A Woke Bank, A Crashed Drone and Buckets of Outrage!
A condensed overview of 15 hours of Fox News for the week ending 3/19/23
As usual Fox News supplied their viewers with a heavy dose of indignation over a failed regional tech sector bank, a crashed unmanned drone and general disgust at the Biden administration.
According to Fox hosts the bank wasn’t just poorly managed it was driven into the ground by woke executives who were too busy going to Pride events and donating to Black Lives Matter charities to pay attention to balancing the books.
Fox personalities were also alarmed that Russian pilots appeared to purposefully clip an unmanned surveillance drone over the Red Sea. Sean Hannity seemingly wanted to start World War Three while Brian Kilmeade openly embellished details of the crash.
Another story that was heavily pushed last week was the never-ending scandal involving Hunter Biden and his many business deals. Everything related to Hunter Biden always seems to lead to evidence that various pundits and politicians promise will end in a criminal indictment yet nothing ever seems to come from it.
Shows I covered this week
Fox & Friends - first hour
Silicon Valley Bank Failed Due to Wokeness, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Every single show I covered last week started the same way -Silicon Valley Bank, a lefty liberal financial institution failed last week and it was all due to its woke policies and diverse board.
Hannity came out with guns blazing.
“Its clients in the tech industry. Silicon Valley Bank prioritize wokeness over almost everything else, ” said Hannity.
He didn’t offer any specifics he was just convinced that the management of the bank was incompetent because they put some emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.
The same day on “The Five,” Jesse Watters was equally adamant that SVB failed due to the political leanings of the board of directors.
“It is a woke bank, Despite what you said in the green room,” said Watters.
On Tuesday Hannity repeated the exact same messaging on to also claim that Pres. Biden was only bailing out the bank because investors and depositors in the bank were Democrats.
“The Biden administration is now essentially printing money to bail out woke millionaires, billionaires that support their party. And you will instead of making sound financial decisions. SVP championed every woke cause and social trend imaginable. Everything woke. The bank used all the right buzzwords and made all the right connections” said Hannity
Fox News hosts have long perpetuated the myth that most millionaires and billionaires are latte sipping lefty liberals who seemingly want to push every extreme cultural movement along with a Marxist economic agenda.
The concept of billionaire Marxists doesn’t make much sense but Fox News continues to promote it as if it’s the foundation of the American left.
On Wednesday Hannity doubled down.
“SVB was California's woke trendy bank, you know. . .get woke go broke is . . .and that very liberal leftist elite Silicon Valley woke bank,” said Hannity.
Jesse Watters added a specific dollar amount given to a charity to prove SVB was a bastion of leftist ideology.
“I did some digging. First of all, they pledged $75 million to Black Lives Matter, and no one on the bank's board is a banker,” said Watters.
The next day Hannity repeated the claim only slightly changing the amount donated.
“That includes a whopping $73 million to BLM related group,” said Hannity.
SVB didn’t Donate $70 million to BLM. It didn’t donate one cent to BLM.
Rebecca Crosby, Tesnim Zekeria and Judd Legum at the Substack newsletter “Popular Information” broke the story.
The $73-75 million dollar figure came from a database created by The Claremont Institute, a right-wing think tank. The point of the database was to create a resource where like-minded conservative members of the media and researchers could easily find the charitable contributions of any number of companies.
The Claremont Institute is hardly an unbiased vessel created to inform the public. It’s a highly partisan advocacy group which seems to have an axe to grind with the BLM movement.
In an opinion piece in Newsweek the group said the goal of BLM is to “undermine capitalism, the nation state and Western civilization.”
Black Lives Matter is a broad movement that has multiple meanings depending on the organization or individual. There are also a myriad of nonprofits and charities that align with the BLM movement.
The roughly $70 million figure cited from the Claremont database that SVB contributed to BLM came from two large charitable pledges.
According to Popular Information, SVB made a five-year $50 million pledge toward an internal program that was meant to “connect women, Black people, and Latinos with startup funding, networking, and leadership development in the venture capitalist ecosystem.”
