Diversity & Discrimination

Issues ››› Diversity & Discrimination
  • Fox’s Most Recent Attempt At Revisionist History On The Origins Of The “Birther” Controversy Falls Flat

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox News is attempting to spin a stolen email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta as proof Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign “push[ed]” the narrative that then-Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim and thus “started” the birther controversy. However, the email that the network is citing actually shows a Democratic super PAC, composed of allies of both Obama and Clinton, engaging in the normal practice of testing potential negative attacks “on BOTH Clinton and Obama in a hypothetical match-up against” 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain (R-AZ).

    During the October 15 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Saturday, co-host Clayton Morris teased a segment that would supposedly reveal “the truth about the birther movement,” adding “wait until you hear who really started it.” Citing a hacked email from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that was made public by WikiLeaks, Morris claimed the “bombshell” email shows “that Hillary was pushing the Muslim Obama narrative back in 2008.” Fox News correspondent Ed Henry noted Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s explanation that the correspondence was from a super PAC that was “testing out different narratives the Republicans were pushing” against both Democratic candidates, but added, “This is what their explanation is, to be fair. But they're still raising” the birther controversy.

    Fox’s representation of the content of the email in question is misleading. The Fox hosts falsely claimed “Hillary was pushing” birther claims, but the email was not generated by the Clinton campaign. Instead, the email details proposed questions for a poll commissioned by an organization established to support the Democratic candidate for president in the general election engaging in the common practice of “testing your opponent’s attacks on you.”

    The email was written by Kristi Fuska, an analyst with Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, regarding polling for a group called Progressive Media USA, which was composed of supporters of both Clinton and Obama. Tom Matzzie, an Obama supporter who received the email in question, said that the Democratic group was testing possible general election attacks from Republicans “on BOTH Clinton and Obama in a hypothetical match-up against McCain.” Matzzie also explained that “the research team that cooked up the Obama attacks eventually went on to work for the Obama campaign.”

    Fox’s revisionist history regarding the birther controversy flies in the face of the network’s long history of enthusiastically echoing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s years-long, racist crusade to raise doubts about President Obama’s legitimacy, and ignores the fact that Fox provided Trump with a friendly platform to promote his birther beliefs for years.

    This post has been edited for clarity.

  • Six Ways Fox Demonstrated Its Disconnect From Latinos During Hispanic Heritage Month

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE

    From September 15 to October 15, while many in the United States celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the culture of the largest minority population in the country and commending its contributions, Fox News continued to demonstrate its disconnect from Latinos and the issues that affect them most. The network’s coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month was limited to highlighting one high-level Hispanic person during three-minute segments every Saturday, while simultaneously ignoring numerous relevant stories concerning Latinos, denying the impact certain issues have on Hispanic people, mocking relevant members of the community, and providing a platform for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to smear them. Here are six examples:

    Fox Was The Only Cable News Network To Ignore Trump Supporters’ Racist Attacks On A Hispanic Journalist

    On September 12, senior political writer Henry Gomez of Cleveland.com wrote a piece outlining the influx of “racist, hateful messages” from Trump supporters attacking his Mexican heritage, messages that he says “parrot[ed] a lot of Donald Trump’s greatest hits.” CNN and MSNBC interviewed Gomez and asked about the ethnic slurs he received while covering Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Fox News was the only prominent cable news network not to cover the story.

    The O’Reilly Factor Mocked Prominent Hispanic Journalist Jorge Ramos

    On the October 4 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly dismissed Tim Kaine’s Spanish language skills by arbitrarily taking a jab at one of the “most influential” Hispanic people in the U.S., journalist Jorge Ramos, commenting, “You can be boring if you speak Spanish. Have you ever seen Jorge Ramos?” Attempting to rehabilitate his unwarranted insult on Ramos, O’Reilly later called his remarks “a good line and a cheap line” and said that “Jorge Ramos is not boring” but did not apologize.

    Fox Gave Donald Trump A Platform To Further Attack Former Latina Miss Universe

    After it was revealed that Donald Trump had attacked former Miss Universe Alicia Machado about her weight and Hispanic heritage, Fox & Friends provided him with a platform to further smear the pageant winner, and he claimed she was “the absolute worst” and “impossible” to work with because she “gained a massive amount of weight.” Trump’s smears were met with no pushback from the Fox hosts.

