Nekid ‘Patriot’ Hailed By Fox News For Stealing Flag And Suppressing Free Speech

In yet another twisted example of patriotism as defined by Fox News, the All-American channel is singing the praises of a disgraced Air Force veteran who sought to deny protesters their constitutional rights.

Michelle Manhart was once a drill sergeant in the Air Force, which she believes gives her the right to decide who can engage in a public demonstration and how they should behave. She exercised that right at Valdosta State University in Georgia where a group of students were using an American flag in a manner considered disrespectful by Manhart. The flag was on the ground and some of the protesters were walking on it. So Manhart took it upon herself to confront the protesters and assume possession of the flag.

Fox News Manhart

This was an unambiguous case of theft. The flag did not belong to her and she refused to return it upon request. She actually argued on video (below) that the flag “belongs to the entire United States.” The absurdity of that is self-evident. In fact, it violates every principle of private property that conservatives are usually pretending to cherish.

In addition, Manhart was interfering with the rights of the students to express themselves. Their free speech rights, including the treatment of the flag, are protected by the Constitution and have been upheld by the Supreme Court. No matter what your position on flag desecration, the Constitution takes priority. As so often is the case with right-wingers, the hypocrisy of Manhart’s stance is entirely missed by herself and the wingnut media that supports her. Manhart told Fox News that…

“When it comes to the flag, it’s our iconic symbol. It stands for everything that we are. It stands for the freedom to allow those individuals to do what they want to protest or have an organization. So how are you even gonna justify ruining or walking upon something that’s given you the right to do what you’re doing?”

In other words, according to Manhart, the protesters do not have the freedom to do those things that the flag supposedly represents the freedom to do. So enjoy your freedom so long as you don’t actually use it. And if you do try to use it, expect to be stopped by some other citizen who disagrees with you.

Eventually, campus police had to forcibly take the flag from Manhart who refused to follow their order to release it and return it to its proper owners. This outraged Manhart, who whined to Fox News that…

“I have seen that flag on caskets returning home. It was just the thought of those demonstrators standing on someone’s casket. I was so internally frustrated.”

Perhaps she would have been able to gather some sympathy for that argument if not for her own past of disgraceful military conduct. Manhart, it turns out, was discharged from the Air Force after posing for Playboy both in her uniform and out of it. The Air Force advised her that such behavior was a violation of the standards of the service. She was demoted and shortly after left the military to pursue an acting career. Did she consider the poor souls in those caskets when she exploited her body and uniform in a publication that objectifies women?

And if that weren’t bad enough, Manhart also appeared in the nude on other occasions, including in an anti-fur ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I’d give her credit for having compassion for animals, but it might rub some of her right-wing fans the wrong way. But the real problem as regards hypocrisy is that she blatantly desecrated the flag in those photos and others by allowing it to touch the ground, and using it as drapery/clothing.

Despite Manhart’s history of less than honorable service and disrespect for the flag, Fox News and other right-wing media have taken up her cause. The usual suspects including the Daily Caller, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Newsmax, and of course Fox Nation, all published stories exalting the Nekid Patriot. The Pope of Fox News, Todd Starnes, hyperbolically declared that “Valdosta State University loves flag burners more so than flag wavers.” However, besides the fact that no one here burned any flags, the university actually loves free speech and obeying the law more so than thieves and censorship.

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Fox Nation Flag DesecrationObviously Manhart has a selective sense of outrage with regard to respect for the flag. And on that matter, Manhart is not alone. With relative frequency Fox News has blasted what they called flag desecration by protesters with whom they disagreed. However, they ignore similarly disrespectful behavior when it is done by their rightist heroes. Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, and George Bush have all been caught in public desecrating the flag. Yet Fox News hails such behavior as patriotism when the perpetrators are conservative icons.


16 thoughts on “Nekid ‘Patriot’ Hailed By Fox News For Stealing Flag And Suppressing Free Speech

  1. Well isn’t that an interesting turn of events? Did she think no one would find out how much respect she really has for the flag?

    • I’m pretty sure all she was thinking about was how much PR she could generate for herself. Even Bill O’Reilly said that his producers suspected her of seeking publicity for herself, so they wouldn’t book her on his show tonight. She went on Megyn Kelly’s show instead.

      • It’s pretty amusing that producers on one Fox show wouldn’t book her but she managed to get on another Fox show anyway.

  2. “Internally frustrated” as opposed to what, I wonder, though not very much.

    • Her frustration seemed pretty external to me. And to the cops she was resisting too.

  3. So I’m sure she has sent Sarah Palin a letter about draping herself in the flag, and walking on it in her ‘flag shoes.” I mean, Fox was outraged by that behavior, right? Right? I’m sure the disgraced air woman will have her own show soon..she can then school everyone on proper behavior in and out of one’s clothes. The Palin lovers will be ecstatic, especially the old white males.

  4. “No matter what your position on flag desecration, the Constitution takes priority”
    That quote is something we can all get behind – too bad you don’t take that position on so many other constitutional rights – but it’s good to see something of value here.

  5. Wait… she wanted to rescue the flag from being on the ground? OK, I for one know most of the flag procedures and such. It being on the ground is a big no no… those who were “stepping” on it may or may not have known it was there, or hell even being in a crowd do you stay in the spot you started in with all the movement? So you politely ask those around who’s it is and ask them to pick up the flag… not “rescue” it.

    First off, flag on ground… GIRL, did you or did you not let the flag hit the floor when you were taking those pictures? I see the one above where you are in back of it and not just the tip of the flag is on the ground. And even so, did you follow the procedure afterwords with the flag??? Bet you did not.

    “Actress”… hmmm, what do most agents say to their clients… keep your name in the headlines regardless if it is good or bad to keep your name on their lips. I vote “stunt” for the PR.

    • Ya know, you shouldn’t call people dumb when you don’t know what you’re talking about. So learn something yourself.

      Your link only refers to a proposed constitutional amendment. The U.S. Flag Code is a set of advisory rules for display and care of the flag. There are no penalties associated with it. It is essentially universally accepted flag etiquette. That is what this article is referring to.

    • Speaking of dumb – that amendment is stupid.

      I’m surprised the statists here don’t support that kind of protection of government/state symbols – like the ability to steal whatever they want – however they want from the productive members of society (16th amendment). Maybe It can be used to convincing people to submit completely state control of their lives for their own good – right Mark?

  6. Are you sure nudity is pornography? Although it’s wrong to steal someone’s flag it’s really not a big deal to let it touch the ground a little when your clothes are missing.

  7. Yeah, this is the wrong way to confront pathetic little flag burners, particularly since this woman appears to be a publicity hound. I much prefer the response courtesy of that counter-protest from about a thousand flag wavers today.
    Side story: One of those yahoos who stepped on the flag is wanted by the police. He’s on the run, considered armed and dangerous.

  8. People should be jailed for desecrating our great nations flag. Brave men and women died so the ingrate traitors could have freedoms they take so lightly. Love it or please leave it.

    • “Brave men and women died so the ingrate traitors could have freedom.”

      Therefore they should lose their freedom for exercising it. Right. That makes perfect sense.

    • I understand the outrage people feel over the fact that the flag was being walked on. I was taught to respect the flag so I do find it disturbing but I think, that those of you who are the most outraged about this incident (and not equally outraged about the naked photos) are missing the bigger picture. Yes, Matt, brave men and women did die for our freedom –freedom for all of us, not just some. These protests are taking place because it seems that concept is slipping away. People of color, women, the poor, our senior citizens, our children, the LGBT community, lately seem to fall into categories that are having their rights stomped on and taken away and something needs to be done about that. That’s the message I get from these protests.

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