Yes, morning news shows offer ripe, low-hanging fruit for media critics. Yes, Fox News in particular revels in the Regular American Screwed by The Man! story.
This morning, Fox & Friends reported that a Florida woman was fired from her job “for laughing.” (The injustice! Why, if this happened last Friday, she may have had every reason to feel joyful). In the first segment devoted to this topic, Fox viewers learned some of the specifics of the alleged laughing incident: Darra Kollios, the woman fired from her bar-tending job, asserts she has “a normal laugh” that “goes from a giggle to a chuckle” and it “wasn’t like I was laughing six, seven hours straight;” Fox News’ Alisyn Camerota chimed in, “Clearly you were happy. And I guess that didn’t fly.”
The second Fired For Laughing segment consisted entirely of Fox News doing its best to get this erstwhile bartender a new job: an expert gave Kollios on-air resume advice; an anchor prompted Kollios to give her best pitch to viewers as to “why are you a great bartender?” (Kollios: “I make a mean martini and I genuinely like people. And I’ve been doing it a long time”); and all the while Fox’s on-screen graphic promoted Kollios’s real passion, her online hand-beaded/decoupaged pottery business, as the best way potential employers might, per anchor Steve Doocy, “get a hold” of her (graphic: “THE POTPEDDLER.COM To Contact Darra Kollios”).
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.