    Fox’s Sean Hannity Advocated For Stop And Frisk, A Policy That Negatively Targets Blacks And Latinos

    After the October 4 vice presidential debate, Fox host Sean Hannity and Fox regular Rudy Giuliani made the case for stop and frisk. But the policy has been shown to have disproportionately "targeted blacks and Latinos," according to CNN's Jason Carroll, who noted that the practice was deemed unconstitutional in New York City in 2013 and that officials "say the practice severely eroded relations between police and the communities they serve.” Fox figures routinely laud the use of stop and frisk, even though Hispanic media and mainstream outlets have discredited the practice as ineffective and an example of racial profiling.

    Fox’s O’Reilly Misidentified CBS’ Elaine Quijano As “A Latina” And Speculated She Would “Go After Pence About Trump’s Statements And Miss Universe”

    During The O’Reilly Factor’s pre-vice presidential debate analysis, Bill O’Reilly misidentified debate moderator Elaine Quijano as Latina and commented that because of her ethnicity “you’ve got to assume that she’s going to go after Pence about Trump’s statements, and Miss Universe, and all of these other things.” Quijano is in fact Asian-American. Meanwhile, Latinos in the media had been blasting the debate commission for its failure to include a Latino moderator.

    Fox’s Eric Bolling Denied That Latinos Are Disproportionately Victims Of Police Brutality

    On the September 23 edition of The Five, co-host Eric Bolling insisted that “the number of people killed [by police], whether white, black, or Hispanic, is proportional to the amount of violent crimes [they] commit.” This runs contrary to statistics and feeds into a deceiving right-wing media narrative that downplays police brutality against blacks and Latinos. In fact, many media outlets have been pointing out that police brutality against Latinos is often underreported, and Hispanics are increasingly more concerned about racial discrimination.

  • “Trump Manages To Channel Goebbels”: White Nationalists Cheer Nominee’s Conspiratorial Speech Packed With Anti-Semitic Themes

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    The racist white nationalist movement is once again thrilled with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, this time over a Thursday speech he gave that has been criticized for trafficking in anti-Semitic themes.

    In his speech, delivered in West Palm Beach, FL, Trump said that “global special interests” and “the Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it” were working against his campaign along with attacks “orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies.” Trump also went on to slam “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

    This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we cannot let this happen or continue. This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself,” Trump told the audience.

    The Washington Post noted that the speech was “laced with the kind of global conspiracies and invective common in the writings of the alternative-right, white-nationalist activists who see him as their champion.” The Post also pointed out that the speech “bore the imprint” of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign CEO and the chairman of Breitbart.com, which he has described as “the platform for the alt-right.”

    In reaction to the speech, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that the Trump campaign “should avoid rhetoric [and] tropes that historically have been used [against] Jews [and] still spur #antisemitism.” Several reporters also note Trump’s trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes, including Politico’s Eli Stokols, who wrote, “The hints of anti-Semitism were strong.”

    Trump and his campaign allies have an ongoing and disturbing relationship with the white nationalist movement, including embracing white nationalist themes, retweeting white nationalist accounts on Twitter, and appearing on white nationalist radio programs. His campaign has been cheered every step of the way by his white nationalist supporters.  

    Following Thursday’s speech, white nationalists praised the content of the speech and responded to criticism of Trump’s language with blatant anti-Semitism:

    The Right Stuff: “Trump Manages To Channel Goebbels,” Is “88% Woke.” The white nationalist “alt-right” site The Right Stuff praised Trump’s speech, with writer Lawrence Murray arguing, “somehow Trump manages to channel Goebbels and ‘Detroit Republicanism’ all at the same time.” Murray added that the speech was “almost unprecedented in its militancy and vitriol for the luegenpresse and the brahmins.” (“Luegenpresse” is a term Nazis used to denigrate the media  -- “lying press” -- that has recently been revived by racists.) He also described Trump’s speech as “88% woke” (88 is used by white nationalists as an abbreviation of “Heil Hitler”), adding, “Can you picture the shvitzing that must be going on in some circles right now? I can, and it’s glorious.” [The Right Stuff, 10/13/16]

