By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Fox News is once again moving to the left, hoping to avoid left-wing attacks on its news operations and commentators. But the move risks alienating conservative viewers. The current controversy involves new Fox News contributor Santita Jackson, who lists the notorious Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., as being among her personal “activities and interests” on her Facebook page.
Wright, who was Obama’s pastor for 20 years and baptized Obama’s children, became a major controversial figure during the 2008 presidential campaign when it became known that he blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American foreign policy and claimed the U.S. manufactured the AIDS virus to kill black people.
The link on the Santita Jackson page, which promotes matters of personal interest to Ms. Jackson and other things she likes to do, directs people to Wright’s official home page.
But her taste for racial and divisive politics has taken on added significance in view of a blog post from 2010, in which Jackson praised New York University law professor Derrick Bell, who has recently become known as “Obama’s Beloved Law Professor” at Breitbart.com because of videos showing the President embracing him. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer, wrote, “Both Obama and Bell demanded that Harvard hire professors on the basis of race. Obama and other students rallied to Bell’s side after Bell quit teaching in an attempt to force Harvard to implement race-based hiring policies.”
He added, “The Obama-Bell connection is the latest in a pattern of Barack Obama’s associations with individuals who promoted a racially divisive America.”
Santita Jackson praised Bell’s decision to leave Harvard in the context of criticizing Obama’s decision to appoint white feminist Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kagan’s hires “while serving as law dean at the Harvard Law School have served to give me pause,” she said, noting the reported failure to hire one single African-American, Latino or Native American. “NYU Law Professor Derrick Bell left the Harvard Law school in 1992 over this very issue,” Jackson noted.
Equally significant, Jackson’s bio describes her as a founding contributor to The Grio, a website dedicated to black news and opinion owned by MSNBC and which is produced in cooperation with NBC News. She lists The Grio as being among her other activities and links to a description of the site.
Hence, Fox News is sharing personnel with a rival network, another indication of the channel’s move to the left.
It is apparent that the left-wing attacks on Fox News, many of them directed through the Soros-funded Media Matters group, have taken their toll.
Conservative reactions to the Fox News hiring of Jackson have been blistering. At The Blaze, a website published by Glenn Beck, who was fired from the channel after representatives of George Soros objected to his scrutiny of the billionaire, one person commented, “Seriously Fox what are you thinking? You are going to push away the base of viewers that have kept you at number 1…Why mess with something that was working? Good luck though to jj daughter. I am not attacking her I am attacking the leadership at Fox for alienating the viewership over and over again with their PC garbage…”
“JJ” is a reference to her father Jesse Jackson, who has run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and is a prominent supporter of President Obama. On the rival MSNBC network, Jackson recently suggested that criticism of Obama’s performance in office has been racist. Obama is “under some venomous attack,” he said. “I mean, the captain of the ship is an African-American who has taken us out of an economic crisis on an upward swing, but there are those who are willing to sink the ship just to destroy the captain.”
Another reader comment on The Blaze said of the Fox News decision to hire Jackson’s daughter: “Ever since the News Corps scandal, Fox has begun a rapid slide to the left. They are BECOMING the corrupt lame-stream-media they used to rail against!”
It is not known if Fox News understood that Santita Jackson, in addition to being the daughter of left-wing activist and Democratic Party politician Jesse Jackson, has been promoting Jeremiah Wright or Derrick Bell. Fox News host Sean Hannity frequently talks about how he used his program during the 2008 campaign to expose Wright and his influence over Obama.
It was later revealed that Wright, at a September 17, 2009, anniversary celebration of Monthly Review, a Marxist publication, had praised Marxism and discussed his ties to communists in El Salvador and Nicaragua and the Libyan government. He called America “land of the greed and home of the slave.”
Santita Jackson’s “interest” in Wright, a form of expressing support for the controversial minister, can only add to concerns that Fox News is moving to the left so fast it is not checking out its left-wing contributors. Her praise for Bell is equally dismaying.
More than two years ago, Fox News hired—and then fired—Marc Lamont Hill as a paid commentator, after AIM revealed that he had an easily documentable record in support of cop-killers.
