Nas lends star power to take on Fox News

NEW YORK — Standing next to a large sign blaring “Fox News: Your Source for Racist Smears,” Hip Hop artist Nas along with ColorofChange.org and MoveOn.org recently delivered over 620,000 signatures demanding Fox News end biased news reporting. Protesters took particular offense at racial slurs directed at Barack and Michelle Obama. NAACP chairman Julian Bond at its recently concluded Cincinnati convention spoke against a Fox derogatory reference to Michelle Obama as “baby mama.”

Nas cites Fox’s confusing of Obama and Osama by a pundit, who joked that they should both be assassinated. In February, Bill O’Reilly talked about a “lynching party” to deal with Michelle Obama, according to Jean Stout of Seattlepi.com.

It was a Fox News anchor that, after Sen. Obama gave his wife a “pound” in front of the cameras, called it a “terrorist fist jab.” ColorofChange.org called on Fox News to “find a solution to address racial stereotyping and hate-mongering.”

Fox corporate officials refused to accept the petitions. Andre Banks, a spokesman for ColorofChange.org, said that after Fox refused to take the petitions July 23, Nas took them to Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

Nas, at the rally, referred to Fox News as a “propaganda machine,” a charge that gained additional credence when former White House press secretary and Bush confidant Scott McClellan admitted on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” that the White House gave “talking points” to the conservative news outlet’s journalists on a regular basis.

“Certainly there were commentators and other pundits at Fox News that were helpful to the White House and certainly we got talking points to those people,” said McClellan. Fox broadcasters then took these “talking points” as their own reporting them as news without revealing government sources. Keith Olberman, reporting the story on “Countdown,” suggested they did so “as if they had thought of it themselves, as if they had come to those opinions independently.” Olberman claimed this ended the debate over whether government had “used private media as a propaganda outlet.”

Nas’ new album, which recently reached number one on the charts, contains a song entitled “Sly Fox.” The lyrics go, “I pledge allegiance to the fair and balanced truth/Not the biased truth/Not the liar’s truth/But the highest truth,” the song continues, “watch what you watchin’/ Fox keeps feeding us toxins.”