White House calls on Fox News to apologize after top host’s ‘sickening’ Islamophobic rant

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By todaybreakingnews.org

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here.


Fox News is showing its true colors, yet again.

The right-wing television network has remained entirely silent amid fierce backlash stemming from Islamophobic comments made on its top-rated show, “The Five,” by one of its top hosts, Jesse Watters.

In an astonishing and ugly rant, Watters on Wednesday said that he was fed up with Arab Americans and the entire Muslim world. “We have had it with them,” Watters declared during the diatribe, which aired during a segment about activists ripping down posts spotlighting Israeli hostages.

The remarks earned Watters and Fox News another stinging rebuttal from the White House, which called them a “sickening attack on the rights and dignity of their fellow Americans.” The White House added that Fox News “owes an apology to every single viewer.”

If you’re waiting for an apology from Fox News, however, don’t hold your breath (you should probably know this by now). As usual, Fox News hasn’t said a word about the hateful rant that streamed out of a top host’s mouth and into the homes of millions.

And it’s not the first time that Watters has made abhorrent comments since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out. In October, Watters said, “I don’t like how people try to differentiate between the Palestinians and Hamas.”

“To me, I see people with guns. That’s Hamas. The people without the guns are the Palestinians. They believe the same thing,” Watters said at the time. “The Palestinians hire Hamas to run their government. You poll them; they all love killing Jews. It’s in their charter. They say they believe in suicide bombings.”

At an actual news organization, and in the vast majority of corporate America, such comments would unquestionably be unacceptable. The host would almost certainly be publicly reprimanded, and an apology would immediately be issued — at the very least.

But Fox News is much different. Its refusal to address the matter underscores once more that Rupert Murdoch’s television arm is comfortable broadcasting hate to the masses. Tucker Carlson might be gone, but appalling comments like this still find their way to air — and the network turns a blind eye to it.

It goes without saying that voicing hate — and profiting from it — is a reprehensible act. But in the charged environment we now find ourselves in, where hate against Muslim Americans is surging alongside anti-Semitism, it is particularly irresponsible and repugnant.

Stamping out bigotry from the public discourse should be everyone’s mission. For some, however, injecting intolerance into the conversation seems to be the modus operandi.

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