Fox News Accused of Inciting Panic with Racist Kamala Harris Claim

by Xara Aziz
Credit: Council on Foreign Relations

Critics argue that Fox News and Jesse Watters are promoting a controversial theory ahead of Thursday’s presidential debate, alleging that President Joe Biden is part of a plan to position Vice President Kamala Harris for a “DEI presidency,” according to a recent report in The New Republic.

During Tuesday evening’s episode of “The Five,” Watters claimed that the debate is a strategic move by progressives to ensure Biden’s victory and subsequently elevate Harris. “There is a lot at stake, plus the progressive movement—they are this close to locking this thing in,” Watters asserted. “They have opened the borders. They have changed the entire culture of this country. If you look at the cities, it’s almost over.”

“If they can drag him across the finish line and install Kamala, we have a DEI presidency that they can celebrate for the rest of the administration,” Watters continued. “That’s all they need to get to. It’s just 90 minutes. That’s all it takes.”

The term DEI, which stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion, has become a focal point for criticism among right-wing commentators. Recently, Republicans in Congress introduced a bill to ban DEI initiatives in government offices and contracting. Additionally, DEI was cited in unfounded conspiracy theories surrounding the Baltimore bridge collapse in March, the Hawaii wildfires, and increased train derailments. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also been vocally opposed to DEI programs.

Given this backdrop, it is unsurprising that DEI would feature prominently in right-wing media’s commentary on the upcoming debate. Conservative pundits and politicians, including former President Trump, have suggested that Biden will require medication to speak coherently during the debate, despite similar concerns about Trump’s cognitive abilities. There have also been allegations that CNN is rigging the debate against Trump, framing it as a “hostile environment.”

These narratives appear to serve as a preemptive justification for a potential Biden victory in the debate, echoing the 2020 debates where Biden was widely viewed as outperforming Trump.

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