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Fox News Equates A Confederate Flag License Plate With One Espousing Family Values

Reported by Ellen - May 14, 2011 -

This report about the Florida legislature’s refusal to approve Confederate Flag license plates, aired on America Live yesterday (5/13/11), was supposed to be part of Fox News’ “objective news” line up. But, as with so much of Fox News’ “objective news” reporting, the bias – in this case for the flagn plate – is glaring. But Fox may have reached a new low in sensitivity (or lack thereof) when it compared a Confederate Flag plate to one espousing family values.

Fox’s Douglas Kennedy started off by saying, “The question is, are (specialty license plates) free speech?” He later answered his own question – in the affirmative.

If you want to know where Fox News stands on an issue, check out which side gets presented first and last and who gets sandwiched in the (least prominent) middle. In this case, Kennedy began by highlighting a Florida man named John Adams who wants the Confederate Flag on his license plate. "To John Adams, you are what you drive - or rather, what's expressed on your license plate," Kennedy said. "It's an extension of a person's home," Adams then told us.

But after noting that Florida’s legislature has refused to take up the bill, Kennedy said,

Florida has allowed other drivers’ self-expression, including supporters of sea turtles and dolphins and sports teams. It’s also OK to advocate for home ownership and family values, even trust in God. In fact, the State of Florida has over 120 specialty plates and recently a federal judge called them all free speech protected, he said, by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Of course, the Confederate Flag is loaded with hurtful symbolism to African Americans that puts it on an entirely different level from sea turtles, family values and trust in God. But Kennedy didn’t get around to that perspective until about 1:49 in the 2:16 video. And he slyly presented that view as one person’s perspective. Kennedy reported, “But one Florida State legislator says (about approving such a plate) ‘Not so fast.’” We then saw State Senator Geraldine Thompson, an African American, call it “a symbol of oppression, it’s a symbol of slavery and it’s not something that I think we should perpetuate and certainly we should not have it on our license plate.” That was it for the African American perspective.

Then it was back to Adams for his closing thoughts that Kennedy just so happened to suggest were more prevalent than Thompson's. Kennedy said to Adams, “Some state legislators here say the Confederate flag and what it represents is not appropriate for a state-issued license plate.”

“Tell that to the 30,000 people that wanted to buy it,” Adams said.

End of report.

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