The fine folks over at Fox and Friends felt it was a good opertunity to have a laugh.
However, there was never was anything remotely funny about the incident involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice — he was released by the team Monday afternoon and suspended indefinitely by the NFL — and his then-fiancee Janay Palmer from Atlantaic City. There’s even less funny about it in the wake of the disturbing, graphic video of Rice hitting Palmer that emerged Monday morning.
Somehow Fox & Friends, the morning show on Fox News, found a reason to laugh. Specifically, co-host Brian Kilmeade joked the lesson is “to take the stairs.”
The entire interaction between Kilmeade and co-host Steve Doocey — captured by SportsGrid — is so embarrassing, short-sighted and inexplicable it feels like an SNL skit. It’s sadly real.
Doocey: “We should also point out after that video, she still married him. They’re currently married.”
Kilmeade: “Rhianna went back to … yeah, Chris Brown, right after. I thought that was a terrible message.”
Doocey: “Then there was Jay-Z and Beyonce and Solange. That was also in an elevator.”
Kilmeade: “But you notice Jay-Z didn’t hit back. I think the message is take the stairs.”
Doocey: “The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera on. And there’s a camera right now on Heather Nauert, who’s got headlines.”
How is a television host joking about domestic violence acceptable? It’s not. It’s not OK to think about making the joke and it’s certainly not OK to actually use it on air.
UPDATE: The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract later on Monday afternoon.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice's contract this afternoon.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
A Fox News spokesperson told the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple that “Fox & Friends” will address the offensive comments on Tuesday, making it just the latest in a long series of apologies or clarifications the show has had to make.