Glenn Beck's comment that President Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" justifiably garnered a great deal of attention, but that remark was by no means an isolated incident at News Corp., owner of Fox News. Indeed, Beck's comments are indicative of a corporate culture in which racially charged commentary is frequent, goes all the way to the top, and is too often tolerated.
News Corp.'s race problem starts at the very top. Its chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, baselessly claimed that Obama made a "very racist comment" and that Beck's characterization of Obama was "right." Murdoch also hired Roger Ailes as Fox News Channel president despite his prior history of using race for political gain.
Murdoch says Beck's "racist" comment "was right." Responding to Beck's description of Obama as a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture," Murdoch said in a November 6 interview with Sky News Australia that while that "was something which perhaps shouldn't have been said about the president, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right." Murdoch also claimed that Obama "did make a very racist comment." A News Corp. spokesperson reportedly later told Politico that Murdoch "does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist."
When asked what "very racist comment" he was referring to, Murdoch says he "denied that absolutely." On November 19, Media Matters asked Murdoch to explain what he meant by his remark that Obama made a "very racist comment." Murdoch said, "I denied that absolutely." He added: "I don't believe he's a racist."
As the Chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me.
Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted.
Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you -- without a doubt -- that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.
We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.
Before launching Fox News Channel, Ailes worked as a media consultant for several Republican campaigns in which evidence shows he appealed to racial fears and biases for political gain, and as executive producer for Rush Limbaugh's television show, during which Limbaugh made controversial statements about race. Under Ailes, Fox News has routinely engaged in race-baiting, as evidenced by the comments of Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and other Fox News personalities.
As Nixon campaign consultant, Ailes reportedly looked for a "Wallaceite cab-driver" to bring up race at televised town hall meetings. As media consultant for Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, Ailes directed televised town hall meetings in which Nixon answered questions from a supportive audience. According to historian Rick Pearlstein, Ailes suggested Nixon take a question from "A good, mean, Wallaceite cab-driver. Wouldn't that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, 'Awright, Mac, what about these niggers?' " Pearlstein wrote, "Nixon then could abhor the uncivility of the words, while endorsing a 'moderate' version of the opinion. Ailes walked up and down a nearby taxi stand until he found a cabbie who fit the bill."
Ailes on 1988 strategy against Dukakis: "The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it." Ailes was credited, along with Lee Atwater, with helping George H.W. Bush come from behind to beat Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. Part of that winning strategy included portraying Dukakis as "soft on crime" and connecting him with convicted felon Willie Horton. Horton committed assault, armed robbery, and rape in Maryland during a weekend furlough -- a program granting temporary release to prisoners that Dukakis supported but was created under the previous governor. While the Bush campaign did not produce the Horton ad that was widely criticized as "racist," Ailes did produce the "Revolving Door" ad that similarly attacked Dukakis for the furlough program. The campaign also created "The Risk," a negative ad that referenced "a furlough escapee" who "terrorized a Maryland couple." Ailes has been quoted as saying, "The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it."
Ailes was media consultant for 1989 Giuliani campaign, whose attacks on Dinkins "prey[ed] upon the fears of the Jewish community." While Ailes was media consultant for Rudy Giuliani's first campaign for New York City mayor, the campaign placed an ad in a prominent Yiddish newspaper, The Algemeiner Journal, that featured an image of Giuliani's opponent David Dinkins -- who would become New York City's first African-American mayor -- alongside Jesse Jackson. The ad also displayed a photo of Giuliani with President George H.W. Bush, and the headline stated, ''Let the people of New York choose their own destiny" [New York Times, 9/30/1989]. Howard Kurtz reported that "Ira Silverman, vice president of the American Jewish Committee, said the Giuliani ad seemed a 'legitimate campaign tactic,' but said that he found it 'troubling' because it 'preys upon the fears of the Jewish community' " [Washington Post, 9/29/1989]. National Public Radio has further reported: "Giuliani also tagged Dinkins as a 'Jesse Jackson Democrat.' That was an appeal to the city's large contingent of Jewish voters, who had despised Jackson ever since he used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe New York City. In this context, Giuliani's signature issue of crime took on racial overtones, says political consultant Norman Adler." One of Giuliani's ads featured a New Yorker stating, "I'm tired of living in New York and being scared."
