Tribe wants apology from Fox News for anchor remarks

Mar 31, 2011

The head of the Coeur d'Alene tribe in North Idaho is demanding an apology from Fox News. Today he learned he won't get one.

Last week on the morning show "Fox & Friends," Fox Business anchor John Stossel questioned the need for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"There's no Bureau of Puerto Rican Affairs or Black Affairs or Irish Affairs. And no group in America has been more helped in by the government than the American Indians. Because we have the treaties, we stole their land. But 200 years later, no group does worse," says Stossel.

Stossel made the remarks as part of a general discussion of government assistance.

Coeur d'Alene tribal chairman Chief James Allan says he was watching TV when he heard the comments and wrote a letter to the head of Fox News asking for an apology.

"It was important for me to respond to this because, growing up, all my whole life, I've always had to fight this misconception that Native Americans get big handouts that we get monthly checks from the government, that everything is paid for, and every time that stuff is being portrayed, I need to answer that. It's really offensive, it's very offensive," Allan explains.

Allan says native tribes' unique relationship with the federal government is due to long-standing treaty promises made in exchange for millions of acres of land.

On Fox & Friends this morning, Stossel stood by his comments and invited Allan on to debate the issue.