Diversity & Discrimination

Issues ››› Diversity & Discrimination
  • Florida Times-Union Fails To Contextualize Fringe, Extremist Pastor Protesting The Democratic Convention

    Pastor Kenneth Adkins Previously Photoshopped A Government Official Onto Pornographic Images, Said Victims Of Orlando Massacre Got “What They Deserve”

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The Florida Times-Union reported that pastor Kenneth Adkins plans to protest presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton outside of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. The paper’s June 22 report failed to provide any context on Adkins and his well-documented history of rabid anti-LGBT extremism in political protesting, which includes photoshopping a government official’s face onto pornographic images and most recently tweeting about gay people “gett[ing] what they deserve” after the June 12 mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL.

    Adkins rose to prominence in local media earlier this year due to his extreme antics in protest of a proposed LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Jacksonville, FL. The pastor opposed the ordinance on Twitter with graphic and inflammatory images. He said the definition of the ordinance was "Giving Civil Rights to men who engage in Anal Sex with each other," called Jacksonville City Council Member Tommy Hazouri the "anti-Christ" for supporting the ordinance, and photoshopped Hazouri's face onto pornographic images:

    Last month, Adkins again made pages of the the Times-Union when he responded to the June 12 massacre at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, with a tweet saying, “been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.” Adkins later attempted to deny that the tweet had anything to do with the Orlando shooting, though it came after a string of other tweets he wrote about the mass shooting.

    The Times-Union’s July 22 report on Adkins’ planned protest of the Democratic convention failed to mention any of Adkins’ past tweets or extremist protest tactics:

    When Democrats gather in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton as their party’s presidential candidate, Jacksonville-area pastor Ken Adkins plans to be outside, protesting their decision.

    Adkins said Friday he’s part of a slate of black and Hispanic activists scheduled to represent the conservative Douglass Leadership Institute and the Coalition of African American Pastors at a press conference Monday denouncing the former secretary of state for “hypocrisy and deception” on a range of topics.

    A release from event organizers puts a sharp point on that, contrasting the effects of crime and arrests among minorities with the Justice Department’s decision not to seek charges against Clinton for security lapses on the personal email server she used as secretary of state.

    “Secretary Clinton has thwarted the law and perverted justice. Minorities are filling up jails at alarming rates for petty crimes and Hillary Clinton is not even indicted,” the release said. “We are tired of the lies of the Democrat Party whose goal is to keep minorities enslaved and in mental deterioration by fostering government dependency that perpetuates generational poverty.”

  • CNN’s Harry Houck Promotes Video Calling On Obama To “Ban Niggas”

    Video Claims “More People Murdered In A Day By Niggly Bears Than In A Year By Grizzly Bears”

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck promoted a video that calls for President Obama to “ban niggas” in order to reduce violent crime, continuing Houck’s long history of peddling racist tropes about the African-American community.

    On July 25, Houck posted a link to a video on his Twitter account featuring Atlanta radio host and men’s rights activist Tommy Sotomayor, in which Sotomayor said that Obama should “ban niggas” because black men commit more violent crimes than other groups. Houck tweeted the video with the comment, “He knows what he’s talking about!”:

    Houck has used his platform on CNN to repeatedly suggest that African-Americans are prone to criminality and to blame black victims of police violence. Houck on Twitter has often warned about “black thugs,” referred to Black Lives Matter as a “thug group,” and even tweeted a link to a white supremacist website.

    Houck continues to be employed as a law enforcement analyst by CNN. He most recently appeared during the the July 17 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, where he attempted to link the shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge to protests regarding the death of Alton Sterling.

  • VIDEO: The Media's Years Of Sexist Attacks On Hillary Clinton

    Blog ››› ››› LEANNE NARAMORE

    The media has spent years hurling sexist attacks at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. From attacks on her appearance, her cleavage, her sexuality, her "PMS," the tone and volume of her voice, her laugh, her emotions, her age, being a grandmother, being called a "bitch,""castrating" and a "vaginal American," the claim that she's only successful because of her husband and more, it's hard to overstate the barrage of sexism Clinton has faced during her time as first lady, senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate.

    Now that Clinton is set to become first female presidential candidate for a major party in U.S. history, the media should avoid falling into this inexcusable cycle of rampant sexism and misogyny in their general election coverage.

  • Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host At The RNC

    James Edwards Celebrates Going “Mainstream” By Appearing At RNC With “All-Access” Media Credentials

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Several members of Congress and a Trump campaign official gave pro-Trump interviews to white nationalist leader James Edwards and his “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool during the Republican National Convention. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Edwards pointed to his attendance at the convention as evidence that he and his radio program are going “mainstream.”

  • Report: Sexual Harassment At Fox News Goes Way Beyond Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following the ousting of former Fox CEO Roger Ailes amid allegations that he sexually harassed former network anchor Gretchen Carlson, The New York Times reported that a culture of sexual harassment and intimidation in Fox News may extend beyond Ailes. According to the Times, interviews with current and former Fox News employees revealed “instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.”