Santita Jackson comes from Chicago, which is Obama’s home base, and hosted a radio show on Chicago’s WVON, which just happens to carry a show by the notorious Al Sharpton. Next to Sharpton, who hosts a TV program on MSNBC, her father may be the most vocal race baiter and agitator in the nation. Sharpton promoted the Tawana Brawley hoax, in which a black woman falsely claimed being raped by white men.
Sharpton and Jackson have both been quick to jump on the Trayvon Martin shooting, in order to promote the idea that America is a racist nation in which blacks are profiled, shot and killed for no reason. However, facts emerging in this controversial case demonstrate that the shooter, George Zimmerman, a Hispanic, may have shot and killed Martin in self-defense, after a violent confrontation, and that Martin, a black teenager, had been in trouble at his school and suspended. Investigations into the case continue, although the use of lethal force in self-defense is permitted under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Although she is going to work for Fox News Channel as a paid contributor, Santita Jackson has never said anything on the public record that is complimentary to the cable channel. Hence, the hiring looks like a sop to the critics of the cable channel.
Even more embarrassing for Fox News, her Facebook page identifies liberals Anderson Cooper and Roland Martin of CNN as being her favorite media personalities. She and Martin are long-time friends.
One other reader comment at The Blaze was that if Fox News keeps moving left, it will start resembling CNN.
In an AIM blog post, “Fox Veers Left, Hires Jesse Jackson’s Daughter,” Don Irvine noted that “Jackson will join a growing legion of left-wingers at Fox that includes Jehmu Greene and Sally Kohn. Greene is the former president of the Women’s Media Center, which was founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, and Kohn is a former senior strategist for the Soros-funded Center for Community Change.”
Irvine added, “Fox’s moves to beef up its liberal lineup continue to confound conservatives who see no need for the top-rated cable news network to give liberals even more of a voice than they currently have. They already have MSNBC and CNN, along with the rest of the mainstream media. If this hiring trend continues, Fox runs the risk of alienating its conservative audience to the point that they will look elsewhere for their news, and eventually end Fox’s long run as the top cable news network.”
Although her left-wing political views are nothing new, and only add to what Greene and Kohn already provide on various Fox News programs, there is no doubt that Santita Jackson has a fascinating personal story. She lost more than 200 pounds after gastric bypass weight-loss surgery. She is also said to be a dynamic singer. She sang at President Clinton’s second presidential inauguration and attended Obama’s inauguration.
But her political views, of course, are what are getting attention since her hiring by Fox News.
In addition to being a fan of the anti-American Rev. Wright, her Facebook page lists the radical demagogic Catholic Priest Father Michael Pfleger as one of her favorite interests. Pfleger, who has known Barack Obama since his days as a community organizer in Chicago, called on Christian churches on March 25 to put a hoodie on their altar as “a sign of solidarity” with Trayvon Martin, the black teenager who wore a sweatshirt with a hood before his confrontation with Zimmerman.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Pfleger was hailed as “a friend” of Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ and declared in remarks from the pulpit that Hillary Clinton thought she was “entitled” to the Democratic presidential nomination because she was white.
Interestingly, Santita Jackson lists the law firm of Tamara N. Holder as being among other “activities and interests” on her Facebook page. Holder, who is also a paid Fox News contributor, says in her biography that she “works closely with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. in crafting and executing public policy initiatives, together with programs to increase opportunities for minorities and the economically disadvantaged.”
“Tamara single-handedly founded a pro bono legal clinic at Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition,” one of her other websites declares. A criminal attorney in Chicago, her law firm “has successfully defended the most serious of felony cases, from murder to possession of drugs and guns.”
Tamara Holder identifies herself on her Twitter page as a lobbyist and “government consultant” but does not disclose who she is lobbying or consulting for.
Not surprisingly, one article discloses that she has been a frequent guest on the radio, including on such programs as “The Al Sharpton Show” and “The Santita Jackson Show.”
The Santita Jackson show has now moved from radio to TV, courtesy of the Fox News Channel. Is her father next in line for a show on the “conservative” channel?
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].