Although Fox News’ racist rhetoric is nothing new, it still manages to shock people by reaching even greater heights of offensiveness at every turn.
This is, in part, possible because the conservative news channel somehow manages to get away with its right-wing vitriol despite mass outrage and criticism. But should it be allowed to walk away scot-free?
Even when there are lives at stake?
Following the recent tragedy in South Carolina – in which nine people were shot and killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in Charleston allegedly by a 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof – Fox News out-Foxed itself to find an explanation other than racism for the shooting.
As noted in a previous article, one pundit tried – and failed – to imply that the Charleston church shooting was an attack on Christians. Another said it was an attack on the entire state of South Carolina and a third one went as far as blaming the massacre on the diversity in America. Then there was the usual “lone wolf,” “troubled teen” theory.
While all of this is predictable coming from Fox News, it’s definitely not OK.
How long will this organization be allowed to spread half-truths and warped facts? How long will its biased news anchors and analysts be allowed to get away with incendiary comments with a two-second apology?
Because, as unfortunate as it is, Fox News is an opinion-making industry at the end of the day and shaping popular opinion is a huge responsibility. But the channel has a history of fabricating and twisting facts about topics as sensitive as racism or religion.
Just recently, it’s disgusting how Fox & Friends – while completely ignoring the racism of it – suggested the Charleston shooting may have been prevented had the congregation been armed. John Lott, a major gun rights advocate, wrote a separate column for the news outlet in which he argued the real problem was that the church was a gun-free zone, which makes it an easy target for killers.
How is such provocative rhetoric helpful in easing tensions in a place already plagued by gun violence and related deaths?
Read More On This: Dylann Roof Is A White Supremacist American Terrorist
And it’s not as if it hasn’t happened before. One of the channel’s senior and most beloved commentators Greg Gutfeld falsely claimed in 2012, following Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide, that right-to-carry laws decrease violent crime – even though credible studies have shown no such correlation.
Gutfeld said: "Basically, when you're not arming people, you're actually creating a health hazard. A gun is a vitamin of safety.”
And let’s not forget to mention Fox News’ signature xenophobic tirade that potentially endangered the lives of so many people involved. Most notable instance in this case would be the time when Fox’s right-wing demagogue brigade reported the creation of imaginary "Muslim no-go zones" in Paris – at a time when hate crimes were on the rise against Muslims in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France in January.
The crew, yet again, got away with its vicious, hateful and completely false reporting by issuing “official apologies.”
Making a mockery of the president’s health care laws is something that can be forgiven. (It’s something that Bill O’Reilly does all the time – and it’s so idiotic that it’s almost funny.)
However, warping the truth when innocent people are ruthlessly killed – or could be killed as a result of it – is not something that should be overlooked that easily.