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A television reporter in Houston was fired from her job on Thursday after she posted overtly political posts on her Facebook page celebrating the election of Donald Trump and the end of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Scarlett Fakhar, a reporter for KRIV Fox 26 Houston, thanked her supporters on social media after she informed them that her bosses had dismissed her ‘for expressing my conservative views on my private Facebook page’, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The station is an affiliate of the Fox television network.
Fox 26 representatives confirmed on Friday that Fakhar is no longer with the station.
The 25-year-old television journalist became the subject of controversy last week after she had announced on her personal Facebook page that she was ‘happy and relieved’ that Trump had won.
‘I prayed for the best leader that will turn this country that has become more violent and racist under the Obama administration than ever … into the America I once knew’, she wrote in a post that was later deleted.
She said Obama ‘has made the entire country hate one another’.
Fakhar also came under fire for the post, parts of which were construed as racist.
‘I hate to say it … but the number of African Americans killing one another far outweighs the number of them being killed by whites’, she said.
In a subsequent post, she denied the racism charge, citing her own ‘multiracial’ character borne of her Iranian heritage.
In the same post, she also said that anyone who ‘wanted Hillary’s free education’ should ‘work hard like the rest of us’ because ‘I will not be paying for your laziness’.
She said that her Iranian immigrant father’s rags-to-riches story should serve as an example to those advocating for greater government benefits.
A source told the Daily Mail that Fakhar was dismissed because part of her reporting duties including covering political issues during the newscasts.
Permitting her to express opinions publicly on the subject would compromise her impartiality and betray a political bias, the source said.
‘A number of people in TV news are telling followers on social media how they feel about this year’s election’, wrote blogger Scott Jones on FTVLive.com. ‘Which is exactly what they should not be doing’.
As a journalist, you are taught (I hope) to stay unbiased and just report the story’.
The ensuing backlash compelled Fakhar to post an apology ‘for making public my personal views on the outcome of the election and other issues’.
The apology has since been taken down.
Fakhar on Thursday took aim at ‘the liberal Houston Chronicle’ for ‘wrongfully saying I chastised African Americans’.
The newspaper had published a story on the controversy, and the wording used by the journalists caused Fakhar to take issue.
‘The media has made this a RACE issue when in reality the matter boils down to a difference in political philosophy,’ she wrote.
‘As a multiracial person myself, I never have been or never will be racist. I simply stated the fact that the media continues to misrepresent the factual realities that there is NO more white on black crime than there is black on black crime.’
Fakhar’s dismissal has triggered an outpouring of support for her on Facebook, with conservatives praising her while slamming the newspaper and her former bosses for her firing.
‘It’s what they do, Scarlett’, wrote one Facebook user. ‘[The Houston Chronicle is full of] fake journalists and lying scoundrels. This is why Trump was elected, because we’re all tired of it. And have been for a long time’.
Spain: Thousands march against spain’s ruling on separatist leaders
Three other defendants, who were also on trial for their involvement in the October 2017 referendum held in spite of a ban and a short-lived independence declaration, were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison.
All defendants were acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion, but leading separatists were quick to condemn the court’s decision and the jailed men sent out messages of defiance, urging people to take to the streets.
“This sentence is an attack on democracy and the rights of all citizens,” the head of the regional parliament Roger Torrent said. “Today we are all convicted, not just 12 people.”
Former head of Catalonia’s regional government, Carles Puigdemont, said the prison sentences were an “atrocity.”
In Barcelona, three main streets were blocked by protesters holding signs calling for “Freedom for political prisoners” and a crowd chanted “We’ll do it again” – a slogan used by separatist supporters who want to hold another referendum.
Protesters blocked train and metro access to the Barcelona airport and others temporarily halted traffic on the A2 highway, as well as on several regional roads across Catalonia, officials at the road traffic agency said.
The regional train network was interrupted in the separatist stronghold of Girona by people standing on the tracks, wrapped in pro-independence flags.
The Catalan independence drive attracted worldwide attention and triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades and unnerved financial markets.
The ruling and its fallout is likely to color a national election on Nov. 10, Spain’s fourth in four years, and influence the direction taken by the separatist movement..
The jailed separatists said via social media that they would carry on their fight.
“Nine years in prison won’t end my optimism. Catalonia will be independent if we persist. Let us demonstrate without fear, let us move forward determinedly from non-violence to freedom,” said Jordi Sanchez, who was sentenced to nine years in jail. Sanchez was the leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) grassroots movement.
Protests for Catalonia’s independence have been largely peaceful over the past years but police sources have said authorities are prepared for any violence.
The regional head of Catalonia, separatist Quim Torra, called for an amnesty for all 12 leaders and said he would seek an urgent meeting with Spain’s King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. However, Torra stopped short of repeating past weeks’ calls for civil disobedience.
Sanchez was quick to rebuff the demand for an amnesty, saying the sentences must be carried out.
“Today’s decision confirms the defeat of a movement that failed to gain internal support and international recognition,” he said in a televised address to the nation. He also called for dialogue, saying now was time for a new chapter over the Catalan issue.
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