Ailes produced Limbaugh's television show. Ailes served as executive producer for Limbaugh's syndicated television show, which ran from 1992 to 1996. On his TV show, Limbaugh once said, in response to Spike Lee's recommendation that African-American children be permitted to skip school to view Malcolm X: "Spike, if you're going to do that, let's complete the education experience. You should tell them that they should loot the theater and then blow it up on their way out" [Nexis transcript of Limbaugh's show on October 29, 1992]. And after Sen. Strom Thurmond -- who in 1948 ran for president on a States Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrat) platform that advocated racial segregation -- told a gay service member during a 1993 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on gays in the military, "Your lifestyle is not normal," and asked if he had every sought psychiatric help, Limbaugh stated of Thurmond: "He is not encumbered by trying to be politically correct. He's not encumbered by all of the -- the so-called new niceties and proprieties. He just says it, and if you want to know what America used to be -- and a lot of people wish it still were -- then you listen to Strom Thurmond." Limbaugh added, "He got a standing ovation. Now people -- people applauded that. People applaud -- because -- you know, Strom Thurmond can say it because he's 90 years old and people say, Ah, he's just an old coot. He's from the old days,' and so forth. But that's what most people think. They just don't have the guts to say it. That's why they applaud when somebody does say it that directly and that simply" [Nexis transcript of Limbaugh's show, May 11, 1993].
Beck's comment that Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" was one in a long line of similar racially charged remarks. In fact, Beck's comment followed on the heels of his claim that Obama has a "desire for racial justice" that he is "setting out to achieve" through "intimidation, vilification, bullying, a system, an underground shell game."
Beck was hired by News Corp. in spite of a number of racially insensitive comments he had previously made, including claiming in 2007 that he "can't win" because he is "American," "white," "Christian," and "conservative." And on the January 25, 2008, edition of his CNN Headline News show, Beck claimed of the Democratic primaries: "[I]f Hillary Clinton wants to be consistent, I believe, affirmative action, she should give Barack Obama an additional 5 percentage points just for the years of oppression."
Beck's racially charged statements since joining News Corp. include:
Beck says Obama's agenda is driven by "reparations" and the desire to "settle old racial scores." On the July 23 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said: "Everything that is getting pushed through Congress, including this health care bill, are transforming America, and they are all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea: reparations." Beck went on to state, "These massive programs are Obama-brand reparations, or in presidential speak, leveling out the playing field." Beck also said that Obama's goal is "creating a new America, a new model, a model that will settle old racial scores through new social justice."
Beck: Obama satisfying his "desire for racial justice" though "intimidation, vilification, bullying." On the July 27 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said, "We have demonstrated President Obama's desire for racial justice, but how is he setting out to achieve it? Exactly the way a community organizer would: through intimidation, vilification, bullying, a system, an underground shell game." Beck continued, "Look how he has handled different things. [Henry Louis] Gates -- he calls the cops stupid and racist before he admits, he says, 'I don't know all of the facts.' But he jumps to the conclusion that the cops are racist."
Beck asks: "Do you believe Tiger Woods may actually be O.J. Simpson?" On the December 8 edition of his radio show, Beck said, "May I ask you this Christmas question? Do you believe Tiger Woods may actually be O.J. Simpson?" He continued: "Is this guy turning into O.J. Simpson?" Referring to the hospitalization of Woods' mother, Beck stated: "Well, there was a woman taken to the hospital last night at O.J.'s -- I mean, I'm sorry, Tiger Woods' house. I'm not saying that it was an assault or anything else, I'm just -- you know, Tiger, it's -- we are starting to lose control here."
