Jen Psaki points out ‘awkward’ hypocrisy behind Fox News’ anti-LGBTQ+ outrage

Jen Psaki Fox News

MSNBC host Jen Psaki has expertly highlighted something “awkward” about Fox News’ performative fury over businesses that sell Pride merchandise or team up with LGBTQ+ influencers.

On Sunday (4 June), Psaki, a former White House press secretary for the Biden administration, used her Inside with Jen Psaki show to outline the “contradiction” between Republicans’ “pro-business” values and the recent hysterical right-wing boycotts of companies for “going woke”.

The political commentator also noted that – just two years previously – conservative channel Fox News had actually supported the very same LGBTQ+ organisation they are now attacking retail giant Target for partnering with. 

“So you may have noticed, Republicans really like to pitch themselves as the pro-business, anti-cancel culture party – but they have a big carve out for businesses that openly promote LGBTQ+ rights,” Psaki said. 

The MSNBC host mentioned a few examples of brands that Republicans are currently furious with, including Bud Light, Target and Kohl’s, and showed a number of clips of right-wing commentators denouncing Pride-themed merchandise and LGBTQ+ partnerships. 

Psaki shared that her favourite clip was of a Fox News contributor saying that rainbow clothing made her “afraid to go shopping”, quipping: “As if the rainbow is gonna bite or something.”

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After briefly outlining the fact that LGBTQ-supportive marketing and merchandise is not new and that brands like Bud Light and Target have been selling Pride-themed items for many years without issue, Psaki asked: “So why the amplified outrage in this moment?”

The political commentator suggested that the “modern day American right” are ”desperately trying to draw new battle lines in their culture war”.  

“They’re searching for them,” Psaki continued. “For more than a year, the hard right and media allies have whipped themselves up into a moral panic to the point now that they are enthusiastically rolling back LGBTQ+ rights and regularly using language like indoctrination, grooming and sexualization, to talk about inclusion and the LGBTQ community. 

“It has become such a race to the bottom to decry diversity, equity and inclusion that they are running out of things to be outraged about. They can’t find them. They’re on a search.”

Psaki went on to claim that Fox News’ apoplectic coverage of everything from rainbow clothes for kids to a fast food chain appointing a diversity, equity and inclusion vice-president two years previously is actually quite “awkward”.

“But the thing is, and this is a little awkward for them over there, their editorial side may not even be aligned with the business side at Fox,” Psaki said. 

“Because Fox News posted this eerie-looking tweet attacking Target for supporting GLSEN… but you know who has supported GLSEN? You guessed it – Fox’s parent company Fox Corporation in 2021.”

GLSEN is an education organisation devoted to ending discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and promoting LGBTQ+ cultural awareness in schools from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The tweet in question posted by Fox News reads: “Target takes aim: The retail giant provides annual donations to GLSEN, which calls for gender ideology to be integrated in all classes, even math.” 

A Fox News tweet attacked Target for supporting GLSEN. (Twitter/Fox News)

It includes a graphic of a faceless person in a hood, holding up a finger in a silencing motion alongside the text: “Retailer partners with organisation that encourages secret gender changes among children in schools.”

However, Fox Corp – the parent company of Fox News – mentions its support for GLSEN in its 2021 corporate social responsibility report, outlining that the multinational “raised awareness and demonstrated support for organisations working on behalf of the LGBTQ community including: the Ali Forney Center, Los Angeles LGBT Center, GLAAD and GLSEN”.

Fox Corp also lists GLSEN as one of the organisations it supports in its 2022 corporate social responsibility report.  

And as Psaki points out, it’s “a good business decision” for Fox Corp to do this.

Recent research from GLAAD found that Americans are twice as likely to buy or use a brand that publicly supports and demonstrates a commitment to expanding and protecting LGBTQ+ rights.

Perhaps someone should tell Fox News. 

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