Fox News is a station not shy about yelling. If you're ever stuck in an airport terminal with it on (the only times I've been forced to watch more than hour of Fox), you know that their hosts have a knack for name-calling, emphatically head-shaking, and finger-wagging. These are not the rules of debate we had at my high school debate club, no siree! We had to debate like civilized young members of civil society, using persuasive facts instead of finger-pointing to make our points and wearing awkward business suits for teens from Kohl's. But over at cable news, the days of formal debate are long gone. It's an Around the Horn style free-for-all when it comes intellectual debates, because that's the best way to develop political thought in a truly democratic state!
But sometimes, just sometimes, Fox News knows how to check itself. Point and case: shrieking bobble head Hannity frequenter Bill Cunningham was being a complete asshole to Tamara Holder, a Fox News contributor, on the June 21 edition of the show. Cunningham, the asshat in question, was arguing that Attorney General Eric Holder purposefully misled Congress while under oath. In order to really prove his point, Cunningham not only wagged his finger at Holder in now-you-listen-here-missy manner, but stated: "Wait a minute. You shut up. Know your role and shut your mouth," to which the shocked Holder replied, "My role as a woman?" and Cunningham confirmed. "Yeah. Yeah."
Later in the segment, after accusing Holder of being a "liberal stooge" and an "excuse-monger for the Obama administration," as one does, Cunningham asked Holder, "What are you going to cry?"
This kind of childish form of "debate" comes as no surprise on Fox News. Unfortunately, neither does reverting to (not even that creative) misogyny as a defense mechanism. Bill O'Reilly has practically perfected the art. But in a weirdly refreshing stroke of realness, America's Newsroom, Fox's own daytime talk show, called out Cunningham for "crossing the line."
Martha MacCallum, America's Newsroom host asked, "Is this what we've come to? Is this civil society?" Fox contributors added, "I think [Cunningham] could have found that Tamara Holder was far more open to his position if he hadn't personalized it.. if he hadn't called her a stooge."
Of course, they side-stepped the misogynist aspect of Cunningham's douchebaggery, focusing instead on how he called her a stooge. A stooge! Despite essentially telling Holder to stay in her place (where exactly?) and make me a damn sandwich, everyone keeps saying he made the debate "personal." Sigh. Baby steps, I guess.