Fox News contributor Bob Beckel has been fired from the network after making what Fox called “an insensitive remark to an African-American employee”. According to Variety,
“Fox News’ human resources department was made aware of a complaint about what one person familiar with the situation characterized as a “racially insensitive remark” on Tuesday evening. Executives conducted an internal investigation, this person said, and decided to part ways with Beckel Friday morning.”
An attorney representing that man who was the subject of Beckel’s comments has said in a statement that Beckel “stormed out of his office” when a black man came to service his computer. As he was leaving the office, Beckel made it clear that he was leaving because the man was black. The attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said there will additional filings of racial discrimination against Fox News coming in the near future.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Beckel is known as a strong liberal counterweight to the network’s overall right-wing leanings. Beckel was hardly the kind of person who would come off as racist by any means. That said, if the story is true, it shows that racism is not something that is beholden to party lines.
In addition to appearing as a guest on many shows throughout his tenure at Fox News, Beckel was a co-host of The Five, which in the midst of prime-time shakeups, has taken on a more prominent role with the channel. Other co-hosts that appear on the show include Greg Gutfeld, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Jesse Waters. With Beckel’s departure, Williams is expected to be co-hosting the show more frequently.
The firing comes at a time when Fox News is under intense scrutiny. In 2016, Roger Ailes was ousted from the network after an embarrassing string of sexual harassment accusations. The channel’s #1 host, Bill O’Reilly, was also forced to resign when more than 60 sponsors pulled their advertising from his time slot amid lawsuits charging O’Reilly with sexual harassment.
In the last year or so, Fox News has seen some of the biggest changes ever. Three of four prime time hosts are no longer with the network – O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Greta Van Susteren. The network’s founder and CEO, Roger Ailes was ousted, and has since passed away. Bill Shine – Ailes’ right hand man has also resigned. What other changes are coming down the pike? Time will tell.