Fox News’ weaponization of Will Smith punching Academy Awards host Chris Rock last night could not have been more hypocritical or dishonest.
I wrote in my previous post that Smith, the Academy and Hollywood had earned the criticism dished out in this nearly 10-minute segment. But the same is not true for how cohosts Emily Compagno, Harris Faulkner and #LyingKayleighMcEnany exploited the incident for bogus political points. Supposedly objective Trace Gallagher sat silent and complicit.
The crap started when Harris used the incident to demonize Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Jamaal Bowman for cheering Smith on Twitter, before deleting their tweets.
Like Jada Pinkett Smith, whose alopecia was the subject of the Rock joke that enraged her husband, Pressley suffers from alopecia, too. After deleting her tweet, Pressley subsequently tweeted her support for Pinkett Smith and her disgust with Rock’s joke. Pressley concluded her Twitter thread with, “I don’t endorse violence in any form.”
As for Bowman, he had tweeted: “Teachable Moment: Don’t joke about a Black Woman’s hair.” But he later said that the post had been tweeted by his staff because they thought the incident had been staged.
But instead of discussing why Pressley and Bowman (and/or his staff) may have first sympathized with Smith, before thinking better of it, the cohosts predictably used it as fodder in the never-ending Fox News war against Democrats.
Compagno acted as if she has never sent a tweet she quickly regretted. While she was at it, she called Bowman's explanation a lie. Then she got down to the nitty gritty of her poisonous, America-hating rhetoric about “the hypocrisy of the American political left.”
COMPAGNO: Why is it that our politically-left, elected officials are able to, with impunity, to advocate for violence? Why are they able to celebrate violence and not get called out for it? It remains a pattern over and over again.
Faulkner validated the claim by citing Maxine Waters, presumably for her remarks ahead of the Derek Chauvin verdict, which, while perhaps irresponsible and ill-chosen, did not explicitly endorse violence.
Right-wingers, however, have repeatedly and explicitly called for violence, including some who work for Fox News and others who are favored guests. Perhaps the most prominent is Donald Trump, who has explicitly endorsed, encouraged and condoned violence.
But #LyingKayleighMcEnany, who worked (and compulsively lied) for Trump, the guy who announced his love for the violent Jan. 6 insurrectionists, compared the incident to mockery aimed at Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner. (FWIW, I didn’t like the jokes, but they had nothing to do with violence.)
And speaking of hypocrisy, Fox hosts Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro have cheered on vigilante killer Kyle Rittenhouse, Sean Hannity has promoted armed insurrection, and Ann Coulter got a sympathetic segment to rehab her “joke” about killing Meghan McCain, to name a few that popped into mind. I’ll just point out that Chris Rock’s life was never in danger or threatened.
So while I wrote in my last post that Will Smith and the Academy deserved this segment, the nauseating, poisonous grievance displayed by this crowd is probably more destructive in the long run.
You can watch the America-hating hypocrisy bankrolled by the Murdochs below, from the March 28, 2022 Outnumbered.