Russell Brand Says Fox News Is Supporting 'Oppression And Exploitation' Of People In Ferguson


Russell Brand has dissected Fox News' reporting on the ongoing situation in Ferguson, St Louis - where demonstrations have raged across the suburb following the police shooting of unarmed African-American 18-year-old - saying the news network supports "oppression and exploitation."

In the latest episode of Brand’s The Trews, the comedian slams Fox anchor, Bill O’Reilly, for failing to understand the motivation behind the unrest in Missouri.

Bill O'Reilly's analysis on the reaction to Micheal Brown's death highlights that Fox News "can do compassion," Brand says - but only to the police.

"If the situation is injustice then agitation is what's required," Brand said, in the video for his YouTube channel.

"What Bill O'Reilly's saying is just let things be as they are… Fox is making record profits, things are fine."

"All his energy is focussed on protecting the status quo."

Russell Brand has dissected Fox News' reporting

Brand says O'Reilly only likes "black people that go on the television and say things are fine."

But, Brand says, things are not fine, and "things can't stay the same… you can't keep a wet blanket over this degree of emotion, this degree of tension, this degree of pain and inequality, it's going to flare up."

O'Reilly's guest, Dr Ben Carson - a black man and Fox analyst - was "dragged out to ratify Fox's prejudicial view," Brand says.

But that doesn't stop O'Reilly's "racism from bubbling out all the time," Brand says. "He's such a loony," he adds.

Carson says that in the case of Ferguson "we need to recognise that police are individuals too, they have feelings."

Brand interjects, saying: “I think it’s worth pointing out at this juncture that if an unarmed policeman was shot by a black teenager, I can’t imagine Fox News giving voice to someone to say, ‘You’ve got to remember, black teenagers are people too.’ They’d be all, ‘This is unacceptable! This is an indication of a society in decline!’” he continued.

“You can’t apply that compassion in exclusivity. Either you apply that compassion entirely to a situation — like, for example, why the people rioting, which they tried to extract compassion from, which [Fox] tried to do a moment ago, or you apply it with ubiquity,” he said.

The comedian adds that scenes of violence, like those in Ferguson and in London during the 2011 London riots, are only going to get worse as society become "more and more unequal."

"We're seeing measure across the world, from London where water cannons are being purchased to all across America where the authorities are preparing for much more disturbance," he says.

"The two options are shall we have a more equal society, or shall we fortify and bolster our means for oppressing people."

"You can bet that if Fox News was around during the time of Martin Luther King they wouldn't be like 'this guy's a voice for justice.' They'd have been saying 'He's a rabble rouser, he's causing problems.'"

“The ironic thing is that the values that Fox News purports, like unity, like America, ‘this is a great country’ — they’re constantly at odds with that, because they really believe in oppression and exploitation, and the minimisation of the suffering of the people who need the most support," he concludes.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has seen a dramatic shift in tensions, as police officers walked hand-in-hand with protesters in a moving display of solidarity, just a night after shocking photographs highlighted the increasing militarisation of policing in America.

Just 24-hours after camouflaged officers were seen training automatic weapons at unarmed civilians, local police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, allowed a crowd to peacefully assemble without forcing them from the area.

After four nights of violence, officers made an effort to mingle peacefully with people protesting the weekend shooting of Brown, as thousands held vigils across the US in honour of the black teenager.

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