The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has responded to a false claim made on the Fox News Channel that Jemele Hill – the organization’s 2018 journalist of the year – is “unemployed.”
In a statement posted on social media Wednesday, NABJ said it wanted to “set the record straight” about erroneous statements made on the network’s morning show, Fox & Friends.
“NABJ does not need to dignify disparaging remarks made by Fox & Friends hosts about Jemele Hill,” the group’s statement said. “But we do need to set the record straight: Ms. Hill is not only employed but thriving and advancing in her career and life.”
NABJ does not need to dignify disparaging remarks made by Fox & Friends hosts about Jemele Hill. But we do need to set the record straight: Ms. Hill is not only employed but thriving and advancing in her career and life.
Read full NABJ statement here: https://t.co/ewCtrAhp33
— NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) May 23, 2018
The response came one day after Fox & Friends questioned NABJ’s decision to honor Hill.
During the three-minute segment, one of the show’s hosts called the ESPN journalist “controversial” for criticizing “our president,” and guest Lawrence Jones said Hill is “unemployed” multiple times.
“The bottom line is that she’s unemployed from hosting her own TV show,” said Jones, editor of the website Campus Reform. “This is not something that we should be promoting.”
Jones, who is African-American, added that people of color need more role models on television, but since Hill is “unemployed,” it won’t be her.
“At the end of the day, I want people that look like me, people that looked up to her, to have someone on TV that is gonna forever show them that they can do it,” he stated. “Now she can’t do that. Now she’s unemployed. The National Black Association of Journalists [sic] is literally saying that we’re going to applaud unemployment. And that’s not something I stand for.”
Jones also butchered the name of the organization, calling it the “National Black Association of Journalists” instead of the National Association of Black Journalists.
After the interview aired, the network was taken to task on social media for allowing Jones’ false claims to go unchecked.
Hours later, the Fox & Friends Twitter feed posted a correction, saying Hill is currently employed by ESPN.
“On the show this morning a guest stated Jemele Hill was unemployed. Correction: Hill is currently employed by ESPN,” the tweet said.
No correction was made on air.
On the show this morning a guest stated Jemele Hill was unemployed. Correction: Hill is currently employed by ESPN.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 22, 2018
Hill made national headlines, and was briefly suspended from her role as co-host of SportsCenter after criticizing President Donald Trump on social media.
She left SportsCenter in January, but not ESPN. Her current position is as senior correspondent and columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated, the network’s online vertical focused on race, sports, and culture.
Hill made fun of the Fox & Friends segment by tweeting: “Can’t wait until my unemployment check kicks in.”
Can’t wait until my unemployment check kicks in 😂 https://t.co/eAFFN66bkb
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) May 22, 2018