With the 2020 presidential election only two years out at this point, the right-wing smear machine is already hungrily churning, looking to tear down any possible Democratic presidential candidates before they can mount a viable bid to unseat Donald Trump.
One name that’s already gaining momentum as a possible candidate is California Senator Kamala Harris, who has proven herself to be a strong advocate for her constituents and a staunch enemy of the Trump administration. She’s quickly becoming a threat to the Republican Party and Fox News hasn’t failed to notice.
The conservative network, which is now little more than Trump’s personal state television outlet, has been forced to apologize after it cut to photographs of the California senator during a segment on a sex offender believed to have committed murder on a college campus in Utah.
Presumably, the segment was supposed to cut to the mugshot of suspected killer Melvin Rowland. Instead, as the hosts discussed the murder a closeup photo of Harris’s face played. When the hosts mentioned that the suspected shooter was also a registered sex offender, the segment cut to a photo of Harris smiling and posing with a young child.
While it’s possible that it was a genuine mistake on the part Fox News, one can’t rule out the possibility that someone at Fox was trying to mock Harris or even disingenuously tie her to the murder. At best, this was an example of extreme journalistic malpractice and Fox was right to apologize.
Given Fox’s long history of flirting with outright racism and white nationalism, it’s also possible that it wasn’t a mere coincidence that they swapped out the photo of the shooter, an African-American man, with Harris, a woman of color.
Fox’s apology was short, and perhaps not as exhaustive as it should have been.
“Now in an earlier version of this story, we showed you the wrong video. We showed you pictures of Senator Kamala Harris instead of Melvin Rowland’s mugshot. We apologize for that error,” Fox’s Jillian Mele said during the program.
Watch the videos below.
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) October 23, 2018