When four of the five hosts of Fox News' "The Five" criticized MSNBC for profiting from racial turmoil during the Trayvon Martin murder trial, Bob Beckel took a lone stand against his own network on Wednesday afternoon, pointing out that Fox News does the exact same thing.
"What do you think we do?" Beckel asked. "What do you think this network and every other network does? We're not profiting off of this?"
"How are we profiting off of it?" co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle asked. "Bob, this is a news network. We report the news and it's a national story."
"This is big news and it gets good ratings, so everyone is making a profit, so what's the big deal?" Beckel fired back.
The heated debate began after co-host Eric Bolling said MSNBC host Al Sharpton, who is also a major civil rights activist, only had a job because of racism in America. While Beckel and Bolling both agreed "that's what his business is," Bolling and the rest of his cohorts could not believe that Fox News takes advantage of race relations in the headlines to get ratings.
Guest host Brian Kilmeade said Fox was not providing viewers with George Zimmerman coverage to profit, but rather because it's "big news." Bolling chimed in to emphasize that it was the rest of the media that made the story big news, in the first place.
"I will say this about Fox. Fox did not bite into it early on," Beckel said. "Other media outlets did, but that's the reality of the world we live in."
The discussion then shifted toward the role Martin's race played in the news coverage his murder received, and how media outlets, like NBC, dictated national conversation by portraying Zimmerman as a racist.
"You're making my point here," Beckel said. "News is going to pick up what it thinks is an important story or if they can sell a story.
"Or they create an important story," Bolling scoffed, which only encouraged Beckel to sling even more serious mud at his own network.
"Did we not try to create stories about the crime in Chicago?" he asked his peers. "For all due respect to my own show, did we not edit those riots yesterday when we started the show off, when there were very few riots?"
Watch Beckel call out his employers in the video below:
- Bob Beckel
- Fox News
- Eric Bolling