Diversity & Discrimination

Issues ››› Diversity & Discrimination
  • CNN Reports First High Level Executive Leaves Fox News Only Days After Sexual Harassment Investigation Forced Out Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    CNN's Dylan Byers reports that former Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente has left the network "days after Roger Ailes departure from Fox News.”

    CNN reported that Clemente’s departure “was unrelated to the recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding Ailes,” which continues to plague the network with new reports of widespread sexual harassment at the network. Clemente’s number two, Peter Boyer also left the network. CNN noted “that Clemente showed no signs of leaving the network prior to the scandal”:

    Michael Clemente, a longtime executive vice president of News at Fox who was effectively demoted earlier this year, has left the network, spokespeople confirmed. Peter Boyer, a former New Yorker writer who recently served as Clemente's number two, has also left.

    Clemente's departure, first reported by TVNewser, was approved by 21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. Network insiders say the move was unrelated to the recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding Ailes, though it's also true that Clemente showed no signs of leaving the network prior to the scandal.

    Michael Clemente's exit from Fox follows reports from New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, who stated Fox News executives had helped Ailes "cover up" sexual harassment allegations, as well as Good Morning America's report that there was a "culture inside Fox News" of sexual harassment.

  • Florida Times-Union Fails To Contextualize Fringe, Extremist Pastor Protesting The Democratic Convention

    Pastor Kenneth Adkins Previously Photoshopped A Government Official Onto Pornographic Images, Said Victims Of Orlando Massacre Got “What They Deserve”

    Blog ››› ››› RACHEL PERCELAY

    The Florida Times-Union reported that pastor Kenneth Adkins plans to protest presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton outside of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. The paper’s June 22 report failed to provide any context on Adkins and his well-documented history of rabid anti-LGBT extremism in political protesting, which includes photoshopping a government official’s face onto pornographic images and most recently tweeting about gay people “gett[ing] what they deserve” after the June 12 mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL.

    Adkins rose to prominence in local media earlier this year due to his extreme antics in protest of a proposed LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Jacksonville, FL. The pastor opposed the ordinance on Twitter with graphic and inflammatory images. He said the definition of the ordinance was "Giving Civil Rights to men who engage in Anal Sex with each other," called Jacksonville City Council Member Tommy Hazouri the "anti-Christ" for supporting the ordinance, and photoshopped Hazouri's face onto pornographic images:

    Last month, Adkins again made pages of the the Times-Union when he responded to the June 12 massacre at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, FL, with a tweet saying, “been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.” Adkins later attempted to deny that the tweet had anything to do with the Orlando shooting, though it came after a string of other tweets he wrote about the mass shooting.

    The Times-Union’s July 22 report on Adkins’ planned protest of the Democratic convention failed to mention any of Adkins’ past tweets or extremist protest tactics:

    When Democrats gather in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton as their party’s presidential candidate, Jacksonville-area pastor Ken Adkins plans to be outside, protesting their decision.

    Adkins said Friday he’s part of a slate of black and Hispanic activists scheduled to represent the conservative Douglass Leadership Institute and the Coalition of African American Pastors at a press conference Monday denouncing the former secretary of state for “hypocrisy and deception” on a range of topics.

    A release from event organizers puts a sharp point on that, contrasting the effects of crime and arrests among minorities with the Justice Department’s decision not to seek charges against Clinton for security lapses on the personal email server she used as secretary of state.

    “Secretary Clinton has thwarted the law and perverted justice. Minorities are filling up jails at alarming rates for petty crimes and Hillary Clinton is not even indicted,” the release said. “We are tired of the lies of the Democrat Party whose goal is to keep minorities enslaved and in mental deterioration by fostering government dependency that perpetuates generational poverty.”

  • CNN’s Harry Houck Promotes Video Calling On Obama To “Ban Niggas”

    Video Claims “More People Murdered In A Day By Niggly Bears Than In A Year By Grizzly Bears”

    Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

    CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck promoted a video that calls for President Obama to “ban niggas” in order to reduce violent crime, continuing Houck’s long history of peddling racist tropes about the African-American community.

