Fox News has taken down a column on its website penned by executive editor John Moody that argued the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) wants to change the games' motto to “Darker, Gayer, Different."
The network said in a statement to The Hill that the "column does not reflect the views or values of FOX News."
In the column, which was published Thursday on Fox News's website, Moody wrote, “Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.’ If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.”
Moody also scolded a USOC official for embracing the diversity of U.S. team, stating the official gave an “embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes” are on the American Olympic squad.
“No sport that we are aware of awards points — or medals — for skin color or sexual orientation,” Moody wrote.
Moody's perspective was sparked by a statement by Jason Thompson, the USOC’s director of diversity and inclusion, who told The Washington Post on Feb. 4 that while the 2018 U.S. team is more diverse than other rosters in the past, “We’re not quite where we want to be.”
“I think full-on inclusion has always been a priority of Team USA,” Thompson told the Post. “I think everybody’s always felt it should represent every American.”
Moody argued that Olympians should be chosen by merit and asked if the selections were based on "the best publicity" instead.
“While uncomfortable, the question probably needs to be asked: were our Olympians selected because they’re the best at what they do, or because they’re the best publicity for our current obsession with having one each from Column A, B and C?” Moody wrote.
“Sorry,” Moody wrote. “ ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ still works better than ‘we win because we’re different.’ ”
A Fox News spokesperson said the column was no longer on the site and does not reflect the views of the news outlet.
“John Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of FOX News and has been removed," the spokesperson said in an email.
A person familiar with the network's internal structure said Moody's title is only a formal one and editors were "too deferential" to vet the story using the usual checks and balances.
“Moody’s title is a formality and he has not performed that function for several years. Editors were too deferential to him given his longevity at the network and as a result did not put the column through the proper vetting process, which is why it was taken down,” the source said.
Moody, 64, joined Fox News upon the network's launch in 1996. He left in 2009 to lead Newscore, a global wire service owned by then-Fox News parent company News Corp.
Moody returned to Fox News in 2012 after Newscore was absorbed by Fox News.
The Olympics kicked off in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.
The U.S. team sent 243 athletes to South Korea, including 10 African-American and 10 Asian-American competitors. A solid majority of the roster is white.
The team also boasts the first African-American long-track speedskater to represent the U.S. in addition to its first African-American hockey player.
Adam Rippon, the first openly gay American to qualify for the Winter Olympics, is also on the squad as a figure skater.