The dumbing down of ‘Merka — followed by the election of Emperor Trump — could not have happened without the Fox “News” Channel’s mendacity, which I’ve been exposing for the last 8 years.
That’s one of the reasons why I watch nearly 28 hours of Fox & Friends every week. It’s the table-setter for an entire day at Fox, releasing hot air-filled memes to see what floats and what sinks.
The other reason is because it’s also a very funny show, if you call 4 hours a day of Reich Wing propaganda funny. And, I do.
Let’s face it: Comedy is subjective, but this daily sitcom trope is HIGH-LARRY-US to me. First, the set up: People only need to be moderately well-informed to see right through the Foxy Friends Daily Dose of Bullshit. Now the punchline: Their brain-dead audience eats it up like it was Percocet. They don’t even know they’re being fed fake news because they are too stupid to care that FAIR & BALANCED is just the beginning of the lies.
That also explains why, when I heard that Fox & Friends Weekend was going to be broadcasting live segments from Benny’s on the Beach in Lake Worth (an hour up the road), I knew I had to be there.
Fox & Friends loves to send one of its people to a diner somewhere in real ‘Merka to show real ‘Merkins endorsing the phony version of real ‘Merka Fox “News” has been feeding it for 2 decades.
You never hear any anti-Trump, or anti-Fox viewpoints at these diners. I decided I would go and be one. Small tangent: There was a time in my life (as a News Writer at Citytv for a decade) that I appeared on tee vee every single day. I wanted to see if I could get on tee vee again and test the 7 second delay at Fox. More importantly, I wanted to see what kind of audience Fox & Friends attracts.
This wouldn’t be the first time I went out of my way to meet a Fox “News” personality. A number of years back I spent most of the day at a book signing, which resulted in the dystopian The Day I Shook Hands With Glenn Beck. Almost exactly 2 years ago I bumped into Campaign Carl Cameron at the Little Marco presidential campaign kickoff. We laughed and laughed and laughed as I introduced myself to him.
When I went to sleep last night I was looking forward to a road trip to Lake Worth first thing in the morning. I had yet to take The Grey Ghost, my new official car of the Not Now Silly Newsroom, on the highway. This seemed like a good time of day to see what she could do. However, when I woke up it was pouring and I almost decided not to go. I’m glad I changed my mind.
The weather only seemed to get worse as I approached Lake Worth.
It was raining hard when I pulled into a parking space and run out to the ticket machine. It doesn’t take bills. I don’t have coins, so I commiserate with the woman getting her ticket and ask her if she can make change for a few bills. She quickly charges my parking onto her credit card and says it’s Sunday and that’s her Godly deed for the day.
I knew I was in Trump Country.The first thing I saw was this crazy car, which I took pictures of from every conceivable angle. As I was doing this I saw Gene Huber getting ready to do a video with some earnest Trumpite [see pic above] when Huber realizes that he’s being posed in front of that monstrosity of a car. He absolutely refuses to allow it as a backdrop, so they have to set up another shot and it’s still pissing down rain.
I knew that Ed Henry was doing these live segments, but I didn’t realize that this event doubled as a book signing until I got there. Henry’s recently published a book about Jackie Robinson called 42 FAITH. The publisher’s page says it’s about “Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, and the hidden hand of God that changed history”. That God! Always changing history. Inside the flyleaf it says “God, Baseball, and the decision that integrated the major leagues”. I wish I knew about God’s cameo appearance in the book before I plunked down $20 on it.
I found Ed upstairs when I arrived, doing a very brisk business autographing books (after pocketing $20) and taking selfies with anyone who asked. And a lot of people asked. He was gracious and didn’t turn anyone away. Including me when I asked moments later.
Suddenly a waitress dropped a plate of food right in front of me and Ed Henry sat down to tuck in. I didn’t realize I’d get this close to him this quickly. Seizing the opportunity, I handed him my business card, told him I was his channel’s nemesis, and then asked if he’d take a pic with me. He didn’t hesitate and we took two quick pics together as I explained how long I’ve been writing Fox “News” criticism.
Then I left him alone to eat his breakfast as other people crowded around. I heard someone say that the next live pop would be downstairs, so I went to the Tiki Bar to wait. Having already outed myself as a Fox “News” critic, I knew I had little hope that he’d interview me, so I set myself up opposite the tee vee camera, so it couldn’t miss me, seeing as how I was wearing one of my wildest t-shirts.
A woman asked me if Laura Ingraham was still here. I said I didn’t realize she had been, the woman told me she rushed from home to meet her because she saw her on her tee vee.
Another woman asked me to sign her petition against Sanctuary Cities. I saw her working the crowd before she got to me. People didn’t even read what they were signing. They snatched that pen and clipboard as if that very act would rid the country of immigrants and signed away. When she thrust the clipboard at me I said that I couldn’t sign it anyway because I’m not a citizen. She said that didn’t matter at all, proving how little she knows about the Constitution. Then I added that I’m in favour of Sanctuary Cities.
“Don’t you want people to follow the law? Don’t you want the cities to follow the law?”
As I was about to tell her that a detainer from ICE was not an official arrest warrant and there was no obligation on the part of cities to comply, she moved on to the next signatory.
The wind and rain started to pick up. The Tiki Bar had open sides. Because I had perched myself on the outside wall, to get above everybody else, I was now getting soaked. From my catbird seat I watched the PA hype up the crowd, telling them she wanted a huge round of applause when they go to air. She got them to practice and seemed satisfied that they’d applaud on cue like trained seals.
Gene Huber worked the room, too. People treated him like a Rock Star, approaching and taking selfies with him.
When Ed finished his breakfast he came downstairs and worked the room taking more selfies with people. Then he did a live teaser from the middle of the room and the crowd got to appear enthusiastic.
Then Ed Henry did something that took him down a peg in my book. He yelled “How many here voted for Donald Trump?” The crowd went nuts. Then he asked, “Did anybody vote for Hillary?” There was silence for a beat until a spontaneous chant of “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!” started slowly and then picked up steam.
Before Henry did his next live segment from the middle of the room in front of the bar, one of his handlers got people with Trump signs and flags to stand behind the bar. They were totally in the way of Benny’s staff, who could no longer serve through and over the bar. But they didn’t seem to mind. Then this same guy moved to the front to see what else he could do to arrange the shot and Henry yelled, “No staging.”
“Too late,” I yelled back.
This next segment included Gene Huber, a man who tended bar at Trump’s wedding to Melania, and a father and son duo, who I couldn’t hear at all, so I have no idea why they were there. After the segment ended the crowd spontaneously started shouting YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!! YEW ESS EH!!!
I shut off my camera before it broke.
Then something rather fortuitous happened.
After this segment ended Ed Henry set up his Book Stand right next to where I was sitting on the wall. I was able to take dozens of candid pics of him signing books and taking selfies with everyone, gracious to everyone who approached. A number of people came up to him that he obviously knew. These people all looked like they had oodles of money. There’s just a South Florida matron look that one comes to recognize.
As he was signing books, I’d lean over and fill him in a little more about my background. As I was leaving and shaking his hand, I said, “In 8 years of writing Fox “News” criticism, I’ve never written about you.”
However, I plan to read Ed Henry’s book and give it the same attention I did to James Rosen’s lying book that covered for Roger Ailes’ and Richard Nixon’s treason during the 1968 election. Oddly enough, it’s not all that different than what Emperor Trump has been accused of.