Today, the NAACP accused both Fox News and The New York Post of having a history of racist reporting. The group also points out that the newspaper remains one of the few in the nation that refuses to release their diversity numbers to the public. The group made it clear that Murdoch’s apology was not enough.
In response to Rupert Murdoch’s personal apology in the NY Post, NAACP CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said, “The New York Post and Fox News have a history of racially insensitive reporting. With the support of the editor in chief, the cartoonist Sean Delonas has published numerous vile cartoons tinged with racism. Fox News was widely criticized during the elections for calling Michelle Obama “Obama’s baby mama” and terming the affectionate and common fist bump between then-candidate Obama and his wife, a “terrorist fist jab” at a time when death threats against the candidate were at an all time high for any presidential candidate.”
He also talked about the newspaper’s refusal to release their diversity numbers, “The New York Post stands alone from most daily newspapers in refusing to report its diversity numbers to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. One has to wonder how many Hispanic or African American reporters and editors are working at the New York Post? Clearly, with more diversity in its newsrooms, it’s likely the paper would have been able to understand the deeply offensive nature of the cartoon. Our guess is that the numbers are abysmally low for a newspaper serving a city with a population as diverse as New York.”
Jealous also said that not only black people, but police officers had their character slurred by the cartoon, “It is hard not to interpret the cartoon, which was juxtaposed to a photo of President Obama, as an encouraging sign to those who would assassinate our 44th president because of the color of his skin. The depiction of two police officers shooting down the primate is deeply troubling to communities who struggle daily with suspicious police killings. The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) has also condemned the cartoon calling it “despicable, insensitive and easily interpreted as racist.” Good police officers all around the country should be dismayed by this slur on their character.”
The Post cartoon was more red meat for those who have a problem with the nation having a black president. Rupert Murdoch’s companies aren’t going to change. I also would not be holding my breath while waiting for those diversity numbers to come out. The reason why they don’t release their diversity numbers is because the newspaper is not diverse at all. The staff is full of like minded white conservatives.
Murdoch makes piles and pile of money off of his conservative media outlets. The NAACP makes the mistake of assuming that Murdoch wants to change his business. He doesn’t, and he won’t even consider it until his profits drop. If racism is what sells, then he’ll continue to peddle it. Without a doubt the new audience for conservative media is in decline. Although the core is loyal and large, the political climate has changed, and the Fox News style is no longer in vogue. However, there is still a lot of gold in those conservative hills, so nothing will be changing anytime soon.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association