It looks like we can chalk up "President Obama wants the Marines to wear 'girly hats' as yet another story that Fox News was so eager to use against our president that it didn't bother to properly fact check. If you watched The Kelly File last night or Fox & Friends this morning (and maybe other shows), you'd think that President Obama wants to create a new "unisex" hat for the Marines dress uniform. But if you read the Stars and Strives, you'll know that the Marines say it's not true. UPDATED. (H/T David P.)
The Stars and Stripes reported yesterday about the new hats (called "covers" in the Marines):
“The president in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover,” according to the Marine Corps statement. “We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: The former manufacturer went out of business. … The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.”
But The Kelly File must have missed that news. Or maybe ignored it. If you look in the comments thread of the Stars and Stripes post, you can see that their report was posted at least three hours before the Kelly File aired last night. But Megyn Kelly hosted a woman named Jessie Jane Duff and helped promote Duff's claim that the unisex hats are for men, too, thanks to President Obama - and at significantly more expense.
Duff is from an organization called Concerned Veterans For America. If you think that sounds like an anti-Obama group, you'd be right. The organization says it is "working to return to the tradition of limited, effective government and disciplined administration... We believe that it is our duty to stand as active citizens in defense of the freedoms that create that opportunity for prosperity, and to lead our fellow veterans in this new mission." It's run by a regular anti-Obama guest, Pete Hegseth.
Duff wasted no time getting to bashing the Obama administration (and truth be damned). She told Kelly, "I'm appalled that ...'gender-neutral uniforms' is their priority right now. ...This, to me, is appalling. Women needs a distinct identity."
Kelly got right with the program. She sneered, "Was this some problem when you were on active duty? Were the men and women sitting around and saying, you know, like 'If only we could get better hats?'"
Duff took it a step further by suggesting that "masculinizing" women is part of an Obama agenda. "We have had standards changed left and right with this administration. ...We are looking at women becoming men. And females like myself, who did 20 years, supporting the Infantry, supporting those air wing units, will become obsolete." she complained.
Kelly played along. Instead of challenging any of that rhetoric, she joked that the hat "looks a little French" as she wrinkled her nose in a way that I'm sure she thought people would find cute.
And that just so happened to give Duff a friendly cue to go on bashing. "It does, it does," Duff agreed. "It looks a little too delicate for me, even. I'm just a little appalled that they would want men to wear it. ...This is just an insult to the male Marines in my opinion."
So Fox News viewers may be very relieved to learn that men won't be wearing it. The question is whether Kelly will correct this falsehood and whether she will take any personal responsibility for helping to promote it.
Meanwhile, Media Matters reports that this same fake story - which seems to have originated in FNC's sister media arm, the New York Post - was hyped on Fox & Friends this morning.
Media Matters also pointed out that the headline on the Marine Corps website also debunks Fox:
UPDATE: The video from this morning's Fox & Friends is now posted (the second video below).
Content edited by Ellen
They have daily staff meetings with these overpaid cafeteria Catholic mouthpieces on the day’s “stories,” and they send out their field producers to get these fluff pieces to use against the White House.
There is a lot of scheming that goes on behind those guarded glass doors.
But I’m really surprised they missed this gem of an opportunity to bash the president: