- Fox News apologized for sharing a graphic that showed gains in the S&P 500 following the deaths of high-profile black men in the US “without full context.”
- The graphic showed gains after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, after the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, when the police that beat Rodney King were acquitted, and after the recent death of George Floyd.
- Democratic Rep. Bobby L. Rush had called the graphic “outrageous and disgusting” and “makes it clear that @FoxNews does not care about black lives.”
- A Fox News spokesperson earlier pointed Business Insider to coverage of how the stock market reacts to such events in other media outlets, including Fortune and The Wall Street Journal.
- Stocks often rise in times of upheaval and uncertainty, and they did so during the height of US coronavirus unemployment.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Fox News apologized for creating and airing a graphic highlighting how stocks have risen after the high-profile deaths of black men in the US “without full context.”
The graphic showed that the S&P 500, which tracks the performance of the biggest companies in the US, had improved in performance after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
It also pointed to gains following the death of George Floyd on May 25. Floyd was killed after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while taking him into custody.
A Fox News spokesperson told Business Insider on Saturday: “The infographic 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.”
“We apologize for the insensitivity of the image and take this issue seriously.”
The graphic shows “percentage change” one week after the event.
“Historically, there has been a disconnect between what investors focus on and what happens across the rest of the country,” the reporter said, before pointing to the gains made after the other black men were killed.
Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country, renewing calls to end police brutality and tackle wider racism. The graphic was shown during Fox News’ news coverage, rather than one of its commentary shows.
Rep. Bobby L. Rush, a Democrat in Illinois, had criticized the graphic late on Friday, saying “This is absolutely outrageous and disgusting. This graphic tells every single @FoxNews viewer that Black lives can be exchanged for market gain.”
—Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) June 6, 2020
A Fox News spokeswoman earlier pointed Business Insider to coverage of the behavior of the stock market in light of these events and other moments of upheaval in other media publications, including Fortune, Bloomberg, and CNBC.
Many of these reports were offered as part of a larger explanation of how the stock market behaves in during such events than in the explanation Fox News gave during its broadcast.
The improvement in stock performance during a time of major upheaval is not unusual.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the 4.9% rise in the week leading up to June 5, which was dominated by intense protests, is “typical” during times of unrest and uncertainty.