A program to help anyone become a venture capitalist doesn’t really jive with the Claremont Institute’s description of groups that would ‘undermine capitalism.’
The other $20 million was a donation to “support additional COVID-19 relief” and establish a “full-ride, needs-based University Scholarship program to students at Arizona State University, Florida A&M University, Tulane University, and Xavier University.”
It’s unclear how the Claremont Institute made the leap from broad donations for scholarships to various Universities and the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps the idea that even one Black student might benefit from the donation was enough.
One of the largest organizations associated with BLM is the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation confirmed to the Associated Press that did not receive any funding from SVB.
Jessica Tarlov - The Woke Bank Isn’t Woke
“Why is it the depositors fault and why for some of these companies you're running a business that is not your responsibility to check on whether your bank is messing up at this level every couple of months.
And this is a story that started being reported months ago. The Wall Street Journal's are talking about when you have interest rate hikes at this level and people are buying up Treasury bonds which are not supposed to be sold again in 5 to 10 years you're supposed to get and then suddenly they're going to turn around and start selling them.
The market is not going to reflect what the actual value of it is and something that matters a lot to this. And Dana said it happened so quickly. A bank run is the tale as old as time, right? But being able to do a bank run off your phone is what isn't right that a few people can get on Twitter, start tweeting out, get out, get out, get out.
And suddenly $42 billion needs to leave your coffers within 24 hours. I mean, that's an impossibility and something that we have to deal with. I want to say something about what The Post said. You know, if it was at a MAGA bank, it basically was Peter Thiel was one of the top five biggest VCs. They're huge backer of Donald Trump, 2016, 2020.
In 2022, he resigned from the Board of Meta. He was one of the original board members so that he could back J.D. Vance to join a Trump aligned PAC for J.D. Vance and Blake Masters. The this embarrassing thing, whatever Jesse was talking about all the wokeness if you look at who's running that bank, it's a bunch of white guys and three women and the jobs that those three women have, by the way, are roles that traditionally women have H.R. the CMO, and then the chief risk officer, who obviously was not doing a great job there,” said Tarlov.
Tarlov was Right - SVB Wasn’t Woke.
The main reasons for the collapse of the bank:
A lack of diversity in depositors - the bank relied too much on the tech sector which is experiencing a slowdown. As fewer companies began new start-ups it reduced the amount of new loans and ultimately income for the bank.
Too many depositors were uninsured - Since many of the banks customers were tech companies with large payrolls their accounts exceeded the $250,000 limit for FDIC insurance.
Bad investments for the current market - SVB also purchased tens of billions of mortgage backed securities, U.S. treasury bonds and other secure but low yield investments. As interest rates rose the value of these investments sank.
An old fashioned run on the bank - in theory any bank can fail if too many depositers drain the accounts at the same time. No bank has 100% liquidity of assets.
The bank’s executive team was completely white and mostly male. According to its website the board of directors included one Black person and one LGBTQ member.
According to research by Linda Qiu at the New York Times there was nothing exceptionally woke about SVB.
“A 2022 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 59% of banks had lending programs specifically for women- and minority-owned businesses, financing that would fit under the “social” umbrella of E.S.G.”
Most banks include diversity, equity and inclusion policies. SVB bank was not exceptional in this regard but average when compared to other banks. The bank’s level of E.S.G. investing was right in line with other large U.S. banks at around at about 8 -14% including JPMorgan Chase & Company, Citigroup and Bank of America.
Fox News Ignored A Near Bank Failure in Europe
Interestingly enough Fox News never mentioned how a European Bank, Credit Suisse, was also at the brink of collapse.
For months the network has tried to shape the narrative that the U.S. is the only major economy in the world with high inflation. Most of the world’s economies have battled high rates of inflation since the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread supply chain problems and shortages.
There were other regional banks that failed last week but Fox News put most of its focus on Silicon Valley Bank.
