The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has issued an open letter to Fox News Channel Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes, following a recent segment that demonized Latino and immigrant children. The letter highlighted that this incident is one example of Fox News' long history of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant rhetoric, which, studies have shown, may breed hate and negatively impact one's health. The following is the text of the open letter to Roger Ailes from NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales, first published in the Huffington Post:
Dear Mr. Ailes:
I write to convey my alarm over a recent segment smearing immigrant children that aired on Fox News' Special Report. In the piece, Chris Wallace reported false facts linking immigrants to welfare. Even more egregious, however, was the graphic that appeared on screen during Wallace's remarks, which referred to immigrant children as "Children of the Corn." This phrase likens immigrant children to the murderous cult of fictional children depicted in Stephen King's horror story and its universally familiar film adaptations. It covertly insinuates that Latino and immigrant children are to be feared.
Mr. Ailes, this is unacceptable. It is one thing for Fox News to routinely spread hate towards Latino and immigrant adults. It is quite another to demonize innocent children.
NHMC urges that Fox News and Chris Wallace immediately issue an apology to Latino children, and that you send a formal memo to all Fox News staff, urging them to refrain from all anti-Latino and anti-immigrant smears, especially those directed at innocent children.
Unfortunately, this is only the latest instance in Fox News' long history of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino hate speech. Studies demonstrate that such rhetoric may breed hate and impact the health of not only members of the targeted group, but anyone that hears these messages. NHMC's recent multi-method research project found that Fox News viewers are more likely to harbor negative stereotypes and unfavorable views against Latinos and immigrants. The research revealed that news and entertainment media have a profound influence on non-Latinos' perceptions of Latinos and immigrants, and that portrayals can diminish or exacerbate stereotypically negative opinions about Latinos and immigrants.
At a time when Latinos and immigrants are being brutally beaten and murdered on the streets based only on the color of their skin, and when Latino children are being harassed on the playgrounds because of their immutable characteristics, Fox News must do better. At a time when Fox News' parent company is trying to attract Latino eyeballs, Fox News must understand that Latinos will not embrace the brand that hates them.
Alex Nogales, President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to educate and influence media corporations on the importance of including U.S. Latinos at all levels of employment. It augments the pool of Latino talent with its professional development programs. It challenges media that carelessly exploit negative Latino stereotypes. It scrutinizes and opines on media and telecommunications policy issues. Learn more at http://www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebook and Twitter @NHMC.