There is a growing chorus of voices pleading for a return to civility in our national political discussion — a call to refrain from vicious attacks and come together around areas of mutual agreement.
Singer and performer Bob Ritchie, professionally known as Kid Rock, was discussing just that on Friday during an interview with “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy in Nashville, Tennessee. While Rock initially made a valid point about the need for more civility, he immediately undermined his own plea with a vulgar attack on Joy Behar, an outspoken leftist co-host on ABC’s “The View.”
After saying that people needed to get along and be nicer to one another, he added an exception for “The View” co-host and said, “Screw that Behar b—-.”
Caution: Explicit language in tweet and video.
Kid Rock live on Fox & Friends: ‘Screw that Joy Behar bitch’ pic.twitter.com/N2fYLqm4vL
— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) November 30, 2018
“We can disagree and still be cordial with one another,” Rock said. “And just talk about things without going for each other’s throats and protesting everything, and God forbid you say something a little bit wrong and you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic … this, that and the other.”
“People need to calm down, get a little less politically correct, and I would say, ya know, love everybody … except, actually, screw that Joy Behar b—-,” he said.
The crowd cheered, but Doocy interrupted to express his opposition to Rock’s statement.
“You cannot say that,” said Doocy, as Rock leaned in and said “I mean lady” in reference to Behar. Doocy added, “We apologize for that.”
“Listen, she’s just got a different point of view than you do,” Doocy reminded Rock.
Rock replied, “Exactly. Maybe we’ll go on and I’ll hash it out with her and we’ll talk about it.”
“But anyway, aside from joking — which I was — is just go out and hash it out with people and have your thoughts and ideas, but be able to still go have a beer with somebody and say, ‘Hey, we all love this country, and let’s have different ideas but try to move forward and be more together and realize at the end of the day that we’re all Americans.'”
The crowd overwhelmingly agreed with that statement, as did Doocy, who proceeded to thank Rock for taking time to speak with him. In closing, he asked, “You do apologize for that language, right?”
With a shrug, Rock replied, “I did apologize for the language, not the sentiment.” Doocy then said on behalf of Fox News, “We don’t feel that way, and we apologize for both.”
To be sure, Joy Behar is an arrogant, self-righteous leftist whose constant verbal assaults on the president and his supporters have earned her a level of enmity in return among many of those she routinely criticizes.
That said, that doesn’t justify the dismissive and vulgar language used by Rock, which is counter-productive and actually undermined the other sentiments he expressed, such as people of disparate ideologies coming together in harmony as fellow Americans.
It is worth noting that this certainly isn’t the first time Rock has said something explicit like this against those he disagrees with, and given his prior history, it most likely won’t be the last time he shoots from the hip with a quip that would be better left unsaid.
If Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, are going to attempt to come together and hash out their differences over a beer, the language and sentiment expressed by Rock against Behar will serve as a stumbling block and only lead to more vitriol and conflict.
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