Fox News does seem to have a penchant for taking local issues and taking them national. Such was the case with a decision, by Stony Brook University, to no longer cancel classes on Christian and Jewish holidays. The new policy has been met with opposition by both students and faculties at the school. Not surprisingly, Fox media jumped on the issue with two segments on Fox & Friends and three articles on Fox Nation - the backstory; a Fox & Friends video; and the third, part of a Rush Limbaugh transcript in which he talks about how this is an example of why the "silent majority is about to explode." (It's interesting that Fox Nation uses an old "thin" photo of their beloved Rush). The first Fox & Friends segment (Juliette Huddy takes Fox cleavage to a whole new level) introduced the topic and included commentary from the school's vice-provost and religious right winger Jordan Sekulow. The second was Steve Doocy's interview with a student who opposes the policy. It was noteworthy in that it posed the eternal question, is Steve Doocy an idiot or does he play one on TV?
On March 23rd, Steve Doocy played video of the earlier segment in which the vice-provost explained that the school wants to maximize class time. He then interviewed Aaron Gershoff who opposed the change in the schedule. While Doocy summarized the school's position, i.e. that the school wants all religions treated equally, the chyron framed the issue: "Respecting Religion, Should Classes Be Held on Religious Holidays?" Despite the reality that this change does have some support, there was more framing of the issue as a Fox "outrage" as Gershoff spoke: "Calendar Clash, Students, Faculty Outraged By Religious Rule."
After Gershoff expressed his feelings about the conflict that this poses for him, Doocy gave us this gem: "The University says we're just trying to be fair, there's that fair word again and its messing up your holidays and my holidays, too and a lot of people's holidays." Wait just a minute - how does Stony Brook's schedule "mess up" Steve Doocy's holidays. His son works for Fox. His daughters attend SMU and BostonCollege, both of which have Good Friday off.
This was followed by another pearl of Doocy wisdom: "As a parent, three kids, two kids in college, one out of college. If I, you know, if I knew going in and that if my kid went to Stony Brook they'd have to go to class on Good Friday, I'd suggest that they'd go to another school." He asked Gershoff he would reconsider going to Stony Brook if he had to do it all over again. Gershoff said it would be a part of his decision. After Gershoff noted that the students and faculty had no imput, Doocy got in some perfunctory union bashing: "The interesting thing is, you know it, they will observe Christmas because it's a union, part of a union deal." The chyron doubled down on the agitrop: "Equal Disrespect, Classes Held on Christian, Jewish Holidays." He continued, "they listened to the union, but they don't listen to the students." (classes aren't in session at that time). The chyron: Fair Thing To Do, University Stands by Holiday Policy."
Most Catholic Good Friday services begin at noon which is when the nuns let us "academy" girls leave school. Most of us just rolled up our plaid skirts and headed to the nearest diner where we smoked cigarettes. Seriously though, I can understand how some religious students feel conflicted and Mr. Gershoff articulated their concerns quite well. But parents, be warned. Steve Doocy suggests that you might not want to send your kids to Stony Brook because their religious holiday schedule is messing with him.
Steve Doocy - wall of genius!
I wonder if Doocy will be working on Good Friday?