Fox News contributor Juan Williams recently wrote that "[t]he language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message," citing such phrases as "entitlement society," "food stamp president," and "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants. But this language is not contained to GOP candidates; Williams' colleagues at Fox News routinely employ or echo these "racial code words."
Williams Notes GOP Employs "Code Words" To Deny "Responsibility For ... Racial Content"
Williams: "Code Words" Such As "Food Stamp President" Are Used By GOP To Deny "Responsibility For The Racial Content" Of Their Message. In a January 30 column in The Hill, Fox News contributor Juan Williams noted that GOP politicians use "code words" to "deny any responsibility for the racial content" of their message. Williams cited phrases such as "entitlement society," "food stamp president," and "amnesty" as examples of "[t]he language of GOP racial politics." From The Hill:
Race is always a trigger in politics, but now a third of the nation are people of color -- and their numbers are growing. With those minorities solidly in the Democratic camp and behind the first black president, the scene is set for a bonanza of racial politics.
The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are "entitlement society" -- as used by Mitt Romney -- and "poor work ethic" and "food stamp president" -- as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the "Founding Fathers" and the "Constitution" also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core "old-fashioned American values."
The code also extends to attacks on legal immigrants, always carefully lumped in with illegal immigrants, as people seeking "amnesty" and taking jobs from Americans.
But the code sometimes breaks down. [The Hill, 1/30/12]
Not Just The GOP Candidates: Williams' Colleagues At Fox Regularly Employ Or Echo These "Racial Code Words"
"FOOD STAMP PRESIDENT"
Eric Bolling Echoed Gingrich: Obama "Is The Food Stamp President." On the January 17 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling echoed statements made by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, saying of President Obama:
BOLLING: But he is the food stamp president. There I have no problem with this. Can I? Can I -- allow me, and I'll shut up the rest of the block. Obama has presided -- presided over the biggest expansion in food stamp usage, in numbers: in pure dollar amount, it went from $60 billion to an $83 billion program -- the fourth-largest entitlement program in America. Under Obama, it's exploded. Why can't he be -- and by the way, food stamps, there are more white people on food stamps than black people. So it's not a racial issue. [Fox News, The Five, 1/17/12, via Media Matters]
Dick Morris: "Newt Is Right. ... Obama Has Basically Put Everybody In The Country On Welfare." On the January 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News contributor Dick Morris stated:
MORRIS: Newt is totally right. When Obama took office, there were 32 million people on food stamps. Now, there are 46 million. What Obama has done is, under Clinton, he cut the welfare rolls in half, and now Obama has basically put everybody in the country on welfare. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/18/12, via Media Matters]
Sean Hannity: "He Is The Food Stamp President. Look At The Numbers, They Speak For Themselves." Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed to increased food stamp usage to label Obama the "food stamp president," saying: "He is the food stamp president. Look at the numbers, they speak for themselves -- 32 million to 46 million, 12 million increase. Obama's policies have resulted in a lot more people being on food stamps. What's the problem?" [Fox News, Hannity, 1/18/12, via Media Matters]
Tucker Carlson: "More People Have Joined The Food Stamps Program Under Obama Than Any Other President." On Hannity, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson praised Gingrich for the "great job" he did explaining why he thinks Obama is the "food stamp president," adding: "And more people have joined the food stamp program under Obama than any other president." [Fox News, Hannity, 1/17/12, via Media Matters]
Monica Crowley: Record Food Stamp Usage Is "A Direct Result Of The Obama Administration's Policies." On Fox News' America Live, Fox News contributor Monica Crowley argued:
CROWLEY: At this point, what Newt is saying is that this administration took a bad economy and made it so much worse, with policies that have really oppressed job creation, suppressed economic growth, to the point where people cannot find jobs. And also, you know, one thing he didn't say, which is the extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks and so on.
You know how the situation in America, Megyn, where you have record numbers of people not just on food stamps, 46 million, but record numbers of people on at least one or more social welfare programs, and that's a direct result of the Obama administration's policies. [Fox News, America Live, 1/18/12, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly: "The Campaign Is Really All About An Entitlement Society Versus A Self-Reliant One." On the January 6 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly noted a decrease in the December unemployment rate but claimed: "Talking Points believes the American economy is improving slightly, but the big picture is federal spending and regulation, not decimal points on unemployment. As we said last night, the campaign is really all about an entitlement society versus a self-reliant one. And the struggle will be intense." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/6/12, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly: Obama, Dems Want "America To Become An Entitlement State." On the July 18, 2011, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly claimed:
O'REILLY: On one side, President Obama, the Democratic Party, want America to become an entitlement state that compels social justice, financially supporting Americans who can't or won't support themselves. On the other side, Republicans want a lean mean economic machine. The GOP doesn't much care about providing money to those who have not. The party wants to drastically cut government spending and promote private business to bolster the economy. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/18/11 via Media Matters]
Fox Business Unveiled Theme Of "Entitlement Nation: Makers Vs. Takers." Fox Business' website introduced the network's "week-long theme of 'Entitlement Nation: Makers vs. Takers' " on May 20, 2011, featuring the following graphic:
Guilfoyle: DREAM Act "Encourages People To Essentially Seek An Amnesty." On the November 23, 2010, edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News' Kimberly Guilfoyle claimed that the DREAM Act "incentivizes illegality and encourages people to essentially seek an amnesty by saying, 'Sure, I'm going to be in the military.'" [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/23/10, via Media Matters]
Malkin Called DREAM Act "Reckless Illegal Alien Amnesty." On the December 2, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin said: "There are so many political payoffs that are currently in the pipeline. Foremost among them, Harry Reid trying to ram through this very unpopular, expensive, and reckless illegal alien amnesty DREAM Act." [Fox News, Fox & Friends,12/2/10, via Media Matters]
Dobbs Claimed Obama's Border Efforts Are A "Foundation" For "Unconditional Amnesty." On the August 9, 2010, edition of Fox News' America Live, guest and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs called a pending border security bill "a modest border security piece of legislation," and claimed "it would give [the Obama administration] the foundation to say, we did something about border security ... and then move ahead and have their way on the issue of unconditional amnesty." Dobbs later claimed that "we are not seeing a commitment to actual detention and apprehension." [Media Matters, 8/30/10]
Fox Nation Relabeled Immigration Bill "Amnesty Bill." In a July 9, 2009, post, Fox Nation linked to an Associated Press article about an upcoming immigration bill under the headline, "Schumer: Amnesty Bill Ready by Labor Day." The original AP headline was, "Schumer: Immigration bill to be ready by Labor Day." [Fox Nation, 7/9/09, via Media Matters]
Kelly: "A Group Of Republican Senators ... Are Demanding To Know If The Administration Plans To Grant Amnesty To 11 Million Illegals." On the July 27, 2010, edition of America Live, host Megyn Kelly said, "A group of Republican senators -- a dozen, to be exact -- are now demanding to know if the administration plans to grant amnesty to 11 million illegals here in the United States." [Fox News, America Live, 7/27/10, via Media Matters]