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FOX Loves The Klan
December 22, 2005 3:45 PM   Subscribe

Fox Affiliate Airs Ode to White Supremacist Site A South Carolina Fox Affiliate aired a fluff piece praising white supremacist website Stormfront.org. The reporter who filed the story is apparently a member of the hatesite and filed the pro-Stormfront story in accordance with orders from her superiors.
posted by expriest (89 comments total)

 
Phhhhhttttt!
*loses about $1.30 spitting coffee*
posted by Smedleyman at 3:51 PM on December 22, 2005


Fair and Balanced. Get it? Fair and Balanced.
posted by dgaicun at 3:55 PM on December 22, 2005


Well, they've been headed that way for a while, haven't they?
posted by maxsparber at 3:55 PM on December 22, 2005


Thank God this was brought to my attention.
posted by smackfu at 3:56 PM on December 22, 2005


In case someone is upset by this story, this particular FOX affiliate is owned by Meredith Broadcasting Group, a corporation based out of Des Moines, IA. Their president is named Paul Karpowicz, and his e-mail is paul.karpowicz@meredith.com.
posted by expriest at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2005


“Instead, Stormfront members say their message is much more simple. “We don’t hate anybody.”

Yeah...uh...
We will break up into racial tribes. The stronger the tribe, the better they will live! The weak will fall by the way side. Get ready now, be the strong tribe member. Be the viking soldier. Hail the Gods!

Although they have been trying to cutesy up their image...I still think I’m going to fart in a ziplock baggie and send it to them.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2005


I'm sure Bill O'Reilly will lead the pack in strongly denouncing this.
posted by scody at 4:00 PM on December 22, 2005


Wow. Someone is going to get canned.
posted by Alison at 4:01 PM on December 22, 2005


That was some pretty serious cocksucking on the part of the "reporters." Remember, folks: the internet is DANGEROUS AND FILLED WITH PEDOPHILES AND YOU CAN LEARN TO MAKE BOMBS but Stormfront is just peachy. :)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:01 PM on December 22, 2005


Scratch that. Someone should get canned.
posted by Alison at 4:03 PM on December 22, 2005


I am Increasingly Suspicious that Fox News, despite their Grandiose Claims to the contrary, are not in fact Fair and Balanced. It is perhaps of a Certain Interest that they no longer Feel Obligated to pretend to an Objectivity that was Never There, but this seems hardly a Shocking Surprise.

They do mention that many Users of the Website are affiliated with the KKK, and they seem to Present their Views on the White Race - which, for the Curious, are Uniformly Positive - fairly directly. Smedleyman does Illustrate some Less Than Heartwarming Posts from the Site in Question. So it does Seem as though Fox should have referred to this Somewhat Disingenuous Behavior. Again, though, this Behavior seems Hardly Unexpected from that Network.
posted by freebird at 4:08 PM on December 22, 2005


I blame the dirty Jews.

Everybody knows they run Hollywood.
posted by orthogonality at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2005


Well, on second glance, it's true that "member of the hatesite" is different from "member of the hategroup," but I think this wording is pretty dangerous. So she joined the forums. That was a logical thing to do, considering she was writing a piece on these guys and needed information.
posted by thejoshu at 4:11 PM on December 22, 2005


I believe in th Constituion as it applies to whites, I don't htink the founding fathers ever believed that African slaves would ever gain power. I know that my ancestors that fought for the South tried to prevent that.

What charming people.
posted by jokeefe at 4:17 PM on December 22, 2005


All the talk about Fox News seems to miss the fact that this is a FOX affilliate. Not the cable channel Fox News. I am no big fan of Fox News, but I doubt a national broadcaster could get away with broadcasting something quite this repugnant.
posted by lucasks at 4:21 PM on December 22, 2005


A bit of sleuthing seems to indicate that the reporter in question (or someone claiming to be her) registered for the site in October (apparently to gain the ability to search profiles and send private messages--see below) and has made five posts.

In one of her posts she states:

"I simply joined the forum and searched through the personal profiles for people who listed NC or SC as their location. Then, sent a private message explaining the story and asking if they were interested in talking with me. Jamie Kelso helped me find Bob Whitaker."

***

"The reporter who filed the story is apparently a member of the hatesite and filed the pro-Stormfront story in accordance with orders from her superiors."

What basis is there for the above accusation?
posted by bdk3clash at 4:23 PM on December 22, 2005


"The reporter who filed the story is apparently a member of the hatesite and filed the pro-Stormfront story in accordance with orders from her superiors."

What basis is there for the above accusation?


