Fox Interrupts Its Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric To Promote Bush Conference On How Immigrants Benefit Economy

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

Despite its long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric, Fox News promoted a conference sponsored by former President George W. Bush's foundation that discussed the benefits immigrants bring to the U.S. economy.

On the December 4 edition of America's Newsroom, Fox correspondent Casey Stegall reported live from the conference in Dallas where Bush was about to speak. According to Stegall, the conference featured discussions of "how immigration actually benefits the economy and how reform is really necessary to get the economic engines going." Stegall's report contained footage of a woman stating that "immigrants actually accelerate growth."

While waiting for Bush to take the podium, Happening Now co-host Jon Scott interviewed The Hill's A.B. Stoddard about how Bush now wants to have a role in the "reset" of the Republican Party on issues of immigration. Scott noted that Bush "did pretty well" with Hispanics as a presidential candidate, while Stoddard highlighted how Bush "spent so much time" in Texas "speaking Spanish, living among -- a place where the demographics were changing so quickly. ... He knew this had to be a part of the Republican tent." After airing about four minutes of Bush's speech, Scott and Stoddard returned to discuss immigration again.

Only since the November presidential election has Fox changed its tune on immigration.  In the days following the election, at least three previously anti-immigrant Fox News hosts encouraged the GOP to embrace immigrants following Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's poor showing among Latino voters. This sudden shift and Fox's now moderate tone in promoting Bush's conference contrasts sharply with the strident anti-immigrant rhetoric typically found on the channel:

  • Fox largely shuns pro-immigrant voices -- more than 60 percent of Fox guests discussing immigration in one 14-month period held anti-immigrant views.

  • In that same period, more than three-fourths of discussions on Fox about immigration involved issues of criminality, essentially making immigrants and crime synonymous.

  • Fox hosts have bashed the Hispanic civil rights group National Council of La Raza.

  • Fox has given airtime to serve as a platform for representatives of extremist anti-immigration groups.

  • Fox frequently uses the term "illegals" to describe undocumented immigrants - a term that is considered a pejorative.

  • Fox hosts have also used the derogatory term "anchor baby."

  • Further contradicting the conference's message on "how immigration actually benefits the economy," just the day before Fox falsely portrayed in-state college tuition for qualified undocumented immigrants as being provided "on the backs of legal students."

But even while promoting Bush's speech, Fox couldn't stay moderate for long. In the final segment featuring Stoddard and Scott, Stoddard used the term "illegals."

In August, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke at a conference to get "beyond politics and antiquated notions about immigration," despite the prominent role his Fox News plays in perpetuating such notions.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
Fox News Channel
Jon Scott, A.B. Stoddard
America's Newsroom, Happening Now
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.