    Racist Radio Host David Duke Praises Trump's "Incredible Speech," Rails Against "Jewish Supremacists" And "Jewish Radicals" Who Are Waging A “Vicious Attack Against Trump.” Duke, a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan and current Republican Louisiana Senate candidate, used his radio show to call Trump’s speech “maybe the strongest, most all out speech concerning the war that is being waged against us and the war that is being waged by the oligarchs who control the international banks and the globalists” before claiming “Jewish supremacists” are using their control of the media and other institutions to attack Trump:

    DAVID DUKE: Donald Trump had an incredible speech last night in West Palm Beach maybe the strongest, most all out speech concerning the war that is being waged against us and the war that is being waged by the oligarchs who control the international banks and the globalists. He called them out, the bankers, the globalists, and he called out the fact that they are in total war mode against him. He's been saying for weeks that Hillary Clinton -- his campaign is not against Hillary Clinton, his campaign really is against the media.


    These Jewish supremacists and these Jewish radicals who have been dominating international banking, the financing of politics and leaders, bribing them in effect, the people who have controlled the media, the people who have controlled the political apparatus in so many countries, who have controlled much of the academia, much of the discourse, they're crazy. They're willing to risk World War III for their political objectives in the Middle East, in Israel, and elsewhere. Now nothing signals this more than what's happening right now with Donald Trump. I mean, they're in a full court, all out war against Donald Trump and they've been planning this a long time. They have gone so overboard, that's the problem that they face, though, because they've gone so overboard with this vicious attack against Trump that it's becoming apparent to people. And no candidate has ever better exposed or more exposed the vicious lying media than Donald Trump has. What a service he's done for us. [Rense Radio Network, David Duke Show, 10/14/16]

    Neo-Nazi Website Infostormer Says The Speech Was A "Full-Strike On The Jews," Fantasizes About "Rounding Up The Kikes Onto The Deportation Trains." In a post at neo-Nazi website Infostormer, writer Marcus Cicero claimed he was skeptical that Trump would ever "launch a full-strike on the Jews," but the candidate "has exceeded our expectations once again." Cicero mocked concerns about the anti-Semitism in the speech from "the vast majority of Christ-Killers with internet influence" and said he had not seen such "rabid rage ... since the glory days of 1930’s Germany." He also fantasized about "rounding up the Kikes onto the deportation trains and planes." From Infostormer:

    Would he ever launch a full-strike on the Jews, who have sought to cripple his candidacy from Day One?

    We most assuredly did not think so, but it looks like Glorious Leader has exceeded our expectations once again, using the parasite-ridden city of West Palm Beach, Florida to deliver a scathing attack on the “interwoven thread” of international finance, Globalism, and the media.

    While he did not use the word “Jew” specifically in his speech, the vast majority of Christ-Killers with internet influence and access immediately jumped upon the awe-inspiring rally with a rabid rage not seen since the glory days of 1930’s Germany.


    When we’re busy rounding up the Kikes onto the deportation trains and planes, I want them to understand that it was their own overreaching and neurotic insanity that brought their schemes and hustles crashing down.

    While I obviously do not condone even a single Jew making even a single shekel from manipulating a White man or woman, it has to be admitted that they had it quite good in this country for generations.

    But instead of sitting back content with their profits and simple corruption of higher echelons of society, the Jew sought even greater upheaval and discord; a desire driven by a sick biological drive that forever calls for the annihilation of host societies.

    And now the sweet and wonderful backlash has arrived.

    And it tastes so unbelievably delectable. [Infostormer, 10/14/16]

    Neo Nazi Site Daily Stormer: “Trump Affirmed” That The Media Is “The Lying Jewish Mouthpiece Of International Finance.” The neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer praised Trump’s speech in a October 14 post headlined “Jews Go Into Red Alert at Trump’s Historic Speech Denouncing International Finance, Globalism and the Media":

    Trump’s speech in West Palm Beach, Florida today will go down as a major turning point in the history of Western rebirth–or its last gasp. In it, Trump affirmed what has become transparent this election: the mass media isn’t “biased” in the innocent sense, it’s the lying Jewish mouthpiece of international finance and plutocracy, seeking to protect agendas that make trillions of dollars for a small film of scum at the very top, at the expense of middle and working class Americans.

    Trump encouraged the masses of people to unite and fight back against a corrupt and malicious system run by amoral bankers who meet and make policy with our politicians behind closed doors towards a world without borders or national sovereignty.