Follow the link. This statement comes from the reporter herself.
posted by expriest at 4:25 PM on December 22, 2005


Fox really has nothing to do with this; the company that does own the station owns more CBS affiliates than Fox affiliates, and is the owner of Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, Family Circle etc.
posted by spira at 4:26 PM on December 22, 2005


All the talk about Fox News seems to miss the fact that this is a FOX affilliate.
posted by lucasks at 4:21 PM PST on December 22


Both the FPP and ThinkProgress clearly say "affiliate." It's still fucking repugnant.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:26 PM on December 22, 2005


That Southern Strategy of the GOP media network is doing some real yeoman's work at this station.

Why not be open and honest about the racism instead of hiding the hate behind code words and "subtle" visits to Bob Jones U?

It's about time they came out of the closet. I hate racism and I ain't afraid to admit it so turn about is fair. At least this gives me a real chance of fighting their bullshit.
posted by nofundy at 4:27 PM on December 22, 2005


Seriously, though, if you watch the video, the station captions the segment "Internet racism" and doesn't in any way praise it.

It's pretty much another "look at what weirdos you can find on the Internet" story. As far as not offering opposing viewpoints, well, presenting the Stormfronters in their own words pretty effectively serves as its own repudiation.

Much as I'd like to pile on Fox, I don't think they really did anything wrong here. For once, they just presented the facts.
posted by orthogonality at 4:28 PM on December 22, 2005


I hope this can show those of you who have little faith in the media that there are journalists who take pride in being factual and unbiased.

Mission accomplished.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:28 PM on December 22, 2005


As much as I loathe Fox News, this is a Fox affiliate station's local news broadcast. I doubt that they taking marching orders from News Corp...

Anyway, as everyone knows, local news is a cesspool of violent crime reporting, human interest stories, local crazies, celebrity antics, the weather, and forced banter. Occasionally they'll talk about how your carpet may kill you, or expose the men who want to rape your children. Staffed and run by pretty, vapid communication majors who have proven themselves to look trustworthy while reading off a TelePrompter, yet aren't ready for the vomit pit of cable news...

I'd love to have been in on the pitch meeting for this one...

Why is anyone surprised at this?
posted by SweetJesus at 4:28 PM on December 22, 2005


Family Circle!?? That's a reason right THERE to string someone up!

Oh wait...I thought you were talking about Family Circus.

Never mind.
posted by darkstar at 4:31 PM on December 22, 2005


bdk3clash - read the links, it's all in there.
posted by fire&wings at 4:32 PM on December 22, 2005


i swear to god if one more person points out that this was an affiliate i will come to your house and strangle you with an ethernet cable
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:33 PM on December 22, 2005


And if someone else mentions "Fair and Balanced", which has nothing to do with affiliate stations' local news, same deal.
posted by smackfu at 4:35 PM on December 22, 2005


Ah--gotcha. The wording of the original post made it seem (to me) that she was a member of the Stormfront.org community (in a non-"I'm just here as a reporter doing research" way) who did this story in accordance with her "superiors" at Stormfront.org.
posted by bdk3clash at 4:40 PM on December 22, 2005


I don't see this as really a good news story, but it wasn't exactly a pro-white-pride-yadda-yadda news story either. The news channel just reported on the website and neither explained it as a good or a bad thing, really... like reporting on any other racial nationalist movement. If this was an article about a black-pride forum, would people be angry?

When you discuss racism instead of simply bashing it, its absurdity shines through all the more.

By the way, what was the deal with that white text in the video?
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:41 PM on December 22, 2005


In fact, I think I just might flag this post.
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:41 PM on December 22, 2005


Alison:
Someone should get caned.


-Fixed the typo for ya. :)
posted by p3on at 4:44 PM on December 22, 2005


The white text was annotations by the Stormfronters -- presumably, after the Fox affiliate (sorry Optimus) took the video down, thinkprogress got a copy from the Stormfront site. (Which likely means one of the good people at thinkprogress is, like the reporter, a "member" of Stormfront.)
posted by orthogonality at 4:44 PM on December 22, 2005


From the FOX Carolina transcript: Bob Whitaker is a former Reagan administration cabinet member and an active member of Stormfront.

From whitakeronline.org: Despite his criticism of Ronald Reagan in A Plague on Both Your Houses, Bob was a Reagan appointee in charge of all civilian security clearances and federal staffing.

He's an ex-HR flunky, not a cabinet member. He's one of a gaggle of Rush Limbaugh wannabees, now.
posted by swell at 4:45 PM on December 22, 2005


So is the reporter an active member of Stormfront or did she register as a member merely to look for people to talk to for the story? I'm confused.
posted by gyc at 4:48 PM on December 22, 2005


She registered and made a total of five posts, looking for people to interview.

