Parallel universe: Fox & Friends, politically correct, and American Morning, edgy? At least, as to the sexual slur mentioned by a Jerry Brown associate concerning GOP gubernatorial opponent Meg Whitman, the roles of the two cable news morning shows have switched. Whereas weekday F&F co-anchor Gretchen Carlson and weekend F&F co-host Alisyn Camerota use the term “w word” in somber tones, AM co-anchor Kiran Chetry uses the literal word, “whore,” albeit in a reticent manner.*
For viewers of F&F and AM suffering cognitive dissonance, liberal-leaning Republican Geraldo Rivera obliquely offered a possible explanation for the use of “whore” on AM Friday: Conversely, the more conservative Gretchen’s response provided a potential reason for the employ of “w word” on F&F. In the block with co-hosts Gretchen, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade, Geraldo previewed his segment salaciously stating that he had “no underwear” on** and later opined that the philandering Chilean miner had “cojones,” and that that same miner’s “head…obviously did swell.”*** Appearing particularly amused by the latter comment, Gretchen heartily laughed, “Oh! Okay!” Subsequently, however, Gretchen became more modest when she somberly asked Geraldo about N.O.W.’s response to the use of the “w word” by the Brown associate.
However, before she could complete her question, Geraldo disdainfully interjected, “When did we start calling it the “w word”? Gretchen responded, “Well, because we’re on a morning television program.” Incredulous, Geraldo retorted, “So I can’t say it?” Gretchen replied, “I don’t know. No! It rhymes with “bore.” Persisting, Geraldo noted, “But it’s not one of the seven words [supposedly banned from television].”
When Gretchen finally got her question out, Geraldo uncomfortably responded using the term “W” twice. Suddenly chafing at his new-found constraints, Geraldo remarked, “Well, listen…I won’t say it out of respect to you: I won’t say it.” Then, explaining why he wanted to do so, Gerald continued, I was gonna say it for these guys…to just show that I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s salty but it is traditional.”
Subsequently, when Geraldo repeated, “Out of my huge deference to you, I won’t, I won’t say it,” Gretch interrupted, “No, it’s not for me: it’s for our viewers.” Geraldo retorted, “Alright, we can argue that but I won’t.” Shrugging her shoulders and arching her eyebrows, Gretchen responded, “Not my choice.”
If it is not Gretchen’s choice to say “the w word,” maybe, it is not Kiran’s choice to say “whore” either. Partisan politics at play? Perhaps, a more conservative Fox News’ F&F producers are sending the message that what the associate of liberal Jerry Brown said about conservative Meg Whitman was so bad that it could not be uttered on television (at least, in the early morn). Conversely, perchance, the more liberal CNN’s AM producers saying just the opposite, i.e., that it really is no big deal.
*Examples include respectively, Gretchen (Fox & Friends - 10/15/10 at 8:06 a.m. ET); Alisyn (Fox & Friends Weekend – 10/16/10 at 7:56 a.m. ET); and Kiran (American Morning – 10/15/10 (6:17 a.m. ET)
** Fox & Friends – 10/15/10 (8:01 a.m. ET)
***Fox & Friends - 10/15/10 (8:05 a.m. ET)