This is one of those days when you need to check the weather report in Hell. If it hasn’t frozen over, there is at least a severe polar vortex bearing down on Satan’s lair. The storm warning came in the form of an announcement by Fox News that they were sorry about having aired a graphic so drenched in bigotry that even they couldn’t tolerate it.
On the Friday episode of Fox’s signature evening “news” program, Special Report, (not an opinion show like Sean Hannity), they did a segment on the economy and the recent gains in the stock market. Seeking to contextualize these gains, Fox produced a graphic that compared past market increases with particular events in history.
The problem was that each of the historical events they selected was the murder of an African-American. The only feasible conclusion to draw from this presentation was that Fox News regards the killing of black men in America as a positive factor in economic growth. They seem to be saying “Just think how much higher the market would be if more black men were murdered.”
It is not coincidental that they did this the same day that the Racist-in-Chief, Donald Trump, tried to conflate the stock market with what he said is “a great day” for George Floyd. But in a rare gesture of journalistic remorse (only after an avalanche of crushing criticism) Fox News later issued a tepid apology:
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) June 6, 2020
That’s a big concession for the network that has never apologized for backing conspiracy theories like Barack Obama being born in Kenya. Or that a Democratic aide was murdered by Hillary Clinton associates. Or that Russia didn’t interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Or that the fictional Antifa(scist) “organization” is orchestrating civil unrest at protests over the killing of George Floyd by police. Or that Joe Biden is mentally unfit. Or that Donald Trump IS mentally fit.
Still, Fox is only apologizing for not having put the data in context. Although, it’s hard to imagine a context that wouldn’t have made this flagrantly racist. There is no framing for which this information would have been useful. The stock market rises and falls on a variety of triggering factors that include corporate earnings, international trade, employment statistics, federal legislation, and even gut feelings about speculative future economic environments. But nowhere is there any evidence of violence against African-Americans being the cause of any market activity.
In fact, it’s easy to make the case for virtually any activity producing some market movement based on one week’s worth of data. For instance, the market rose 1.5% in the week following Trump’s impeachment. Is that an indication that Wall Street was celebrating Trump’s political demise? The week after racist GOP icon George Wallace died the market rose 2.4%. And of particular interest to Fox News, the week following the death of their founder and CEO Roger Ailes, the market leapt 3.2%. Is that telling us something about bigoted, sexual predators who run propaganda machines?
With all of the naked racial prejudice that airs on Fox news on a daily basis, it is not nearly sufficient that they put out a perfunctory “apology” for this sort of behavior that is so consistent with their noxious conduct in their past. They need to demonstrate that they have a grasp of the consequences of their broadcasts by censuring their repeat racist offenders: Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, for starters. Absent that, they can take their apology and shove it.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.