The latest in a seemingly unending torrent of scandals and toxicity coming from Fox News, the network says it was forced to abruptly fire Bob Beckel after the longtime host of The Five made a “racially insensitive remark” to an African-American Fox News employee. The firing comes just weeks after the conservative channel faced a class-action lawsuit that alleged executives would entertain themselves by forcing black female employees to arm wrestle white employees.
Beckel himself had a history with inflammatory, offensive comments. Ostensibly the channel’s token “liberal,” Beckel proved himself to be anything but with repeated misogynistic and racist comments. In 2014, Beckel was briefly suspended after using the derogatory term “Chinamen” while bashing the Chinese government.
His remarks towards an African-American employee were apparently the final straw:
“Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” the network said in a statement.
Fox News’ human-resources department was made aware of a complaint about what one person familiar with the situation characterized as a “racially insensitive remark” on Tuesday evening. Executives conducted an internal investigation, this person said, and decided to part ways with Beckel Friday morning.
It may be small consolation to the countless people its hurt over the years, but Fox News is having an exceptionally bad year. Despite their guy winning the election, the network has been plagued by scandals big and small.
- There was the aforementioned racial discrimination lawsuit.
- Bill O’Reilly, the network’s biggest star, was forced out after evidence from decades of sexual harassment emerged.
- Along with O’Reilly, Fox’s godfather Roger Ailes was also forced to resign after his own sexual assault and harassment charges came back to haunt him.
- Ailes then promptly died.
- Their other big star, Megyn Kelly, fled the sinking ship.
- Trump, the guy they pinned their hopes on, has proven himself to be a truly exceptional moron, engaging in comments and activities that are borderline indefensible even for Fox.
Worse still, by refusing to cover Trump honestly, the network has seen its ratings plummet. It now consistently loses to rivals CNN and MSNBC in primetime viewers, who tune into the other networks to learn about the Trump scandals Fox refuses to cover.
And at this point, it’s not entirely clear whether Fox News can ever fully recover from the culture of misogyny and racism that Ailes built. The fact that Beckel is still using racial slurs seems to suggest the problems go much deeper than any one host.
UPDATE: The attorneys representing the man verbally harassed by Beckel have come forward with the victim’s account of Beckel’s behavior. It’s bad.
“Mr. Beckel stormed out of his office when our client, a Black [sic] IT employee came to service his computer, telling our client that he was leaving his office because he is Black,” the attorneys said in a statement. They also allege that when their client went to lodge a complaint against Beckel, Fox News Chief Human Resource Officer Kevin Lord tried to intimidate him and convince him to withdraw the complaint.
It appears that even when ultimately deciding to fire Beckel, Fox still behaved with characteristic awfulness.
Featured image via Fox News