Like many reporters have done and will do in the future, she assured an of-derided minority group (in this case, the Stormfronters) that her story would treat them fairly, in order to get the interviews.

And she does treat them fairly: she allows them to display what asses they are in their own words. As it happens, that's more effective than any anti-Stormfront opinion she could have found.

Unless we want to maintain that every news story ought to editorialize (and we complain about the national Fox News doing just that), the story is a decent story that presents the facts and allows viewers to make their own judgements. It's a good story (with a few errors, as swell points out) and it took some courage I suspect, for the station and the reporter to cover it. We shouldn't be piling on here.
posted by orthogonality at 4:56 PM on December 22, 2005


And she does treat them fairly: she allows them to display what asses they are in their own words. As it happens, that's more effective than any anti-Stormfront opinion she could have found.

Unless we want to maintain that every news story ought to editorialize (and we complain about the national Fox News doing just that), the story is a decent story that presents the facts and allows viewers to make their own judgements. It's a good story (with a few errors, as swell points out) and it took some courage I suspect, for the station and the reporter to cover it. We shouldn't be piling on here.


Bullshit. The single most important decision a news department makes is what stories they will report on. The mere fact that this station chose to give an uncritical profile of Stormfront, as opposed to the thousands of other things they could have informed their viewers about, is evidence of sympathy with the racist right.
posted by expriest at 5:07 PM on December 22, 2005


Yeah, I don't see the big deal. I mean, the terms "white supremicist" or "white seperatist" kind of have a negative connotation in my mind already. No need to add adjectives like "dumb" or "redneck" before them.

I don't see how this was the one-sided fluff piece exploring StormFront.org, an online hub for white supremacists that ThinkProgress describes it to be.
posted by b_thinky at 5:11 PM on December 22, 2005


Unless we want to maintain that every news story ought to editorialize (and we complain about the national Fox News doing just that), the story is a decent story that presents the facts and allows viewers to make their own judgements. It's a good story (with a few errors, as swell points out) and it took some courage I suspect, for the station and the reporter to cover it.

Yes, yes, all good points. I applaud this program for finally shining a light of truth on the little known problem of the erosion of white culture. For far too long, other cultures (not mentioning any names) have been sucking the the life essence of white culture dry. Why, you can't swing a cat around here without hitting some uppity culturalist in the act of stealing a piece of the white man's legacy. Three cheers!

I only hope my young, white children will grow up to live in a world where they can meet, and date, other enthusiasts of white culture on some hatepimp's website... *sigh* It's looking grimmer every day.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:13 PM on December 22, 2005


the company that does own the station owns more CBS affiliates than Fox affiliates

Clearly they're smart enough to figure out that pro-stormfront stores are more a Fox than a CBS kind of program.
posted by clevershark at 5:16 PM on December 22, 2005


How is this all that different from a NYT reporter pretending to be a pedophile so he can interview a cam dude?
posted by fixedgear at 5:18 PM on December 22, 2005


How is this all that different from a NYT reporter pretending to be a pedophile so he can interview a cam dude?

New York Times reporters actually enjoy trolling around for underage boys.
posted by SweetJesus at 5:20 PM on December 22, 2005


The Carolinas. Jesse Helms. Where's the leap?
posted by jsteward at 5:23 PM on December 22, 2005


Gee, it seems to me that if they're so concerned about the 'loss of the white race' they ought to be out there boffing their brains out with massive amounts of unprotected sex, encouraging their wives, girlfriends and daughters to have frequent sex with as many white or white-appearing guys as they can lay their cellulite-laden sag-boobed beer-bellied poonanies on . . .
But that's not happening, so I guess they're not as concerned about the extinction of the white race as they say they are. . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:31 PM on December 22, 2005


I hate racism and I ain't afraid to admit it

Oooh, what a brave statement. Go out on a limb, why don't you? Minority people everywhere are sleeping soundly tonight.

I hate these stormfront assholes too, but let's not pretend this thread is anything but an excuse to show what freinds-to-the-downtrodden we are for being upset.
posted by jonmc at 5:42 PM on December 22, 2005


Drats- I came in here all ready to be angry, and the OP doesn't really live up to the hype. Sounds like a story that could definitely have used another voice, such as the SPL explaining why stormfront or national vanguard are not just friendly little misunderstood white supremecists, but actively violent in many cases behind their "jes' folks" rhetoric. But from what I see, we can't truly conclude the reporter is a sympathizer. There is a definitely questionable choice of wasting air time on this topic, much less without explicitly opposing viewpoints and with her own statements that the network brass approved wholeheartedly how she presented this.

