Oh, come on. You didn’t really think Fox News was going to apologize, did you?
Yesterday morning, the aging frat boy comedy team of Doocy and Kilmeade on Fox & Friends gave us the worst initial response to the video of Ray Rice knocking his wife’s lights out in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Kilmeade quipped that the message of the video is “take the stairs,” while Doocy couldn’t help spreading the blame around for the single, devastating punch by reminding everyone, “She still married him!” The exchange was so objectively awful that Jan Langbein of the Genesis Women’s Shelter denounced it this morning during a segment on CNN:
“I’m horrified. I mean, ‘take the stairs,’ please. I am constantly surrounded by messages, and so are victims of domestic violence surrounded by messages, that this is somehow her fault or that if she had taken the stairs or done something else or not worn that outfit this abuse wouldn’t have happened. It’s not about her actions at all.”
CNN anchor Carol Costello — who full disclosure was the anchor I produced for on CNN Daybreak in New York City — said watching the clip of Doocy and Kilmeade made her want to throw up. Yeah, maybe that little slam is coming from Fox News’s competition but in this case it has the benefit of being an understandable response. Even more understandable than it would be having just watched Doocy and Kilmeade on a normal day.
By late-afternoon yesterday Fox News released a statement saying that the Fox & Friends comments would be addressed the following day on the show — and this morning they certainly were.
Here’s the entirety of the statement made by Brian Kilmeade on the matter:
“Comments that we made during this story yesterday made some people feel like we were taking this situation too lightly. We are not. We were not. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue to us, I assure you.”
Oh, you assure us. Well in that case…
Here’s the thing to know about Fox News if you haven’t figured it out already: it never gives an inch to its critics. In fact, quite the opposite, it almost gleefully revels in the impotent rage of its detractors and its schoolyard bullying media relations department seems to take actual pleasure in snidely firing back at anyone it considers a political or ideological enemy. I’ve banged out quite a fewcolumn inches on this subject and The New York Times‘s David Carr famously pointed it out in a piece detailing Fox News’s antagonistic relationship with the rest of the press.
Fox News won’t say it’s sorry just because it offended what it considers the thin-skinned liberal superintendent class; doing that is built into the machinery at Fox and is probably even part of the network’s mission statement. It takes no effort at all to simply say, “It was wrong for us to joke around the way we did about this story,” but that would be giving ground to those uptight pussy libs who can’t take a joke — and obviously we can’t have that.
So, again, what did you really expect from Fox News this morning?
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.