Anna Kooiman: “This is so shocking!” Today, Fox & Friends co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy both committed major fails this morning in ill-conceived jests as to domestic abuse. After a segment on now erstwhile Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice‘s apparent elevator assault on his then fiancee (vid via TMZ), Brian joked, “I think the message is [to] ‘take the stairs.'”* As Anna chuckled uncomfortably, Steve rejoined, “The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”
Today, normally surefooted Brian and Steve weighed into an area where any angel should fear to tread, i.e., domestic abuse and a cheap laugh. Obviously, assaulting a female is no joke and never should be treated as such. Unfortunately, Brian tried to add some levity after the horrific video and it fell fatefully flat: To make matters worse, Steve weighed in and was mired in the process.
For this longtime viewer of the show (dating back to when whilom F&F co-host E. D. Hill was E. D. Donahey), the aforementioned moment was definitely cringe-inducing. Even though the author assuredly does not believe that either Brian or Steve think that domestic abuse is a laughing matter, they should have known better this morning than to not let their condemnation of it be patently obvious and severe. Unfortunately, in the author’s view, Brian did not help matters by giving NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell virtual absolution for his bone-headed decision to give Ray Rice only a two-game suspension for his alleged assault–by commenting that Goodell had owned up to his “huge mistake” and had increased future penalties for domestic abuse to a six-game suspension for the first offense and a life-time ban for a second offense: Perchance, if Brian were not the FNC sports guy and former Fox News anchor Jane Skinner were not Goodell’s wife, Brian might have been less charitable in his assessment.
Happily, according to the Washington Post, “Fox & Friends will address [the] Ray Rice ‘stairs’ comments on Tuesday’s show.” And they should–because it is the right thing to do. And, for the cynical, if they do not, Fox News critics will use Brian and Steve’s ill-advised remarks to slam them and their network mercilessly henceforth.
[Author's aside: Re the subtitle, it is guest co-host Anna Kooiman's assessment of the alleged assault before Brian and Steve's errant extemporaneous utterances.]
*Fox & Friends – 09/08/14 (@ 8:32 a.m. ET).