Opinion

Elizabeth Warren Owes Fox News Employees an Apology

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Posted: May 15, 2019 2:02 PM
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Elizabeth Warren Owes Fox News Employees an Apology

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Elizabeth Warren had some pretty strong statements to make about Fox News on Tuesday when she explained she wouldn’t be appearing in any town halls hosted by the popular news organization.

"I love town halls. I’ve done more than 70 since January, and I’m glad to have a television audience be a part of them. Fox News has invited me to do a town hall, but I’m turning them down—here’s why…

"Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class.

"Hate-for-profit works only if there’s profit, so Fox News balances a mix of bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet. It’s all about dragging in ad money—big ad money.

"But Fox News is struggling as more and more advertisers pull out of their hate-filled space. A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors its safe to buy ads on Fox—no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: It’s not)."

It isn’t shocking to hear people bash Fox News. As a black, female pundit who leans to the right, I’ve been the subject of many insults over the years for appearing on the network. I’ve been alternatively amused and annoyed by the vitriol thrown my way, and towards the people who work at Fox News.

NOTE TO THE HATERS: “Faux News” is about as interesting a comeback these days as “fake news”. Get a new schtick.

Warren’s characterization is rude and disturbing. It is the epitome of the very divisiveness she blames on Trump.

I’ve been on Fox News on both coasts dozens of times over the years. Fox News is a news and opinion outlet. Of the thousands of employees across the country maybe about one or two percent are actually on-air personalities. Of those personalities only a portion are strictly opinion programming. The rest are news anchors and journalists.

Those people might rile up the likes of Warren and her ilk and that’s fine. It’s unfortunate that she encourages the idea that those with a non-liberal opinion are “hateful” but that’s not unexpected. What is uncalled for is her deeply offensive smearing of the thousands of workaday employees who have nothing to do with politics outside of the daily tasks they perform within their job descriptions.

Fox News isn’t an evil conglomerate full of baby Hitlers preparing to consume the world in a genocidal hellfire. It is a workplace and good people go there every day…to work…to support their families. Forget about the Sean Hannitys of Fox. For every one like him there are a hundred who are just average, hard-working Americans. There are make-up artists and hair dressers. Coffee runners, grips, electricians, camera operators. There are janitors and security officers, receptionists, assistants. Some people work in the mail room. Some work in the cafeteria. There are accountants and human resource officers. There are switchboard operators, editors, sound mixers and audio/visual technicians.

I’ve met many of these people and a lot of them aren’t even conservative. I might even venture to say most of them aren’t.

Most of the people I’ve come across don’t even discuss their politics. They are professional, mannered and kind. They have families. They have hobbies and side hustles. They come in to do their jobs well and then go enjoy their lives…like regular people do.

Quite a few are professed liberals and yet go to work at Fox News every day without feeling conflicted at all. That’s because they know what I know - that Fox News is just a place where people work and some people get to be on TV and say provocative things.

Warren’s characterization of the outlet was not only irresponsible, it was insensitive. She thinks she’s making some sort of principled stand, but for a woman who is running to be the president of the entire United States, I find it grossly disappointing that she would so willingly malign so many tax-paying, hardworking Americans just because they happen to sell gum or clean the floors at a TV station.

Holding a town hall at Fox News isn’t just a way to reach people outside her base, its job creation. With this woefully ignorant declaration Warren is signaling she is not interested in either. This would have been an excellent opportunity for her to prove how she can unite people and that her message is persuasive enough to earn votes from both sides of the aisle (something Trump did shockingly well, snatching a significant portion of previous Obama voters to cruise to victory in 2016).

Instead, Warren has only proven that she’s just another politician - only interested in being elected but not at all interested in affecting real change. Trump was the very distasteful remedy to the last 40 years of politicians who have taken us down that road. Warren seems determined to make sure we all keep taking our medicine well into the 2024 election cycle.

I’m tired of the good, hard-working, regular employees at Fox News being insulted, maligned and judged. It isn’t fair and it isn’t even smart.

It's just rude.