Dem FNC Contributor Responds to 'White Power' Dig Against Network

Democratic political consultant and longtime Fox News contributor Susan Estrich responds to charges by Bob Cesca on the Huffington Post that Fox News encourages the "white power" movement.

Cesca had said:

Last week, Fox News Channel's John Gibson urged white people to make more babies in order to counter the growing Latino population in America. Watch Stephen Colbert present Gibson's ridiculousness here.

Next up... Tony Snow, former Fox pundit and current White House press secretary, blurted out "squeezing the tar baby" in his first official press conference.

And most recently, Media Matters took note of O'Reilly's Talking Point Memo segment in which he lashed out at "far left thinkers" for opposing the "white power structure that controls America".

O'Reilly thinks it's a bad thing that idiots like you and me want a society and government that's multicultural. Gibson thinks it's a matter of national urgency that, in decades to come, white people will be a minority in America. Now, name any white power group, be it Stormfront, the KKK, the Aryan Nation, or the Neo-Nazis and tell me if the collective talking points aren't oh so eerily similar.

It's one thing for O'Reilly and Gibson to roll out their annual "War on Christmas" comedy spoofs. It's one thing for the network to be the unabashed mouthpiece for the Republican government and the Bush administration. But it's another thing entirely for FNC's pundits to literally encourage white power.

Estrich responded.

It certainly caught my eye, I must say. Now to be honest, I hadn’t a clue who Bob Cesca was. And I was only checking the Huff Post because my daughter has started a new charity and is blogging about it there, and I wanted to see how she was doing. Even so, it made me mad.

Encourage White Power? Be serious. I haven’t met anyone in my going-on-seven-years at Fox News who I would describe as racist, and with the immigration debate raging, that isn’t a term to be thrown around lightly.

And while I’ve gotten used to laughing off a great deal of criticism, even I get to the point where I’m mad as you know what, and don’t want to take it anymore.

There is a difference between reporters and commentators.

Mr. Cesca’s mistake, and it is a common one, is that he confuses reporters and anchors, who are paid to be objective and cover the news, and do so, with commentators and hosts, who are expected to put forward a point of view. Is there anyone in the world who would expect impartiality from Bill O’Reilly? From Sean Hannity?

I remember the days when John Gibson was a reporter, but he isn’t one anymore, and he doesn’t pretend to be. He doesn’t cover the news, he comments on it. That’s his job. What does Mr. Cesca expect?

As a Democrat who has worked for numerous campaigns, including Michael Dukakis' presidential bid, liberals criticize her for getting in bed with the enemy.

I’ve taken a lot of heat from the left for working for Fox News, and frankly, I’m a little bit sick of it. The truth is that I’ve been very well treated at Fox: I say what I want; I’m treated with respect; and I’m paid well.

But there’s an even more fundamental point. You don’t win elections just by preaching to the choir. You win by convincing people in the middle, many of whom actually watch the top-rated cable news network. Some of these people are even over 54 years of age (another of the latest attacks), and not only do they spend a lot of money on purchases, but they vote in higher numbers than any other demographic group (there’s a reason no one ever dares to touch Social Security).

The way I see my job is to try to present the strongest arguments possible to the most important voters in the country, which I think is pretty critical for my party. Democrats who refuse to appear on Fox News because of their claims of conservative "bias" are in fact foregoing an important opportunity to reach swing voters who might actually decide elections.