Yesterday on Fox News Latino, there appeared a story with the headline: "DREAM Students Volunteer to Serve." The article detailed the actions of a cadre of undocumented residents of the U.S. "offering to serve as volunteers in the military of the country they grew up in," hoping to put pressure on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which "would allow immigrants whose families brought them into the United States illegally to obtain legal residence if they serve in the Armed Forces or go to college." It was a sympathetic look at a segment of the population that finds themselves stuck between their American identity and their legal status.
Or, to look at it another way, it was a very un-Fox News-like story.
And that's what's so intriguing about Fox News Latino. The website, as Fox News senior VP Michael Clemente put it, is designed to bolster Fox News' appeal to the country's rapidly growing Hispanic population. That mission, of course, stands athwart the mission of the rest of the Fox News empire, which is to stoke fear and resentment of Latinos and other minorities.
Just last night on Fox News, you would have seen Newt Gingrich attacking the DREAM Act as "amnesty" on Hannity, Jonah Goldberg on Special Report describing the bill as "the camel's nose toward larger amnesty argument," and Glenn Beck drawing an analogy between the legislation and the decline of the Roman empire. If you clicked over to Fox Nation -- Fox News' race-baiting id -- you would have seen their DREAM Act-related headline: "Shamnesty: Reid Putting The 'Lame' In 'Duck.'"
And that's just yesterday. Fox News has been trashing the DREAM Act for weeks. Go just a little further back and you'll find Fox News anchors having trouble distinguishing between "Hispanics" and "illegals," and anti-immigrant extremists spouting nativist garbage on Fox News' airwaves. They hired Lou "illegal immigrants spread leprosy" Dobbs. Need I go on?
So with one hand, Fox is beckoning Hispanics to come and join the Fox News fold. With the other hand, they're using broad-brush strokes to paint the Latino community as a national threat. It's already been demonstrated that Fox News' viewers aren't what you'd call "diverse," so it makes sense that they feel the need to expand their minority audience. But that they're trying to do so while clinging to their nativist, race-baiting ethos is pretty shameless.