Fox calls wrong number, guest gives Trump a lecture

We know a little something about the process of finding and booking guests for shows on TV and radio but we still can’t figure out how, assuming a minimal level of competence, Fox News ended up booking a Massachusetts opponent of separating immigrant children from their parents when it thought it was lining up an Arizona supporter of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement policies.

It happened this morning when congressional candidate Barbara L’Italien, a Massachusetts state senator, had to introduce herself after the Fox hosts introduced her as Ann Kirkpatrick, a former Arizona congresswoman who wants her old job back.

Not surprisingly, the Fox hosts couldn’t end the interview fast enough after L’Italien said, “I keep thinking about what we’re putting parents through, imagining how terrifying that must be for those families, imagining how it would feel not knowing if I’d ever see my kids again. We have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents arms…”

The Boston Globe says a producer apparently called the wrong aide to set up the interview and Italien’s aide never corrected Fox News representatives to let them know they had called the wrong person.

Meanwhile, the candidate who was supposed to uphold the message Fox wanted to send to its viewers put out a statement saying she’s opposed to President Trump’s policy too.

  • RBHolb

    Mistaken identity, which is not uncovered in time to prevent amusing consequences.

    It sounds like the ghost of PG Wodehouse is writing their material.

    • theoacme

      More like Antonio Prohias and Al Jaffee, to be honest…

      …as Trump has a spy vs spy under his foldover combover…

      • RBHolb

        I think of Trump more as someone thought up by Don Martin. President Fonebone, from “One Fine Day in the Oval Office.”

  • jon

    Seems there is a simple explanation as to how this could happen…
    Competent people don’t work at fox.

    Competent people realize it’d be a stain on their resume, and that given the historically low unemployment rates, they can find another job.

  • Frank

    Looks like they tried to engage her in discussion, but it was clear she was reading from a script and wasn’t interested in listening to anything. It looked pretty fishy.

    Fox often has Democrats on to explain their positions. All of their panel discussions include at least one lefty.

    • I think that was the plan, yes. I don’t think she was intending to have a discussion with Fox’s hosts. That would be a futile exercise anyway.

      I’ve watched Fox. It’s pretty awful. I’ve watched CNN. It’s pretty awful.

      People need to shut it all off and buy a newspaper. It’s theater; not journalism.

      • The Resistance

        MPR is also a decent news source 😉

        • Al

          I sure hope so, given the amount I listen to it and our sustaining membership.

      • Sonny T

        Shut them off? What fun is that? 🙂

        Also both have broken some pretty good stories the other ignored.

        • I can’t think of a single valuable piece of journalism I’ve ever gotten from either of them. Ever. Or any cable TV operation for that matter. It’s mostly entertainment for the partisans, as near as I can tell. It seems to suck brain cells out of people. I’ll continue to pass.

          • RBHolb

            Al Jazeera America was very good while it lasted. Unfortunately, it must not have been entertaining enough.

          • You can get the AJ stream online on YouTube.

          • RBHolb

            It’s a somewhat different network. AJ America had original content geared towards a US audience. They did a great investigative program on what happens when probation officers are privatized. Their tech show was also excellent, getting away from the usual promotions of cute new apps or breathless countdowns until the release of the latest iTchotchke.

          • MrE85

            If I had a time machine, the first thing I would do is make sure the cable news industry was never born. Maybe convince young Ted Turner he’s a great musician and should start a band.

          • >>Maybe convince young Ted Turner he’s a great musician and should start a band.<<

            You could tell Hitler he was a decent painter, but I digress…

          • My go-to sources are the Strib, Washington Post, Minnpost, and NYT. TV news is a waste of time.

          • I’m about ready to spring for the dead tree edition of the NYT. I found so many interesting things in there I can’t find by browsing online. Strib is already on the doorstep. PiPress on Thursdays and Sundays. I’ll read anything with Mary Divine’s guidelines.

            I’ve been saying for years, by the way, that Brandon Stahl is going to win a Pulitzer some day at the Strib.

