Black Former Fox News Anchor Sounds Off On 'Racist' Network
Eboni Williams spent more than four years as a host on Fox News and had a lot of thoughts about why the network has been able to stay so popular.
"Fox has a reputation for being bigoted and racist, all for very good reason," said Eboni K. Williams during a lengthy interview with The Breakfast Club on Thursday.
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Williams quit Fox in 2018 after nearly five years of hosting the Fox News Specialists with Eric Bolling. The show was cancelled when Bolling was forced to leave the network after a sexual misconduct scandal. In the aftermath, Williams struggled to get back on the air.
She was brutally honest about her time at the conservative news outlet. In fact, she told Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy that when she was first hired, she thought she would be a "savior."
"I went there because I thought I would be a savior of sorts and talk to the people in the middle that watch that network," she said. "Whether we like it or not, Fox is No. 1 for a reason," she added.
Later in the interview, she said the only way to truly understand the network and its meteoric rise in popularity was to understand its founder, Roger Ailes.
"To understand Fox News, you have to understand a man by the name of Roger Ailes. In his book, In Plain Sight, he says that he is forming a network to speak to one thing, and one thing only, the demonizing of the 'other.' That is literally the purpose of why it was founded. I don't know what his beliefs are, but he knew it would be very profitable," she said.
"When you find a fear-based thing like that, and can capitalize on it in a unique way, nobody had ever done this before. At the time, it was CNN, MSNBC, it was regular network news. There was no conservative news outlet speaking directly to the fear of the intrinsic devaluation of whiteness in this country. Roger saw a void, and like any smart businessperson, you fill it. Fox News was born in 1996."
Williams told the crew that the network's success boiled down to its core mission of appealing to the fears people had concerning the advancement and success of Black people in America.
"I'm here to tell you that a lot of people have questions about what the rise -- the economic, political, just presence and being more visible -- of Black and brown Americans in this country, mean for me and mine. This country was built on the notion of white expectancy. As those norms start to shift and we see them shifting and nothing was a greater example of that shift than a man named Barack Hussein Obama being in the White House for 8 years," she told the morning radio hosts.
Even though she disagreed with the political slant of the network, she said it was important for people to understand where the Fox News audience is coming from and why they believe what they believe.
"We all do ourselves a favor when we can at least have some level of intellectual understanding. We don't have to empathize with it, we don't have to sympathize with it, we damn sure don't have to like it. But have an understanding as to where that is coming from."
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