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Suddenly, FOX News Cares About Discrimination Against African Americans… Now That It Can Be Used As A Club For Bashing Democrats!

Reported by Ellen - September 29, 2007 -

After twice framing the Jena 6 case with “questions” about reverse racism, suddenly FOX News was a picture of racial sensitivity last night (9/28/07) on Hannity & Colmes. The top story was a few ill-chosen words from John Edwards about African Americans and crime. Funny how interested FOX News was in this story and how nobody discussed the snubbing by the top four GOP candidates of the black issues forum the night before. With video.

A clip was played of Edwards saying:

We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating. Pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.

Not the most artful way of putting it but it seemed clear to me that Edwards was referring to the disproportionate number of African Americans in prison rather than stating that he thought every one of them was a criminal. Not even the African American Republican guest, Michael Steele, made that claim.

The Democratic guest, Michael Brown (also African American) said that Edwards was talking about “what’s really happening in America” and the “social problems and challenges” faced by African Americans. Clearly, Brown said, Edwards did not mean that literally all blacks would be dead or in prison. “His point was, there’s a problem that this administration has not cared about and done enough.”

Alan Colmes further noted that Edwards “rounded out” his remarks with the following: “What we have to do is have a fair educational system and now we have one system for the inner city, another for suburban neighborhoods.” Colmes added, “What he’s basically saying is that you have to go to the root of the problem and solve it educationally.”

Sean Hannity didn't have much fiery outrage, either. His main concern seemed to be the only issue he ever really seems to care about with regard to race: that he can’t make the same biased statements he thinks others can. “I think there’s a big double standard in the way conservatives are treated in the media and the way John Edwards is treated.” He harped on that issue more than anything Edwards said.

Brown made some excellent points in the discussion. But he either failed to grasp or else deliberately avoided mentioning the hypocrisy of attacking Edwards while ignoring a three-time snub from the top GOP candidates. Furthermore, most mainstream African Americans didn’t seem to have a problem with Edwards' remarks. A Google News search of "john edwards african americans prison" turned up only a few conservatives complaining. But the GOP snub has been was sharply criticized by PBS’ Tavis Smiley, radio host Tom Joyner and even some Republicans such as Newt Gingrich.