We have a message for “Fox & Friends First”: Sorry don’t cut it.
Your apology for falsely claiming that Cal Poly is “plotting” to slash the number of white students admitted to the campus does not make up for the egregious falsehoods you allowed on the air.
Any Central Coast resident who continues to trust Fox News should pay close attention to this fake news episode.
This isn’t Fox News bloviating about Hillary Clinton or James Comey or the “lamestream” media.
This is personal, and it’s a prime example of the kind of irresponsible journalism that is so damaging to our democracy.
Fox News allowed a Cal Poly student with an obvious agenda to go on the air and make blatantly false statements about one of the most respected and successful institutions in our community.
“Fox & Friends First” host Rob Schmitt further fanned the flames by blaming Cal Poly for practicing “classic reverse discrimination” and alleging that it’s no longer a “merit-based university.”
We suppose it’s asking too much to expect Fox News to invite someone from Cal Poly to give its side of the story.
But it could have at least put in a phone call to the university to check out some of the misinformation about Poly’s admissions process that has been circulating online.
Instead, Fox interviewed Cal Poly student Roberta Martin, who was identified as a correspondent for campusreform.org, a conservative news site that attempts to “shine a light on the outrageous discrimination and abuse conservative students face.”
Among her allegations: Cal Poly is “falling in line” with a trend of “choosing color over qualifications.”
In claiming that Cal Poly is moving toward a race-based admissions process, Fox essentially accused Cal Poly of breaking the law.
Proposition 209, passed by California voters in 1996 and later upheld on appeal, prohibited the state’s public universities from using racial preference to increase the enrollment of African-American, Latino and other underrepresented students. Cal Poly follows the law.
The university is trying to encourage more minority students to apply, and it’s attempting to make the campus more welcoming to students of color by hiring more minority professors and stepping up diversity training.
That’s perfectly legal, though “Fox & Friends First” and other media outlets would have you believe it’s part of some sinister plot against white people.
Check out this headline from The Daily Caller: “CAL POLY WANTS FEWER WHITE STUDENTS, FLOUTS TRUMP’S RACE-BASED ADMISSION REPEAL”
No, that is untrue.
What Cal Poly wants is a student body that better reflects California’s population — as it should. And it is pursuing that goal in the exact manner it should.
Cal Poly is, by far, the whitest campus in the Cal State system.
It has a reputation for racism fueled by a string of incidents: A frat member who appeared at a party in blackface; racist fliers passed around campus; ugly remarks on the campus “free speech wall”; theme frat parties like “Colonial Bros and Nav-Hos.”
The university should be commended for efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, instead of being falsely accused of engaging in a nefarious plot to cheat white students out of their rightful place at Cal Poly.
Once again, that’s apparently too much to expect from Fox News. Unless they commit to a more professional effort in the future, they have no business covering Cal Poly.