Fox News exploiting Kavanaugh conflict to tell white people they’re the real victims of racist oppression
October 5, 2018
The political fight over whether to seat Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — a man who has been accused of sexual assault and was nominated by a man who has bragged about sexual assault — seems, to most people anyway, to be a fight primarily about gender. But if you flip on Fox News these days, you would think this battle is largely about race, and that white men are being subject to false rape allegations to perpetuate some kind of anti-white oppression — an inverse of the way false rape accusations were used as pretext for lynching black men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
(In fact, Rich Lowry of the National Review was depraved enough to make that implicit argument explicit.)
Tucker Carlson, edging his show ever toward overt white nationalist rhetoric, argued on Monday night that criticisms of Kavanaugh and the power systems that hold him up are a form of “genocide” against white people.
“You might wonder what in the world this story, the Kavanaugh story, has to do with race,” Carlson said, before arguing that the real agenda here was about “punishing everyone who looks like Brett Kavanaugh,” as opposed, perhaps, to holding abusive men accountable for their behavior.
Variations of the anti-white racism charge have echoed through Fox News coverage in recent days. Martha MacCallum wondered if Kavanaugh should say he’s “not guilty just because I am a white guy,” which completely overlooks that the actual argument against him is based on corroborating evidence and the lies he told under oath. Ben Shapiro later announced that “white men are presumed guilty because they are white men,” which ignores not just all the evidence against Kavanaugh and his false statements to the Senate, but also the fact that Kavanaugh was given a Senate hearing to defend himself and allowed to speak after his accuser.
All of these folks were likely following Ann Coulter’s lead. Even before the Senate hearing in which Christine Blasey Ford testified against Kavanaugh, Coulter appeared on Carlson’s show to deliver a rant about how the term “white privilege” meant that “any white male can be accused with an evidence-free accusation like this,” and appeared to equate being accused of something with being found guilty.
“I thought it was weird that she explicitly threw the race piece in there,” Angelo Carusone of Media Matters told Salon. “Why not just say this can happen to any man or any person?” he wondered. Since then, Carusone said, he has concluded that Fox News is deliberately racializing this issue because the network sees “as an opportunity to rally white people.”