But beyond that- it would be unfair to condemn the reporter as some kind of outright neonazi, without more information, since part of a journalist's job is to dig into areas that may be uncomfortable. I just think with her access to stormfront, she could have found more of the hate there, and presented that- and its ties, rhetorical and otherwise, to actual WS violence committed in this country, such as the self-styled border patrol, etc (in other words, take her cue from the great work David Neiwart has done over at Orcinus).

It speaks poorly of her journalism that SF would get over their initial reservations of her after the story aired, and that she'd offer to do a follow-up in January that showed more of the real members- that does give the unfortunate impression that she's not being harsh enough towards her subject, or at best inadvertently acting as a recruiting tool. As Edward R. Murrow noted, sometimes there is only one side to a story.


Tangential: there's a FOX News talking head, Shepard Smith I believe, who is in one of those internet joke clips from a couple of years back where he "comically" stumbles over his teleprompter line about J-Lo getting kicked to the curb by her old neighborhood pals, instead "accidentally" saying "curb job". This is a term all too familiar with white supremecist types, or anyone who's seen "American History X". I remember when I originally saw that Shepard Smith clip, I got a discomforting sense that behind the smiling video head was a face of rage; that if he took off his shirt, we'd see a half dozen particularly incriminating tattoos.
posted by hincandenza at 5:53 PM on December 22, 2005


You know, nofundy, that was unneccesarily harsh, since I belive you are sincere in your beliefs, so sorry, but I think my larger point still stands.

As long as there are disgruntled lost losers in the world groups like this will never lack for members since as long as there are rocks, people like the leaders of these groups will crawl out from under to recruit them.

But, you know what I don't pay obvious flaming klukkers like these any mind. It may make us feel good about ourselves to work up a head of rage at them but it ultimately accomplishes nothing, since the real source of racial conflict in this country is in all of us, and half the time we (of all races) don't even know it's there and that it's being exploited.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on December 22, 2005


I remember that Shep Smith clip being more about blow jobs than curb jobs...
posted by SweetJesus at 5:57 PM on December 22, 2005


This still is a bad reporting job. She let the Stormfront people make thier case that they were not racist and did not present any testimony to the contrary.

It is easy to find people from the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Povery Law Center, because unlike Stormfront members, they don't live under rocks.
posted by hipnerd at 6:01 PM on December 22, 2005


I suppose, then, that the news piece doesn't really qualify as an "Ode to White Supremacist Site."
posted by shmegegge at 6:28 PM on December 22, 2005


Be the viking soldier. Hail the Gods!

Although they have been trying to cutesy up their image...


Maybe they could borrow this.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:30 PM on December 22, 2005


It came across like an infomercial for stormfront to me.
posted by wsg at 6:40 PM on December 22, 2005


It amazes me that in this day and age people (supposedly educated people, even) still have no conception of the difference between Television Networks and Television Network affiliates.

Fox is no more responsible for what this station did then matt would be for my words if I also included a metafilter RSS feed on my website.
posted by Paris Hilton at 6:48 PM on December 22, 2005


If every single story on gay people can have someone on "the other side" talking about sin and sickness and how gays are destroying this town/city/state/country/universe, the very least they could have done was get a "dissenting" opinion like they do for every other issue story ever done in the past 25 years.
posted by ltracey at 6:58 PM on December 22, 2005


Metafilter: Where's the leap?
posted by phaedon at 7:10 PM on December 22, 2005


It may make us feel good about ourselves to work up a head of rage at them but it ultimately accomplishes nothing, since the real source of racial conflict in this country is in all of us, and half the time we (of all races) don't even know it's there and that it's being exploited.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM PST on December 22


Jon, do you ever say anything other than this in threads dealing with racism? E.g.:

Agreed, but that wasn't what I was talking about, more the Great White Bwana syndrome of needing to see minorities as helpless victims whom we can save. But that's nowhere near as bad as the outright haters, true.
posted by jonmc at 12:24 PM PST on December 15

And the North has it's share of bigots, include those of my liberal brethren who are smetimes racist in ways they can't even see.
posted by jonmc at 8:45 AM PST on December 15

I'll lay you dollars-to-donuts he is whitey. The ones yelling loudest here seem to suffer either from a cause of the white guilts or big white bwana complex: the view of blacks as poor helpless victims taht need to be "saved" by whites. Beware the race you try to uplift, for they may just uplift themselves.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM PST on January 23

As far as I'm concerned, that method of thinking has more to with white people's desire to feel like morally superior saviors than any actual desire to help or protect minorities, AKA the Big White Bwana Syndrome.
posted by jonmc at 11:14 AM PST on February 15


You need a new talking point, my man.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:15 PM on December 22, 2005


molehill
posted by mischief at 7:17 PM on December 22, 2005


Optimus, whether you're bored with it or not, I think it's important. Displaying our indignance and then going back to living lives rife with racial contradictions gets us nowhere. I'm just saying. and I seem to be the only one who sees it.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 PM on December 22, 2005


Displaying our indignance and then going back to living lives rife with racial contradictions gets us nowhere. I'm just saying. and I seem to be the only one who sees it.

