Fox News continued its pattern — tradition? — of directing attacks with racist undertones at President Barack Obama on Thursday night when Brent Bozell of the conservative Media Research Center said that “you might want to say” that the President is a “skinny, ghetto crackhead.”
The holiday spirit of peace on earth and good will to all humankind is not prevailing at Fox News.
Bozell was making an appearance on Hannity in the the show’s weekly “Media Mash” segment, in which the mainstream media come under fire for their purported failings. Guest host Mark Steyn played a clip of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews referring to Newt Gingrich as someone who “looks like a car bomber.” Steyn then opined that Gingrich looks like nothing of the sort but is rather “big, cuddly, slightly older Winnie the Pooh.” No comment about that remark, which Bozell followed with these words:
“How long do you think Sean Hannity’s show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does. Everybody on the left would come forward and demand he be fired within five minutes for being so insulting towards a leader of the United States.”
Media Matters’ Solange Uwimana traces other instances of racially tinged references to the President on Fox News:
A few months ago, Fox’s Eric Bolling came under fire for his racially charged criticisms of Obama, including his claims that Obama was “chugging 40′s in IRE while tornadoes ravage MO” (which he latertried to amend), and that Obama was hosting “hoodlum[s] in the hizzouse” when he welcomed Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba and rapper Common to the White House.
Other attacks on Fox News have questioned the President’s place of birth and also his religion. As Uwimana writes, all are nothing new from Fox News. Susan Madrak at Crooks and Liars notes that ugly remarks like these are rather what one should expect from Bozell, who is on the record for saying that former President Jimmy Carter is “like that proverbial college freshman who spouts neo-Marxist pablum after one too many hits on the bong.”
As someone who teaches and who has taught quite a few first-year college students for two decades around the US, all I can say is, most of them know very well that such statements are inappropriate and wrongheaded. Even more, the students I’ve known would readily recognize that such hateful speech is a troubling sign of how deeply racist attitudes and beliefs are embedded in US society and how much we need to keep challenging those who utter them.
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