This morning on my drive to work I listened to a really dreadful interview by Gretchen Carlson on Fox & Friends. I get Fox News Channel every on Sirius Radio and I listen to it every day on my weekday drives to work and home.
This morning Fox & Friends had on a recent college grad, whose name I don't recall. He voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and he was on to explain why he now supports Mitt Romney. Because of Carlson's completely inept handing, he never got to his explanation.
When the eager but unemployed grad was introduced he greeted Ms. Carlson as Miss USA, obviously trying to pay her a complement. Apparently Ms. Carlson took offense. She was Miss America, not Miss USA. The grad said OK, and then went on to say something to the effect that she was Miss Universe in his book. Again, he was obviously trying to complement Carlson, as clumsy as he may have been about it. Carlson was at a total loss. She said, "uh... OK."
At that point I was thinking how maybe a "thank you" could work pretty well, but after a couple of seconds of silence Ms. Carlson plodded along into her interview. She laid some groundwork, re-establishing that our young unemployed college grad had been an Obama supporter in 2008. Young grad said yes, he was. He went on to say that he had even met Barack Obama when he was in the third grade.
I waited for the, "Tell me about that. You must have been quite an Obama fan after that." It would have been nice to find out, actually. But instead we got, "Uh... OK." Some more seconds of silence. "Are you being serious?"
Young grad assured her he was being serious, but Ms. Carlson said she didn't think he was. She told him he wasn't ready for prime time. Maybe when you're serious we can have this conversation. They went back and forth on this a couple of times. "You're not serious." "Yes, I am." "No, you're not." Then Carlson ended the interview.
She never asked about the grad's third grade meeting with Obama, never asked why he was changing his support from Obama to Romney, and never said "thank you" for the clumsily delivered complement. Instead after a series of "Uh... OK"s she joined in with fellow hosts to insult the guy, saying he was not serious, and not ready for prime time. In essence, "Come back when you grow up."
Now, if I had watched the segment on TV I might have gotten a different impression of the whole thing. But hearing it on the radio, I can tell you who came across as not ready for prime time. It was Carlson who wasn't sharp enough to see when her guest trying to complement her, or that her guest was giving her openings. All she had to do was ask a question, show a little curiosity. Instead it was as if she expected the young grad to launch into a monologue.So, who's the pro and who's the guest? At Fox & Friends they're not sure. I would like to think Gretchen Carlson is not the snotty ex-beauty queen who came across on Fox & Friends this morning, utterly incapable of thinking on her feet. She owes the kid an apology.