On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a national holiday that observes the birthday of our greatest civil rights champion, Fox Nation, an online political news site run by Fox News, decided to honor the day by doing what it does best: race baiting. On Monday morning, the top story on the site had the headline, Obama: Some Folks Don’t Like Me Because I’m Black.
Despite it being their top story, when you click on the headline, all you get is one paragraph copy-and-pasted from a New Yorker piece and an unflattering picture. The worst part is that even in the short paragraph that they excerpted, the President showed great self-awareness by stating that there is a flip side and that many people give him the benefit of the doubt precisely because he’s a black President.
Of course, Fox News doesn’t care about that. All they want to do is enrage their almost exclusively white, conservative readership by posting a juicy, racially-charged quote at the top of their website. There is no story to speak of. Nothing was written up. It is just an opportunity for their racist readers to vent in the comments section about how much they hate the President and how he is the racist for pointing out others’ racism.
The race baiting posts didn’t stop there. Immediately underneath the Obama headline, there was another post with the headline, Latina Actress Fired After Appearing In Ad For Tea Party Candidate. Once again, like the Obama post, there is almost nothing written at all. The article consists of two sentences excerpted from a San Francisco news station’s website as well as video of a Fox and Friends interview with Maria Conchita Alonso, the actress who was ‘fired.’ Alonso appeared in an ad with Tea Party candidate Tim Donnelly, who is running for Governor in California.
Of course, Alonso was not fired. As she herself said in the interview, she quit her role in a play in San Francisco due to the backlash from the Latino community. It is likely that the show’s producer would have replaced her anyway, but context does matter. What should be pointed out is that Alonso has carved out a niche for herself as a conservative ‘celebrity.’ Much like other D-listers like Stephen Baldwin and Victoria Jackson, she has seen her fame drop off since her short-lived heyday and has tried to bolster it by being as extremely right-wing as possible, hoping to at least appeal to the Fox News viewers out there.
There were two other examples of race baiting on the front page. One was regarding Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s interview after winning the NFC Championship game, Seattle Corner Richard Sherman Goes Nuts In Post-Game Interview. Another one was a post about the First Lady’s birthday party, Wild Guest List For Michelle Obama 50th Birthday Party. Both of these posts featured extremely distasteful and racist comments left by Fox’s readers. The amount of disrespect shown to the First Lady was extremely alarming.
The fact is, race baiting is Fox News’ bread and butter. It is something we’ve basically gotten used to. However, you’d think that on MLK day, they’d at least take a day off, out of a basic sense of decency. I guess that is just too much to ask.