During Monday night’s broadcast, Young Turks host Cenk Uygur asked his guests to speculate on how Fox News would have covered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. if he were still alive today.
Cheryl Contee, of the blog Jack and Jill Politics, suggested that one only needs to look at how the conservative cable television network has covered President Barack Obama: “they’ve called him a socialist, they’ve implied he’s a Muslim, a terrorist … I think Martin Luther King would be called openly a communist. Martin Luther King would have said things if he were alive today such as, you know, we should sit down with the Taliban and treat them as brothers. We should see people like Osama bin Laden and the terrorists as our brothers. He would have been labeled a terrorist in return.”
Katie Halper, a political satirist, agreed. “Everything he was committed to, not just the racial politics but when you get to the foreign policy, and also the class analysis, he would have been called a Marxist, a communist, he would have been called a class warfare instigator. There’s no question about it.”
“It’s their continuous, 24-hour, seven days a week, partial truth telling, lie telling, where they turn demands and requests for equality into so-called special privileges for people of color and for working people,” Young Turks contributor Tricia Rose argued. “I think King would certainly be on top of their scary black people list, people trying to overthrow democracy and freedom. And unfortunately, they have far too much credibility with many, many Americans. I think it would be a very powerful, centralized mass media outlet for the kinds of ideas that were a little more diffuse in media outlets in the late 1960s.”
Their speculation isn’t entirely unwarranted. In a Fox News segment on Monday morning, the conservative network allowed King’s niece to depict him as a “social conservative” and an opponent of abortion — despite the fact that he once received an award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which he called one of his most treasured possessions.
This video was broadcast by Current TV on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.