By: Lachlan Cartwright, Lloyd Grove, Andrew Kirell, Noah Shachtman and Justin Baragona
Four days after Fox News aired a particularly tone-deaf graphic connecting the killings of Black men—including George Floyd and Martin Luther King Jr.—to stock market gains, many of the network’s Black staffers took part in a phone call with company brass to confront Fox’s increasingly racist and hostile rhetoric towards the protests against police brutality.
It did not go well.
The call on June 9 lasted more than 90 minutes and included Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, President Jay Wallace, and HR chief Kevin Lord, people familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. It was led by Scott, who is white, and Marsheila J. Hayes, the vice president of diversity and inclusion at Fox Corporation, who is Black.
It was almost immediately rife with tension. One staffer directly asked why Bret Baier—the anchor of the network’s key weekday news broadcast, Special Report, which aired the offensive graphic—was not on the call, nor any other white on-air talent. (Baier had previously apologized for the “major screw-up,” noting that, because the show bears his name, “the buck stops with me.” Fox News also apologized for the “insensitivity” of the infographic, adding that it “should have never aired on television without full context.”)
Other participants on the call expressed anger and distress about rampant racism at Fox, both on- and off-air.
Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, who is Black, was particularly incensed, according to multiple people who attended the call. In fact, he had previously called Scott directly and, per a person familiar, was “ripshit” about the Baier graphic debacle and about racist remarks that Laura Ingraham had recently made on the air.
At one point on the June 9 call, sources told The Daily Beast, an irate Payne suggested he’d been the victim of racial discrimination, repeatedly passed over for opportunities given instead to white colleagues. Elsewhere, the staffers recalled, Payne, who has been at Fox since 2007, lamented the network’s tone when covering Black cultural stories, including the killing of California rapper and anti-gang activist Nipsey Hussle. How can he talk to his children about Fox News, the host wondered, when it portrays people like Hussle in a racist, stereotypical manner as a gangster?
Click on the link below for the full story on the Dailybeastcom.
Moved to the Big Tomata in the nineties from San Francisco. No Suburbs for me with its single colored houses and lawns and the excitement of pulling out my trash can once a week. I'm a CityFella , a part time New Yorker. I'm happiest in the Center City where people the streets and people are alive. I'm still waiting to buy a 34th floor condo somewhere downtown/Midtown with a nightclub. "Hurry I'm old" My politics are somewhere in the middle with a needle that constantly moves. I'm too liberal to be a Republican and too conservative to be a Democrat. Everything interests me . I've come to love Sacratomato, Its a nice town in cheap sensible shoes .
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