Fox News is widely regarded as one of the most conservative, pro-Trump news stations around. In fact, 45 has shown such a strong preference for the outlet that he has excluded, ignored, and condemned others.
Imagine viewers’ surprise when a Fox & Friends guest chastised Donald Trump directly for over a minute before being cut off. The incident was so unexpected that even the hosts looked lost and visibly annoyed.
She’s mad. He’s confused. Twitter’s giggling.
So how on earth did this happen? It turns out Fox booked the wrong guest. They intended to book Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democratic congressional candidate from Arizona who is the only Democrat who has spoken out in praise of ICE. To book her, they reached out to Joe Katz.
People book guests through their agents and managers all the time, so this was standard procedure. Except Joe Katz hasn’t worked for Ann Kirkpatrick for a decade. Fox didn’t bother to check who Katz worked for now and contacted him to book his boss.
Enter Barbara L’Italien, who clearly isn’t one to waste an opportunity when it lands square in her lap. L’Italien is a state senator running for Congress in Massachusetts. She considers herself a representative of a large number of immigrants based on the communities she represents. She’s been outspoken about her beliefs that Trump’s immigration policies are inhumane.
In short, she’s exactly the kind of Democrat that Fox doesn’t want to talk to and she knows it. Barbara knew her time would be limited, so she cut right to the chase as soon as she got on air. First, she correctly identified herself. Then, she spoke directly to Donald Trump.
Viewers at home were like:
L’Italien knew exactly what she was doing. She told HuffPost that she saw an opportunity to speak directly to Donald Trump on his favorite network and she took it. She’s not even a little bit sorry.
Here’s what she had to say about Fox booking her by accident.
So much for due diligence, so much for fact-checking. They continued to believe I was Kirkpatrick even after I said I wasn’t.
She took her limited air time to dig into Trump, calling him out for his immigration policies, at one point saying:
We have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents’ arms, and stop putting kids in cages, and stop making 3-year-olds defend themselves in court.
You can watch what little bit of air time she got here.
Barbara proudly posted about it.
As the state senator from a strong immigrant community where people are living in fear, this morning I took an opportunity to amplify their voices directly to @realDonaldTrump the only place where I knew he would be listening - Fox News: https://t.co/b8RW2QyntL. #ma3 #mapoli— Barbara L'Italien (@teambarbara) July 23, 2018
Twitter is calling the incident “incredible.”
This is incredible. @FoxFriendsFirst thought they booked pro-ICE Dem Ann Kirkpatrick on show, but accidentally booked Barbara L'Italien— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 23, 2018
L'Italien delivers personal message to Trump saying "we must stop abducting children... stop putting kids in cages." pic.twitter.com/OnVAdBVjJB
This is great!!— Jack O'Donnell (@JackODo61615476) July 23, 2018
HAH ha ha ha ha ha ha... what about all that free speech stuff, FN? Guess that's only for college campuses.— @Grey Racer (@Tom___Kelly) July 23, 2018
Well so much for healthy debate and fairness. Fox News should be called what it is ... an entertainment show of illusion and distortion. And to steal a quote: “they can’t handle the truth!”— astral217 (@astral217) July 24, 2018
Fox News released a statement saying they were tricked by L’Italien and Katz.
This morning we invited Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick to appear on Fox & Friends First through her press contact on file Joe Katz, who accepted the invitation on Kirkpatrick’s behalf. Katz followed with an email confirming the segment, which also included background information and a campaign logo for Ann Kirkpatrick. During the actual segment, Barbara L’Italien, appeared on camera instead of Kirkpatrick. Despite speaking to producers prior to the interview, L’Italien did not identify herself as anything other than Kirkpatrick until she was live on air, at which point we ended the interview.
People on Twitter don’t seem to buy that excuse, especially since Barbara identified herself twice during the interview and the hosts still insisted on calling her Kirkpatrick. We want to know what you think, though. Sound off in the comments!