On the Scene: Nas vs. Fox News Channel

I still have very fond memories of the time when, at the height of theRepublican National Convention four years ago, I participated in a "Shut-Up-A-Thon" outside of Fox News Channel’s midtown Manhattan HQ. (Also there chanting right next to me: JoshuaJackson from Dawson’s Creek. I swear!) So when I heard that Nas was following up his recent chart victory by leading an anti-Fox protest on that very same street corner yesterday, you know I had to drop by — as a strictly impartial journalistic observer, of course.

Nas was there to deliver a petition from grassroots groups ColorOfChange.org and MoveOn.org, signed by 620,127 people who’ve noticed a pattern of racist coverage on Fox. You know, like when Bill O’Reilly speculated aloud about the appropriate time to "go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama." (I overheard two youngish people who appeared to be Fox employees chatting about that gem: "Did that really happen? He didn’t say that." "Yeah, I saw it on YouTube." For the record, he really did say that.) 75 or so protesters were on hand, penned by police barricades into a narrow area — ah, free speech! — where they could hoist signs that read "Fox News Channel: Your Source for Racist Smears" and "FOX KEEPS FEEDING US TOXINS." Around 3 P.M., after an hour or so of waiting, Nas hopped out of an SUV and made a short but impassioned speech to the adoring crowd. Fox’s "racist propaganda," he declared as a gaggle of TV cameras trained on him, "[is] offensive to all Americans." By that time, word had already gotten out that the Fox building was refusing to accept the petition-filled boxes stacked on the curb. "It goes to show what they feel about us," Nas said to that. "They don’t want to hear our voices." Someone asked whether Nas would consider arguing his case on The O’Reilly Factor. "Never," he laughed. "He’d have to come on my show, in front of all of you!" (Fair enough, considering the intemperate outbursts O’Reilly has spat out at him.)

In fact, Nas was headed off after the protest to see Papa Bear O’Reilly’s most devoted disciple, Stephen Colbert. His Report appearance aired last night — if you missed it, check out Colbert’s hilarious introduction below, and click over to Comedy Central for Nas’ interview and performance of "Sly Fox," his bitingly intelligent takedown of Fox and the corporate media at large.

So what did you think of Nas’ big day of anti-Fox press? Anyone else catch him on Colbert, or see him outside of Fox’s offices? Bill O’Reilly and I can’t wait to hear!

Comments (52 total) Add your comment
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  • Nix

    Bill O’Reilly hates his yellow teeth and wants lip plumpers.

  • JEE

    I know this won’t be a popular comment, but if that quote from Bill O’Reilly is the basis for a charge of racism then yuou have got to be kidding me. I do not love Bill O’Reilly, but in the link you provided he was obviously telling the caller that he didn’t want to go after Michelle Obama without facts. BTW–Huffington Post–totally reliable and unbiased.
    However I do congratulate you (and Nas) for exercising your Constitutional right to gather and protest.

  • nunya

    oreilly is a joke. man, olbermann destroys him on a nightly basis. fox is racist (calling obama’s fist bump a ‘terrorist fist jab’ WTF?). i’m glad nas is doing this.

  • McCobb

    Great job and kudos to Nas. O’Reilly is a boil on the ass of humanity and Fox News is a racist network.
    Careful Simon – once the 101st Fighting Keyboarders get a whiff of this article they will be over here qucker then you can say Falafel.

  • TSD

    The comment mentioned above about Michelle Obama is racist because it involves a lynching. I don’t know about you, but mentioning of swinging someone from a tree by their necks with a rope, is cause for me to wonder what is wrong with that person. It’s a racial term.

  • reason

    More hypocrisy from the left. If you don’t like someones opinion you try to shout it down. And you wonder why noone likes you.

  • clarence wong

    nas is just trying to get more people to buy his album by jumping on the “i hate republicans” band-wagon. we all know CNN is biased against republicans, and FOX is biased against democrats. BIG DEAL. if you dont like FOX, then dont watch it. You dont see a bunch of republicans protesting outside of CNN’s headquarters. there are plenty of news stations in the world. watch the one that tickles your fancy.
    btw, i heard john edwards has a love child, but i had a hard time finding an article about it on the the news. isn’t that odd…….

  • Matt

    JEE: Erm…Implicit in that comment is that if there is evidence, he *does* want to go on a “lynching party” against Michelle Obama.

  • Jaso

    There is no hypocrisy involved, “reason”. Criticizing a news organization, which has an obligation to deliver facts and educate the public, but only offers lies and bias, is not only appropriate, but the real American way.
    And to “JEE”: Can you really not tell the difference between a blog and a news organization? And even if you can’t, do you really feel that Huffington’s admitted bias is equal to Fox’s bias? Really?
    And for the last time, “Freedom Of Speech” does not mean that no one can tell you to ‘shut up’, or that you can’t get fired for what you say. It only means you can’t get arrested for what you say.

  • Jaso

    Oh, “clarence wong”, come on! Do you really feel that CNN’s supposed bias is equal to that of Fox’s? Really? I guess so, if you count reporting on the unlawful practices of the Bush White House as a “bias” against Republicans. The bottom line is that facts support CNN’s “bias”, where as Fox’s “bias” is all (ignorant) opinion.
    An the reason that you haven’t “heard more” about Edward’s possible love child is because the source is a tabloid, and nothing has been verified. That’s called being a journalist. If the story is true, are you suggesting that CNN won’t cover it? Really? Think it through. There’s nothing “odd” about it.

  • clarence wong

    on JASO: honestly, i don’t expect CNN to cover it. so you are saying that CNN uses facts and FOX uses opinions? do you have some proof of that. i can easily say the opposite if i wanted too. doesnt make it true though

  • Jaso

    Uh, yeah I can. Fox is the laughing stock of political-minded people on both sides the aisle because of their constant stories like the “terrorist fist bump”, “swift boat”, and the repeated questioning aloud “Is god punishing us?” in relation to extreme weather. And that’s not even scratching the surface.
    And there is NO distinguishing between “news” and “opinion” segments, as apposed to just about everyone else. It is just not an apt comparison at all.
    I’m not a big supporter of CNN. They’re too entertainment focused for me, as is most American news organizations. Because they have to be. Because our entire country is owned by three companies. But that does not make CNN an equal of Fox. By a long shot.

  • clarence wong

    BBC ftw

  • Jaso

    So you can’t think of an example of CNN making something up and passing it off as legitimate news? Neither can I. But I didn’t suggest that I could.
    And, yes, the BBC would be an example of a much stronger news organization.

  • Jaso

    And why would CNN cover a story be The Enquirer? You think that they SHOULD?

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