August 23, 2019
By Walt Williams
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An organization representing Hispanic journalists has rescinded an invitation to Fox News to sponsor the group’s upcoming conference, saying the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the network’s commentators fosters a culture of hate against Hispanics and Latinos.
Hugo Balta, president of the National Associaiton of Hispanic Journalists, published an open letter Thursday in which he announced the group had removed Fox News as a sponsor for its upcoming Excellence in Journalism conference. He specifically pointed to recent comments by Fox News Radio Host Todd Starnes, who likened “illegal aliens” to invading Nazis, but said the remarks were part of a larger pattern at the network.
Balta noted the language Starnes used about immigrants resembled the language the mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, wrote in a manifesto justifying his actions. NAHJ will return the $16,666 the network had contributed to the conference, he said.
“To accept financial support from an entity that perpetuates the spread of disinformation to the public about the Hispanic and Latino community risks the integrity and credibility of NAHJ’s 35-year mission,” he said. “To sit silently by is, in essence to be complicit in the act itself.”
Balta added that the association’s criticism is directed at Fox News management “and in no way towards NAHJ members employed by the media company.” http://bit.ly/2ZkJMrT
In a statement to The Daily Beast news site, Marsheila Hayes, Fox News’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, called NAHJ’s decision “unfortunate.”
“As the leading news network in the country, we are committed to fostering a diverse and collaborative workplace environment, and have been recognized in the industry for our advancement in this area, most notably with our multimedia reporter program,” she said. “We are proud of our inclusive team and their achievements in journalism.” http://bit.ly/2KPxdgk
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