Jemele Hill faces error-filled criticism from 'Fox & Friends' for winning journalism award

Alex Reimer
May 22, 2018 - 1:04 pm

In an error-filled segment, “Fox & Friends” hosts bemoaned the National Association of Black Journalists’ decision to name Jemele Hill “Journalist of the Year," crying about how journalism used to be about objectivity and facts. 

In related news, irony is dead. 

Guest Lawrence Jones, editor-in-chief of the conservative education website Campus Reform, repeatedly said Hill is “unemployed.” That, of course, is not true. Hill is an ESPN senior columnist. 

“At the end of the day, I want people that look like me, people that looked up to her, to have someone on TV that is going to -- forever show them that they can do it. Now she can't do that,” Jones said. “Now she's unemployed. The National Black Association of Journalism is literally saying now, 'We're going to applaud unemployment,' and that's not something I stand for.” 

(It's actually the "National Association of Black Journalists." Double whoops.) 

It’s apparent Jones is referencing the cancellation of “SC6.” Hill stopped appearing on the ratings-challenged show in late January and Michael Smith was reassigned a couple of months later. Immediately after Hill’s “SportsCenter” departure, she took on a new role as a commentator and contributor to “The Undefeated.”

So it’s completely wrong to say Hill doesn’t have a job. On top of that, Jones’ seeming insistence that unemployment would disqualify somebody from winning NABJ’s “Journalism of the Year” award is pretty stupid. Outspoken minorities have been treated unjustly in the workplace throughout history. Jones should tap his fingers and do a quick Google search on the subject. 

The NABJ says it gave Hill the honor for using her “platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports.” The statement references her criticisms of President Donald Trump and support for kneeling NFL players. Those moves embody the organization’s “spirt of advocacy,” the letter reads.

In addition, the NBAJ emphasizes Hill’s explosive tweets about Trump and two-week suspension for –– and the statement puts these words in quotations –– violating ESPN’s social media policy. It’s apparent Hill was given this award because of her political outspokenness.

“In both instances, a hashtag, #IStandWithJemele, surfaced,” the statement says. “Hundreds of thousands used their social media platforms to support Hill. Supporters included her peers, athletes, politicians, and celebrities.”

Amazingly, host Ainsley Earnhardt did get one fact right. At the end of the segment, she mentioned ratings have increased for the 6:00 p.m. edition of “SportsCenter” since Hill and Smith’s departures. It’s almost as if Fox News was trying to use Hill as a symbol in a greater culture war. That doesn’t seem very journalistic.

Update: Fox News corrected Jones in a tweet Thursday afternoon 

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