            The series on rape is going to prove me correct.


          • I think you are right about Stahl. The days of the Pulitzer for the PP are in the rear view mirror. When I’m out for early morning walks here in Woodbury, I see very few newspaper wrappers on driveways, but far more Strib than PP.

          • maamamar

            They cut staff. It’s hard to cover current events without bodies to chase the stories.

          • Sonny T

            Not to flog this one but you are talking about limiting diversity of opinion. We need gadflies.

          • I don’t think jokers, fools, and crooks have any right to access to me. Just because someone can vomit on TV doesn’t mean that there’s any civic duty to watch. People need to use their brains and intellect more. If they want to be entertained, then have at it. If they want to be informed, then turn off the idiots .

      • Frank

        I read 5 newspapers every day. I choose them geographically to get an idea of the issues coast to coast.

        There is no theatrics, it’s true. But I find the reportage often lacking. In order to get the complete picture, I almost always have to go digging around to find important details that, I believe, are deliberately left out.

        I also find that issues important to me are not reported on at all. I hate having to resort to visiting lefty or righty propaganda mills. The content almost always insults my intelligence, but sometimes it’s the only places providing coverage on topics of interest to me.

        • I read the New York Times a bit ago. The dead tree edition. I find little value in online papers by comparison to the kind you hold in your hand with a cup of coffee in the other. I find the literacy of the Times alone refreshing.

          BTW, props to the Star Tribune for their section on what happens to women who report rape in this state. Outstanding job.

        • lindblomeagles

          Once upon a time, the Washington Post was a good news source for a newspaper, and the BBC used to provide better coverage for televised broadcasts. As Western news outlets continue to become conglomerated by a handful of rich or corporate owners, the coverage, be they print, online, or broadcast, seems to be very similar in voice, content, and perspective.

          • Frank

            I’ve seen that. They’re not just covering the same stories, they’re covering them from the same angle, often using the same language.

            I might buy a corporate influence, but how do you explain NPR news? I can almost recite a story, word for word before I hear it.

          • lindblomeagles

            During Obama’s second term, NPR came under heavy fire from Republicans, chiefly Tea Party Republicans. They argued between 2014 – 2015 that NPR, while paid by every US tax dollar, slanted their coverage so far to the left that they weren’t representative of every American view. The Republican Party considered defunding NPR until calmer heads reminded the Party that some of NPR’s shows benefited their constituents, in particular Ag Reports, which make up a considerable share of NPR stations in states like Iowa and South Dakota. NPR, like any large scale media company, offers a wide variety of content beyond what we hear in the Twin Cities. The national news is similar, but some programs, like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, isn’t necessarily covered in some states. It gets preempted for other programs. So NPR made a conscious effort to try to balance its reporting. They cut ties with some individuals, like Neil Koenig and the Political Junkie Ken Ruden who used to dominate the political segments in the afternoons, and offered more political voices to the segment headlined by David Brooks and E.J. Dionne, curtailing some of their appearances on Friday. Since Trump’s election win, conservatives have generally stopped complaining about NPR, but liberals, particularly us very liberal people, don’t like the new format much (for me, especially, My Take, which aires between 1 and 2 PM, Monday through Thursday).

          • maamamar

            If you mean just about univesally appalled by the behavior and attitude of POTUS, there might be a reason.

          • lindblomeagles

            Yep. That’s what I mean. And, I don’t think they are wrong to feel that way either.

  • Amy

    “assuming a minimal level of competence, Fox News”

    There’s your answer right there. That’s a big assumption for Fox News.

  • Al

    Ah, Fox, paragon of journalistic excellence.

  • lindblomeagles

    Although the curtain finally opened the way Toto exposed the Wizard of Oz, I don’t think Fox News’ viewers really care. Even when the media correctly exposed Trump’s lying, Fox News and their viewers ignore the story, and insist Fox News is presenting the “real news.” It’s almost like Fox News and its viewers simply have another agenda entirely.