Fox & Friends is the go to place for the grand old flag and anybody who wants it flown, regardless of local municipal (or school) policy. This morning, Fox friends Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris provided a full platform for the self described Amherst (MA) town conservative, Larry Kelley, to articulate his discontent with the Amherst policy of flying the American flag, on town utility poles, on every fifth anniversary of 9/11. In addition to informing the viewers about this evil, un-American practice, the segment, through its instructional chyrons, reminded us about the significance of one of the two most important Fox & Friends cult objects (the other being the Bible) and why it needs "freedom." Once again, Fox & Friends is taking a local issue and making it national so that its patriotic audience can open up a can of patriotic whoop-ass on Amherst. "It's a grand, old flag, it's a high flying flag..."
For the last few years, Mr. Kelly has been requesting that the Amherst select board approve flying the flag on every anniversary of 9/11. But the town, which flies the flag on Veterans Day and Memorial Day on an annual basis, is maintaining its policy because the town, accrding to a select board member, is "split" about flying it at all on 9/11. The five year cycle is a compromise. So now, Mr. Kelley has taken his crusade to Fox News where it is receiving its proper validation.
The spin was evident from the first moment when Clayton Morris provided the requisite patriotic framing: At times when our country needed it most, our flag has given us hope." Camerota explained how their guest "says that when he first saw that iconic photo" (Photo of firefighters raising American flag at the WTC was shown)" of the firefighters raising the flag out of the smoldering rubble on 9/11, it brought him comfort that we will prevail as a nation." The chyron, as evidenced by the guest's upcoming commentary was not quite accurate: "Flag Flap, MA Town Won't Fly American Flag on 9/11." (It's not flying it this year) Morris furthered the confusion by saying that Amherst is saying that the flag can only be flown, from utility polls, six times a year. The agitprop chyron provided a more accurate description of the problem: "Freedom for our Flag, Town Only Raises Every Five Years on 9/11."
Kelley said that the folks at the town meeting were almost evenly split on the issue and because of that, the town established the policy of the flags flying annually on six occasions. As an example of treasonous, local views, he alluded to a U Mass professor who said bad things about the flag and how that commentary "made the town look horrific." Camerota said "that's a great background" and asked Kelley what he would say to those who oppose the annual flag flying on 9/11. He said that 9/11 is even more important than Memorial Day an asked why this is a question. After saying "right," Morris read a statement from the town board about difference of opinion in the community. Kelley discounted the statement in his claim that "other than the two board members who told him that," he's heard no opposition to an annual display and that he's had "nothing but positive feedback." He alluded to an article in a Sprinfield paper and claimed that 100% of the comments support his position - a claim that doesn't appear to be correct. He referenced the article about it on the Fox website. The chyron provided the patriotic messaging: "A Symbol of Hope, Our Flag Reminds Us of Our Freedom." Kelley continued his spiel about the significance of 9/11.
Camerota said "wow" and "so well stated and "so emotional." She thanked him for "reminding us of how we all felt on September 11th." She hoped that Amherst would find a compromise which they actually did.
So if you're a conservative who can't beat city hall, just go on Fox News where your flag issue will be flown for the entire nation to see.
They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel. I sense the smell of fear …
I, too, appreciate Mr. Kelley’s willingness to come here and especially his civil tone which the foxies clearly translated into hate-speech.
I beg, however, to differ on this need for public flag-waving on anything being of the mind that ostentatiousness cheapens any act (IMO, cfr Christ’s words on the Pharisees).
That said, Amherst is a place I’ll definitely visit one day. Wow. When I was in high school (late Fifties), anything written by Karl Marx was forbidden but you could read all the Hitler and rank porn you wanted. Never understood the logic.
I also have trouble with the N-word, even when spoken by hip inner city youths, and I’m not fond of the Westboro Baptist Church showing up at military funerals to demonstrate their anti-gay hatred.
I guess that makes me a conservative, fascist book burner.
But back to the issue at hand: This is NOT a conservative or liberal issue. It’s a matter of respect. Respect for 2,997 citizens who trudged to work on a beautiful sunny late summer morning … and never came home.
So a play about lady parts, which high school girls possess, is “shameful?” Dude, seriously!
As a VN vet, I sometimes tire of the mad rush for many of this country to find or sometimes create heroes to honor. But I will relate a little story that I’m especially reminded of today. Here in my small conservative, Tea-billy town, the Boy Scouts have a program that for a small donation, will erect and display an American flag on the lawn of veterans on each national holiday. Yeah, I know that my wife paid for the ‘honor’, but I will admit….as I was cutting the lawn today, it felt pretty good each time I passed that flag on the tractor. Mr. Kelley, maybe I and others here understand your crusade a little better than you realize.
If any lesson can be learned from that day, like December 7th, it’s the way we all came together. We weren’t blue or red, an R or a D or left or right, we were all Americans. It was temporary of course, but perhaps that would be the best way to honor those who lost their lives that day and to those who gave their life fighting this war, by putting our differences aside for one day, and honor and remember our day of infamy.
But I agree with you that making 9/11 a national holiday is a bad idea, as people will do what they seem to have done with “Memorial Day”: forget the true meaning.
Flags (many are made in China today) are usually flown on national holidays like today. September 11th is not a declared holiday. I’m not saying it shouldn’t Mr. Kelley, but that could be the reason.
I seriously doubt that it will become a national holiday since most of the opposition will come from corporate America who will not want another paid day off for its employees, especially since it’s so close to Labor Day, in the same way that Martin Luther King Day is not recognized by many employers just after Christmas and New Years Day.
What I meant by history repeating itself is that Amherst (“Where only the h is silent”) will once again be put on a national stage for embarrassing, shameful reasons: In 1999 for instance Amherst was the only public entity in history to cancel a production of “West Side Story,” and five years later Amherst Regional High School was the only high school in the nation to allow kids to perform “The Vagina Monologues.”
And since we also already received a slew of bad press for the way we handled the flag issue back in 2001 (and over the ten years leading up to today) THIS is now “history repeating itself.”
Also, I forgot to mention in my original rant that before Fox News website picked up the story from the Springfield Republican, the September 11 Families’ Association published it on their website.
There are, after all, 49 other states in which he could live and at least a dozen immediately come to mind which share his bizarre notion of “patriotism.”
Or, he could do the TRULY patriotic thing: Fly a flag on HIS property, and do so 365 days a year (366 this year), instead of forcing HIS viewpoint on the entire community. (By the way, how much does it cost for the town of Amherst to raise all those flags? You know, the flags don’t magically appear on those poles; someone has to put them there and then take them down. Now, I’m sure that’s a part of someone’s job—or several someones’ job—but, at the same time, it takes the person or people away from their primary duty. And, then there’s the cost of the vehicles that have to transport the worker/s—having to stop and start every so often burns fuel which costs money.)
People’s Republic of Amherst? And, yes, I have a few questions for you. Are you really implying that if Amherst doesn’t fly the flag every year that another terrorist attack will occur? If we’re all (at least the white folks!) cajoled into a display of uber-patriotism the USA will be a safer place? Can you support your position?
Fox News website picked up the Springfield Republican story (where yes, not 100% of the reader comments support the flag so I should have said “overwhelmingly”) and then Fox & Friends gave me a call. The rest as they say is history.
And those (like public officials in Amherst) who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. As we are now seeing in The People’s Republic of Amherst. Any questions?