Fox News Channel and the Value of Black America
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
July 9, 2009
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When Greta Van Susteren of Fox News Channel was covering the Memorial of Michael Jackson (MJ) on Tuesday, many of the people she was interviewing and collaborating with to air the event could not hide their hatred and disgust at the King of Pop. Some did not only try to down play the attendance at the Staple Center, but where also offended by the fact that all or most of the highways into Los Angeles where closed for the event. Greta then tried to easy the tension by reminding everyone that the event was the next thing to the attendance of the 1984 Summer Olympics that was held in the same city. While CNN listed the Memorial from 12 noon to 4 PM on its programming, Fox listed it to about 2:30PM and Greta claimed that they were unaware about the programming of the event and how long it was going to last. Did Fox News have to cover the event at all, or they had no other choice than to utilize it in competing for ratings?
I wrote an article last week asking why Bill O’Reilly was on vacation the very week Michael Jackson died. I wanted to know if it was a coincidence, if he did not want to offend his base by giving the King of Pop his dues, or if he did not want to be called a racist if he did not respect the King. Last night, Bill O’Reilly gave Republican Congressman from New York – Peter King, the forum to justify his unfounded insult of calling MJ a pervert. The Congressman disagreed with the jury of the American courts that cleared MJ of all molestation charges and still insisted that MJ is a pervert. The Congressman claimed that there were more important citizens and issues to talk about than the King, and was angered by the fact that the media covered MJ for about 2 weeks. He also emphasized that MJ lay with children on his bed and that would affect those children psychologically in future. To him, this is all MJ should be remembered for. So is Congressman Peter King a racist, or he is simply just heartless without regards for the feelings of humanity?

Last night, Bill O’Reilly on his show with Rev. Al Sharpton insisted, like I expect him to, that Michael Jackson was nothing but a wonderful entertainer. He gladly and openly rejected the fact that the world considers him as icon and emphasized that MJ can not be considered a Black American icon because he wanted to be white, and wanted White children by White people. Bill O’Reilly fails to see the iconic reality of MJ’s status because unlike himself, MJ brought all races together, set many records in his field of work, broke many barriers that hindered others, made others believe in the excellence of hard work and dedication, and most importantly, healed the minds and souls of humanity through his music. Mr. O’Reilly has to understand that it does not matter what kind of children you have or how you had them, but MJ is an African American from a Black family who took Black culture, Black music, and Black dance steps to the world to celebrate. This was the same Black culture, Black dance, and Black musical style that made Elvis and the Beetles. The world wanted to celebrate a subjected and neglected Black culture through White people or White faces on covers and TV, but MJ and the Jacksons (father, mothers, and sisters included) came out to the world through a Black Motown and broke that barrier. They basically said that Black culture could stand on its own and be celebrated in its originality. This is what MJ is hated for. He was the one who broke the White supremacy of the global entertainment industry.

I would like to encourage the world, Americans, and Fox News Channel, as an American who grew up on foreign shores, that the value of the United States to the world is based on the influence of African Americans. The two biggest things that captivate all kinds of people, of all ages, and in all continents are sports and entertainment. They are also the biggest marketing opportunities for any country or business organization. Aside from the soccer World Cup, the Summer Olympics is the biggest event on this planet, and its main event is the track. The track events have the most attendance in any Olympics and the most watched across the world. It was through sports (Muhammad Ali, Carl Lewis, and Jesse Owens) and Entertainment (Michael Jackson, the Jacksons, and James Brown) that America sold its image of success to the world to believe. I challenge the Fox News Channel to take an opened minded and honest poll of 1000 foreigners of various ages and background, and find out when they first fell in love with America and why they wanted to come to America. They should not be surprised to find out that over 75% of all foreigners will say it was before they went to college and that it was because of the influence of a BLACK AMERICAN.

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