement from the White House that certain young immigrants would be granted work permits rather than be deported.

Fox Nation Latino Immigration

On the Fox News Latino website the story was headlined, “Obama Administration Halts Deportations for Young Immigrants.” That’s a factually accurate description that treats the news in a neutral manner. The headline was accompanied by a sympathetic photo of a young Latina child draped with an American flag.

On Fox Nation the story was handled somewhat differently. The headline they went with was “Obama Administration Bypasses Congress, To Give Immunity, Stop Deporting Younger Illegals.” In that short sentence they managed to imply impropriety on the part of the administration, infer the controversial subject of amnesty, and insult Latinos by employing the dehumanizing label of “illegals” (even though the people affected by this initiative did not break any law). The photo accompanying this article was of adult Latinos sitting up against a wall in handcuffs.

The differences between these treatments of the same news story illustrates just how cynical and hypocritical Fox News is when dealing with issues that challenge their biases and their marketing agenda. For Fox to post an appealing, straight news article on their web site aimed at a Latino audience, but to post a blatantly derogatory piece on their web site aimed at Teabagging racists, reveals the dark side of Fox’s repulsive mission.

It is also notable that the Fox News Latino site posted the Associated Press article about the announcement in full. The Fox Nationalists posted only two paragraphs plus a video from Fox News of right-wing wacko Allen West expressing his outrage. This is further evidence that the Fox Nationalists want to avoid giving their dimwitted readers too much actual information, but prefer to throw up as much ultra-right-wing opinion as possible. Additionally, Fox Nation allows visitors to comment on the news item, while Fox News Latino does not. That decision helps to promote the sense of community amongst the wingnuts, but prevents the Latino visitors from establishing those community ties.

Not surprisingly, Fox News immediately cast the President’s proposal as an abuse of the legislative process and a backdoor to amnesty. For the record, the proposal does not offer amnesty or even immunity. It is a temporary measure to exercise prosecutorial discretion so that innocent persons are not unduly punished while a more comprehensive solution is negotiated with Congress. The plan only affects those who arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.

The way the two Fox news divisions handled this event is typical of their dishonest presentation of the news. The framing on Fox Nation is pretty much how one would expect it to be – bursting with prejudice and hatred. However, the pandering ploy used at Fox News Latino is insulting and exacerbates the biases that Fox exhibits elsewhere in its reporting. Hopefully Latino audiences will look deeper than just the Fox site that is attempting to exploit them so that they see the enterprise for what it is.