July 15, 2008, - 9:47 am
“Our People”: FOX News Anchor Used Morning Show for Farrakhan Infomercial, Per Boyfriend’s Directive; May Have Been Paid by Nation of Islam–VIDEO Included
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO & UPDATES ****
A prominent FOX News/NewsCorp Anchor used her network’s Detroit morning show, which she hosted, to promote Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan in a 20-minute infomercial. Sources say then-anchor, Fanchon Stinger (now fired), did this at the behest of her boyfriend, Rayford Jackson a/k/a Rayford Jackson Muhammad, who was identified by the Nation of Islam’s Final Call newspaper as one of the top national leaders of its “Millions More Movement,” the movement Stinger and Farrakhan were promoting on the air. The FOX 2 News Morning Show, which Stinger hosted, was and remains Detroit’s top rated morning news show. It’s a sad lesson in what is happening in all newsrooms around America. You, the viewer, are being pimped.
Sources also say boyfriend Jackson directed the FOX anchor’s softball interview, which mentioned not a single iota about Farrakhan’s many racist, anti-Semitic, and bigoted statements against every ethnic group imaginable. Instead, Stinger instructed the FOX 2 News audience that they “misunderstand” the Farrakhan message and thanked Farrakhan “for your commitment to Our People.” The sources also say they believe Stinger may have received payment from the Nation of Islam or the Millions More Movement, through her Stinger Strategies, Inc. company. The interview was so gushing, the Nation of Islam’s Millions More Movement posted it on its website, which it does not do with most other interviews, which frequently ask Farrakhan about his statements calling Judaism “a gutter religion,” Jews “wicked” and “a synagogue of Satan,” and Hitler “a great man.”
Here is the video of Fanchon Stinger’s nauseating “interview” (pander-view) of Louis Farrakhan, broken into two parts. In the first video, she tells us how we “misunderstand” Farrakhan’s “message” and “vision” and in the second part, she says to Farrakhan, “Thank you for your commitment to Our People.” Even Al-Jazeera’s been tougher on Farrakhan. Watch the whole thing (the videos are about 6 minutes each), and you won’t need ipecac:
Now, here are a couple of brief refreshers on Farrakhan’s message, which Fanchon Stinger thinks you and I “misunderstand”:
Stinger’s interview with Farrakhan was so drooling and pandering, the only thing missing was her asking Farrakhan to unzip his pants so she could Lewinskyize him. And perhaps that happened during the commercial break. Based on the “interview,” I wouldn’t count that out.
Stinger told the FOX 2 News audience that they must “hear Farrakhan for yourself.” Well, I heard Louis Farrakhan for myself at a Detroit-area mosque, the Islamic Center of America, in November 1998. And for the first time in my life, I understood how my grandparents felt as Jews in Nazi Europe. I heard him call Jews “forces of evil” and “forces of Satan,” in addition to calling for Jihad against them, Whites, and Christians–to the fevered, rabid applause and standing ovations of Black and White Muslim men and women. I wrote about this frightening experience in The Detroit News before it became the Detroit Newsistan. That Stinger used her valuable position of influence as host of Detroit’s top news show to promote this vile man is beyond disgusting. That FOX 2 News–owned and operated by FOX News/Newscorp allowed her to is an untenable outrage.
Yes, the issue is not just that Stinger unethically and uncritically pimped FOX News’ Detroit audience for her boyfriend and his man Farrakhan, without her noting that she was sleeping with at least one of ‘em. It’s that FOX 2 News management, News Director Dana Hahn and General Manager Jeff Murri, knew of Stinger’s relationship with Jackson at the time and knew of his high stature in the Nation of Islam. But they allowed her to utilize their airwaves to conduct this sickening interview over a large portion of their morning show. Farrakhan was on for several segments, which ran from 7:50 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. Stinger repeatedly urged viewers to go to the Farrakhan event she was promoting. THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM. This is advertising and advocacy. Murri and Hahn sat by while it happened. They need to go.