I guess so, because I don't see how I or any of my friends (from all the mgaical colors of the rainbow!) are racist or live with racist contradictions. I'm very interested in why you think so, as well your evidence supporting it. I'd also like to know why you're very much in favor of ignoring real, actual racists who say and do real, actual racist things while excoriating the rest of us here for not being as super double enlightened as you, jon, who is the only one - somehow! - to be able to see past all the bullshit and uncover our twisted inner selves.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:23 PM on December 22, 2005


I wonder how these people would feel if a huge group of "darkies" dressed in robes and hoods showed up on their front lawns to torch some crosses, or perhaps took a few of their more outspoken sons and hung them from trees for sport? I understand jonmc's point about how racism is bigger, deeper and more subtle than a bunch of klan like goons. Nevertheless, these klan like goons deserve nothing but reprobation and abuse. It should be extremely uncomfortably socially to act this way, even in the cracker communities found in rural backwaters. It is not just a Southern problem; I see similar crap in the North, but the institutionalism of it seems bigger down South.
posted by caddis at 7:24 PM on December 22, 2005


Optimus, you misunderstand. I'm part of the problem, too. We all are and once we admit that, we can't be quite as jusdgemental about linguistic gaffes and involuntary thoughts and that brings the debate down to earth and makes it less emotion laden. Mind you, I'm not talking about Klan or Skinhead types, they're too far gone to be saved by anything external. I'm talking about the casual passive racist. Those who are publicly anti racist but who get nervous when they see a black guy walk down the street or who drive home to live in all-white enclaves, black people who assume that all whites hate them. In other words, you, me and everybody else. On the way home from work yesterday, I saw a pack of black kids walking past the local Chinese take out just as the delivery guy was speeding off on his moped. One kid playfully goofed on him, saying "Can we get a ride, man?" The guy kept going and another kid said "He ain't gonna help you, you don't speak his language," and then pulled his eyes into slants and said "ching-chong wing-wong." Nobody is innocent.

We could magically wipe the Klan types off the earth tommorow and racial hatreds would still be with us. So we gotta look within, too.

And as I've said before, we look for the root causes of terrorism, crime, pedophilia, why not racism (or any other prejudices)? Too often we veiw it as some free floating virus. That's danmgerously close to how fundies veiw Satan and Evil. What we need is engagement. I have friends from high school who are homophobic and one of them was telling me about a guy we knew who had come out of the closet. He was freaked. I just shrugged. He seem stunned by my lack of concern. I could have gotten sniffy and offended, but instead I just shrugged and said, "I live in New York, I've worked in the book and music business. You get used to it. I got other shit to worry about."

I'm probably not being as articulate as I'd like, but I hope you get what I'm driving at.
posted by jonmc at 7:37 PM on December 22, 2005


jonmc- derailing threads ,and locomotives since 1903
posted by nola at 8:14 PM on December 22, 2005


It amazes me that in this day and age people (supposedly educated people, even) still have no conception of the difference between Television Networks and Television Network affiliates.

Fox is no more responsible for what this station did...


Um. Does it surprise anyone that the station airing this shit is, in fact, an affiliate of FOX? There just might be a demographic elephant in the room.
posted by dhartung at 8:29 PM on December 22, 2005


jonmc: as Kate Monster and Princeton once so eloquently said:

Everyone's a little bit racist
It's true.
But everyone is just about
As racist as you!
If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
And everyone stopped being
So PC
Maybe we could live in -
Harmony!
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:29 PM on December 22, 2005


And to anybody who claims they're just an innocent recipe-swapping group:

The most wretched sort of life like diversity, multiculturalism and racial equality perhaps.

Black might be beautiful,
And tan might be grand,
But WHITE is still the color,
Of the BIG BOSS MAN !


Re: White Pride or sepremecy, which are you?
I am more white pride while being anti black, jew, and corruption.


And so on, ad nauseum.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:33 PM on December 22, 2005


And jonmc, I'd argue that anything that marginalizes these groups, and makes it embarassing or stigmatizing to join them is a net positive.

