Fox News and the 'Power of Media to Breed Hate'?

Last week, we reported that the National Hispanic Media Coalition was demanding that the FCC investigate "hate speech" on Fox News and talk radio. This same group is promising a "webinar" on Tuesday titled "The Power of Media to Breed Hate, Impact Health and Shape Opinions."

Together with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and the polling firm Latino Decisions, they will announce that "hate speech is pervasive in U.S. media" and other key findings:

2. Big media corporations perpetuate hate through social networks.

3. Listening to hate speech could negatively impact the physical health of listeners, regardless of whether those listeners agree or disagree with the speaker.

4. The media is hugely influential in shaping opinions about Latinos and others.

An article on NBC Latino explains how the NHMC and its pollsters push the idea of Latino" hate" in the media:

The NHMC-Latino Decisions poll was part of a larger study that looked at how people viewed Latinos as a result of being exposed to negative/positive representations of Latinos. Non-Latino survey respondents were divided up into groups. One group saw a clip from “Training Day” where tatted-up homeboys and homegirls were swilling beer and mad-dogging the white and black dudes. Another group saw a clip from “The West Wing” where Max Santos (Jimmy Smits) is portrayed as a Latino presidential candidate giving a moving discourse about his bootstrap story.   

Not surprisingly, the respondents that watched the gangbanger clip had more negative views of Latinos along a whole host of dimensions—honesty, neighborliness, patriotism, family orientation. On the flip side, respondents who watched positive portrayals of Latinos had less negative views of them. It’s really quite simple; the more Latino criminals and slouches appear on TV, the more negatively Latinos will be viewed. The more Latino astronauts, teachers, and students appear on TV the more positively Latinos will be viewed.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis