Fox Goes All in on Argument Diversity Caused SVB Collapse

Fox News hosts on Monday quickly latched onto a bizarre theory for the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank late last week: diverse hiring practices and the high crime of being too “woke”—though what, specifically, was meant by the pejorative often went unsaid.

During Jesse Watters Primetime, the namesake host declared SVB, which had been popular with startups and venture capitalists, a “woke Biden bank.”

“They were holding seminars on lesbian visibility day and national pride month,” Watters complained. “Now if you want to hold a pride month, that’s fine, but you’ve got to be able to chew gum at the same time and walk.”

Tucker Carlson followed that diatribe up by claiming that in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, then-Attorney General Eric Holder “swooped in and imposed [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] standards on the entire financial sector.” It’s unclear what specific policies Carlson was referring to—but that didn’t stop him from pronouncing it “one of the main reasons our big banks are now increasingly incompetent and also one of the reasons Americans are so divided by race.”

He even went so far as to declare that American meritocracy had been “killed” by “ideologues” promoting diverse hiring practices in the banking industry—citing recent comments by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as a present day example. Jean-Pierre on Friday introduced Shalanda Young as director of the Office of Management and Budget and Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and in doing so pointed out the “historic nature” of all three of them being the first Black women to hold those roles.

“[Jean-Pierre] doesn’t say a word about the fundamentals of the market or the security of your money in banks. Insead, she talks about the one thing that matters to her which is the racial identity of the people in charge of our finance system,” Carlson said.

“These people lack all self awareness as if anyone would care. Why should we care? Is there some reason to care?” he asked. “If you wanted to make people less confident in regional banks and the banking system more broadly — if you wanted to maybe induce a run on the banks — this might be how you’d talk.”

But that wasn’t even close to the end of the right-wing network’s decision to argue that diversity killed Silicon Valley Bank.

Immediately following Carlson’s segment, Sean Hannity rehashed the same themes in his own show.

SVB “prioritized wokeness over almost anything else, including keeping the company solvent,” Hannity said, before calling attention to the company’s January report on its DEI initiative.

“Their website bragged about the company’s environmental, social and governance initiatives, and the bank did pledge $5 billion towards green programs last year alone,” he said, suggesting that the bank was taking cues from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s spending.

Hannity brought attention to a article from earlier in the day about potential reparations payments to Black Californians despite the state’s budget deficit.

“[Newsom] is still pushing for a $640 billion reparations plan in California, because in California it doesn’t matter if you are financially solvent, as long as you are woke enough,” he groused.

The comments from Watters, Carlson and Hannity came after Wall Street Journal opinion writer Andy Kessler asked if SVB “may have been distracted by diversity demands.”

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