I cannot imagine Monica Gayle or Ron Savage, who are White anchors on FOX 2 News, being allowed to have David Duke on the show for a single minute, much less what amounted to over 12 minutes of gushing airtime for Farrakhan. I cannot imagine them saying to Duke on the air: “Thank you for your commitment to ‘Our People.'” But FOX 2 management allowed Stinger to do so with his Black counterpart Farrakhan. I thought the station’s slogan was “FOX 2 News, Working For You.” NOT “FOX 2 News, Working for ‘Our People.'” I left messages with both Hahn and Murri over this interview back in 2005, but they never returned my calls. They did not care that it is a blatant conflict of interest that Stinger was sleeping with the man who was a key national figure in Farrakhan’s “Millions More Effort.” As pseudonymmed FOX 2 News reporter “Scott Lewis” noted last week, Stinger’s relationship with Rayford Jackson was “considered her personal business.”
After I started the ball rolling, FOX News/NewsCorp finally fired Stinger, the face of its Detroit operation, on Thursday. But after FOX 2 News announced the departure of Stinger–a Muslim convert who had a multi-year relationship with the Rayford Jackson, the man at the center of an FBI investigation into bribery of the Detroit City Council over a sludge contract–I wondered how long it would take before the many Detroit media figures who overlooked her transgressions would start the sympathy train over her and try to rehabilitate her.
Well, the rehabilitation campaign started swiftly. On Saturday, The Detroit Newsistan ran a sob story article on Stinger–who accepted countless money from both Syanagro (the sludge contractor) and her married boyfriend Jackson (for whom she hid hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets in her name). The article, entitled “Unlikely Stumble” (when what Stinger did wasn’t a stumble and it wasn’t unlikely–it was a pattern of deliberate, dishonest behavior) quoted colleagues and friends lamenting how “hurt” this unethical journalist is, and quoted a Jewish man, Mort Meisner (whom I know), saying Stinger is of “sterling integrity.” Apparently, Meisner has never seen this Farrakhan interview. If Stinger’s buddy Farrakhan had his way, Mort would be in line behind me for the ovens.
Then, on Sunday, Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson praised Stinger for her beauty and for exiting FOX 2 “gracefully.” Um, Brian, I don’t think she had a choice. And it was hardly what anyone–except the beauty-struck Dickerson–would call, “graceful.”
As for the beauty thing, that–in addition to her race, gender, and religion–are part of why she got away with the multiple journalistic transgressions she openly committed, for so long. Everyone who knew better and was in a position to do something looked the other way, dismissing this blatant conflict of interest the way her colleague, pseudonymmed “Scott Lewis” did, as “her personal business.”
FOX 2 News, Working for Farrakhan. Not for you.
Stinger is scheduled to address the media today in her first PR move to get back on the air as a reporter. But don’t bet on her addressing why she put Louis Farrakhan, one of the top racists in America, on the air and drooled over him, literally ad nauseam.
Also don’t expect her to address why she set up a company, which she claims was to do media buys for Synagro, the company her Nation of Islam boyfriend was involved with and in connection with which, he is now at the center of an FBI bribery investigation of the Detroit City Council.
More about Fanchon Stinger’s “sterling integrity”: My sources say there is no record of Synagro ever doing any media buys, and that this was only the “cover story” for the real purpose of her then newly-formed company, Stinger Strategies, LLC. My sources say Stinger was going to use the company to launder money and hide assets for Rayford Jackson Muhammad, just like she did with the almost $1,000,000 in cars he registered in her name, with her acquiescence.
Fanchon Stinger should be ashamed, but she isn’t. She will be lucky not to be indicted. But the whole thing is an indictment of FOX 2, its news operation, and its parent company FOX News/NewsCorp.
**** UPDATE: Fanchon Stinger released a carefully crafted (by her lawyers) BS statement about how she’s innocent. Yeah, innocent of putting people with whom she has illicit relationships on the air and gushing over them, and innocent of taking money from a company she covers and laundering assets for others? I don’t think so. She’s definitely got chutzpah, though–having the gall to call those, including me, who exposed her dishonesty, “malicious.” The only thing malicious was her pimping of her Detroit audience. Malicious AND negligent. She’s now claiming she “can’t” talk until the federal investigation is over, which is interesting, since everyone else involved in the Synagro scandal–everyone who is innocent–is, indeed, talking.
**** UPDATE #2: Hey, Fanchon Stinger. I DID hear Farrakhan for myself. Here’s what I wrote about it, in the Detroit News (the grammatical error within it–in the sentence about my grandparents–was inserted by incompetent DNews op-ed page editor Richard Burr, not me) on November 20, 1998:
**** UPDATE #3: They don’t exactly work too quickly at FOX 2 News. The video bio of Fanchon Stinger is still up at the station’s site as of 12:20 p.m. Eastern Time.