Fox News published, then hit delete on, a heavily criticized column that slammed those praising diversity within the U.S. Olympics teams. The incendiary column suggested the U.S. Olympic Committee wants the new motto for the Olympics to be “Darker, Gayer, Different.”
The opinion piece was headlined, “In Olympics, let’s focus on the winner of the race – – not the race of the winner,” and was written by John Moody, the Executive Vice President and Executive Editor for Fox News. The article was deleted Feb. 9; it was published Feb. 7.
iMediaEthics wrote to Fox News to ask how long Moody’s column was published, if it was edited before publication, if there was any response to the criticism of the piece and if there would be any apology. “John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News and has been removed,” a spokesperson for the cable network told iMediaEthics by e-mail. Both The Hollywood Reporter and Mediaite reported that a “Fox News insider” said Moody’s piece wasn’t vetted pre-publication.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, GLAAD’s CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis slammed Moody’s piece as “vicious anti-LGBTQ and biased rhetoric” and called for an apology.
iMediaEthics has written to the U.S. Olympic Committee for a response to the column.
Moody’s piece read, in part,
“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.’ If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.
A USOC official was quoted this week expressing pride (what else?) about taking the most diverse U.S. squad ever to the Winter Olympics. That was followed by a, frankly, embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes are on this year’s U.S. team. No sport that we are aware of awards points – or medals – for skin color or sexual orientation.
For the current USOC, a dream team should look more like the general population. So, while uncomfortable, the question probably needs to be asked: were our Olympians selected because they’re the best at what they do, or because they’re the best publicity for our current obsession with having one each from Column A, B and C?