Beck wonders why black people identify as black since he doesn't identify as white. During a panel discussion on the November 13 edition of his Fox News show, Beck asked the studio audience, "How many people here identify themselves as African-Americans? Why?" He added: "Why not identify yourself as Americans?" After a panelist said, "But people can look at you and tell you're black, you can't escape that," Beck said, "Yeah, but I don't identify myself as white or a white American."
Beck attacks India, saying he wants the "American lifestyle" with "flush toilets." On the December 9 edition of his Fox News show, Beck claimed that American health care is superior because we have "high-tech hospitals and doctors who studied at Harvard rather than Gajra Raja medical school." He also said that American homes have "something that we in America like to call flush toilets" and said the Ganges River "sounds like a disease." Beck apologized for his comments several days later.
Beck frequently claims things are "slavery" or will lead to slavery. Beck has claimed that debt is "a path to slavery"; stated that recipients of federal aid have been "taught to be slaves"; said that "illegal immigration is modern-day slavery"; asserted that progressive policies cause "slavery to government, welfare, affirmative action, regulation, control"; repeatedly said that that stimulus bill "is slavery"; ranted that Obama is "addicting this country to heroin -- the heroin that is government slavery" and that "the government's irresponsible spending is turning us into slaves"; and cited the creation of a "modern-day slave state being constructed out of ACORN, SEIU, and federal student loan, census, and service initiatives."
O'Reilly, Fox News' most popular host, is no stranger to racial controversy. In September 2007, O'Reilly made headlines with his comments about Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem.
O'Reilly "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference" between Harlem restaurant and other New York restaurants. Talking about a dinner he had with Rev. Al Sharpton at Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, O'Reilly said that that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." Later during the same show, O'Reilly said: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all." O'Reilly also stated: "I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the Sharptons and the [Rev. Jesse] Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based culture. They're just trying to figure it out. 'Look, I can make it. If I work hard and get educated, I can make it." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 9/19/07]
O'Reilly: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels." Discussing comments Michelle Obama had made about being "really proud of my country," O'Reilly took a call from a listener who stated that, according to "a friend," Obama " 'is a very angry' -- her word was 'militant' -- woman." O'Reilly stated: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down." O'Reilly later stated: "The word 'lynching' was used because I said it quite clearly. I'm not going to go on some lynching party against Michelle Obama; that's ridiculous." [The Radio Factor, 2/19/08, 2/21/08]
O'Reilly warned of immigration bill's "unintended consequences" -- changing the ethnic landscape. Discussing Senate negotiations on a bipartisan immigration bill, O'Reilly asserted on his Fox News show that the bill "drastically alters the United States of America," adding that "there will be unintended consequences all over the place. The new census report says America's now one-third minority." He continued, "And in four states -- California, New Mexico, Texas, and Hawaii -- whites are the minority." O'Reilly has, on numerous other occasions, expressed concern over the potential for increasing non-white population in the United States, claiming at one point that, during an interview he conducted with New York city councilman Charles Barron, O'Reilly had exposed the "hidden agenda" behind the current immigration debate. O'Reilly told his listeners: "[T]he bottom line is Charles Barron said last night is there is a movement in this country to wipe out 'white privilege' and to have the browning of America." But in the interview, Barron at no point claimed that he and other advocates for immigrant rights are motivated by a desire to force white Americans into the minority -- despite O'Reilly's repeated efforts to provoke such an acknowledgment. [The O'Reilly Factor, 5/17/07]
O'Reilly: Sunni and Shiite Iraqis "act like savages, and they are." On his radio show, O'Reilly claimed that "the Sunni and Shia want to kill each other. ... They have fun. This is -- they like this. This is what Allah tells them to do, and that's what they do." O'Reilly then asserted that the "essential mistake of the war" was failing to anticipate that "these people would act like savages, and they are." Later, O'Reilly said that he had not predicted that the Iraqis "were going to act like savages in the aftermath of Saddam [Hussein]," and added: "[N]ow, Iran, we know they're savages." The Radio Factor, 1/24/07]
O'Reilly: "[T]he homies" in New Orleans aren't "going to get the [reconstruction] job[s]." On his radio show, O'Reilly had a conversation with a caller about the disproportionately few jobs that have gone to locals in the rebuilding of New Orleans. O'Reilly went on to say: "On the rebuilding of New Orleans, you've got to use contractors that can do the job. So, you can't -- you know, if you've got contractors who specialize in infrastructure rebuilding, you've got to bring them in." He then added, "And the homies, you know, who you don't know -- I mean, they're just not going to get the job." [The Radio Factor, 2/27/06]
Media Matters named Hannity the 2008 Misinformer of the Year in part because of his racially charged attacks on President Obama and Michelle Obama. In these attacks, Hannity repeatedly referenced Rev. Jeremiah Wright, going so far as to say, "I think he [Obama] is Reverend Wright."
