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FOX News Bigotry On Display Again With Unbalanced Reporting On Sonny Carson Controversy

Reported by Ellen - June 1, 2007 -

FOX News reporter Eric Shawn visited Hannity & Colmes last night (5/31/07) to discuss an upcoming FOX News special about a racially charged New York City Council meeting in which it was decided not to name a street for a controversial African American named Sonny Carson. Would FOX News bother to produce a special program over the naming of a street if it weren’t for footage of a lot of rowdy, uppity African Americans? I don’t think so. With video.

As AP reported,

Tempers had been simmering since last month, after a measure was introduced to rename a Brooklyn street after Sonny Abubadika Carson, a local leader who once called himself "anti-white.'' His name was initially part of a package of 51 street renamings, alongside New Yorkers such as actor Jerry Orbach and firefighters killed in the line of duty, but it was stricken from the group last month when objections were raised over his history.

Carson, who died in 2002, was an important figure in the city's black community throughout the 1980s. He led protests against police brutality and founded the Black Men's Movement Against Crack, among other things. His autobiography, ``The Education of Sonny Carson,'' was turned into a movie.

Carson also served 15 months in prison after his arrest in 1974 on murder, attempted murder and kidnapping charges. He was convicted of the kidnapping charge; prosecutors said he had ordered two shootings as acts of revenge.

In the discussion, Shawn downplayed Carson’s community work by saying, “Supporters say, ‘Hey, he fought against drugs, he was for education.” Shawn also neglected to mention that part of the reason the meeting became so contentious was because the predominantly black Bedford-Stuyvesant community saw the white City Council Speaker’s yanking of Carson’s name, which had been preapproved by the local community board, as an encroachment on a community’s prerogative to honor one of their own. No thanks to Shawn, Alan Colmes brought up the question of whether a community has the right to name a street after whomever it likes.

Predictably, Shawn focused on the bad behavior of the African Americans in the crowd. “They were rude. They were demeaning. It was actually appalling.” Maybe so. But it seemed unfair not to have a representative from the black community to explain their viewpoint. Obviously, Shawn didn't get it.

Nevertheless, Hannity praised Shawn for his unbiased, “right down the middle” reporting. From there, Hannity went on his own bigoted bender which he eventually expanded to include a rant against Malcolm X and NYC Councilman Charles Barron. Whenever the subject is race, Hannity obsesses over the possibility that a black person may be able to do something a white person can’t. In a statement similar to hundreds others I've heard from Hannity, he said, “In this day and age, could you imagine anybody, a white person, saying they were anti-black and then even having a debate over the possibility of naming a street after them?”

“Of course not,” Shawn said. However, he somehow overlooked a bit of NYC history that AP did not: Many of the figures honored in the names of the city's streets, parks and squares have questionable pasts that include slave ownership, anti-Semitism and adultery.