Study Finds Watching Fox News Reinforces Racist Views

Posted Dec. 30, 2015

MP3 Interview with Sean Elwee, research associate at Demos and Jason McDaniel, assistant professor of political science at San Francisco State University, conducted by Scott Harris

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Ever since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 the Republican party has prosecuted a fierce political smear campaign against America’s first black head of state. The tea party movement that emerged after the 2008 election attracted many activists that espoused blatantly racist views – bigoted messaging clearly seen and heard in their crude rhetoric and on their protest signs and websites. Accusations that Barack Obama wasn’t an American citizen and charges that he lied about his Christian religion – and was actually a Muslim, were all designed to undermine and discredit the new president as he entered the White House.

The Republican Party all but officially endorsed these baseless charges, with many prominent GOP legislators stating they had no idea if the president was a citizen or not when asked by the media. Fox News, long established as a mouthpiece for the Republican party apparatus, incorporated these story lines into much of their programming. With its long-running bias in covering issues and events involving race, the news channel has gained a well-deserved reputation over the years as a friendly home for viewers who hold racist views.

Now a new study has been published that substantiates the view that whites who regularly watch Fox News are more likely to express attitudes of symbolic racism and racial resentment than those that don't. The investigation conducted by Sean McElwee, research associate at Demos and Jason McDaniel, assistant professor of political science at San Francisco State University was recently published under the title, "Do Racists Like Fox News, or Does Fox Make People Racist?" on the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting website. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with McElwee and McDaniel who summarize their disturbing findings.

Read the article "Do Racists Like Fox News, or Does Fox Make People Racist?".

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