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FOX & Friends Hosts Belittle May Ray Nagin and Reinforce Racial Stereotypes

Reported by Marie Therese - January 17, 2006

Yesterday during a celebration of Martin Luther King Day, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said the following, as reported in this morning's Washington Post: "Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country. ... Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves. ... It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. This city will be a majority-African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans ... Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?." However, if you just got this story from the less-that-bright lightbulbs on this morning's FOX & Friends, here's what you would have heard:

STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Let's talk a little bit about Ray Nagin. The Mayor of New Orleans said yesterday - he was touring some of the devastation in his community and he made it clear - he said that Katrina and the other storms that pounded his area last year [were] signs that God quote "is mad at America for invading Iraq." That's right. [Disdainful look clearly indicating that what Doocy really thinks of this] He says God is mad at America because of the invasion of Iraq."


DOOCY [continues his dismissive smirk]: Um-hmm.

HILL: So, saving millions of lives, potentially, because of all the ...

DOOCY: He's - listen ...

HILL: ... 300 mass graves that we've uncovered in Iraq so stopping somebody who is ...

DOOCY: Um-hmm,

HILL: ... just randomly killing their citizens

DOOCY: Mr. Nagin said (reading from his computer) "Surely he" - speaking for God, Ray Nagin now speaking for God - "he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses." He also promised that New Orleans would, once again, be a "chocolate city" - that's his expression. He said quote "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be," Brian.

BRIAN KILMEADE: Yeah, he also said that he blames the black community. He's upset at Black America, God is also upset at Black America for not taking care of ourselves. He points to black-on-black crime and he also says that violence and political infighting has caused hurricane after hurricane which has put undue stress on our country and our economy.

HILL: I just want to find the hotline.

DOOCY: Yeah!

KILMEADE (Hill laughs): It's amazing. God keeps and talkin' to everybody and they just type it out and talk about it for us.

HILL: I don't know. I always feel He's guiding me in certain ways, but He hasn't been talkin' to me recently.

DOOCY: Well, I think we all ta - a lot of us talk to God

HILL: Yes, but He doesn't talk back, you know!

DOOCY: ... and feel that He talks back but it's just ...

HILL: He just guides you.

DOOCY: It's just unusual that a (choosing words) that a public figure would make such a statement. And remember it wasn't so long ago that Nagin condemned Evangelist Franklin Graham for saying ...


DOOCY: ... Graham said that God was using Katrina to spark a religious revival in a city rife with quote "satanic worship and sexual perversion."

KILMEADE: Now does God get credit ...

DOOCY: Nagin lit into Franklin Graham ...


DOOCY: ... and yet essentially here he is now speaking on behalf of God.

COMMENT: Ka-ching! The insidious link was forged in a carefully crafted chain of racial stereotyping. First we heard that African-American Ray Nagin wanted to return NOLA to it's status as a "chocolate city." A few sentences later FOX News introduces us to the words of a lily-white born-again evangelist who accuses that self-same "chocolate city" of being a den of satanic worship and sexual perversion. Voila! In less than two minutes, FOX News reaffirmed on an archtypical level familiar and comfortable racial stereotypes. As we have pointed out numerous times on this site, there is some very heavy subconscious conditioning going on at FOX News.

KILMEADE: And, of course, Steve, you know about Pat Robertson saying Ariel Sharon's illness is because of what happened - givin' up Gaza - so God's playin' a major role, as we know He is. The other thing - you gotta give God some credit, too, because He brought the Dow over 11,000. Unemployment is very down. And the elections went well in Iraq. So God gave us a thumbs up there and a thumbs down with the hurricanes. It all brings us to the question of the day: HURRICANE KATRINA: GOD'S WRATH OR NATURE'S PATH?

[A telephone number and email address flashed on the screen, inviting FOX viewers to vote on this question.]

KILMEADE: So we're asking you if God's spoken to you so you can weigh in with us!

DOOCY: Do you feel that Hurricane Katrina was God's wrath at the United States for invading Iraq or is it just nature's path, just one of those things, you know, one of those big weather cycles that happens every twenty or thirty years?

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