Hannity Calls for World War 3 After Russian Pilots Forced a Unmanned U.S. Drone Crash
The fact that two Russian pilots decided to clip an unmanned U.S. drone over the Black Sea is alarming. Sean Hannity reacted in a fairly hawkish manner.
“What I do. I know I'll never be president. I have no aspirations to be president. But if I was Steven Miller, my plan would be you shoot down one of our drones, I'll shooting down two, three, four or five of yours. If you shoot down two, I'm going to shoot down 100. That ought to be the response,” said Hannity.
I’m not sure the U.S. could respond to Russia as Hannity describes without setting off a chain reaction that would ultimately lead to another global conflict.
How the Cost of a Drone Grew over the Course of a Week on Fox News
I didn’t notice this until the end of the week and I was going through old clips.
On Tuesday the U.S. drone that crashed in the Black Sea started out with a value of $14 million.
By the next day it had risen to “up to $32 million” which quickly morphed to simply $32 million and by Thursday Brian Kilmeade decided the drones cost “$30 to 50 million.”
Kilmeade also the drone was “shot down” by Russian pilots but was immediately corrected by his co-host Steve Doocy.
Steve Doocy snaps at Brian Kilmeade Over an Unverified Story
Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech after a first round NCAA tournament game to her alma mater team from Howard University.
Fox News and other right wing media outlets mocked Harris for making the speech and made claims she was booed by the crowd when she was announced at the game. Some Fox hosts even implied she was booed at Howard University. The game was held in Des, Moines Iowa.
This is how the event was described last Friday on “Fox & Friends.”
Steve Doocy started the segment.
“Well, my Kansas Jayhawks yesterday in Des Moines, Iowa, beat the vice president's team. Howard University. It was a blowout. Let's see. Kansas, 96, the Howard Bison, 68,” said Doocy.
“And Kamala Harris talked to the team,” answered Ainsley Earhardt.
“She did indeed,” said Doocy. Then Brian Kilmeade interrupted.
“Evidently, she got booed when she entered the rally. And she got booed here in New York as she entered Stephen Colbert's studio,” said Kilmeade.
He seemed excited to share the news.
“She went on to her alma mater and she was booed?” asked Earhardt.
Things got noticeably tense between the three co-hosts as Doocy spoke over him.
“She was booed while they played in . . .reportedly, said Kilmeade.”
Kilmade was quickly cut off by Doocy.
“We looked for video of the booing yesterday in Des Moines. We couldn't find any,” said Doocy.
Looking completely defeated Kilmade managed to get out.
“Widely spread reports,” said Kilmeade.
Earhardt finished the segment chipper as ever,
“Twenty-five minutes after the top of the hour…”
As the camera panned away it was clear that Kilmeade was enraged by being corrected by Doocy.
I’m not sure if this was some sort of power play between the two men or a result of the libel training the network had mandated to its employees as part of the defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News.
Stories Fox News Ignored
Every week I compare 15 hours of Fox News the five hours of the PBS NewsHour. The following are stories the PBS included that Fox did not.
New genetic sampling from Wuhan, China provided more evidence that COVID-19 originated from a natural source. Samples known to have the virus also contain genetic material from animals, much from raccoon dogs, a small mammal related to foxes common in Asia. Scientists and researchers are still not certain how COVID-19 originated.
Last week marked the third anniversary of the day COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
A European bank Credit Suisse nearly collapsed last week but was rescued in a takeover bid by USB bank. The multinational USB bank has requested $6 billion from the Swiss government to help cover its costs.
The European Central Bank raised interest rates half a percentage point despite the crisis at Credit Suisse. The ECB raised the core rate in an attempt to lower 8.5% inflation.
The inflation rate in the U.S. dropped to 6% in February.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for deporting Ukrainian children. The Kremlin called the ICC's decision "outrageous and unacceptable."
The United States faces healthcare worker shortages across the country. The situation was made worse by the added stress of the pandemic.
In the U.K. striking healthcare workers reached a settlement with the NHS, the deal would include a one time bonus and a permanent 5% pay raise from April.
