“Fox & Friends” devoted an entire segment Tuesday morning to scorching former “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, the recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ “Journalist of the Year” award, mocking both Hill and NABJ. Error-laden and lacking in the most basic awareness of journalism, the segment prompted a later correction from the network.
After an introduction in which the hosts seemed in disbelief that a critic of a president could in fact win any kind of award, the fun began.
“I always thought journalists broke stories. She is commentary, and whether you agree with it or not, that’s a brand-new nuance to that category,” said co-host Brian Kilmeade, apparently unaware that, yes, journalism includes “commentary,” and believe it or not, they’ve given out Pulitzers for that kind of thing since the Watergate era.
Lawrence Jones, editor-in-chief of CampusReform.org, joined the panel and noted at least six times that Hill is “unemployed,” suggesting that a lack of presence on television rendered her an irrelevant figure and a poor role model. Only one problem with that: Hill remains very much employed by ESPN. Moreover — and this may come as a shock to “Fox & Friends,” which has a target audience of exactly one person — one becomes a journalist of note precisely by not pandering to exactly what the powerful or the masses want to hear.
Jones’ misstatements were so egregious that “Fox & Friends” put out a correction several hours later:
On the show this morning a guest stated Jemele Hill was unemployed. Correction: Hill is currently employed by ESPN.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 22, 2018
On her personal Twitter, Hill put herself in hot water last year on several occasions, calling President Trump a “white supremacist” and suggesting that the best way to strike back at the NFL was through boycotts. That last tweet earned her a short suspension. She and ESPN later announced that she’d be moving from the 6 p.m. “SportsCenter” slot to work on The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on the intersection of race and sports.
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