“Children Of The Corn”: Fox's Newest Undocumented Immigrant Smear
Fox News is continuing its practice of appealing to conservative viewers while also pandering to the growing Latino influence in the United States.
In a report on American children in Los Angeles County whose parents are undocumented, Fox News used phrases such as “Alien Nation” and “Children of the Corn” to illustrate the story. In another report, the cable channel celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month -- a month-long tribute to Hispanic Americans starting on September 15 -- with a feature on the immigrant roots of Goya Foods.
On the September 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report guest-hosted by Chris Wallace, the program used several inflammatory graphics during a segment called “The Grapevine” to highlight a new analysis by Los Angeles County officials that an “estimated 100,000 children of 60,000 undocumented parents receive aid in Los Angeles County.” According to the data, the projected cost to the county would equal $650 million in 2013.
Right-wing media, including Fox News, have seized on the report to revive the false link between immigrants and welfare, which has repeatedly been debunked.
On Special Report, Wallace stated that the LA County data is “more proof of the economic impact of the immigration debate.” As he cited the numbers, several graphics bearing the image of a man appearing to vault over a border fence lined with barbed wire flashed on-screen. One read: “Children of the Corn.”
“Children of the Corn” is the name of a 1977 short horror story by Stephen King, which tells of a murderous cult of children in a remote town who kill everyone over the age of 18. The story was adapted for film in 1984; at least eight other movies followed.
Wallace nor Special Report explained or referred to the graphics during the segment, which also featured one reading: “Alien Nation”:
Fox News has a history of inflammatory rhetoric directed at immigrants, including referring to children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor babies” and to immigrants as “illegals.” These dehumanizing words have been blasted by immigrants' rights and Latino groups.
Fox has also attacked as "amnesty" any effort to reform immigration laws that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.
The morning after the Special Report segment, however, Fox & Friends aired a segment on Goya Foods to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and bring viewers “some remarkable stories inside the Latino community.” Goya, according to Fox, is “the largest Hispanic-owned food company.” The segment is part of a special series from Fox News Latino and the Ailes Apprentice Program, a venture started by Fox News CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes that is “committed to supporting and promoting diversity in broadcast & cable journalism.” It also aims to “build the next generation of media programming and technical executives as well as anchors and reporters.”
Fox News has been criticized for slanting its coverage depending on which audience it seeks to reach.