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Fox and Friends Grill Pizza-for-Pesos Owner

Reported by Judy - January 9, 2007 -

The three stooges on "Fox and Friends" Tuesday (January 9, 2007) grilled the owner of a Texas pizza chain that has begun accepting pesos in payment, suggesting he was unpatriotic and aiding illegal immigrations. With video.

"Fox and Friends" had aired the story for the first time Monday, but returned to it Tuesday in an interview with Antonio Swad, owner of Pizza Patron. Swad stood up to "Fox and Friends" co-hosts, especially Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, who tried to make him seem unpatriotic.

For example, Doocy told Swad that, "When you're in this country you're supposed to use our money." But Swad retorted that stores often sell gift certificates, which amount to "store currency."

"Antonio, that's in U.S. dollars," said Doocy.

But Swad noted that many of the pesos started out as U.S. dollars, were converted to pesos when customers visited relatives in Mexico over the holidays and then returned with unused pesos. Swad said his pizza chain is doing a service for its customers by taking pesos and giving them change in U.S. currency, thus trying to gain an edge over competitors.

"It's the American way," Swad said.

Then Brian "I'm no genius" Kilmeade, asked Swad, "Now Antonio, what percentage of the people you are appealing to are here illegally?"

Swad answered that he had no way of knowing how many of his customers were in the U.S. without documents, anymore than Wal-Mart knows how many of its customers are here without documents.

"But don't you feel a little bit guilty that you're probably allowing illegals to continue to shop and stay here illegally because they get to use the currency they left behind and they're bringing with them?" pressed Kilmeade.

Again Swad responded effectively, saying: "I think it's ridiculous to think that illegal aliens come to this country with pockets full of pesos and the first thing they want to do is make a discretionary purchase of a hot pizza."

Doocy also asked Swad to explain why he wasn't being unpatriotic by accepting pesos. As the segment closed, Kilmeade delivered a parting shot, telling Swad, "But you should be using U.S. dollars ... not using somebody else's currency."

If Kilmeade had been to Mexico, he would know that businesses there readily do the same thing that Swad is doing -- accept foreign currency and give change in pesos -- as a service to customers. No one questions their patriotism or allegiance to Mexico. But let an American business do something similar and they're automatically suspect.