Fox News accused of ‘MONETIZING RACISM’ after posting graphic of market gains after black killings
Fox news came under fire for airing a graphic that showed Wall Street soaring after the death of George Floyd, while Main Street burned. The network apologized for the graph, saying it was presented out of context.
Floyd’s death - at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis two weeks ago - sparked a wave of nationwide protests, riots, and civil unrest. Yet amid the chaos, business is booming in America - at least according to the latest figures from Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 2,000 points since Floyd’s death, even as protesters literally set Washington DC on fire. Closing at just over 27,000 on Friday, the Dow reached its highest point since February, recovering more than 80 percent of its losses since the Coronavirus tanked Wall Street the following month. The Standard & Poors 500 also rose 3.5 percent in the week following Floyd’s death.
To put that in perspective, Fox News on Friday placed that rally alongside similar market gains in the aftermath of traumatic racial events in US history: the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014; the acquittal of the LAPD officers who beat Rodney King to a pulp in 1992; and the assassination of civil rights champion Martin Luther King in 1968.
The network described the market bump as “positive news,” and evidence of a “disconnect between what investors focus on and what happens in the rest of the country.”
Viewers were outraged. Among them was Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush (Illinois), who argued that the graphic “tells every single @FoxNews viewer that Black lives can be exchanged for market gain.”
With anger building online, Fox apologized on Saturday for airing the graphic, with a spokesperson saying it “should have never aired on television without full context."
That context is that "social unrest issues have very little long-term impact on markets," David Trainer, CEO of investment research firm New Constructs, told Fortune magazine earlier this week. Likewise, the Wall Street Journal called the bump in the market “typical,” with traders betting instead on economic recovery instead of societal collapse.
Indeed, with lockdown measures lifted in all 50 states and coronavirus deaths and infections receding, investors are likely rubbing their hands with glee at a return to business, and not a descent into anarchy. Likewise, Wall Street likely places more weight on the reduction in jobless claims - announced on Friday - than the drop in social cohesion.
Context, as they say, is everything.
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