On Monday, the Trump administration announced that former Fox News reporter Heather Nauert would become the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, essentially becoming one of the key voices with which the United States speaks to—and about—the rest of the world.
“Nauert comes to the Department with more than 15 years of experience as an anchor and correspondent covering both foreign and domestic news and events, including the 9-11 terror attacks, the war in Iraq, and the genocide in Darfur, Sudan,” a State Department press release said. “Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the Administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world.”
Nauert does have more than a decade of broadcast experience under her belt. It also probably didn’t hurt her job prospects that much of that experience contains instances of Islamophobia, racial blindness, and the kind of cheerleading for Trump himself that the president adores.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
In 2013, the St. Paul, MN, YMCA began hosting swim lessons for Muslim girls to spend time in the pool in ways that would accommodate their religious principles. Seems fine, right? For Nauert, the whole episode was a terrifying example of creeping Muslim extremism set to take over America any day now.
Proclaiming that “sharia law is now changing everything,” Nauret hosted a Fox news segment on the YMCA’s efforts at inclusion, ominously warning that “similar classes are now starting at towns across the Midwest.”
“We’ll keep watching this story for you,” Nauret promised, ensuring that her viewers would never miss a minute of Tween Pool Terror.
But that’s just one example of her history of Islamophobia.
As The Intercept noted, Nauret also hosted an hour-long 2009 news panel on the threat of “stealth jihad,” featuring a murderers row of virulent hate-mongers, including Frank Gaffney (“One of America’s most notorious Islamophobes,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extremist database), and Robert Spencer—whom the SPLC called one of the country’s “most prolific and vociferous anti-Muslim propagandists” and whose work was cited over 160 times in a manifesto by infamous white supremacist mass murderer Anders Breivik.
Nauret has also shared articles posted on Spencer’s hate-filled Jihad Watch website:
Then there’s Nauert’s handling of race.
In January 2016, while co-hosting Fox & Friends, Nauert mocked actor Danny DeVito for pointing out that, hey, there’s some racism in the United States during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies,” DeVito had been quoted as saying. “So sometimes it manifests in things like [Oscar nominations], and it’s illuminated. But just generally speaking, we’re a bunch of racists.”
“Really?” snarked Nauert.
“I guess he forgot about cabinet secretaries being African-American,” she added later. “Oh, the president too.” Good point!
While Nauert may not have any experience speaking for the U.S. government, she does appear to excel in one area the Trump White House loves: Hocking Trump-brand products, as she appeared to do in a series of now-deleted tweets:
Perhaps someone will quiz Nauert about some of these views when she starts her new job.