Sure, this thread will have little effect, but they don't all need to cause a revolution.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:37 PM on December 22, 2005


It amazes me that anyone would justify the story as fair or unbiased or just a factual presentation, Fox affiliate or otherwise. The thing is an advertisement, a recruiting drive basically, for StormFront. I say make those fuckers try to pay for their TV time. I doubt any station would be willing to give them a spot. So why should a Fox affiliate be doing a story on them? Furthermore, the suggestion that this is "internet racism" by the affiliate is immediately countered by a number of statements both by those interviewed and the station itself. If anything, the story acts to both diffuse criticisms and promote the movement. That a news organization would cover StormFront like this disgusts me.
posted by panoptican at 9:09 PM on December 22, 2005


The Carolinas. Jesse Helms. Where's the leap?

*rolls eyes*
posted by mediareport at 9:11 PM on December 22, 2005


"Ah--gotcha. The wording of the original post made it seem (to me) that she was a member of the Stormfront.org community (in a non-'I'm just here as a reporter doing research' way) who did this story in accordance with her 'superiors' at Stormfront.org."

Me, too, and if we apply the same standards to expriest as he is applying to Tami Birckner, then it's certain that this
“The reporter who filed the story is apparently a member of the hatesite and filed the pro-Stormfront story in accordance with orders from her superiors.”
...was meant to deceive us.

I certainly don't think that this is an airtight case that Birckner is a racist and intended this piece to act as an apologia for Stormfront. But I'm inclined to think that it's an apologia because a non-racist reporter would have been far more likely to include something critical from, for example, the Southern Poverty Law Center to contrast against the very generous terms that were used to describe Stormfront—terms that they use to describe themselves and which are almost certainly disingenuous.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:13 PM on December 22, 2005


"Boy, we're sure all mad at the lack of critical examination in this news story, aren't we?"

"Yeah. I mean, where was the depth? They only used spokesmen for the organization, like local news does when it does a story on car crashes or farmer's markets. Besides, 'We Report, You Decide'? I've already decided."

"Well, there've only been forty-some comments so far, and most of them internet quips. Might as well toss something in before somebody derails the thread, probably with perfunctory defense of Fox's reporting."

"Make sure that everyone can see your ire at the lack of critical examination, with a dollop of superiority, and no attempt to point out why Stormfront is dumb. Maybe the angry white males just aren't getting our righteous condescention yet. Maybe we should lay it on thicker."

"That's just crazy enough to work."
posted by klangklangston at 10:36 PM on December 22, 2005


"Am I the only person who counted out to 42 comments to try and figure out what the fuck klangklangston was trying to say?"

"No, I tried that, too, and it didn't work."

"It's too bad he didn't make his point—whatever it was—in a more straightforward matter."

"Yeah, his comment was so elliptical, it's in orbit."
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:46 PM on December 22, 2005


thanks to think progress for giving us credit for the story. if you read our story you will see that they missed something off the end of one of their quotes. the full quote from the stormfront's founder on the board is:

Thanks to all for the positive assessments of this Stormfront.org interview with Fox TV. The Fox TV Carolina staff was very professional and made it easy for Bob and me.

One detail that I forgot (until just yesterday) was to unmoderate our new Stormfront Member, FOXSC, so that Fox could post more easily on Stormfront. We've also got Fox5News and Fox-News as Stormfront Members.


It seems that several fox people are on the board.

what makes this offensive is that stormfront's claims were taken at face value - especially when the reporter, who was registered on the board, should have been able to disporve their claim of being cuddly nice people by simply reading stormfront.

secondly by deliberately ommiting a counter voice, they did editorialise. they only put forward stormfronts claims with no questioning of their claims.
posted by quarsan at 11:01 PM on December 22, 2005


As much as StormFront disgusts me, I think it may be a mistake to place the bulk of the blame for this story on the reporter -- or Fox, or Meredith Corporation. (Remember, the higher-ups generally don't interfere with day-to-day activities, and are only alerted if something goes wrong).

The real power is in the hands of the producers who either (a) told Tami Birckner to do the story or (b) accepted her pitch -- depending on whether she's telling the truth about how she "did the story exactly as she was told to," according to ThinkProgress. Her supervisors could have refused to run such a story unless it had a legitimate news angle.

But here's what I don't get: This Website isn't brand new. Why now? "Hey, it's a slow news day. I heard about this white supremacist Website. Let's do a feature on it!" That thinking doesn't make sense. Where's the news? There are tons of these sorts of sites. And millions of other stories. Unless you're going to go in-depth interviewing both sides, or there's a local public figure involved and you're trying to shed light on his/her activities, it doesn't make sense to do this story at all.

