The emergence of a new buzzword in Fox News is always a treasure trove of asininity. And as their embrace of their new and thoroughly contrived concept of “cancel culture” has spread across their airwaves, Fox News has proven that they are the foremost abusers of it.
Fox News has courageously stood up in opposition to the injustices suffered by esteemed, albeit imaginary, Americans like Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. Because of Fox, they now represent the class of victims who have been “canceled” by systemic intolerance of cartoon characters and plastic toys.
However, no one is more guilty than Fox News of “canceling” real people who dare to go against the grain of whatever narrative Fox News happens to be espousing. Just ask all of the Republicans censured and cast aside for their perceived disloyalty to Donald Trump. Or check with the American companies that Trump has targeted for boycotts.
Now we can add to those casualties Olympic hopeful Gwen Barry. Upon winning a bronze medal in the recent Olympic trials, Berry took the opportunity to express her commitment to social injustice. That act of free speech earned her a mention at the White House daily press briefing. The Fox News White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, chose to use his privileged position to focus on an issue that he believes far outweighs the other petty concerns of the President of the United States, such as the resurgent COVID pandemic, or the Florida condo catastrophe, or how the pending infrastructure bill will impact the economy and jobs. Nope, Doocy wanted to know about this:
Doocy: This weekend Gwen Berry, who represents the United States as an Olympian on the hammer-throwing events, won a bronze medal at the trials, and then she turned her back on the flag while the anthem played. Does President Biden think that is appropriate behavior for someone who hopes to represent Team USA?”
Psaki: I haven’t spoken to the President specifically about this. But I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American, and has great respect for the anthem, and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform all around the world. He would also say, of course, that part of that pride in our country means recognizing there are moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals. And it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the Constitution, to peacefully protest.
Jen Psaki says that Joe Biden "is incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the anthem and all that it represents," but that there "are moments where we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals." pic.twitter.com/RN1QfxtxHj
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 28, 2021
Was it really necessary for Doocy to ask that particular question? Did it advance the public’s knowledge of matters that actually affect them? Didn’t he know that the obvious answer would be a defense of the Constitution? Is he really that stupid? (Don’t answer that).
And if that weren’t enough, Fox News had already addressed this critical subject on their early morning program, Fox and Friends. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt put the question to Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw:
Earhardt: [Berry] turned her back on the flag during the anthem, and she also put a black t-shirt over her face that said “activist athlete.”
Crenshaw: We don’t need anymore activist athletes. She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point. It’s one thing when these NBA players do it. We’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, is that you believe in the country representing.
At this point, y’all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
So Crenshaw doesn’t believe we need “anymore activist athletes.” That implies that we have some already and that the quota has met. Which leaves one to wonder exactly how many activist athletes we need? And if we’ve exceeded that need, are the rest just canceled/removed?
Crenshaw makes the bizarre assertion that “The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.” Most people probably thought it has something to do with athletic competitions. And he makes a distinction between the Olympics and the NBA because you don’t have to watch basketball. Does he think that watching the Olympics is legally mandated? Plus, he’s being profoundly disingenuous because he wouldn’t support the free speech of professional athletes either. Just ask Colin Kaepernick. And Fox News can tell you something about their demands on NBA players to “Shut Up and Dribble.”
Finally, Crenshaw is asserting that a peaceful gesture of protest amounts to not believing in your country. That’s the opposite of the truth. Wanting to improve your country is an act of patriotism. If Berry didn’t care about America, she wouldn’t have felt compelled to make any statement at all. It’s the protestors who love America. It’s the “love it or leave it” types who refuse to acknowledge the nation’s flaws who really don’t care.
And that’s precisely what’s wrong with the attitude of Crenshaw, Fox News, and their audience. The same people who are offended by a woman of color peacefully protesting by turning her back to the flag, have actually defended violent protestors who used the flag as a weapon against police officers at Trump’s January 6th insurrection.
The Crenshaws and Foxists of the world wear blinders that keep them satisfied with America as it is. Don’t bother to resolve problems or help those who are not enjoying the full spectrum of the nation’s benefits. And to hell with anyone who thinks we can do better. Contrary to what Fox News and Crenshaw believe, that is not the true spirit of America.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.