Last updated on January 31, 2022
CNN anchor Brian Stelter claimed that “white identity politics” was fueling Fox News personalities’ criticisms of President Joe Biden’s imminent Supreme Court nomination.
Stelter said during Sunday’s broadcast of “Reliable Sources” that Fox News — along with other conservative radio and television outlets — was spoiling for a “fight” over whoever Biden might nominate, suggesting that the network’s intent was to sow division in an effort to drive ratings.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 30, 2022
Stelter began by noting that a number of Republicans had suggested that President Biden — in his efforts to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer — might not face the kind of opposition former President Donald Trump faced with his nominations, mainly because replacing Stephens with another liberal justice would do little to change the ideological balance of the court.
He then argued that some in media — particularly those on the right — actually preferred a battle.
“Let’s be honest, Fox wants a fight. Rightwing radio and TV wants a fight,” Stelter said. “They need a fight over the Supreme Court. They are already starting a fight that’s rooted in white identity politics. All of Fox’s prime time shows are outraged that Biden has committed to nominating a justice who is black and female.”
Stelter showed clips of Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham — who said that Biden’s promise to nominate a black female to the exclusion of all other demographics was in itself divisive, not to mention racist and sexist. Stelter then claimed that the Fox News hosts were the problem, and that their comments were intentionally fueling a state of “permanent political warfare.”
Stephen Miller pushed back on Stelter’s claims in a tweet, saying, “Joe Biden has not made this pick yet. Joe Biden has eliminated any consideration of any judge of Asian or Hispanic ethnicity (among others!). The only person who made this about identity politics is Joe Biden.”
“Does it matter to @brianstelter that 76% of Americans just told a leading pollster they oppose limiting Supreme Court hires to 6% of the population (based on immutable characteristics)?” Zaid Jilani added, referencing an ABC/IPSOS poll that said a commanding majority of Americans believed Biden should make his Supreme Court choice by considering all possible nominees rather than adhering to his campaign promise for the sake of doing so. “Why is everything always about Fox News? Why not report these things accurately?”
National Review Editor Rich Lowry added, “The country has gotten to a truly bizarre place when it’s ‘white identity politics’ to maintain that Supreme Court picks should be made on the merits.”
“The View” cohost Ana Navarro weighed in on Biden’s promise — and critics who accused the president of engaging in “identity politics” — earlier in the week. “All politics is ‘identity politics,’” she said, arguing that everyone — regardless of race, gender or creed — wanted to vote for someone with whom they identified in some way.
“Why is putting a black woman ‘identity politics,’ but putting a conservative, who you agree with ideologically, not ‘identity politics’?” she asked, adding that it was “hypocritical” for people to suggest that race and gender were the only factors that influence “identity politics.”
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