All of this leaves me wondering two things: First, what does Tami Birckner (named 2005 Reporter of the Year by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association) really think about all of this? If she strongly objected, she could have refused to do the story, refused to do it in the way she was asked to, or flat-out quit her job. Second, what is the pecking order at the news station? How many people were involved with this story and with deciding whether to run it? Did they ever consider not running it? Did they suggest adding another angle? Did Birckner interview others not affiliated with the site only to find that her footage was not used?
posted by brina at 11:05 PM on December 22, 2005


not surprised.
posted by Doorstop at 11:33 PM on December 22, 2005


I mean, the terms "white supremicist" or "white seperatist" kind of have a negative connotation in my mind already. No need to add adjectives like "dumb" or "redneck" before them.

That may be so, but I still can't stop the sound of Duelling Banjos from playing in my head as I read it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:52 AM on December 23, 2005


Jonmc--

For what it's worth, I'm really with you on this.

IMO, that subtle, disgusting, internalized racism is what allowed people to believe all the crap they believed about the Katrina survivors, and those beliefs cost lives. Internalized racism can cost lives in the law enforcement context too.

For anyone who wants to learn more about this stuff, I recommend watching The Color of Fear.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:40 AM on December 23, 2005


Why is it that white supremacists are proud to be part of a race that includes Mozart but not ashamed to be part of a race that includes Dahmer? They're a lot closer to Dahmer in my book.
But I must have some white identity. I'm embarrassed to be part of the same race as Rupert Murdoch.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:51 AM on December 23, 2005


Welcome to the conversation jonmc.

Good to see you're still tracking my comments.

While I agree that there are more subtle elements of racism embedded in many of us, that in no way discredits activism against overt racism.
Overt racism must be confronted first before we can hope to achieve results against more subtle forms of racism.
Both are wrong, both are damaging.
If you had read my post more carefully you would see that I made a statement that in fact argues that overt racism at least is more easily recognized and confronted and thus I implicitly address the less visible forms as pernicious.
Got it?
Either way, welcome back to the dialogue. I kinda missed having you ragging on my ass.
posted by nofundy at 5:18 AM on December 23, 2005


I see the report as allowing the site's owners and moderators to make unchallenged statements that are "at variance with the facts." Why, after they purport to "just be about 'preserving' the white race, and don't hate anybody" did the reporter not point up some of the vitriol that is considered just clean fun on that site?

From a quick perusal:

"Better to light a cross than to curse the darkies."

"Once human equality is accepted, everything becomes permissible. "

"i dont see how anyone could say that black is beautifl. its just sick"

"Watch out ****a
the Klan is getting bigga!"


(Lots of laughing smileys in with those. What a hoot!)

If the notion of the report was to present the "facts," then why did it omit the fact that this site is full of users who espouse violence against blacks after its moderator said it was not? I don't give a damn if it's a local station, this is either inexcusably bad journalism or blatant propaganda. Either of these things would be a firing offense if those reporters and producers were under my employ.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:19 AM on December 23, 2005


[Ahem. Took folks a while to figure this one out, didn't it ...]
posted by carter at 5:40 AM on December 23, 2005


While I agree that there are more subtle elements of racism embedded in many of us, that in no way discredits activism against overt racism.

I agree. My only point is that is that saying "The Klan is Bad!" is hardly a brave statement these days and (sometimes) it's an easy way way for many of us to ignore our own bigotry ("I'm not a bigot, they are!")

But seriously, feel free to ridicule the klukkers, they deserve it, but it dosen't change much.
posted by jonmc at 6:38 AM on December 23, 2005


...and FWIW, I wouldn't bother breaking your balls if I didn't think you had the capacity to get what I'm saying. Sorry for the vociferousness of my initial response through. Walking roughly 7 miles in the freezing cold through dicey neighborhoods will do that to you. Thankfully the strikes over.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 AM on December 23, 2005


I was not at all surprised that this particular Fox affiliate is in upstate South Carolina, right in the heart of Bob Jones University country.
posted by alumshubby at 7:57 AM on December 23, 2005


carter, what do you mean?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:12 AM on December 23, 2005


carter, what do you mean?

Re. 43438: "This post was deleted for the following reason: link to white power site, over the top editorializing"

Somebody posted a link to the British National Party web site - it was called out early (by your good self) - some people (including myself) continued to point to the fact the BNP are a bunch of fascist thugs - others however continued to post and run with the thesis of the post, and contributed a bunch of "Psst! - Wanna hear something about Arabs?" comments, before the thread was finally, finally closed.

So I just thought all the anti-Fox stuff was a bit lame and self-righteous. Anyone can link to racist sites and agendas. When it was done here on Mefi, there was what I thought was a less than overwhelming reaction to this, and also a less than overwhelming condemnation of the BNP in the process, even when it had been made plain exactly who the BNP were.
posted by carter at 8:47 AM on December 23, 2005


“If this was an article about a black-pride forum, would people be angry?”

