Howard Kurtz: Fox & Friends’ ‘take the stairs’ Ray Rice joke an ‘unfortunate misstep’
Discussing media coverage of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz dismissed criticism of colleague Brian Kilmeade’s controversial “take the stairs” joke on Fox & Friends as “an unfortunate misstep.”
Joined by USA Today’s Christine Brennan on his Media Buzz show, Kurtz asked whether “some in the media are treating it as entertainment?”
Brennan agreed and immediately called out Kilmeade’s joking comment that Rice should have “taken the stairs,” to avoid elevator cameras, asking “how do those words come out of your mouth.”
“Talking about driving ratings and clicks, I’ll have to say it, but Fox and Friends, the other day, the banter about, well, this proves he should take the stairs,” Brennan said before Kurtz interrupted her.
“That was an unfortunate misstep,” Kurtz replied, talking over her before adding, “and I was glad that they came back the next day and said we didn’t wish to give the impression that we take this lightly.”
Kurtz was speaking of the brief 12 second non-apology Kilmeade made the next morning, stating he and his co-hosts were not taking domestic abuse story “too lightly.”
Brennan disagreed with Kurtz’s defense of the morning show.
“Yeah, but, boy, they did.” she replied. “I mean you can say ‘the next day,’ but how do those words come out of your mouth after you’ve seen the videos, both videos.”
Brennan then added that Rice story was “the biggest controversy ever to hit a U.S. sports league.”
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