Posts Tagged ‘Kirsten Suto-Seckler’

F&F: MoveOn “Mentally Challenged”?

April 13, 2009

Fox & Friends finally got it right this morning! F&F did not let another guest get away with a denigrating remark concerning the cognitively challenged. In a segment entitled “Charging Conservatives” (about colleges making conservative groups pay more for their speakers’ security on campus), Young America’s Foundation spokesman Jason Mattera described liberal “” as “mentally challenged.”

Regrettably, neither co-host Steve Doocy nor sub co-anchor Peter Johnson, Jr., immediately confronted Mattera: however, apparently, executive producer Lauren Petterson whispered in Peter’s ear. As the interview concluded, Peter sternly asked, “Jason, you don’t mean that the people at are “mentally challenged,” right? Smiling, Mattera replied, “No, that would be disrespect to mentally challenged folks: They’re a bunch of punks over at” Relieved, Peter responded, “Okay, Okay.”

After FNC contributor Bob Beckel’s “demeaning” remark about Special Olympians* and Gretchen Carlson’s gaffe suggesting that the “handicapped types of kids” were not the ideal siblings for foster children,** it’s good to see F&F beginning to treat the “handicapped” with more respect. Perhaps, FNC SVP of Programming Bill Shine did require that refresher sensitivity training seminar after all.**

F&F (04/13/09) – @7:27 a.m. ET



Gretch: “Handicapped” Slap?

April 2, 2009

Did Gretchen Carlson, Fox & Friends co-host and March of Dimes spokesperson, diss the “handicapped” this morning? In a moving segment entitled “Fostering Hope” about an older teen who found a foster family himself, Gretchen was clearly touched: However, as she interviewed foster child Alex Chivescu and his foster mom Suzanne Bantes about his search for a family, she exhibited a surprising insensitivity to the very ones that she has championed in the past. Before her very first question, to Alex she said, “You were in a group home, you know, with, with handicapped types of kids which, I guess, is fine but you wanted to be in the home with two loving parents.”

Gretchen’s choice of words sounded strange. She seemed to indicate that the mentally/physically challenged are a detriment to a family. Instead of seeing their uniqueness as enriching the quality of life, she seemed to indicate just the opposite.

After FNC contributor Bob Beckel made his remark on Fox and Friends (April 8, 2008) as to Special Olympians deemed “demeaning” by Kirsten Suto-Seckler, Director of SO’s Global Marketing and Awareness, one would think that FNC SVP of Programming Bill Shine might have required sensitivity training. Perhaps, he did: Gretchen’s co-host Steve Doocy excoriated President Obama over his “Special Olympics” gaffe. If not, he should: if so, he should require a refresher course.

“Welcome Home” vid @

Obama Gaffe: Doocy’s Double Standard?

March 20, 2009

“Was he [President Obama] making fun of this [sic] disabled?” asked Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy today.  Doocy took great umbrage at President Obama’s comparison of his bowling skills to those of Special Olympians on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last night and categorized it as “awful.” However, Doocy failed to similarly call out FNC contributor Bob Beckel a year ago when he made a similar derisive comment to Doocy. In that instance, Doocy said that he himself was a “biathalon” Olympic athlete and Beckel laughed, “At the Special Olympics.” [In a missive to the author, Kirsten Suto-Seckler, Director of SO’s Global Marketing and Awareness deemed Beckel’s remark “demeaning” and said that it would be addressed by Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics (SO).]

Of course, Bob Beckel does not rise to the same level as the President. Nevertheless, Doocy should have criticized both for remarks (even if inadvertent) that impugn the cognitively challenged. Hopefully, Doocy will acknowledge his earlier lapse in judgment.

Special Olympics: “Demeaning Remark”

April 10, 2008

This morning I was assured that Bob Beckel’s Special Olympians slight would be addressed by Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics (SO). Kirsten Suto-Seckler, Director of SO’s Global Marketing and Awareness, said, “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We will be sending a letter from our Chairman Tim Shriver to address this demeaning remark.”

Fox & Friends fans, I sent an e-mail to Steve Doocy, stating that I thought that Beckel should apologize for his insensitive comment and that F&F should express its regret for Beckel’s comment and its failure to address it at the time. Doocy has not responded nor has he, Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson, or Alisyn Camerota made any mention of the incident since it occurred. Hopefully, Fox & Friends will address Bob Beckel’s remark the next time that he is on and offer its mea culpa along with that of their offending political contributor.

Ignorance and its maleficent effects, especially in the public sphere, should be exposed and remedied. Those that are cognitively or physically challenged should not be disrespected. They are another wonderful weave in the beautiful tapestry of humankind.

Cf. Carpe Diem’s Special Olympians Slight for background info.