I think we can all agree (well most of us) that the environment over at Radio Rwanda is inimical to black folks. But has anyone ever wondered about the provenance of this philosophy? Well, if you have, wonder no more, because with the help of my friends over at Media Matters I am about to show you:
"Under its president, Roger Ailes, Fox News routinely employs racially charged appeals to foment opposition to the Obama administration and other progressive figures, such as Glenn Beck's comments that President Obama is a "racist" and "has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." Before launching the Fox News Channel, Ailes worked as a media consultant for several Republican campaigns where evidence shows he similarly appealed to racial fears and biases for political gain, and as executive producer for Rush Limbaugh's television show, during which Limbaugh made several controversial statements.
Ailes' political and media history is littered with race-based appeals
As Nixon campaign consultant, Ailes reportedly looked for a "Wallaceite cab-driver" to bring up race at televised town hall meetings. As media consultant for Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, Ailes directed televised town hall meetings in which Nixon answered questions from a supportive audience. According to Rick Pearlstein, Ailes suggested Nixon take a question from "A good, mean, Wallaceite cab-driver. Wouldn't that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, 'Awright, Mac, what about these niggers?" Pearlstein wrote, "Nixon then could abhor the uncivility of the words, while endorsing a 'moderate' version of the opinion. Ailes walked up and down a nearby taxi stand until he found a cabbie who fit the bill."
From Nixonland by Rick Pearlstein:
The panel questioners were unrehearsed. But they were also an effect of stagecraft. They were like those heterogeneous World War II-picture platoons: here a Jewish physician; there the president of an immigrant advocacy group; an outnumbered newsman or two to show the man in the arena wasn't ducking them; a surburban housewife; a businessman. In Philadelphia they hit a snag with the Jewish physician turned out to be a psychiatrist. "You should have heard Len on the phone when I told him I had one on the panel," one staffer related. "If I've ever heard a guy's voice turn white, that was it." (Garment had remembered his evening with Nixon in Elmer Bobst's Florida pool house: "anything except see a shrink.")
Ailes hit upon an idea for a substitute: "A good, mean, Wallaceite cab-driver. Wouldn't that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, 'Awright, Mac, what about these niggers?'" Nixon then could abhor the uncivility of the words, while endorsing a "moderate" version of the opinion. Ailes walked up and down a nearby taxi stand until he found a cabbie who fit the bill. [Nixonland, p. 331]
Ailes on 1988 strategy against Dukakis: "The only question is whether we depict Wille Horton with a knife in his hand or without it." Ailes was credited, along with Lee Atwater, with helping George H.W. Bush come from behind to beat Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. Part of that winning strategy included portraying Dukakis as "soft on crime" and connecting him with convicted felon Willie Horton. Horton committed assault, armed robbery, and rape in Maryland during a weekend furlough -- a program granting temporary release to prisoners that Dukakis supported but was created under the previous governor. While the Bush campaign did not produce the Horton ad that was widely criticized as "racist," Ailes did produce the "Revolving Door" ad that similarly attacked Dukakis for the furlough program. The campaign also created "The Risk," a negative ad that referenced "a furlough escapee" who "terrorized a Maryland couple." Ailes has been quoted as saying, "The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it."
Ailes' 1989 attacks on Dinkins for Giuliani "prey[ed] upon the fears of the Jewish community." As media consultant for Rudy Giuliani's first mayoral campaign, Ailes placed an ad in a prominent Yiddish Newspaper, The Algemeiner Journal, that featured an image of Guiliani's opponent David Dinkins -- who would become New York City's first African-American mayor -- alongside Jesse Jackson. The ad also displayed a photo of Giuliani with President George H.W. Bush, and the headline stated, ''Let the people of New York choose their own destiny" [New York Times, 9/30/1989]. Howard Kurtz reported that "Ira Silverman, vice president of the American Jewish Committee, said the Giuliani ad seemed a 'legitimate campaign tactic,' but said that he found it 'troubling' because it 'preys upon the fears of the Jewish community' " [Washington Post, 9/29/1989]. National Public Radio has further reported: "Giuliani also tagged Dinkins as a 'Jesse Jackson Democrat.' That was an appeal to the city's large contingent of Jewish voters, who had despised Jackson ever since he used an anti-Semitic epithet to describe New York City. In this context, Giuliani's signature issue of crime took on racial overtones, says political consultant Norman Adler." One of Giuliani's ads featured a New Yorker stating, "I'm tired of living in New York and being scared." From a November 4, 1989, New York Times article:.."
Sadly, Ailes is still using the "what about these niggers" strategy. It's just that now it's focused on the office of the president.