    On July 21, Fox News’ parent company announced that Ailes would be resigning his position at Fox News but would receive $60 million and continue to work “as a consultant” with 21st Century Fox. Ailes’ ousting from the company follows a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to The Washington Post, 25 women have come forward to make similar harassment claims against Ailes.

    The New York Times reported on July 23 that Fox News may have “a broader problem in the workplace,” that extends beyond Ailes after at least “a dozen women” told the Times that “they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors.” From the Times’ report:

    The investigation by Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, focused narrowly on Mr. Ailes. But in interviews with The New York Times, current and former employees described instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.

    The Times spoke with about a dozen women who said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors. With the exception of Ms. Bakhtiar, they all spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embarrassment and fear of retribution. Most continue to work in television and worry that speaking out could damage their careers.

    They told of strikingly similar experiences at Fox News. Several said that inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and sex life were frequent. Managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors.

    [...]

    The women interviewed by The Times described similarly troubling experiences at Fox News and the Fox Business Network, a sprawling operation with about 2,000 employees on several floors of News Corporation’s headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.

    The networks were run with an iron fist by Mr. Ailes, the founding chairman and a former Republican strategist, who established the channels as a lucrative profit center and an influential voice in conservative politics.

    [...]

    It is difficult to know exactly how much Mr. Ailes set the tone. The investigation into his conduct revealed findings troubling enough to compel 21st Century Fox executives to move quickly and arrange his exit. Beyond inappropriate language, Mr. Ailes was also accused by employees of kissing and intimate physical contact, according to three people briefed on the investigation, and of making propositions that included quid pro quo arrangements.

    [...]

    Female staff members told of problems with other supervisors as well. One current employee said that she was with a male supervisor in a closed-door, one-on-one meeting in 2009 when she asked to work on an assignment. He turned to her and said, “Sure,” then conditioned it on oral sex. The woman said she laughed it off, thinking that she would face retaliation and be demoted if she told him that the comment was inappropriate.

  • Washington Post Reports 25 Women Have Come Forward To Accuse Former Fox CEO Ailes Of Harassment  

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, 25 women have come forward to make claims of similar harassment against Ailes, according to a July 22 report from The Washington Post.

    On July 21, Fox News’ parent company announced that Ailes would be resigning his position at Fox News but would receive $60 million in a “consultant” position with 21st Century Fox.  

    The Washington Post highlighted the “locker room” mentality at Fox News, alongside new allegations in a July 22 article which reports there are now 25 women accusing Ailes of misconduct and harassment, dating back decades:

    News of Carlson’s firing, and the lawsuit she filed shortly thereafter, have now prompted 25 women to come forward with what they describe as similar harassment claims against Ailes that stretch across five decades back to his days in the 1960s as a young television producer, according to Carlson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith.

    Interviews with four of those women portray the 76-year-old television powerhouse as a man who could be routinely crude and inappropriate, ogling young women, commenting about their breasts and legs, and fostering a macho, insensitive culture. Among those who agreed to interviews is a 2002 Fox intern who spoke for the first time about her accusation that Ailes grabbed her buttocks and repeatedly propositioned her.

    […]

    The signals sent by Ailes were quickly picked up by the employees, the former staffer said. Some women began showing up to news meetings in short skirts and blouses that showed their cleavage.

    “It became common knowledge that women did not want to be alone with him,” the former staffer said. “They would bring other men with them when they had to meet him. It became a locker room, towel-snapping environment. He would say things like, ‘She’s really got the goods’ and ‘look at the t--s on that one.’ ”

    Sometimes, the former staffer said, Ailes made “jokes that he liked having women on their knees. The tone he set went through the organization.”

     

  • These Five Reports From The Republican Convention Show How Badly The Trump Campaign Is Fumbling Latino Outreach

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    1. Univision’s Enrique Acevedo’s Tweet:

    Enrique Acevedo, who anchors Univision’s late night daily news show Edición Nocturna, commented on Twitter on the contrast between the Republican convention of 2000, which featured both a Latino theme and Mexican Ranchera singer Vicente Fernández performing on stage, and this year’s convention, which featured Trump’s favorite anti-immigration sheriff Joe Arpaio. Translated from Acevedo’s July 21 tweet:

    “16 years ago, the Bushes invited Vicente Fernández to sing at the Republican convention. Today Trump brought Sheriff Arpaio. Progress?”

