How’s it going man? Still rocking that 8th grade haircut?
So I was recently watching The Daily Show when I saw a brief clip of what you said to Jon Stewart (http://youtu.be/9To_NyVryxM), and boy, Jon is right.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt, maybe it’s just the lying (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/07/08/punditfact-scorecards-show-false-statements-on-fox-news-nbcmsnbc/), horrible news network you work for and their destructive culture that has got you saying things so petty. I mean, I can’t believe you really support eugenics (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/20/brian-kilmeade-apologizes_n_241135.html). Maybe being on TV everyday and having to just keep talking like the maniac child of the Energizer Bunny and a Chatty-Kathy doll causes you to flub sometimes and say things that make you look like an ignorant bigot (http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2010/10/-all-terrorists-are-muslims/181198/). I mean, we should be giving one another the benefit of the doubt, otherwise we’d be no better than chimps, hurling feces at each other.
I know you care about sports Brian. You’ve written several books on the subject, including some about sportsmanship. This is why I’m writing you, because taking low blows and obfuscating a serious and productive conversation about police overreach by insinuating that Jon Stewart, who began the discussion, doesn’t care about the police because he’s criticizing them for shooting unarmed black men is just bad sportsmanship. I know your haircut is from middle-school, but your behavior shouldn’t be.
Sportsmanship can be called a kind of honor code – playing good and expecting others to as well. Like you say, “it’s how you play the game.” I won’t go too far into it, but the argument could be made that our entire legal system is based on an ancient concept of honor. People aren’t petty with one another; they respect each other, and that respect creates a community. It creates a space that allows us all to operate within and not fear opportunistic attacks by others.
I feel like you broke that code, Brian. You broke it with the comments you made in response to Jon’s report about the prevalence of police killing black men in America. In ancient times, when a warrior broke his honor code, he had to do something to earn it back.
So, I’m challenging you to a fistfight.
Does that sound a bit extreme? I don’t think so. In the ancient past, a man had to stand behind his behavior: if he said or did something particularly lame and petty he could reasonably expect someone to call him out, and put his body on the line behind his words & actions. Dueling, it was called. Some think it’s part of the reason that hockey players are such down-to-earth people; the threat of a fight keeps them respectful and honest.
“But wait Brendon,” I can hear you thinking, “Not only don’t I know you, but I don’t approve of violence being a solution.” (http://mediamatters.org/video/2010/11/01/kilmeade-again-urges-attack-on-yemen-as-carlson/17270) This makes sense, because you have taken this subject seriously in the past (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2748374/Fox-host-jokes-stairs-Ray-Rice-elevator-attack-video.html). But here’s what I think you’re missing: what you did, attacking the character of Jon Stewart, that was already a violent act. It was socially and morally violent. This act: putting on the gloves and throwing some fists, calls you to answer for the attack you’ve already made.
I know you believe in sportsmanship, so maybe think about doing the good sportsmanlike thing and either defending your choices, or apologizing. I think we all, including myself, would rather see that outcome: an apology in which you admit that insinuating Jon Stewart callously didn’t care about cops killed in the line of duty after 9/11 was wrong. In this case, I think, a real apology would mean leaving your position at Fox News and showing the world that you don’t agree with the horrible culture that drove you to such a petty and sophomoric act.
In closing, feel free to tweet at me or email me back about this. I’d be happy to set up something. I would be remiss not to mention that I know that fighting doesn’t sound like the most sophisticated way to deal with people, but then again neither does saying stupid shit on your TV program. So maybe set the bar a little higher to begin with.
In the words of an actually great TV newsman, “fuck you,”