In its never-ending quest to extol liberty, Fox News once again set out to stifle it by whipping up hatred and animosity toward those who have differing opinions. In this case, stalker producer Jesse Watters literally invaded the home of a man who dared to have a different opinion about the flying of a flag on campus.
Erik Wemple explains:
In a segment that aired Wednesday night, Watters ambushed Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash and, from the looks of the footage, stuck his foot inside the man’s residence as a way to force him to account for his actions. Those actions are quite controversial these days: On the day after the presidential election, students lowered the campus American flag, a “reaction to the toxic tone of the months-long election and the escalating number of news reports from across the country over recent months and years of hate speech, harassment, and violence against people of color, immigrants, international citizens, and Muslims,” notes the school in a timeline. On Nov. 10 — two days after the election — it was burned. Then, on Nov. 18, Lash announced that the college would stop flying the flag on the campus pole to prompt discussion and “focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.” Protests have ensued.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is free speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. But those freedom lovers at Fox News can’t tolerate the people at Hampshire College exercising their American rights. As I noted a few days ago, Fox has aired a number of segments designed to demonize and humiliate (or worse) Hampshire. Its freedom-loving crusade to stifle Lash and the college probably prompted Donald Trump to tweet that anyone burning the flag should go to jail and/or lose citizenship.
Back in the No Spin Zone, Bill O’Reilly was “looking out for you” so long as you, too, want to celebrate freedom by trying to limit it. So O’Reilly sent Watters to do his freedom-fighting for him. Speaking with some patriots before invading Lash's privacy, one of them told us exactly why Lash is so un-American: He removed the flag because of “the same reasons that you hear all the time: fairness, justice, blah, blah, blah.”
Well, how dare he?
So what’s a freedom fighter to do except to corner Lash in some dark area where he parked his car? As Lash got out of it and Watters introduced himself by saying, “Good to see you,” Lash responded, “Not good to see you.”
Watters ignored Lash’s comment and began to badger him about removing the flag. “Don’t you realize the whole country’s laughing at you right now?” was one fair and balanced and freedom-loving question Watters asked.
“Come on, get your foot out of my door,” Lash said as opened the door of what was, I assume, his home.
But Watters persisted in badgering Lash, despite his repeated requests for Watters to remove his foot.
But hey, what’s a guy’s personal freedom compared to the flag's right to fly?
WATTERS: President Lash, why’d you remove the flag? … Don’t you think you owe it to the veterans to explain yourself? … You’ve made a lot of people very upset. I think you owe the country an explanation.
Just looking out for the folks, Watters was. Just like when the police escorted him out of a NOW conference for asking the attendees such thoughtful questions as, “Have you ever burned your bra?” Or when he was kicked off the Cornell campus for trolling students. One of Watters’ penetrating questions there was, “Do the professors pass around doobies in class?” Or the time he “sampled” Chinese-Americans’ opinions of Hillary Clinton by mocking them with ethnic stereotypes.
Can’t you smell the freedom in the air now? Bill O’Reilly can. “I thought you handled that well,” he told Watters after the ambush. Then O’Reilly engaged in a little more hate mongering. “These guys are cowards. He’s a coward. If he had the courage of his convictions, he’d stand there with you and say, ‘This is why I did it.’ Allow you to ask him questions as a journalist would, in a polite way. You were polite to him. So, um, he’s a villain and a coward.” With a big smile on his face, O’Reilly announced that the college is now “done” and that anyone who goes there will be a “laughing stock.”
But who’s the real villain here? For one thing, Lash has already publicly explained why he removed the flag. More importantly, Watters never asked for an interview before, presumably, staking out Lash’s house and invading his private area.
Wemple obtained a statement from Hampshire College spokesman John Courtmanche:
We regularly engage with the media and participate in interviews and have done so often in recent weeks. Members of the media are familiar with widely accepted protocols to contact the office of communications to coordinate interview requests. In this instance, a Fox reporter and camera person did not request an interview but rather entered private property and then tried to prevent the president of the college from entering his private home. As a result, campus security and the local police department were alerted.
Watch the segment below, from the November 30, 2016 The O’Reilly Factor, and get a glimpse of at least one reason O’Reilly is such a good buddy of Trump’s. Then get ready to chant, USA! USA! USA!
Crossposted at Newshounds.us