    2. The New Yorker: GOP “Has Taken Steps” That Appear To Suppress “The Latino Vote.”

    A July 20 report on the Republican convention in The New Yorker highlighted a side event put together by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in which Republicans defended their stance on stricter voter ID laws. According to The New Yorker, these laws “appear to be suppressing the Latino vote,” a point that is backed up by studies. According to The New Yorker, members of Hispanic media spoke out to debunk the myth that voter fraud is “overwhelming,” with one noting that in decades of reporting, she had never “found that situation”:

    In the background of the discussion was an issue that runs deeper than Trump: for all its talk of reaching out, the Republican Party has taken steps that actually appear to be suppressing the Latino vote. The Party has tried to pass stricter voter-ID laws across the country, even though studies have found that fraud is exceedingly rare and the laws have a disproportionate effect on minority turnout. (A recent study found that Latino turnout is 10.8 percentage points lower in states with strict photo-ID laws.) Lori Montenegro, a Telemundo correspondent, questioned whether voter fraud was being hyped by Republicans, saying, “I haven’t found evidence that there has been an overwhelming fraud.”

    Daniel Garza, who served in the Bush Administration, disagreed. “Well, I come from the Rio Grande Valley,” in South Texas. “It happens.”

    “That’s one place,” Montenegro said.

    Maria Hinojosa, the host of “Latino USA,” on NPR, spoke up. “I just want to second Lori in saying that, in twenty-five years, in all of my reporting, I have never found that situation.”

    3. Univision.com: The Trump Campaign Is The First In 20 Years Without A Spanish-Language Communication Team.

    According to Univision.com, Univision News’ efforts to reach the Trump campaign for comments always go unanswered, in part because Donald Trump is the first Republican presidential nominee in 20 years not to have a specialized Spanish-language communications team. The July 20 report explains that George W. Bush was the first to hire a spokesperson for Hispanic media, and that both John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 followed his lead.

    4. The Hill: Spanish-Language Signs Meant To Represent Hispanics Had Grammatical Errors.

    The Hill reported on July 21 that the signs written in Spanish that were “being waved at the convention” by attendees had grammatical mistakes. They read “Hispanics para Trump,” failing to translate “Hispanics” and using the preposition “para” instead of the correct one, “por.”

    5. Fusion: “When You Photoshop White People Out” Of Republican Convention Pictures, “There’s Hardly Anyone Left.”

  • The Daily Beast Highlights “The Shady Network” Of Nativist Organizations Trump Cited In His Speech

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Daily Beast profiled “the shady network” of nativist groups whose work and data Donald Trump cited during the anti-immigration sections of his Republican National Convention acceptance speech, noting that the groups Trump cited are “omnipresent in efforts to demonize immigrants.”

    Trump’s acceptance speech -- which the campaign made available -- includes 282 footnotes containing the sources for the candidate’s claims, with the work of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) being cited multiple times. FAIR has been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric as well as its “ties to white supremacist groups, and eugenicists.” CIS, which FAIR’s founder John Tanton also helped found, has been repeatedly criticized for its shoddy research work and is labeled an “anti-immigrant nativist” organization by SPLC.

    As The Daily Beast points out, “CIS and FAIR provide the intellectual and organizational firepower for the immigration restrictionist movement” and their work always appears in efforts to “demonize immigrants.” The article continued, explaining that at one point anti-immigrant groups like CIS and FAIR were “pushed to the margins of the conservative conversation on immigration” but were kept relevant “thanks in part to powerful devotees in the talk-radio world and immigration-restrictionist stalwarts like Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert.” From The Daily Beast’s July 22 report:

    Trump’s team blasted out links to Trump’s remarks, including detailed footnotes showing the sources for his factual claims. And, unsurprisingly, many of Trump’s arguments are based on data from organizations funded by radical population control environmentalist activists. For instance, he cited a report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) to undergird his argument that the federal government enables crime by not deporting more undocumented immigrants.

    FAIR was founded by John Tanton, a virulently anti-immigrant nativist who has associated with white supremacists and dabbled in eugenics. He and his allies also fear that human population growth—particularly in the First World—jeopardizes the environment. Thus, they also back pro-abortion groups. This fact has left many on the right deeply concerned about citing their research or affiliating with their leaders. But not Trump.

    Trump’s speech also cited the Center for Immigration Studies—another group Tanton founded and helps fund. His team cited three different reports from CIS to support his assertions that immigration hurts American workers and that the federal government isn’t deporting enough undocumented immigrants.

    Along with NumbersUSA, CIS and FAIR provide the intellectual and organizational firepower for the immigration restrictionist movement. Their data and scholars are omnipresent in efforts to demonize immigrants, and they were all major presences during the 2013 Gang of 8 comprehensive immigration reform debate. Tanton and his funding link the three together.

    [...]

    In the pre-Trump era, these groups found themselves pushed to the margins of the conservative conversation on immigration. They never fully lost traction—thanks in part to powerful devotees in the talk-radio world and immigration-restrictionist stalwarts like Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert—but they had trouble. For several years, CPAC declined to give them airtime.

    [...]

    In the meantime, the Republican National Committee made an explicit effort to change the party’s rhetoric on immigration.

    [...]

    That dream is dead. Instead, Trump characterized immigrants as murderous, dangerous, and barbaric.

    [...]

    In his America, migrants are would-be rapists and definite job-thieves.

    It is, in the literal sense, a story of xenophobia—a view of the world predicated on the notion that anyone from a foreign country should be feared.