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Fox News has broadcast several inappropriate and offensive remarks this summer, including a racially tinged expression used by contributor David Bossie and a dismissive comment made by guest and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
On the network’s airwaves Wednesday morning, Republican Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis quickly incited a backlash when he said that voters in his state should not “monkey up” the election by voting for his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, the African-American mayor of Tallahassee.
While America’s Newsroom anchor Sandra Smith did not immediately push back on DeSantis’ comment, made during the back half of the show’s 9 a.m. hour, she later read out a defensive statement from his campaign and made clear to her viewers that her network was troubled by his language.
“A little while ago, we had Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for governor in Florida on for an interview to discuss the Florida election,” she said during the 11 a.m. hour. “During the interview, he made what some are calling an inappropriate comment about his democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum.”
After noting his campaign’s statement, Smith said, “We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement.”
The DeSantis campaign did not apologize for the remark, instead saying that he “was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses.”
Fox News anchors and hosts have reportedly been encouraged to more quickly set the record straight when a guest says something inappropriate on the air, as Smith did — later on — on Wednesday, and as host Ed Henry did after Bossie said that an African-American Democratic strategist was “out of [his] cotton-picking mind.”
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