The Washington Post's Erik Wemple addressed Fox & Friends cheesy "addressing" of its hosts' sleazy joking about footballer Ray Rice punching out his wife in an elevator. Let's just say that Wemple didn't buy Fox's suggestion that any offended viewers were to blame for misinterpreting Fox's noble attitudes toward domestic violence.
In case you missed it, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade offered what may go down as the world's worst non-apology for offensive remarks ever. After a firestorm erupted over the hosts' cavalier joking that "the message" from the Rice incident is to "take the stairs" or to remember that elevators have cameras, Kilmeade spent about 13 seconds saying this the next day:
Meanwhile, comments that we made during this story yesterday made some feel like we were taking the situation too lightly. We are not. We were not. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue to us, I can assure you.
Unfortunately for Fox and Kilmeade, et al., those remarks were nearly as offensive as the original. I noted that they only served to reinforce the appearance that neither the hosts nor the network take domestic abuse seriously. Our Priscilla noted that the "apology's" lower-third banner had a racist connotation.
Of all the moments for which Fox News has apologized or received apology demands, none appears as regret-worthy as what went down on Monday’s edition of “Fox & Friends.” In advising “take the stairs,” Kilmeade appeared to be counseling domestic abusers on how to do their thing. Or perhaps he was counseling women not to get into elevators with their boyfriends. Abominable either way. Fox News — and “Fox & Friends” itself — has apologized for much less. Absent an explanation from Fox News itself, only pure arrogance can account for why the network whiffed on its responsibility to viewers. Years and years of on-air idiocy, after all, have propelled “Fox & Friends” to the top of the morning cable-news ratings. Why walk back the show’s business model now?
Couldn't have said it better myself.