Hannity just can't "get over" his Rev. Wright obsession. Hannity mentioned Wright on at least 45 different episodes of his Fox News show between Obama's inauguration and July 31. Indeed, his repeated references to Wright have prompted his own guests to comment, "You always want to bring up Reverend Wright," and "Sean, you need to get over it."
Hannity repeatedly distorted Michelle Obama's 1985 thesis to claim she has divisive views on race. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Hannity repeatedly distorted Obama's 1985 senior thesis from Princeton University, suggesting that she was asserting her own views when she wrote that "[i]t is possible that Black individuals either chose to or felt pressure to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor." As the context of the quote makes clear, however, she was purporting to document attitudes among black Princeton alumni who attended the school in the '70s and not expressing her own opinions. Hannity employed this distortion at one point to ask, "Do the Obamas have a race problem of their own?"
Ignoring Obama's statement on award, Hannity suggested that Obama "associated" himself with Farrakhan. Hannity suggested that Obama had "associated" himself with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who had received an award from a magazine founded by Obama's church. But Hannity, who described Farrakhan as "an anti-Semite racist," did not note that Obama issued a statement "condemn[ing]" Farrakhan's "anti-Semitic statements" and saying of the award: "[I]t is not a decision with which I agree" [Hannity & Colmes, 1/17/08].
Hannity smeared Gates as anti-white radical by distorting 1994 interview. Hannity repeatedly misrepresented Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s 1994 interview on C-SPAN's Booknotes to suggest that Gates had recently said he agreed with Malcolm X that the "white man was the devil" and to smear Gates as "extreme" and a "radical." In fact, in that interview, Gates was talking about events in 1959, specifically his witnessing his mother's positive reaction to a documentary they watched together about Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam [Hannity, 7/28/09].
Hannity falsely suggested that Reich proposed excluding white males from stimulus package. Hannity joined Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh in falsely suggesting that Robert Reich, speaking at a congressional forum, proposed that jobs created by the economic stimulus package should exclude white males. Hannity claimed that Reich "expressed concern that the current [stimulus] package is, well, too inclusive." After airing a clip of Reich in which Reich addressed concerns from women's advocacy groups and others about the composition of the proposed stimulus, Hannity stated: "Now here I thought the package was intended for everybody. So aren't pink slips color blind?" In fact, Reich repeatedly stated that he favored a stimulus plan that "includ[es] women and minorities, and the long-term unemployed" in addition to skilled professionals and white male construction workers, not one that is solely limited to them. [Hannity, 1/22/09]
In 2007, after Imus referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," MSNBC dropped its simulcast of Imus' radio program, and CBS eventually fired him from that program. Imus' remarks were part of a long history of inflammatory commentary on his show; he previously called Hillary Clinton "that buck-toothed witch, Satan," and referred to the "Jewish management" of CBS radio as "money-grubbing bastards." Despite his history of making such comments and tolerating such comments from his co-hosts and guests, Fox Business Network began simulcasting Imus' radio program in October.
