Kicking around the question, “Is it ever okay to shush a woman?” co-host Kennedy Montgomery said she’d been “shushed more times than a baby” but that she thought it was “maybe fair game.” She also added:
I don’t like the sexism that you can’t shush a woman.
Co-host Melissa Francis followed up Montgomery by saying:
If that had been my show, I would have said, ‘Sit down right now. Clip his mic. This interview is over. I do NOT get shushed on my own show.’
Co-host Harris Faulkner jumped in, then, with perhaps the best response, stating:
I would have challenged him. What is it that I’m saying that you find so offensive and let me say it again.
When pressed further by fellow host Andrea Tantaros, Faulkner added:
I’d double-down with it.
Special guest and Fox contributor, Keith Ablow, however, had this to say:
I have a completely different take on this, and I don’t know if it relates to my gender or the fact that I’m too narcissistic, but I would take it all as good humor. I think it’s sort of playful and warm. It’s almost like what you would do at home … It wouldn’t bother me. I don’t find it that demeaning to be shushed.
Tantaros then asked Ablow:
Have you ever shushed your wife?
After a brief, awkward pause, Ablow claimed he never had.
Tantaros and Faulkner then both asked Ablow, together:
Would you shush a woman?
Ablow then started to respond that he wasn’t sure that he would shush a woman or a man, only to be called out by Montgomery:
Go back and watch the interview you and I did last year, Dr. Ablow.
Ablow then back-peddled his response by stating:
Honestly, that was a therapeutic intervention.
What is perhaps most interesting, however, in the entire micro-scandal of the minute, is the test of wills and egos that takes place on such shows, in such interviews every day. Egos clash over who should and shouldn’t be showing who respect – a test of authority between television reporters, senators and members of congress – with everyone talking over each other to make their points and reign dominant. Respect hardly enters into the equation at all, which is unfortunate, largely juvenile and hardly professional.
Though the entire panel sits on camera discussing whether it is or isn’t okay to shush a woman, almost no time is spent discussing the fact that no one should be shushing anyone, because it is rude and disrespectful. Nor should anyone be so arrogantly speaking over others that they would need to be shushed.
Civility needs to be brought back into the equation.
Of course shushing is disrespectful, but so is blathering all over others in order to stand above them and control everything. People get shot and killed for shushing or not shushing in movie theaters, if that is any indication for the level of disrespect people feel when they are being shushed, or when they are being bombarded by someone who won’t shush.
And this, friends, takes place on much more than Fox “News,” and between far more than senators and reporters.
Of course, there is still Ablow’s sexism to deal with. Certainly, it would be difficult and very interesting to imagine how a role reversal would play out. Imagine Nancy Pelosi shushing Tucker Carlson on air, for instance, and how that might be received by both Carlson and the larger Fox audience.
Do you think he would simply laugh it off as Evans did? One has to wonder… but likely not too hard, right?