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Gretchen Carlson’s Patriotic Knickers In A Twist – Again!

Reported by Priscilla - October 19, 2009 -

Having seemingly run out of persecuted Christians, Fox&Friends is now the go to place for persecuted patriots. Last week, they gave face time to a student from the University of New Hampshire who was told to take down a flag hanging from his dorm room. This morning, they provided air time to a situation involving a fire fighter from Chester PA who was suspended without pay because he refused to remove a flag decal from his locker. Two of his union brothers were interviewed by the lil pals. While the job action does seem unfair, there was a back story which the firefighters touched on and which really wasn’t supported by the chyrons used during the segment. As Marshall McLuhan noted, “the medium is the message.” As with the Fox Nation headlines, the Fox chyrons tell you all you need to know and in this case, the chyrons represented a message that wasn’t totally true. But what else is new with Fox&Friends!

Update: Teabaggers flew the American flag upside down which, according to flag etiquette, is done only as a distress signal. Nothing is mentioned about it being used for protesting. Funny, I don't recall Gretchen and the gang being outraged about that which, if done by Code Pink and other anti Bush protesters, would have produced howls of indignation. Photo of one such example on the next page.
H/T Escape Goat Nation.

Gretchen Carlson, who in a fit of pique directed towards Lanny Davis claimed that she is “fair and balanced, never plays it close to the vest when it comes to her opinion which (quelle surprise) matches the “right” side of the political spectrum. And if she sees an affront to “Old Glory,” she’s right there to defend the red, white, and blue. When the taxpayer funded US Air Force was prevented from doing a flyover of a “patriotic” festival, Gretchen found it “hard to believe” that this was happening. During the unfair and unbalanced segment on the Mojave Desert Cross she whined, in reference to the “patriotic” cross controversy "that a lot of people believe this is emblematic of where this society is headed. Our children will no longer see these symbols that mean so much to the fate of our country.” She articulated the same sentiment during this morning’s interview with Stacy Landrum President of the Chester PA Firefighters Union and his union vice-president, Captain John Barbato, in a segment that was classic Fox&Friends.

Carlson, seemingly very animated, began the segment by reporting that after they covered a flag banning in an apartment complex (I didn’t catch that one. Sorry!) the policy was reversed. She referenced the UNH flag flap. Are ya ready for the chyron – drum roll please! – “WAR ON THE AMERICAN FLAG? People Targeted For Patriotism? Brain (whoops, Brian) Kilmeade added that the fire fighter has been suspended for this “tiny” sticker on his locker. The chyron read “SUSPENDED FOR PATRIOTISM, American Flag Sticker Causes Stir.” During the introduction of the firefighters, the chyron read “AMERICAN FLAG NOT ALLOWED: firefighter asked to remove sticker.” Cue patriotic Gretchen: “On its face, these stories seem so ridiculous. I’m sorry but I just have to say that. You seem to see this emblem of the American flag, I thought we were all Americans, and now you have a firefighter whose given of his life and time and put himself in danger on a daily basis whose suspended without pay” (rising voice and mad face) “for that little tiny sticker on his locker.” As Stacy said, “that’s what happened,” we had a close of a very agitated Gretchen who said, incredulously, “how?” The chyron read “ANOTHER FLAG FLAP, Firefighter Suspended Without Pay.” Mr. Landrum explained that it started because one firefighter put up a racially biased cartoon which he was forced to take down and as a result, a policy was enacted that banned any decoration from the outside of lockers. Asked what their future plans were, Landrum said that if they can’t reach a negotiated settlement, that they will pursue it through the grievance process. Former Miss America asserted “On its face again, it seems, I understand that there are rules and I believe that you need to follow the rules; but to me this seems like a logical exception for the American Flag. I’m trying to come up with in my mind, who would be offended by that.” Landrum responded that it was the worker who put up the offensive cartoon and that he has been offended by the flag in the past and that they “fought about it” after 9-11. A photo of a white man was shown, giving the impression that this was they person who posted the original cartoon. However, that person was African American. The white dude in the photo seems to be the aggrieved firefighter. The chyron kicked it up a notch: “WAR ON THE AMERICAN FLAG, People Targeted Over Patriotism.” While the firefighters talked about how they want an exception for the American Flag and reinstatement for the worker, the chyron said “AMERICAN FLAG NOT ALLOWED, Firefighter asked to remove sticker.” Note – all the chyrons were accompanied by a graphic of a waving flag. Carlson got in the money comment with “Does this seem to be a kind of political correctness situation where we seem to report on these stories on a daily basis where one person complains and an entire policy that’s been in place and by the way this American flag was on his locker for 20 years, that before you know it, everyone has to acquiesce to a different rule or standard.” Barbato must have disappointed when he replied that he thought it was “lazy management.” (Note, in the article about this story, it is said that the firefighter has been with that department for 11 years.)

Comment: I commend the firefighters for not feeding into the “political correctness” meme of Fox&Friends. I am also glad that they didn’t bring the race of the other worker as that really would have fed into the same meme while possible endangering the worker. As with any Fox&Friends story there is more to it including the belief of the fire chief that this flap is a “ploy for sympathy” because of a contract problem. But Fox watchers, thanks to “opinion shows” like Fox&Friends only get one side of the story – a story that reinforces the propaganda about persecuted patriots and “WAR ON THE AMERICAN FLAG!” Isn’t it time for the War on Christmas?