Friday, April 01, 2022


When I read that Fox News had hired Caitlyn Jenner as a commentator, the reason seemed obvious to me:

I still think that was the plan -- but judging from her first Fox segment, on Sean Hannity's show last night, Fox didn't quite get what it wanted.

Hannity opens with precisely the LGBT-panic monologue you'd expect:
HANNITY: All right. Tonight, with so many crises here at home and abroad, and many woke Democrats obsessed with vilifying, unfairly, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and that new law that bans teachers from having inappropropriate sexual gender theory conversations with kids in pre-K through third grade, four, five, six, seven, and eight, okay. Eager to jump on any left-wing bandwagon, Texas Democrat Beto -- Boto -- Bozo O'Rourke is out there posting this creepy picture of himself wearing a T-shirt that says, "Don't mess with trans kids." Meanwhile, the Disney Corporation and their woke employees and leaders have been, well, absolutely out of their minds over this new law. Some recently staged a walkout in protest, and Disney is now banning gender terms like "boy" and "girl." Like "Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls, children of all" -- can't say that anymore. Governor DeSantis is fighting back, threatening to remove many of Disney's special privileges that they get from the Sunshine State because of their woke political theatrics.
And so on. Seems like the perfect setup for a Caitlyn Jenner segment in which she -- yes, a trans person! -- joins Hannity in the LGBT-bashing.

However, it's as if Fox hired Jenner for her marquee value and conservative leanings but didn't fully establish with her that her job on the show was to take the side of the right against LGBT people and their allies, or at least against what Fox regards as LGBT "wokeness." I assume that Fox is trying to position itself as tolerant of LGBT people because it likes the ones who are conservative, which is the approach it takes to Black people (Owens, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Tim Scott, Larry Elder, and the like are all good people, according to Fox, while any Black person on the left is evil). It appears that Jenner was brought on to respond to this Hannity monologue but wasn't prepared to say what Fox and Hannity wanted her to say, so in the ensuing discussion she and the host mostly talked in generalities, and never directly addressed what Hannity said at the outset.
HANNITY: ... One thing you said to me when I heard -- and we've known each other for many, many years, we go back decades -- you said, you know, I did all this stuff on reality TV, I enjoyed it, I had fun doing it, and all your obvious accomplishments in athletics -- "I'm over that part of my life. This country's in deep trouble." That's where your head is at. That's where your focus is.

JENNER: It certainly is. That's one of the reasons I ran for governor, is -- we have to stand up. America has to have a stand-up mentality. Yes, I have done a lot in my life, going all the way back to the Olympics. I had a lot of talks, actually, even with you, Sean, and other people at Fox from when we were negotiating this deal, as you know. As you might know, I am trans, but I'm not a trans activist. That's just one part of my life. There's so much more to me. But I think in the next -- in the midterms coming up, LGBT issues are going to be very big issues, and I'm looking forward to covering those. But there's so much more to me than that. Obviously in 1976 -- I think was the best Olympics of all time. It was our bicentennial, our country was two hundred years old, patriotism was at its height. I have been a patriot my whole life.
And we're completely off the subject. We get a shout-out to Jenner's mom, and to her late father who fought in World War II, and to the flag.

I suspect we're hearing some of what was hashed out in Jenner's negotiations with Fox -- she didn't want to be primarily the LGBT correspondent, which is what Fox wanted her to be, but they made a deal and now she's being asked to do what she insisted she didn't want to do. Hannity is acceding to her wishes by not demanding culture war from her right away.

Hannity tries to steer her back to the subject, gingerly:
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, 'cause -- and you can talk about a variety of subjects. You know, the case of Florida, first of all, the word "gay" is not in the bill, you know, so it's ridiculous. You're talking about kids pre-K through third grade. Now, most of our kids can't graduate with a reading level that is proficient. We're not proficient in math, science, English -- you know, the important core issues. How about we teach the kids that, and then if parents and schools, if they want to have all these woke classes after school, the parents can opt their kids in, let's do it that way, but let's educate our kids with the basics first. Good idea or bad idea?
Jenner shrugs and says "Great," as if she's saying, Yeah, whatever you want me to agree to, I'll agree to, Sean. Let's just get this over with.

I'll cue that moment up for you. It's priceless:

She's not the traitor they want. She wants to be a mid-twentieth-century country-club Republican talking in vague generalities about patriotism and they want her to be the LGBT opponent of LGBT rights. I'm sure eventually Fox will give up on her and hire Herschel Walker's gay right-wing son, or rehabilitate Milo Yiannopoulos. I expect Jenner to make very few appearances on Fox, and to be phased out relatively soon.

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