Between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2016 the progressive watchdog group Media Matters counted all the hispanic, Muslim and LGBT guests that appeared on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC segments about the Orlando Shooting. Unsurprisingly, they found that “none of the three networks hosted a significant number of Hispanic or Muslim guests”. And although CNN and MSNBC gave “considerable air time to LGBT voices”, FOX News had almost NO LGBT guests.
Fox News we understand (they’re a conservative troll hole), but considering that Muslim and hispanics were most harmed by the shooting, why were they largely excluded from all major news networks?
We’ll offer our take in just a sec. But first, here’s the big takeaway from the study:
Guests Representing Intersectional Communities Were Underrepresented Across All Three Networks. Fox News did not feature a single Hispanic guest who openly identifies as LGBT. CNN and MSNBC both featured several openly LGBT Hispanic guests (four and six, respectively), but both networks hosted more than twice as many non-Hispanic LGBT guests as Hispanic LGBT guests. None of the networks hosted a Muslim guest who openly identifies as LGBT.
It’s no secret that queer and non-White people get regularly overlooked by White television producers. But we increasingly expect media to let communities most affected by violence speak for themselves; when media doesn’t do this, audiences remain ignorant about intersectional issues — such as the fact that most of the victims were Puerto Rican or that Muslims have been fundraising and encouraging blood donations after the shooting. When we cut out these important voices, it leaves room for further misunderstandings and violence.
Media Matters also discovered that CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week both invited an anti-gay National Rifle Association spokesperson on the air to discourage firearm regulations after the shooting. We’ve come to expect NRA spokesfools anytime a mass shooting occurs, but two anti-gay ones? Christ.