WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2023
Fox & Friends exults: Dumbness can be bottled up. Dumbness can be held at bay, if only for a time.
That said, the unfortunate trait remains undefeated. Consider the latest "biting incident," as reported by NBC's Kelly O'Donnell:
O'DONNELL (9/26/23): President Joe Biden's dog Commander was involved in another biting incident this week, a Secret Service spokesman said.
Commander, a 2-year-old German shepherd, bit a Secret Service Uniformed Division police officer who was working at the White House on Monday night, the spokesman said, adding that the female officer was treated by the White House Medical Office.
The bite appears to be the 11th reported nipping incident involving Commander since October.
Commander's lengthy biting history was made public in July, when the conservative group Judicial Watch released records obtained through litigation that identified 10 biting incidents of varying severity from October to January.
As a courtesy, we've skipped the semi-embarrassing statement by Elizabeth Alexander, a spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden.
That statement went like this: "As we’ve noted before, the White House can be a stressful environment for family pets, and the First Family continues to work on ways to help Commander handle the often unpredictable nature of the White House grounds."
We've skipped that embarrassing statement. "The President and First Lady are incredibly grateful to the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff for all they do to keep them, their family, and the country safe," the spokesperson also said.
The Secret Service keeps the country safe, but who guarantees the safety of them? Such philosophical questions have been widespread in the wake of this latest "reported nipping incident."
Inevitably, we learned about this nipping incident from some of our cable news friends. We refer to the four co-hosts of Fox & Friends, who spent a large chunk of time this morning discussing this latest event.
Friends don't let friends watch Fox & Friends, an ancient proverb teaches. This morning, we learned of this latest dog-bite event as we skated between the offerings on two different "cable news" programs.
At any rate, our various friends on Fox & Friends discussed this event, at substantial length, at the start of the 7 o'clock hour. They then moved on to a brain-damaged discussion of Taylor Swift's latest desperate search for nationwide public attention.
So it went among the friends! Earlier, they'd opened their show with a detailed discussion of the latest event in which President Biden is said to have "nearly stumbled" as he left Air Force One.
So it went on Fox at the start of this morning's show! Over on Morning Joe, a different collection of cable news friends were discussing the fact that "a New York judge ruled on Tuesday that Donald J. Trump persistently committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets, and stripped the former president of control over some of his signature New York properties."
It was the start of the 6 o'clock hour. While one group of friends was discussing that judicial finding, the other group was discussing the current president's "near-slip," along with a reportedly elaborate new plan to keep him from falling in public again.
More than twenty years ago, we became the first observer to say that Fox & Friends was the dumbest TV news program of all time.
Little has changed since then. Even so, the dumbness to which we referred back then is widely distributed today—and it's destined to win again.
Our own blue cable is bad enough; red cable goes off the charts. Then too, might the largest question concern the apparent dumbness involved in the handling of Commander? Who in the world sits around and stares into air as their German shepherd behaves in the manner described?
Fox & Friends is astoundingly dumb. In our view, blue cable isn't sufficiently better.
Also, the Bidens can't seem to attend to their dog! And then, there's the topic we spoke about yesterday—the way we ourselves, in our own blue tribe, misdescribe the actual contents of Florida's Stop W.O.K.E. Act.
On balance, the Florida law strikes us as possibly somewhat dumb. Our own tribe's conduct concerning that law strikes us as dumber still.
Dumbness can be held at bay for a time. In the end, though, the widely derided human trait has defeated all previous empires.
The tale of the tape: For the record, there may be a bit of uncertainty concerning Commander's precise nip count. To wit:
When the New York Times reported this latest incident in this morning's print editions, Michael Shear reported the headcount in the following way:
SHEAR: Internal emails obtained by a conservative watchdog group and released to the public this summer documented 10 instances of “aggressive behavior” by the president’s pets.
In one of those episodes, an agent was left “shaken,” according to the emails, when he felt the need to hoist up the chair he was sitting on to use as a shield when Commander began barking at him from the top of a White House staircase.
"By the president's pets!" That suggests the possibility that Commander wasn't responsible for all of those previous ten incidents. Indeed, as Shear begins his report, he charges Commander with only "several" of the known events:
SHEAR (9/27/23): President Biden’s dog Commander bit a member of the Secret Service at the White House on Monday evening, the latest in a series of episodes in which one of the Biden family’s pets has bitten people since the president took office in January 2021.
Commander, a 2-year-old German shepherd, has bitten several members of the Secret Service since arriving at the White House in 2021, including biting one officer on the arm and thigh badly enough that the officer was sent to the hospital.
According to Shear, Commander has sent at least one officer to the hospital. Still, Shear isn't willing to charge all eleven documented incidents to this one particular pet.
The documentation may be hazy. That may explain why O'Donnell employed the term "appears" in her report for NBC News.
Who lets this sort of thing persist? Fox & Friends exulted today, about this and about the "near-slip!" It's getting harder and harder to watch what our defeated nation still refers to as "news."