|After much criticism, the NYT added "without citing evidence" to this headline|
As O’Reilly’s advertisers flee and Trump’s poll numbers plummet, each are seeking to stoke the energies of their fans the best way they know how: through the vilification of black women. In the Trump-Fox axis, all women are suspect, of course, but black women are even more so. There’s a special focus on the demonization of African American women in the political and media spheres.
Recent weeks have brought us the spectacle of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer treating April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, like a child, demanding at a press briefing that she not shake her head after she asked a question about the Russia scandal and the president’s sinking poll numbers. We saw O’Reilly mock U.S. Representative Maxine Waters’s hair style in a racialized way. We saw Fox News reporter Heather Childers misrepresent an appeal by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch—who called for resistance to Trump’s rollback of civil protections by citing the sacrifices made by civil rights protesters in decades past, including being on the receiving end of beatings and murder—as a call to violence. (Fact-checkers saw it differently.)
Tee up one of the right’s favorite villains: Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser. Ever since Trump, on March 4, alleged in a tweet that Barack Obama had “‘wiretapped’” his phones in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign, the White House and right-wing media have gone to great lengths to try to prove the claim. Because Rice had asked for the names of certain “U.S. persons” that NSA surveillance on foreign nationals had revealed them to be talking to—at a moment when the intelligence community was examining the possibility of foreign intervention in the presidential campaign—she is now said to have been spying on the Trump campaign, according to an April 4 report on The Daily Caller, the right-wing website helmed by Tucker Carlson. At issue is the reason she asked the names of certain U.S. persons to be “unmasked” to her, in the parlance of intelligence types.
Rice is perfect for the role for which she’s been drafted without consent. She’s a woman. She’s black. A black woman who, like Ryan and Lynch, has risen to the upper reaches of her profession. The worst kind of woman in their eyes.