Ya gotta love it. On a network that featured family values touting hosts joking about "boobs on the ground" and abused women "taking the stairs," comedian Chris Rock is being pilloried for his opening monologue which used the Boston Marathon bombing and the 9/11 attack as a basis for some observational comedy. It was edgy stuff but that's Chris Rock. However, the humor challenged right right wing and their mouthpiece, Fox News are not amused. Not 72 hours later, Fox & Friends started their attack machine with commentary from Fox & Friends jokers Peter Johnson Jr. and Steve Doocy.
This morning, Steve Doocy opened with the question "did Chris Rock cross the line." Uber patriot, Roger Ailes' consigliore, Catholic Knight of Malta and Fox friend Peter JohnsonJr, after asking if Rock was playing the fool or being a commentator, opined that Rock "wants to be an analyst" in the style of Lenny Bruce. In referencing Rock's riff about being afraid to go into the Freedom Tower, Johnson cited 9/11 survivors' post-traumatic stress and ongoing stress. He accused Rock of being "arrogant" for talking about how the FreedomTower was erected on the same spot. In case the Fox & Friends audience didn't know the meaning of arrogance, the dictionary definition was posted for Johnson to read.
In case the Fox & Friends audience wasn't aware of Johnson's great patriotism, he informed us that he is proud (cue Lee Greenwood) to be an American like so many Americans who wanted to rebuild on the 9/11 site because "we will not be terrorized." Johnson accused Rock of "doing a disservice to comedy" by "resorting" to a comment that in "an insane, overblown, horrific way." The always unintentionally amusing Steve Doocy acknowledged that comedy is important but comics "try to push the envelope" and in Rock's case it's inappropriate. The Cavuto marked chyron delivered the Fox message: "Crossing the Line, Comedy Routine Included Joke about 9/11."
Johnson noted Rock's "obsession with terrorism" which included the sketch that was a satire of the show "Shark Tank." The chyron reinforced the patented Fox "controversy" message: "Controversial Sketch, ISIS Members Pitch to 'Shark Tank' Judges." Some of the tape was played. After Rock said "who's ready to invest in crushing the west," a play on ISIS' anti-western fervor, Doocy dryly said "hilarious." Johnson followed with "I don't know if this was revelry for radicalization or do we just have boobs, fools, and silly people as our American comic heroes."
In obviously playing to Fox's senior demographic, Johnson said "remember Lou Costello" who "played the coward, the fool...a buck private who, in the end, was saying yeah I'm a funny guy, I'm a coward, but I believe in service, I believe in American exceptionalism." He asked if Rock "believes in American exceptionalism or does he believe in American commercialization." He zeroed in for the kill: "It may be a funny joke for Chris Rock, but is it funny and good for America." In answering his own question, he said "I don't think it's funny for anybody." The chyron reinforced the agitprop: "No Laughing Matter, Chris Rock Under Fire For Terror Attack Jokes."
Johnson is obviously counting on the audience not having seen the monologue because what he didn't mention was that Rock said that he wasn't making fun of 9/11. Not mentioned was that Rock said that "the good people of Boston bounced back." Not mentioned was that in the ISIS sketch, the terrorists were arrested by Homeland Security. And while I can understand how this material might be problematic, the guy who is doing the criticism is doing it on a supposedly America loving show that attacks and lies about anybody and anything that doesn't agree with its right wing views. Talk about "boobs, fools, and silly people."
Rock's sketches below.
Update: Fox video is no longer available.
All those things that normal people do for each other like running into burning buildings to save lives, or standing up for another’s rights and freedoms, are not “exceptional” – that’s just called being a good human being and citizen, something Mr. Johnson and his cohorts at FOX have no knowledge of or experience with.
Your network considers Glenn Beck and Greg gutfeld to be comic genius, and you said this with a straight face on a show that used to regularly host Steven Crowder, and thinks Jeff Dunham’s guitar guy was a comic jewel.
Let’s think about that a little, Johnson.
The whole ISIS story is diabolical. Leave it to fox-nonsense to make a political fight out of a comic show. Such infantile reaction.