    On July 25, Houck posted a link to a video on his Twitter account featuring Atlanta radio host and men’s rights activist Tommy Sotomayor, in which Sotomayor said that Obama should “ban niggas” because black men commit more violent crimes than other groups. Houck tweeted the video with the comment, “He knows what he’s talking about!”:

    Houck has used his platform on CNN to repeatedly suggest that African-Americans are prone to criminality and to blame black victims of police violence. Houck on Twitter has often warned about “black thugs,” referred to Black Lives Matter as a “thug group,” and even tweeted a link to a white supremacist website.

    Houck continues to be employed as a law enforcement analyst by CNN. He most recently appeared during the the July 17 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, where he attempted to link the shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge to protests regarding the death of Alton Sterling.

  • VIDEO: The Media's Years Of Sexist Attacks On Hillary Clinton

    Blog ››› ››› LEANNE NARAMORE

    The media has spent years hurling sexist attacks at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. From attacks on her appearance, her cleavage, her sexuality, her "PMS," the tone and volume of her voice, her laugh, her emotions, her age, being a grandmother, being called a "bitch,""castrating" and a "vaginal American," the claim that she's only successful because of her husband and more, it's hard to overstate the barrage of sexism Clinton has faced during her time as first lady, senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate.

    Now that Clinton is set to become first female presidential candidate for a major party in U.S. history, the media should avoid falling into this inexcusable cycle of rampant sexism and misogyny in their general election coverage.

  • Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host At The RNC

    James Edwards Celebrates Going “Mainstream” By Appearing At RNC With “All-Access” Media Credentials

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Several members of Congress and a Trump campaign official gave pro-Trump interviews to white nationalist leader James Edwards and his “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool during the Republican National Convention. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Edwards pointed to his attendance at the convention as evidence that he and his radio program are going “mainstream.”

  • Report: Sexual Harassment At Fox News Goes Way Beyond Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following the ousting of former Fox CEO Roger Ailes amid allegations that he sexually harassed former network anchor Gretchen Carlson, The New York Times reported that a culture of sexual harassment and intimidation in Fox News may extend beyond Ailes. According to the Times, interviews with current and former Fox News employees revealed “instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.”

    On July 21, Fox News’ parent company announced that Ailes would be resigning his position at Fox News but would receive $60 million and continue to work “as a consultant” with 21st Century Fox. Ailes’ ousting from the company follows a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to The Washington Post, 25 women have come forward to make similar harassment claims against Ailes.

    The New York Times reported on July 23 that Fox News may have “a broader problem in the workplace,” that extends beyond Ailes after at least “a dozen women” told the Times that “they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors.” From the Times’ report:

    The investigation by Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, focused narrowly on Mr. Ailes. But in interviews with The New York Times, current and former employees described instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.

    The Times spoke with about a dozen women who said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors. With the exception of Ms. Bakhtiar, they all spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embarrassment and fear of retribution. Most continue to work in television and worry that speaking out could damage their careers.

    They told of strikingly similar experiences at Fox News. Several said that inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and sex life were frequent. Managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors.

    [...]

    The women interviewed by The Times described similarly troubling experiences at Fox News and the Fox Business Network, a sprawling operation with about 2,000 employees on several floors of News Corporation’s headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.

    The networks were run with an iron fist by Mr. Ailes, the founding chairman and a former Republican strategist, who established the channels as a lucrative profit center and an influential voice in conservative politics.

    [...]

    It is difficult to know exactly how much Mr. Ailes set the tone. The investigation into his conduct revealed findings troubling enough to compel 21st Century Fox executives to move quickly and arrange his exit. Beyond inappropriate language, Mr. Ailes was also accused by employees of kissing and intimate physical contact, according to three people briefed on the investigation, and of making propositions that included quid pro quo arrangements.

    [...]

    Female staff members told of problems with other supervisors as well. One current employee said that she was with a male supervisor in a closed-door, one-on-one meeting in 2009 when she asked to work on an assignment. He turned to her and said, “Sure,” then conditioned it on oral sex. The woman said she laughed it off, thinking that she would face retaliation and be demoted if she told him that the comment was inappropriate.