Fox News’s opinion-aggregation Web site, Fox Nation, made an odd and many say “race-baiting” editorial decision Friday when it splashed a story about Obama’s birthday over its homepage with the headline “Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs” and a photo of Obama next to three black celebrities who attended.
UPDATE: Fox News responds in this posting.
The report, which aggregated a Politico story, goes on to detail the menu, guests and R&B, jazz, hip-hop and Motown performances at the event. The report does not mention the performance by white rock band OK Go.
Fox Nation’s headline was taken from a quote by press secretary Jay Carney, who once admitted that “the White House doesn’t create jobs.”
No sooner was the story posted than liberal bloggers pointed out the racism of the headline and accompanying photograph.
“Fox’s choice of headlines and the stories that they emphasize seem designed to attract and encourage racist commenters,” Media Matters wrote, citing such recent Fox Nation headlines as “White kid beaten up because of slavery” and a headline similar to Friday’s that read, “Obama bringing Motown to White House ... boogey down!”
Slate blogger Dave Weigel pointed out that while a DJ spun some hip-hop at the event, none of the musicians who performed were actually hip-hop artists.
“Fox Nation could have gone with the ‘Jazz BBQ Doesn’t Create Jobs’ hed, I guess, but why not cut to the chase with something like: ‘Uppity Blacks Eat Soul Food and Laugh While You Hunt for A Job You Can't Get Because of Welfare Queens, Affirmative Action, and Carjackers,’ ” Weigel wrote.
Blogger Oliver Willis contributed some of his own headlines that he guessed could appear on future Fox Nation stories, including “Obama, While Black, Remarks On Unemployment” and “Obama Blackly Delivers The State Of The Union.”
ThinkProgress wrote with a large dose of snark: “Of course, nothing says hip hop like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.”
Soon, hundreds joined in on using #HipHopBBQActs, many of them tweeting ridiculous BBQ foods combined with hip-hop artist names to make their point:
Nicki Minarinated Tilapia #hiphopbbqacts
Wocka Flocka Flame-Broiled #HipHopBBQActs
As many made increasingly ludicrous suggestions for hip hop BBQ acts, a member of the Media Matters online team, Seth Michaels, implored people to also keep the bigger picture in mind:
“Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn't Create Jobs” did indeed attract commenters, some 1,560 of them at the time of publishing, and many made comments that could be considered racist.
“Nice collection of the FBI's ‘Most Wanted’ mug shots,” one man wrote.
Other commenters, however, did not find the headline so surprising. One commenter wrote, garnering 17 responses:
You know, if President Obama walked on water, the Fox News headline would read, “Obama can't swim.”