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Fox & Friends Uses Apolitical Hill Harper Interview As An Excuse To Attack Obama

Reported by Ellen - August 22, 2011 -

Hill Harper, who has written a book about wealth and wellness, has all the credentials you need to be a Fox News expert on President Obama’s “base” – he’s African American. Or so you would think judging from this morning’s Fox & Friends interview in which Harper was obviously taken by surprise as the Curvy Couch Crew pushed him into a discussion that FoxNews.com called, Is President Obama Losing His Base? This, despite the fact that Harper repeatedly made it clear he was not comfortable discussing politics. The suggestion was not just that being black made Hill an automatic expert but that African Americans are Obama's base. (H/T Robert W.)

Harper got about two minutes out of the five-plus minute segment before the Friends started trying to make him an African American Poster Child. It started with host Brian Kilmeade bringing up a higher rate of unemployment in the black community.

As I’ve previously noted, I can’t recall seeing “fair and balanced” Fox take an interest in the black community except as a vehicle for attacking President Obama or other Democrats or liberals. Sure enough, this was obviously what Fox News producers had in mind. As Harper said noncommittally – and without a word about Obama, his policies or the Congressional Black Caucus – that unemployment is always higher in black communities, a banner appeared on the screen saying, “PRESIDENT LOSING HIS BASE. BLACK CAUCUS DISPLEASED WITH WH POLICIES.”

Harper plainly did not come prepared to discuss politics and was reluctant to go there. He recommended stepping back and saying, “Money is a tool to be used to build the life that I want, what can I do to innovate in my own life?”

But Fox had clearly slotted Hill to stand for Obama’s “base.” Host Steve Doocy pressed on, bringing the discussion back to Obama and the black community. “The president has suddenly got critics in the Congressional Black Caucus… The hope and change thing, fast forward three years, hasn’t turned out for a lot of people.”

Again, Hill tried to demur. “There are folks who are always going to criticize the president.”

“But Maxine Waters surprised me,” Kilmeade pushed.

“Obviously, I’m not a political expert,” Hill said, once again expressing his unease with the turn the discussion was taking.

Guest host Juliette Huddy added her hilariously disingenuous prompt. “But you’re an author and an actor.” Of course, what she really meant was that Hill is a BLACK author and a BLACK actor.

Hill continued to show his reluctance to talk politics: “Thank goodness I’m not a political expert, I’ll leave that to you guys.”

So Huddy asked about Harper’s attendance at Obama’s recent birthday party at the White House. He said it was great and that he especially loved the jazz band.

I’m surprised nobody asked Harper about the hip hop entertainment!

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