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E.D. Hill’s Bias Slip Is Showing

Reported by Priscilla - June 9, 2008 -

The propaganda on Fox News is sometimes subtle – as when Brit Hume throws in questionable studies to support the “facts” on his “Grapevine.” The famous “Cavuto Mark” chyron is a way to state a talking point by structuring it as a question. Another way to communicate a right wing talking point, as part of a smear, is the comparison- such as when Charles Krauthammer said, during the panel discussion on Fox Special Report, that Barack Obama’s comment about people clinging to religion was like Karl Marx’s ”opiate of the people” comment. Guilt by association is also quite the meme of Fox – as when Barack Obama’s “friendship” with “radicals” is brought up. Fox’s E.D. Hill, on Fox’s America’s Pulse, was not so subtle when she asked the (leading) question about the “fist bump” done by Michelle and Barack Obama before last week’s victory speech. Thus, we had the talking point as question and the association of a simple and loving gesture as "terrorism." The comparison implied is that anyone who does this could be a terrorist.

During a discussion of political body language, E.D. Hill made the statement regarding the “bump” in introducing the upcoming segment: “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says.” As noted by Media Matters For America, this reference to the “terrorist fist jab” was not mentioned in the actual conversation between Hill and “body language expert” Janine Driver, who said that this gesture represented a “connection” between the two individuals. (Comment: Fox does use its “tease” comments, before the actual reports, to frame the issue in right wing terms; but there is always a follow-up)

Comment: Jake Tapper of ABC, in reacting to this comment, said it best: “Truly unbelievable. Sen. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle do a fist bump-- or as Ta-Nahisi Coates explains, what's actually called “giving a person a dap,” a greeting that you can see Howie Mandell do with contestants on Deal or No Deal -- and Fox News Channel asks if it was a “terrorist fist jab.” But for Fox, the fear factor overrides all others and the fear of brown people and fear of Muslims are the top vote getters – so with Obama, you score a double play. I realize that Hill’s piece was playing to the demographic – but a fist bump ( the newest incarnation of the high-five) as “terrorist?” Have you no shame, Ms. Hill?

Note - video of E.D.Hill's statement also available on Crooks&Liars and Think Progress