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In a bid to frighten its viewers about the new progressive contingent in the House of Representatives, Fox News ran a segment calling out Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) for their progressive policies.
The thing is, all the policies Fox News was using to freak its viewers out—free college, free healthcare, abolishing ICE, and green jobs—sound pretty good to a large swath of the population.
Twitter user @bad_takes posted a screenshot from the segment, which shows a picture of the four women, all of whom are women of color, and a bulleted list of their progressive policies.
good, good, good, good, pic.twitter.com/EaFkEfIQYN— Brendan Karet 🚮 (@bad_takes) November 14, 2018
While there are other legislators who support some or all of these policies—there’s even a whole progressive caucus in the House—Fox News showed four young women of color under the banner “radical new Democratic ideas.”
Although the segment was likely meant to scare Fox’s viewers, the image of four young, progressive women of color actually inspired people online.
The graphics department at Fox News has a secret comrade in their midst doing the Lord’s work and they have my eternal respect.— Matt (@matthewmerez) November 14, 2018
Fox News running extremely good ads for dems now https://t.co/FLoIKa4wfQ— Liz Charboneau (@lizchar) November 14, 2018
Well, Fox has convinced me to only vote for radical democrats. Thanks!— Eska Bobble (@EskaBobble) November 14, 2018
they clearly mean radical in the 90’s teenage mutant ninja turtles way— Tex (@texmojave) November 14, 2018
Phenomenal publicity tbh— Caleb Wilfinger (@caleb_wilfinger) November 14, 2018
🤦♂️ thanks fox! pic.twitter.com/3aBl3DsGd6— Paul #IStandWithIlhan AGAIN (@SMdiddy) November 14, 2018
Thanks @FoxNews 😉— Supersmall (@Supersmallmusic) November 14, 2018
The graphic is just the latest attempt by Fox to generate fear of a socialist takeover, but it’s got the added layer of subtle other fearmongering, as well.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women in Congress; Tlaib is Palestinian, a people to whom the Trump administration has stopped providing humanitarian aid. Omar was a refugee from Somalia, which is currently subject to Trump’s travel ban.
It’s also not the first time Fox has accidentally boosted socialism on-air. Back in June, Sean Hannity aired a segment in which he listed Ocasio-Cortez’s platform positions, including women’s rights and Medicare for all, as well as the fact that she supports impeaching Trump. Similarly, Twitter loved the idea that Fox was subtly, accidentally promoting socialist Democrats.
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.