The French government raised the retirement age from 62 to 64 by bypassing Parliament. President Emmanuel Macron invoked article 49.3 of the French constitution in order to force the reform through. Riots and rallies erupted across the country against the unpopular measure.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program released a 2021 hate crime statistics supplement. Nationally, reported hate crime incidents increased 11.6% from 2020 to 2021.
The Iranian government issued a pardon to over 22,000 protesters who were arrested during the months long anti-government protests across the country. Amnesty International issued a report accusing the Iranian intelligence and security forces of torturing detained children including beatings, flogging, electric shocks, rape and other sexual violence against child protesters as young as 12.
Syria enters its 12th year of a bloody and devastating civil war which has left half a million dead, and displaced millions of others. Last month’s earthquakes in neighboring Turkey added more misery and destruction to a country already pummeled by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian patron, Vladimir Putin.
The Russian Defense Ministry issued state honors for the Russian pilots who caused the crash of an unmanned U.S. drone over the Black Sea.
Slovakia and Poland have both agreed to send fighter jets to Ukraine. Slovakia is giving its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets and Poland has promised about a dozen of the same type of aircraft.
China issued a warning about Australia’s plan to purchased nuclear powered submarines from the U.S. in a deal called Aukus which also includes cooperation with the U.K..
Li Qiang, China’s new Premier reassured China’s private sector that the economy will improve. China’s economy only grew 3% last year which is the lowest it’s been in years.
The state of Ohio is suing Norfolk Southern to make sure the railroad company pays for all of the damage and cleanup caused by the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio last month.
The EPA issued new regulations for smokestacks and smog and proposals that would help remove forever chemicals from drinking water. The agency also told states to stop blocking contaminated waste from the Ohio derailment from traveling through on route to hazardous waste sites.
Hass, an American automation company has been accused of selling CNC machine parts to the Russian military. The Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU) made the allegations. The company is also a major supplier to the U.S. military. A representative from the company denied any wrongdoing.
Meta the parent company for Facebook and Instagram announced it would layoff about 10,000 employees.
Leonard Leo a long-time benefactor for conservative causes was just given $1 billion by a wealthy Chicago business owner to distribute to various political and advocacy groups. Fox has repeatedly pushed the notion that only the left-wing has billionaire supporters.
PBS produced an extended segment about the ongoing rift in the Republican Party regarding the war in Ukraine with MAGA Republicans becoming more isolationist and the more moderate wing supporting defending Ukraine.
The Texas Education Agency announced a takeover of Houston Independent school district.
A court case involving a drug used for medical abortions is still pending in Amarillo, Texas
Tennessee governor Bill Lee rejected $8 million in federal grants to help stop the spread of HIV. The governor wants the state to cover the costs and have more of a say in how the funds are spent.
Ten people were criminallly charged in the smothering death of a 28-year-old Black man in a Virginia mental institution.
More than 70 towns in New Hampshire had to postpone local elections due to a severe nor’easter storm on Tuesday.
According to the American Kennel Club French Bulldogs were the most popular dog in America last year.
The FAA held a Safety Summit last week. More than 200 safety leaders from across the aviation industry met in specific breakout sessions Wednesday afternoon to discuss ways to enhance flight safety.
Due to the ongoing mega-drought in the Western part of the U.S. Arizona is set to lose over 20% of its Colorado River water allotment.
Professional surfer Blake Johnson broke the world’s record for the longest surfing session after surfing 600 waves for over 40 hours.
Actor Lance Reddick died of natural causes at the age of 60. He was best known for playing roles in the television series - The Wire, Fringe, and Bosch. In film, he was best known for starring in the John Wick franchise and in Angel Has Fallen
Former U.S. Representative, Pat Schroeder, a pioneer for women's rights, dies at 82. She represented a district in Denver, Colorado for 11 terms.
By the Numbers
This week I’ll be covering the first hour of “Fox & Friends,” “The Five” and “The Ingraham Angle”
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Thanks Julia! Um, sorry... I mean Juliet... 😂
Love the comparison and everything else.