Imus called women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." On the April 4, 2007, edition of Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which comprised eight African-American players and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos" immediately after the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team "hard-core hos." [Imus in the Morning, 4/4/07]
Imus corrected Dietl's slur against Arabs: "It's, uh, 'camel humpers' " While discussing the rising price of gasoline on the May 12, 2008, edition of ABC Radio Networks' Imus in the Morning, frequent guest of the show Richard "Bo" Dietl said that "there should be a congressional investigation ... into all these former presidents," before asking: "What kind of money is being influxitated [sic] into their libaries [sic]? I'm talking about this guy sitting across from me, Bill Clinton. They have hundreds of millions of dollars that were pumped in there from these Aba Daba Doos over there in the Middle East, controlling the oil. Right now in the Middle East, you've got Saudi Arabia, who's got their finger. Why doesn't Fredo [President Bush] get on his Air Force One, fly over to Riyadh, get those little hamel humpers over there, sit 'em down, and say, 'Look, we got our F-16s --' " Host Don Imus interrupted Dietl and said: "It's, uh, 'camel humpers.' " [Imus in the Morning, 5/12/08]
Imus' McGuirk on "young colored fellah" Obama "pretty much deckin' the old bag from New York." On the March 16, 2007, edition of Imus in the Morning, McGuirk, performing as his character "Cardinal Egan," said that "the whole nation is talking about" reports of a "young colored fellah pretty much deckin' the old bag from New York and takin' away some of her money." McGuirk continued: "I'm speaking, of course, about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton." [Imus in the Morning, 3/16/07]
On Imus, McGuirk said that "bitch" Clinton will "have cornrows and gold teeth." On the March 6, 2007, edition of Imus in the Morning, McGuirk said that Hillary Clinton was "trying to sound black in front of a black audience" when she gave a speech on March 4, 2007, in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march. McGuirk added that Clinton "will have cornrows and gold teeth before this fight with Obama is over." Earlier in the program, in reference to Clinton's speech, McGuirk had said, "Bitch is gonna be wearing cornrows." McGuirk also said that Clinton will be "giving Crips signs during speeches." The Crips are a Los Angeles-based street gang. [Imus in the Morning, 3/6/07]
John Gibson previously hosted Fox News' The Big Story With John Gibson, where he once encouraged his viewers to "make more babies" and then fearmongered about the birthrates of immigrants in Europe. Gibson also has a history of making inflammatory and racially insensitive comments on his radio show, which Fox News Radio continues to broadcast.
Gibson told African-American caller: "You're sticking with Obama because he's ... a brother." On the April 9, 2008, broadcast of his radio show, Gibson told a caller, "[Y]ou are the third or fourth caller in a row who is -- has identified yourself to [associate producer] Christine as African-American. And when I talk to you, you obviously are smart, well-educated, well-read, and all that, and I think that your loyalty to Obama here is an issue that goes beyond the issues." When the caller asserted, "No, it's not -- it's not beyond the issues," Gibson said, "It is a racial solidarity bond you have with Obama. Tell me -- I dare you to deny that." Moments later, Gibson added: "You're sticking with Obama, because he's ... he's a brother." Gibson also asserted about Obama: "He is lying to your face but he knows you are so -- you so identify with him on the basis of race, you will not even see the lies."
Gibson told an African-American caller: "You just like [Obama] because he's ... like you and you want to see one of you up there." On the June 9, 2008, broadcast of his radio show, Gibson said: "You don't know what Barack Obama stands for. You just like him because he's -- he's -- he's like you and you want to see one of you up there, and you don't care what he stands for." The caller responded: "He's not one of me just because he's a black guy or something like that. That doesn't make him one of me. He's standing for him, not me."
Gibson said he knew school shooter was white because "[b]lack shooters don't" shoot themselves; "they shoot and move on." On the October 10, 2007, broadcast of his radio show, while discussing 14-year-old Asa H. Coon, who earlier that day shot four people at his Cleveland high school before killing himself, Gibson asserted that "because the school is very heavily African-American, I did leap to a conclusion" that "the shooter might have been African-American." Gibson went on to say that he "knew this was not a classic hip-hop shooting" once he learned Coon killed himself. Gibson continued: "Hip-hoppers do not kill themselves. They walk away. Now, I didn't need to hear the kid was white with blond hair. Once he'd shot himself in the head, no hip-hopper." Gibson later stated, "I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again." Gibson added: "I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem."
