The hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric of Fox News’ Todd Starnes pushed the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to rescind its invitation to Fox as a sponsor for its upcoming Excellence in Journalism conference in San Antonio and to return nearly $17,000 in sponsorship money. UPDATED
NAHJ president Hugo Balto specifically cited Starnes’ “prejudiced language directed against Latino immigrants” in an open letter to members rescinding Fox’s sponsorship:
My decision comes following the remarks of Fox News Radio Host, Todd Starnes. Starnes, justifies his prejudiced language directed against Latino immigrants as opinionated commentary. Starnes unapologetically states that America has “suffered” from the “invasion of a rampaging hoard of illegal aliens”, claiming that most “illegal immigrants” are violent criminals as well as casually using a reference for their immigration to the United States with the Nazis invading France and Western Europe in World War II.
Starnes comments came less than two weeks after the mass shooting in El Paso, not only used the words of the suspected gunman such as “invasion”, tired slurs illegal aliens, illegals…but likened immigrants to Nazis.
Balta noted that Starnes’ remarks were “not an isolated incident and follow[ed] years of ongoing NAHJ conversations with Fox News and recent meetings with management.” Balta blasted Fox News management for offering “regret” for such demonization but “little to no consequences.”
“To sit silently by is, in essence to be complicit in the act itself,” Balta concluded, before adding that NAHJ will return $16,666 to Fox News. He had requested that the conference partners return their share of the $50,000 Fox had provided but was rebuffed. “[T]hey refused opting instead to give Fox News a larger platform to discuss what they label as a ‘teachable moment,’” Balto wrote. He said he would “continue to engage Fox News management in the hope of improving conditions,” and would “revisit” the network’s sponsorship if and when it demonstrates “real change.”
Balta closed by revealing that the recent El Paso massacre, in which the shooter’s rhetoric matched the white nationalism promoted on Fox, has caused fear in his family of American citizens. “I lied when I said they shouldn’t be afraid and defiantly told them we are not going to stop conversing with one another in Spanish in public. I lied. I am afraid.”
I’d like to think that Fox News will show some decency on the matter at long last. But, I believe it has none. Certainly hate-monger-for-Jesus Starnes has none. You can see what I mean in the clip below, which seems to be at least one of the episodes that drove NAHJ to rescind any partnership with Fox. In the video, Starnes likens immigrants to Nazi invaders and claims, “we have been invaded by a horde, a rampaging horde, of illegal aliens,” less than two weeks after the August 3 El Paso shooting. The video is from the August 14, 2019 edition of Fox Nation’s Starnes’ Country, via Media Matters.
10/2/19 UPDATE: Starnes was ousted from Fox News today.