NEW YORK — One day after Fox News aired a stunning graphic correlating stock market gains following notable tragic events involving black Americans, it offered an apology.
The contrite concession came Saturday after outraged viewers howled over the insensitive chart shown during Friday’s broadcast of “Special Report With Bret Baier.”
The bar graph illustrated the change percentage in the S&P 500 one week after the 2014 police shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown, the 1992 acquittal of cops charged with beating Rodney King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 assassination and George Floyd’s recent death in police custody.
“The infograph used on Fox News Channel’s ‘Special Report’” to illustrate market reactions to historic periods of civil unrest should have never aired on television without full context," said a Fox News spokesman. “We apologize for the insensitivity of the image and take this issue seriously.”
Many offended viewers excoriated Fox News for seemingly cherry-picking random events to bolster the graphic’s veracity.
As an example, on June 20, 1994, one week after the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the S&P 500 closed at 456.75 — down nearly 1% from the following week, according to analysis charts.
“Dumbest graphic ever. Made to inflame and divide I guess,” wrote Twitter user Matt Glantz. “(The market) has always gone up historically. You can pick the last four full moons and come up (with) a similar graphic.”
Even one notable black politician waded into the argument.
“This is absolutely outrageous and disgusting,” tweeted 14-term Illinois congressman Bobby L. Rush. “This graphic tells every single Fox News viewer that Black lives can be exchanged for market gain.”
The Fox News chart was broadcast the same day President Donald Trump bizarrely referenced Floyd — who died May 25 in police custody — while touting May’s 13.3% national unemployment rate.
“Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country,’” said Trump at a Rose Garden speech.
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