Fox News shamed into deleting editorial decrying "darker, gayer" Olympic athletes
After taking down an absurd editorial bemoaning the diversity of Team USA, Fox News laughably claimed that the article penned by one of the network’s top executives “does not reflect the views or values of Fox News.”
In the face of intense criticism, Fox News has removed an inflammatory editorial penned by veteran network executive John Moody, who argued in the article that the diversity of the U.S. delegation could cost Team USA medals at the 2018 winter Olympics.
The article, titled “In Olympics, let’s focus on the winner of the race — not the race of the winner,” slammed the U.S. Olympic Committee for its efforts to attract more diverse athletes, and asserted without any basis that some Olympic athletes may have been given a spot on Team USA because of their skin color or sexual orientation, rather than their performance.
“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger,'” Moody wrote. “It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.’ If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”
The editorial was met with swift backlash and demands for Moody to apologize to the athletes competing in the winter games.
“The executive vice president of Fox News targeted some of our nations top athletes with vicious anti-LGBTQ and biased rhetoric at what should be the proudest moment of their lives,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.
“These athletes are at the Olympics because they already won by qualifying to represent the United States on the world’s stage; and they did so despite facing discrimination from places like Fox News throughout their careers. Moody should not only apologize to the athletes and fans for this disgraceful post, but Fox News should open their site for diverse athletes to share their own personal stories and perspectives.
On Friday, Fox took down the article, claiming that it “does not reflect the views or values of Fox News” and “was not properly vetted” before it was published. A source inside Fox News blamed editors for being too deferential to Moody, citing his “longevity at the network.
The network then absurdly claimed that Moody a Fox News executive editor and executive vice president “has zero editorial oversight” on any of Fox’s platforms.
But Moody’s history at Fox News tells a different story.
Moody joined Fox News when the network launched in 1996. He left in 2009 to lead Newscore a company owned by then-Fox News parent company News Corp and returned to Fox News in 2012.
According to a 2011 account by Rolling Stone, Moody was handpicked by former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who placed him at the helm of the network’s ideological wheel:
After Bush was elected, Ailes tasked John Moody, his top political lieutenant, to keep the newsroom in lockstep. Early each morning, Ailes summoned Moody into his office often joined by [Brit] Hume from the Washington bureau on speakerphone and provided his spin on the days news. Moody then posted a daily memo to the staff with explicit instructions on how to slant the days news coverage according to the agenda of those on ‘the Second Floor,’ as Ailes and his loyal cadre of vice presidents are known.
Moody was such a fixture at the right-wing network that he was reportedly considered as a potential replacement for Ailes when the former head of Fox News was ousted in 2016 amid a slew of sexual harassment allegations.
To say that Moody doesn’t speak for Fox News is laughable. Based on all available information, Fox News’ voice was crafted in large part by Moody and his editorial is hardly out of step with the network’s coverage.
Fox News has created a for-profit outrage industry by manufacturing controversies and diving headfirst into the culture wars with warnings about “political correctness run amok” and rants about the plight of those suffering as women, minorities, and LGBT people gain equal rights. The network trafficks in racist, sexist, and homophobic propaganda, and rage-clicks are its currency.
Moody’s editorial was tailor-made for the views and values of Fox News.
And on a practical note: If bigotry were a red line, Fox News would have gone out of business years ago.
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