Fox & Friends chose to celebrate International Womens Day by comparing the sex-abuse denial strategies of R. Kelly and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In a four-minute segment, the morning show dissected an Atlantic piece by Spencer Kornhaber titled The Message in R. Kellys Meltdown: Explosive rage, statements of persecution, and an appeal to male viewers: The singers CBS interview about sexual-abuse allegations seemed familiar.
The Friends ran the now-famous clip of CBS This Mornings Gayle King sitting calmly while the R&B star flailed his hands and shouted obscenities at the camera over her shoulder.
Then they brought in an expert to discuss the perceived absurdities in The Atlantics comparison between the two famous sex-abuse deniers.
They ran a narrow excerpt from the Atlantic piece: The substance of what the two men have been accused of differs vastly, but their responsesand the cultural scripts they draw uponrhyme. Brett Kavanaugh shouted about Christine Blasey Fords allegations as being unfair given the life hes lived, while Kelly argued that his previous acquittal meant the present allegations were also unfair.
F&Fs Steve Doocy then brought on Joe Concha, media reporter for The Hill, to explain why the sex-abuse denials cannot be compared. I wish I had a Bible next to me, Concha said. Because then I would swear on it that when I read that, when I read that piece, I thought somehow that it was a farcical piece, like from some sort of comedy site.
He then went on, There is no way, Steve, that you could write that sentence, The substance of what the two men have been accused of differs vastlyyeah, ya think?
Concha then went on to list Kellys previous crimes and misdemeanors, under which he grouped the singers marriage along with previous and current allegations of sexual abuse through the last 19 years. In other words, these are real things, Concha said.
With Brett Kavanaugh, he was accused of things by three different women that nobody could corroborate, he said. And to say, by the way… that Brett Kavanaugh shouted about Christine Blasey Ford while Kelly argued… go back and play that tape. Does it look like Kelly is arguing, or does it look like Kelly is having a nervous breakdown on national television?
This is a joke, Steve, he said. I dont know how else to put it.
The two then watched a segment of Kavanaughs emotional testimony to compare the mens intensity while denying claims brought about by women who say they were abused. R. Kelly stood up and started crying and walking in circles, Concha pointed out, praising Kings composure. But Brett Kavanaugh doesnt stand up and start screaming at Kamala Harris or Corey Booker or any of the Democrats during those confirmation hearings.
Concha then goes on to point out that people also compared Jussie Smollett to Kavanaugh. Lets just compare everything to Brett Kavanaugh because Kavanaugh just offered up a passionate but composed defense of being accused of things where there is no evidence.
Fox & Friends did not mention the actual claims by alleged victims in either case, or show the full context in which The Atlantic piece continued. Boys-will-be-boys logicwhether about drunken tomfoolery or sexual conquestplay in boths defense, the Atlantic piece goes on to say. Most strikingly, the force and fury of the tactics used by both men make the same dare. For those inclined to believe the accused, passion in the face of prosecution could read as innocence. For those who arent, it might look like a predators brutality coming out.
The show followed up the womens day segment with a short piece on why the American ISIS bride should never be allowed back into the country.