Should Fox News continue featuring racist Mark Furhman?

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Should Fox News continue featuring racist Mark Furhman?

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Since 2011, Fox News has made Mark Furhman a regular political commentator on their various shows. Furhman is a former LAPD detective, a New York Times bestselling author, and filmmaker. Over the years, Furhman has appeared in hundreds of Fox News segments. He has even been on their channel as recently as this month. In fact, it was recently announced by the website Law and Crime that Fox News was giving Mr. Furhman his own show entitled “The Furhman Diaries.” So why is this so problematic?

Furmhan is best known for his role in the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. He was the LAPD cop who discovered a bloody glove at the scene of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman’s murders. Many suspected Nicole’s ex-husband OJ Simpson to be the culprit, and they assumed that the bloody glove belonged to him. So, Furhman found one of the key pieces of evidence for the prosecution, but his part in the trial was not over yet.

In the aftermath of the widely publicized Rodney King trials, in which 4 LA cops brutally beat an African-American suspect, OJ Defense lawyer Johnny Cochran tried to paint the LAPD, and Mark Furhman in particular, as racist. Cochran did not need to look far as there was plenty of evidence of Furhman’s racist views. 

Near the beginning of the OJ trial, the defense called Mark Furhman to the trial to testify. While on the stand, Furhman was grilled with such questions as “Did you plant the glove?”, and “Have you ever used the “N” word?”. Furmhan adamantly denied everything. However, we would later find out that this was false as Johnny Cochran had recordings of Mark Furhman which would reveal the truth.

The 13 hours of recordings were produced by a filmmaker who had interviewed Mark Furhman just a few years prior to the trial. In them, Furhman detailed life as an LAPD police officer, as well as his racist, sexist, and anti-semitic views. According to Vanity Fair, the “N” word was used 41 times by Mr. Furhman in these tapes. Much of what is said by Mr. Furhman is too offensive and expletive-filled to repeat here, but I assure you that it is disturbing.

Furhman also admitted to using excessive force on African American suspects. When recalling an interrogation of 4 African American men, Furhman said, “ We basically tortured them; there was 4 policemen, 4 guys. We broke ‘em…Their faces were just mush. There was blood all the way to the ceiling with finger marks like they were trying to crawl out of the room.” 

With the introduction of the so called “Furhman Tapes”, OJ’s defense team successfully made the trial into a race issue and OJ was acquitted. Ironically, the only person to be found guilty in that case was Mark Furhman. He was convicted of perjury and given three years probation according to The Chicago Tribune.

Since the trial, Furhman has been a regular on Fox News. Why? This certainly doesn’t bode well for a news channel which is widely thought of as racist. Liberal political commentator Cenk Uygur explains,” Fox News didn’t hire Mark Furhman DESPITE the fact that he’s a vicious racist and a terrible cop… they hired him BECAUSE of that!” Whatever the case may be, having a racist and convicted perjurer on their network, and in fact giving him his own show, does not seem like a good public-relations decision to me.

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