Ainsley: Poor Thing

She did not just say that! “Poor thing”: Intended double entendre or merely mistimed Southern colloquialism? Either way, today Ainsley Earhardt, America’s News HQ co-host, made viewers grit their teeth and roll their eyes when she uttered those words.

Initially, Ainsley introduced a segment on South African runner Caster Semenya, a purported hermaphrodite in danger of being stripped of her women’s 800 meter medal in the  world championships. When it was over, co-anchor Rick Folbaum repeatedly referred to Semenya as a female and expressed deep sympathy with her plight. Ainsley concurred, “I know. I know. Poor thing! Hopefully, they’ll figure it all out.”* [Italics added for emphasis.]

Ouch! Assuredly, one would not think that Ainsley was being intentionally hurtful. However, her choice of words was most regrettable. Obviously, no human is a thing whether male, female, or otherwise classified.

*America’s News HQ – 09/12/09 (@6:26 p.m. ET)

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5 Responses to “Ainsley: Poor Thing”

  1. JoAnne Says:

    I feel so sorry for Ainsley. They keep giving her chances to prove herself and she keeps putting her foot in her mouth time and time again. Granted, this is nowhere near her “Hitler does good things” remark. You say, “poor thing” about a dog or something. Not a human being.

    She was a trainwreck during the 4 hours she had to fill the night Sen Kennedy passed away.

    She doesn’t work on Fox and Friends because the job of the female on the show is to be the ringmaster. To keep the others in line and to keep things moving along. She has failed at that and was replaced with the “A” team.

    I hope they keep her around and she is given one more chance, but I would imagine Lauren Sivan is just itching to grab some of her assignments away from her. Her biggest problem is whether she made a big mistake appearing on that late show Red Eye and doing yoga. That might cost her some credibility in the eyes of the execs there.

  2. Al Says:

    Ms. Earhardt’s coverage during the wee hours following Sen. Kennedy’s death was indeed a train wreck. But, as a poster on ICN aptly pointed out, it was the control room driving the train, FNC was unprepared, and this was not entirely her fault. Nonetheless, she did not perform well under the gun during that situation.

    As I’ve argued on this site before, American English is not an homogeneous language and, before being too critical, regional differences in usage should be considered. “Poor thing” is often used as a compassionate phrase especially by women over 50 along the Mason-Dixon line as well as the heartland regions, most commonly to console both the very young and the very old but not exclusively. With a subtle change of vocal inflection, however, the same can also be intended as a facetious insult.

  3. CathyG Says:

    Have to agree with Al, “you poor thing” is a term that I have heard used to commiserate with someone having problems.

    I too feel sorry for Ainsley, in that she tries so hard, but many times she is obviously out of her depth because she just doesn’t have sufficient talent to be a live hard news anchor.

    For those who missed the train wreck, a link to the live blog that was happening during the first few hours of the coverage is below.

  4. X Says:

    She had a rough time, but FNC was not prepared for the Kennedy passing. She usually handles herself well. One reason why Fox News may not give her much airtime could be because she is not political enough. A reporter is supposed to report the news, not interpret it. She would do better almost anywhere else with the exception of Fox News and MSNBC.

  5. M. Davey Says:

    I didn’t see this segment with Ainsley. It’s just Ainsley being Southern.

    We (southerners) get to the end of a sentence when someone has done something stupid like wearing white after labor day, and we just say, “poor thing”. We’re just lost in the “Gone With The Wind” era!

    I think some of you are right. Ainsley is much improved over the Courtney, Clayton, Ainsley days, but she just doesn’t have it. I guess maybe she’s just so nervous from all the criticism that she can’t improve.

    I haven’t seen Courtney in a long time. She’s usually on in the wee hours, but when she reads the news, she has gone so far afield so that she can be serious that she looks like someone close to her died!

    I wish they’d just give up on them. There must be some local tv stations in need of a pretty girl. We could use one in the Pensacola/Mobile area.

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