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 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.
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.
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.)
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?