Gibson implored viewers to "[m]ake more babies" while discussing birthrates by race in the U.S. and Europe. On the May 11, 2006, edition of The Big Story, Gibson advised viewers during the "My Word" segment of his program to "[d]o your duty. Make more babies." He then cited an article that reported nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: "By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic." Gibson later said: "Now, in this country, European ancestry people, white people, are having kids at the rate that does sustain the population. It grows a bit. That compares to Europe where the birth rate is in the negative zone. They are not having enough babies to sustain their population. Consequently, they are inviting in more and more immigrants every year to take care of things and those immigrants are having way more babies than the native population, hence Eurabia." After discusing Russia's projected decline in population, Gibson said, "To put it bluntly, we need more babies." Gibson claimed: "So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can't carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way -- a slogan for our times: 'procreation not recreation'."
Gibson responded to criticism of "make more babies" remarks by invoking Europe's rising Muslim population. During his May 16, 2006, "My Word" segment on his Fox News television show, Gibson claimed there are "[s]ome misunderstandings" regarding his May 11 comments, adding that he's "been accused of being a racist." Gibson explained: "My concern was simply that I didn't want America to become Europe, where the birth rate is so low the continent is fast being populated by immigrants, mainly from Muslim countries, whose birth rate is very high."
Gibson says of Jena demonstrators: "Black devils stalking their streets," but "[t]hey wanna fight the white devil." During the September 21, 2007, broadcast of his radio show, while discussing events surrounding the so-called Jena Six with the show's executive producer, known on air as "Angry Rich," Gibson asserted that the demonstrators who gathered the previous week in Jena, Louisiana, only "wanna fight the white devil." Gibson aired news coverage of the Jena Six protests and challenged protesters' claims that the incidents in Jena are representative of ongoing racism in this country. He said: "[W]hat they're worried about is a mirage of 1950s-style American segregation, racism from the South. They wanna fight the white devil. ... [T]here's no -- can't go fight the black devil. Black devils stalking their streets every night gunning down their own people -- can't go fight that. That would be snitchin'."
Mark Fuhrman, a former officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, was discredited for his role in the O.J. Simpson murder trial; after he had retired from the LAPD, Fuhrman pleaded no contest to a perjury charge in which he was accused of lying under oath about using a racial slur. Fox News subsequently hired Fuhrman as a Fox News contributor and has turned to him to discuss such racially charged topics as the arrest of Henry Louis Gates at his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home.
Fuhrman on "people" he "dealt with ... for 20 years": "They will kill somebody and go have some chicken at KFC." On the November 16, 2006, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Fuhrman asserted that the type of "people" he "dealt with ... for 20 years" will "kill somebody and go have some chicken at KFC. You will catch them eating chicken and drinking a beer after they just murdered three people." Fuhrman added that "these people are out there. They're all over the place." Later in the broadcast, co-host Alan Colmes challenged Fuhrman on his comments, asking him: "[Y]ou said, in the last segment, that these people will go and kill someone and go have chicken at KFC -- who are you talking about?" Fuhrman replied that he was "talking about a murderer, whether they're white, black, or Caucasian; or they're Mexican. It doesn't make any difference." Colmes persisted, asking, "[D]o you think that comment could be interpreted as a racist comment -- they go have chicken at KFC?" Fuhrman replied that he "used to eat chicken at KFC," then accused Colmes of having "a chip on your shoulder." Fuhrman continued: "The problem is, Alan, is you're talking about things that you don't have any knowledge of. None. You've never been on the street. You've never been out there." Fuhrman concluded: "This is O.J. Simpson. He loves you right now -- I hope you like that -- because you are doing exactly what he wants. You are flipping everything around to 1994 where he got a bum rap because of racism."