    Trump noted that any time somebody represents the voice of the majority against globalization, ‘certain forces’ accuse these dissidents of “racism” and “sexism.” This is clearly a nod at the carefully interwoven web of media, finance, political correctness – with the eternal Jew as the treading spider trapping its opposition within it. [Daily Stormer, 10/14/16]

    White Nationalist Paul Ray Ramsey: “When Trump Talks About Nation Wrecking Globalists, Jews Assume He Is Talking About Them.” White nationalist video blogger Paul Ray Ramsey (who also goes by the name Ramzpaul) wrote, “It is interesting when Trump talks about nation wrecking globalists, Jews assume he is talking about them. Why would they think that?” [Twitter, 10/13/16]

  • Trump's Anti-Semitic Speech Came From Breitbart, The Alt-Right, And Alex Jones

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s October 13 speech pushed the conspiracy theory that the media, corporations, and “global financial powers” such as banks are, in concert, harming America and working with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to defeat him. This claim -- which several journalists noted was an anti-Semitic dog whistle -- comes from the white nationalist “alt-right” movement, which includes the website of Trump’s campaign CEO, Breitbart News, and radio host conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

    During the speech at a rally in West Palm Beach, FL, Trump claimed that there was a “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” He also claimed that Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers” and that the election may be “in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system.”

    Multiple journalists noted that the speech played on old anti-Semitic tropes. As Politico’s Eli Stokols explained, “The hints of anti-Semitism were strong.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the president of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted, “.@TeamTrump should avoid rhetoric&tropes that historically have been used [against] Jews & still spur #antisemitism. Lets keep hate out of [campaign].”

    The speech was reportedly co-written by Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News who took a leave of absence to work as Trump’s campaign CEO. Bannon has bragged that Breitbart News is “the platform for the alt-right” -- a rebranded white nationalist movement that is opposed to immigration and embraces racism, sexism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-Semitism.

    With Bannon at the helm, Breitbart News has peddled anti-Semitic rhetoric, which has continued since he left. In May, contributor David Horowitz wrote a piece calling The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.” In September, Breitbart writer Matthew Tyrmand called Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum a “political revisionist” who was “on the warpath against the rising populist forces doing electoral damage to her establishment friends and allies across the world,” adding, “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” In August, former Breitbart writer Ben Shapiro accused the website of embracing “a movement shot through with racism and anti-Semitism.” And as The Daily Beast noted, Bannon, through Breitbart, “did a lot to normalize the racist, anti-Semitic world of the alt right.”

    Bannon has also personally been accused of anti-Semitism. His ex-wife claimed that while they were looking for schools to send their children to, Bannon asked the director of one “why there were so many Chanukah books in the library,” claimed he asked her if it “bothered” her that another school they visited “used to be in a Temple,” and claimed he did not like another school because of “the number of Jews that attend.” She added that Bannon “doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiney brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews.”

    Trump has also enjoyed the staunch support of white nationalists, who have celebrated his stance on immigration and rhetoric against Muslims and Hispanics. In July, they lauded his tweet that appeared to show an anti-Semitic image featuring, as described by The Huffington Post, a picture of Clinton “over a backdrop of $100 bills with a six-pointed star — the Jewish Star of David — next to her face,” with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” on the star. White nationalists claimed “The Leader” Trump was “dog-whistling” with the tweet and that he was exposing “filthy Jew terrorists.” They also praised Trump’s hiring of Bannon, saying that “Breitbart has elective affinities with the Alt Right.”

    Trump’s speech also paid a homage to the language of radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones frequently invokes “globalists” as the villains behind the various conspiracy theories he discusses on his radio show. He believes that a New World Order of global elites is working behind the scenes to rule the world through an authoritarian government and eliminate 80 percent of the world’s population. Trump has courted Jones and his audience, appearing on Jones’ show in December and praising his “amazing” reputation. Trump also pushed a “globalist” dog whistle at his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. The Washington Post’s Robert Costa in August noted that the Republican Party base is increasingly under the belief that “the Republican establishment” and Hillary Clinton are “globalist[s].”

  • “It’s Time For Us To Be Afraid Again”: Charlotte Observer Investigates Anti-LGBT Discrimination In North Carolina After HB 2

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    A Charlotte Observer special report investigated the extent of anti-LGBT discrimination in North Carolina in the wake of the state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB 2), finding that LGBT people have “for years been subjected to bullying, harassment, discrimination and sometimes violence” and that HB 2 “heightens fear in North Carolina.” The piece included interviews with scholars and advocates who say the law, which was passed in March, “has given people permission to hate.”

