With the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally front and center in the mind of America this weekend, it’s a good time to recall the conversations we’ve had about race in our country, and what news outlets do to try and help — or in some cases exacerbate — the situation.
Back when Megyn Kelly was still a Fox News host, she really wasn’t letting on that she was having problems with the upper management of the network, let alone that she might be considering leaving. In fact, there was nothing to suggest that she was anything but another talking head like the ones Americans have come to expect on the overtly conservative channel: Repeating talking points, never conceding that there might be alternative opinions, and shutting down any kind of dissent.
But when she hosted comedian D.L. Hughley, he challenged her in such a way that she tried to do just that — shut him down. He was talking about Fox’s coverage of police brutality against black people, which is biased at the very least, when he said “the only place racism doesn’t exist is Fox News and the police department.”
Just a few days later, ABC’s flagship daytime program The View was discussing the exchange on a panel that included one part-time Fox News host, Jedediah Bila, who took exception to Hughley’s characterization of her network:
I don’t think that was fair, that comment … We talk about issues of race all the time. I’m on with Juan Williams all the time.”
Maybe it was that comment about Panamanian-born Juan Williams that set Whoopi off, like the people who say “I can’t be racist, I have a black friend.” Whatever it was, she took Bila to school that afternoon:
When you see something as horrendous as what we saw on Monday play out… where the officer shot [Philando Castile], it’s kinda hard not to see what that was. Now maybe the cop was nervous, but what you see is what you see. And when you look at Eric Garner, what you see is what you see. And what shapes the narrative, often times, is a disregard for the fact that we do have a racial issue. We do have an issue between how police are sometimes, and how people of color are sometimes, and that’s the discussion we don’t have, and it’s the shape of this particular narrative, I think, is not helped, often times, because when it comes to race we don’t want to hear it. That’s what I’ve seen.”
Watch the exchange here, which shows essentially the entire panel other than the Fox host scrambling to agree with Whoopi:
Featured image via screen capture