Seven years ago, 'persecuted Christian' coach and Fox fave Joseph Kennedy lost his job at a Bremerton, Washington public high school over his public midfield prayer. He got himself a Christian law firm and now the case is before the U.S. Supreme Court But not to worry - his new team, Fox News, in a Super Bowl of misinformation, is cheering him on and on and on…
Fox cheerleaders took the field, apparently starting Sunday, April 24th. Will Cain set the narrative, woven throughout the week, that the beleaguered coach (a Marine vet, in case you didn’t know) was fired from his job for “praying on the field.” Cain introduced the aw-shucks Kennedy who was with his lawyer, Hiram Sasser, from the anti-gay, anti-abortion First Liberty Institute.
Kennedy told his sad story about how students, after the game, joined him in center-field prayer – until the nasty school officials told him to pray by himself. He said he was subsequently fired because he resumed his mid-field prayer where, according to the school, he was visible. Law school graduate Will Cain claimed that this “seems like a First Amendment violation.” Cain quipped that professional football players pray together all the time – a specious comparison, as NFL players aren’t public employees. He did a little cheerleading when he wished Kennedy and Sasser “the best of luck.”
On Monday, April 25th, the Outnumbered team talked about the awesomeness of a coach praying on a field. Money guy Vivek Ramaswamy suggested that prayer might be the answer to mental health problems among today’s youth. Co-host Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery (not related to the coach, apparently) actually used the situation to recommend that we “rethink public schools.” She then accused teachers’ unions of opposing Coach Kennedy and trying “to make sure” that he loses.
Later in the day, Martha McCallum covered the issue on “The Story” which featured Ole Joe with another lawyer from First Liberty, Jeremy Dys. In following Sunday’s play, a MacCallum began by informing us of Kennedy’s Marine career. After playing Justice Kagan’s question of the possibility of pressure on the players, Kennedy assured us that after Kennedy was admonished by the school, he never prayed with them again. Dys said that "nobody should have to choose between their faith and a job they love." He accused the school of trying “to shed” Kennedy’s Constitutional rights.” McCallum noted that Kennedy has compared his situation to teachers who won’t be able to pray over lunch because “she would be seen,” a dubious analogy as this type of prayer is private.
Tuesday, April 26th had sports guys Brian Kilmeade and Will Cain defending the coach who was fired “for praying at games.” Audio quotes from SCOTUS Justices Kagan and Thomas, during Monday’s oral arguments, were played. Thomas’ suggested that if Kennedy had “taken a knee” in opposition to racism, the coach wouldn’t have been fired. Cain predicted victory for the coach because the new (Trump) judges are “sympathetic” to religious expression and asserted that the reaction would have been different if a knee had been taken. He described the coach’s actions as “private prayer” and, again, claimed the group prayer is the same as NFL players' public prayer. Kilmeade agreed. Cain also predicted a “rolling back of that hard line when it comes to religious expression.”
Later that evening, devout Christian and self-described former athlete Laura Ingraham advanced the week’s persecution meme with her mournful report on how “beloved” coach Kennedy was fired for merely praying in the middle of a high school football field. She was joined by Kennedy and yet another First Liberty lawyer, Kelly Shackleford, who claimed that Kennedy is a victim of religious discrimination. Joe and his lawyer went over the same talking points about this being a “bogus” issue. Ingraham praised Justice Thomas' commentary (she didn’t mention she clerked for him). Although not as blatantly biased as the other Fox hosts, she still assured Kennedy he would win the case.
Outnumbered’s Harris Faulkner, on April 27th, did a resounding solo cheer. She highlighted Justice Thomas’ “Interesting question” about “taking a knee.” Kennedy, represented by another First Liberty lawyer, Mike Berry. informed us that he was initially hired for his leadership skills. Berry, as did the other lawyers, told viewers to go to First Liberty’s website for all the (LOL) “facts.” After he asserted that a win for Kennedy would be “a great day for the Constitution and religious freedom because nobody should be fired from their job for praying,” Faulkner signed off with “blessings.”
On April 28th, Ainsley Earhart got out her best Fox pompoms. She said that the coach “was forced out of his job for just praying out on the field.” Jeremy Dys, representing Kennedy in this interview, was confident that Kennedy will prevail. He brought up the prayer over school lunch analogy. Earhart was appalled that “this is what they’re worried about with so many other things our country is facing and they’re worried about you praying because you care so much about them.” She “God blessed” them twice.
What Fox viewers weren’t told is that the school did try to provide accommodations for Kennedy such as the press box. Nobody mentioned that the photo of the praying crowd around Kennedy, shown constantly during coverage, showed a raucous “stampede,” after Kennedy returned to midfield, which knocked down band members. Despite his claims to have been “fired,” Kennedy did not apply for a job for the 2016 season. Instead, he went to federal district court.” Missing from the discussion was the fact that some parents complained.
Not only does Kennedy have God on his side, he had a week’s worth of affirmation and validation from Fox cheerleaders. Doesn’t get any better than that!