    As the controversy over North Carolina’s HB 2 continues, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has defended the law -- which, among other things, prohibits localities from enacting nondiscrimination provisions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity -- by saying that he isn’t aware of any examples of anti-LGBT discrimination in North Carolina.

    But the major special report from The Charlotte Observer found 59 people in 50 counties who had been subject to verbal slurs, threats, and even physical assaults because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The paper included reports on each person, an interactive map and videos -- which demonstrate that while McCrory and HB 2 proponents say the law “protects public safety,” the LGBT victims of bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence “say otherwise.”

    In addition to noting years of discrimination against LGBT people, the Observer reported that since the passage of HB 2, “transgender residents said they feel as if they’re being watched.” The paper also spoke with two women -- neither of whom is transgender -- who also reported “being harassed at a restroom” due to their gender expression. The Observer also pointed out that 14 years of FBI crime statistics show that LGBT people were “targeted at higher rates than any other minority group in the country.”  

    From the October 12 Charlotte Observer special report

    Public records and interviews across the state suggest that targeting of LGBTQ residents is so commonplace that many take it for granted as a sad – and sometimes dangerous – fact of their lives.


    Gregory Herek, a psychology professor at the University of California-Davis who is an expert on anti-gay violence, said HB2 sends a broad symbolic message: “It’s conveying to people in the state who are LGBT that they are not full citizens.”

    The new law, scholars and advocates believe, has given people permission to hate.

    Three weeks after HB2 was adopted, someone responded to a sign critical of the governor by leaving a note on an Asheville woman’s car: “Burn in Hell, nasty faggot! I ♥ HB2!' "

    The next day in Charlotte, instead of tipping a waitress who is lesbian, a group of female customers at Zada Jane’s in Plaza Midwood left a Bible verse, Leviticus 20:13, which holds that sex between two men is “an abomination” punishable by death.


    Said Josh Burford, assistant director for sexual and gender diversity at UNC Charlotte: “It’s time for us to be afraid again.”

  • Trump Breaks Spanish-Language Media Silence With Fluff Interview On Telemundo Station

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump broke his silence of over a year with Spanish-language media by talking in Florida to Telemundo51’s Marilys Llanos. However, Llanos failed to press Trump on issues that concern Spanish-language audiences, including allegations that he violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba and his record of disrespecting women, which includes allegations of sexual assault.

    On October 12 Trump sat down for an exclusive interview while campaigning in Florida with a local Telemundo station. The clip was published on Telemundo51.com on October 13:

    The friendly interview was conducted in English while Llanos dubbed his answers in a Spanish-language voiceover and included color commentary like, "The interview took place on board of the candidate’s plane, valued at $100 million.” Llanos asked Trump about his tweet promising to reverse President Obama’s executive order aimed at normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba, and he responded by stating that he knows many Cubans because “as you know, I own Doral,” a municipality in Miami-Dade County, FL, where Trump has real estate investments. In this line of questioning, Llanos failed to ask the candidate about a Newsweek report that a company controlled by Trump could have violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

    Despite asking Trump how he planned to win the female vote, Llanos gave him a pass by letting him posit that the reason he would do well with women is because “more than 50 percent” of the people turning out to his Florida rallies were women. Llanos did not press the candidate on a 2005 video that surfaced recently in which Trump brags about being able to “do whatever” he wants to women because he’s “a star.” The most recent allegations against Trump, the accusations of two women who came forward to accuse him of sexual assault published by The New York Times, had not been revealed at the time of the interview.

    Trump hadn’t done an interview with Spanish-language news shows since sitting down with Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart in June 2015. After being confronted for his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants, Trump had been actively ignoring repeated requests to sit with any of the networks, specifically Telemundo and Univision. In response to repeat requests for an interview from Univision's Jorge Ramos, Trump published the anchor’s personal information and mailed him a request for a campaign donation.

    It's not just Spanish-language media Trump has ignored; amid a storm of bad press, the candidate has sought refuge with friendly media -- like the Fox News bubble -- and softball interviewers, avoiding networks where he might get hard-hitting questions. But his dismissal of Spanish-language media has been particularly extreme, and after being ignored for so long, their audiences deserve better than sycophantic interviews.