Over the last several months, there have been a number of high-profile incidents involving unarmed black people and white police officers. While many in the public are outraged at how quickly confrontations escalate to the use of deadly force, and at the sheer number of completely unarmed suspects that have died at the hands of police forces throughout the nation, there are some in the media who help remind us that sometimes, victims of crimes really aren’t victims at all, and when a case involves a white cop and a black non-cop, no station is better at pointing out the faults — both real and alleged — of the black person in question.
When Eric Garner was killed in New York City Fox host Gretchen Carlson made sure to intimate via a second video of the incident that Garner was at least culpable in his own death for resisting arrest, even though the tape she said she had showing such resistance never actually played. Almost every Fox News host was on record as defending Officer Darren Wilson, the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown after an altercation with the young man, reminding viewers over and over that Brown had just performed a “strong-arm robbery” of a local convenience store as well as reminding viewers that the punishment for stealing a couple of dollars worth of merchandise carries with it a death sentence anyway, at least as far as their legal experts could confirm.
Regulars viewers of the network therefore were likely not shocked when Fox News hosts started defending the cop at the center of the most recent incident at a pool party in Texas. While calls are coming from all over the country for the cop in question to be fired after he pulled his gun and pointed it at groups of unarmed teenagers, having just wrestled and slammed a young black girl in a bikini to the ground in the most brutal way possible, Fox hosts were quick to remind us that the girl in the bikini was “no saint” because she didn’t immediately kowtow, genuflect and offer to buy the police officer his very own pony.
On a Monday evening segment, however, a few Fox personalities discussed the idea that victims aren’t always victims just because they were innocent of doing any harm to anyone. “Yeah, I mean everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon over this girl in Texas,” Eric Bolling said, “but it’s not like she’s a saint. Not every victim’s really a victim! How many Holocaust victims do you think were tax cheats? Or jay walkers? I’d be willing to be that some of the people who died in the ovens would have gladly stolen bread from hard working store owners just to feed their families too,” Bolling added.
“Oh, I couldn’t agree more,” Gretchen Carlson said to Bolling. “It’s like we were saying during a commercial break on ‘The Five,’ sometimes victims are asking for it. Women who go out at night time dressed in sexy outfits that society says they have to dress in to attract a mate can’t just walk around in society dressed sexily and expect to not get at least attempted-raped from time to time.” Carlson added that “black teenagers just have to realize that if you walk out of your house looking all black and stuff you are going to run the risk of being brutalized by cops, even for things that white kids would get called ‘rapscallions’ or ‘rambunctious’ for doing.”
Host Megyn Kelly reminded viewers again, as she had done the night before, that the girl in the bikini who was body slammed by a man twice her size to the ground was “no saint” because “she didn’t immediately do as the man with the badge and the big, scary gun told her to do.” Kelly insisted “blindly going along with an abusive authority figure’s commands is what this country was founded on” and that “just because you’re not doing anything that’s technically illegal that doesn’t mean you can’t still get beat up by cops if you’re all uppity and stuff.”
“The bottom line to me is a simple one,” Bill O’Reilly told his fellow hosts, “you’re not a victim unless it can be shown that you literally did absolutely nothing. I mean that. If this girl had just stood there and let this man abuse her verbally despite having broken absolutely no laws up to that point, I would call her a victim. But because she dared to question whether the cop was right to be treating her that way, she’s immediately in the wrong and had she even been shot I’d have been all, ‘Well, you should’ve completely given over the abusive power of the authoritarian asshole with a gun and then you wouldn’t have been a victim of the authoritarian asshole with a gun.'”