Monday morning on Fox News there was a devastating outbreak of the sort of truth that the network strives so hard to suppress. All of their evil efforts went up in smoke after a booking glitch put a conscientious Democratic candidate on the air instead of their customary crackpots and shills. It was delicious.
On Fox and Friends First co-hosts Jillian Mele and Rob Schmitt introduced Ann Kirkpatrick, someone they thought was a pro-ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Democrat that got booed at a candidate forum in Massachusetts. Their intent was to stir up phony dissension within the Democratic Party. That’s a common tactic used by Fox News to falsely infer a party in disarray. They have a bevy of so-called Democrats they can call on to bash the Party.
However, this time someone at Fox screwed up. The guest that appeared on air was not who they thought it was. It turned out to be Barbara L’Italien, a different candidate with an entirely different point of view. She began straight out of the gate with a message for Donald Trump (video below):
Mele: Joining us the candidate, the only democrat on stage to support ICE, Ann Kirkpatrick. Tell us why you do support ICE?
L’Italien: Good morning. I’m actually here to speak directly to Donald Trump. I feel that what’s happening at the border is wrong. I’m a mother of four and I believe that separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane. I’m state senator representing a large immigrant community and running for Congress in Massachusetts.
I keep thinking about what we are putting parents through and imagining how terrifying that must be for those families, imagining how it would feel not knowing if I’d ever see my kids again, we have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents’ arms. Stop putting kids in cages, stop making 3-year-olds defend themselves in court.
The co-hosts immediately looked confused and struggled to counter L’Italien’s truth with pre-chewed Fox News lies. Schmitt said that the practice of separating and caging children had been stopped. It hasn’t. Then Mele said incorrectly that the kids have been reunited with their families. Only about 500 out of nearly 3,000. That was followed by an awkward exchange wherein the co-hosts wondered “Who is this?” And after cutting the feed to L’Italien, they mused that “That didn’t go as planned. That happens sometimes. Time for a break? Yeah.”
A statement was later released by Desiree Dunne, the executive producer of Fox and Friends First. She tried to explain how the segment got so badly mangled, but failed to miserably. And then she sought to blame L’Italien:
“This morning we invited Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick to appear on Fox & Friends First through her press contact on file […] During the actual segment, Barbara L’Italien, appeared on camera instead of Kirkpatrick. Despite speaking to producers prior to the interview, L’Italien did not identify herself as anything other than Kirkpatrick until she was live on air, at which point we ended the interview.”
Note that Dunne doesn’t say that the producers ever asked L’Italien to identify herself. L’Italien told ThinkProgress that she was merely taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity to communicate with Trump and Fox viewers. She also said that:
“This would not have happened to an actual news station. Fox’s lack of attention to the facts normally is a disaster for the country, it just so happened that today it was embarrassing for them.”
Ann Kirkpatrick also had some harsh words for Fox News, saying that they “put out false reports on my position on ICE, without a single word from me.” So she doesn’t seem particularly disturbed by having been axed from the network’s propaganda programming. But even when the mistake was discovered, why would Fox need to end the interview? Why couldn’t they just continue talking to a candidate with a different perspective?
The answer to that question is obvious. fox News doesn’t tolerate different perspectives in circumstances they aren’t in complete control of. L’Italien was expressing a viewpoint that is shared by a majority of Americans. But since it is contrary to the Trump administration’s viewpoint, and that of the Republican Party, it could not be allowed on their air. But unfortunately for Fox, that happens sometimes.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.