If the black folks in question said society was going to devolve into tribes and they should be strong like Zulu warriors with the implication that they are going to kill everyone else...yeah, that’d piss me off.

To clarify, I’m not taking any stance on the reportage itself. Bit above my paygrade in complexity. I’ll have to think about the issue more before I form an opinion.
I tend to default towards very free and open communication.
But that doesn’t stop me from being irritated with folks who would like to eliminate me because I’m a “Jew lover” or some such.

“I hate these stormfront assholes too, but let's not pretend this thread is anything but an excuse to show what freinds-to-the-downtrodden we are for being upset.”
- posted by jonmc

Thats a fair point. I suppose it can look that way. For my own part, and I can see it for some other folks here, it’s more irritation with the hypocrisy and the expression of that than self-aggrandizement.
The “....if they're so concerned about the 'loss of the white race' they ought to be out there boffing their brains out...” sort of thing that alludes to the total domination of society on many strata (excluding perhaps music, sports, and some film) the “pasties” enjoy.
I suppose bitching about it on teh internets is a safety valve of sorts.
I agree with your point about engagement though. Steven Biko said the same thing.
And it does indeed work both ways, but it’s more of a passive agressive thing on the part of the minority. The whole false respect thing. Freaking the norms, etc. Bikers do the same things too. I was in a rougher part of the city getting some cash from an ATM one late afternoon near a bus stop. I was protecting my back (old habit, I do it everywhere), wearing a suit, looking like Joe Suburbs scared of getting cash in the rough part of town (it ain’t Beirut - to be fair from ‘89 to when the Syrians left in April, even Beirut isn’t “Beirut” anymore.), and this black kid, probably about 17, went “boo!” at me. And I slipped a knife under his throat. It’s a 7” blade. Serrated so it’s not for quiet work, and his eyes got as big as saucers. I realized he was just fucking with me and he realized not every white guy is ascared of young black men. I put the knife away and I said “you were just fucking with me?” he nodded. I said it looked like we both fucked up and he shook his head like I was crazy and got on his bus. Had I been afraid and armed instead of just trained it could have been an ugly Bernie Goetz thing. (Isn’t he named in “We Didn't Start the Fire” on Billy Joel’s 1989 Storm Front album?)
There seems to be this cycle of antagonism and attack invitation. I don’t think the story here helps. It pisses me off because it seems like part of that “hey, no offense, but fuck you and everything you believe in - but I mean that in a good way and I’m going to tell you I’m not lying even though it’s obvious I am” sort of thing.


That and the whole “Viking” thing. I know Vikings. I have friends who are Vikings. I’ve taught Vikings how to fight. I lived in Iceland for a while - those people are fucking Vikings. Drops to 10 degrees with a 50 mph cross wind out of the sea and heavy snow and they’ll think about maybe putting on a sweater later. Practical, stalwart, admirable folks Icelanders. (It’s not racism if you LIKE their race).
/tangent - I saw Magnus ver Magnusson win the strongest man on earth contest there in 91. No grunting or pumping himself up emotionally, just went out and did it.
On the beach in Dritvik there are four lifting stones which used to be used to test men who want to work on fishingboats. The four stones had different weights; Amlodi (Useless) - 50 lbs , Halfdraettingur (Weakling) - 108 lbs , Halfsterkur (Half strong) - 308 lbs and Fullsterker (Fully strong) - 330 lbs . The Husafell Stone also confers fullsterkur status, it’s about 418 lbs. Ask me how I hurt my back in the early 90’s. Go on, ask me.

Wow. Garrulous today. Too much coffee.

good luck with the commute jonmc
posted by Smedleyman at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2005


Ah, I see, carter. Right you are, good sir. Thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:32 AM on December 23, 2005


Cache ahoy
posted by antifreez_ at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2005


If this was an article about a black-pride forum, would people be angry?

Perhaps they would if a dominant black race had subjected whites to generations of slavery, openly espoused the inferiority of the white race and never really completely gave up these ideas even generations after abolishing slavery of the white race.
posted by caddis at 9:46 AM on December 23, 2005


If this was an article about a black-pride forum, would people be angry?

what's that got to do with anything?

this is to do with a mainstream news organisation giving uncritical coverage to an out and out nazi site.

stop throwing crap into the mix. the issue is clear. should fox, or it's affiliates broadcast uncritical coverage of nazi sites? should fox reporters be contributing to such sites?

i say no, what say you?
posted by quarsan at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2005


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