The Fox News morning program Fox & Friends suggested on Monday that Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, had been wrong to publish "revisionist fiction" that turned the original story's hero into a racist.
In what was said to have been written before Mockingbird the novel Go Set a Watchman takes place years after main character Atticus Finch used his skills as a lawyer to defend a wrongly accused black man. The new book reveals that Finch is a racist who attended at least one KKK meeting, which The New York Times predicted would be "disorienting" for the character's fans.
"It's being revealed that he's not a hero at all, but he's a racist," Fox News host Steve Doocy reported on Monday. "So why the revisionist literature?"
Doocy pointed out that Lee had reportedly written Go Set a Watchman first so he did not understand "why would she put this out now?"
Racial Pimping author Kevin Jackson argued that Doocy needed to go to "racial rehab" if he did not see the motive behind the book's publication.
"The idea of taking Atticus Finch, who was an iconic character... and do what I call revisionist literature because this is revisionist fiction, this isn't even real, and make him into a villain, the real underlying meaning is that even when a white guy does good for a black guy, which is what Atticus Finch did in trying to save the life of the black man in the book, he still has an underlying tint of racism," Jackson opined. "And I think that's the sad part."
"It's almost that they want to bring it into the forefront and take this guy that's become and iconic hero of the civil rights movement and make him a racist in the future now," he added. "And it fits a political correct narrative today."
"I just don't get why she would put this out," Fox News host Steve Doocy said of Lee. "I get people wanted her to write another book for decades. And now instead of writing another book, she's putting this out which was the book she wrote before 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and people are going, 'This changes everything.'"
"I don't know the timeline," Jackson admitted. "But to finish it in this way after America has, again, come to love Atticus Finch -- and I think if you just read the novel it's one thing, but to see Gregory Peck play it, there's nothing racist about Gregory Peck."
"We all had to read the book growing up," Doocy recalled. "And now to think Gregory Peck/Atticus Finch was a racist when he got older, it's like, 'Wow, what happened to him?'"
"That's not the way it happens," Jackson insisted. "There are many, many stories of people who started thinking out a particular way about people and they changed over time. Generally, you find that he would soften over time."
"But I think that it's a statement of our times that she would do something like this."
Watch the video below from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast July 13, 2015.