Fox News guests spent a whole six minutes on Friday debating—with a completely straight face—a petition to change the name of Columbus, Ohio, to Flavortown. After the petition exploded in popularity, garnering at least 120,000 signatures, the man who started it was forced to beg people to stop publicizing what he said “started as a wild idea with perhaps a degree of cheekiness.” The petition said the proposed name would honor the city’s “proud heritage as a culinary crossroads” and local celebrity chef Guy Fieri (“he’s such a good dude, really”) instead of glorifying Christopher Columbus’ history of slavery and genocide.
Fox News anchor Alicia Acuna used the petition to question whether anti-racism protesters had lost the plot. “This is something that began with the death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis and here we are talking about Flavortown. How much is this about social justice anymore?” she asked. “Well, exactly right,” RealClearPolitics editor Tom Bevan replied. “It just sort of shows the lengths to which we’ve gone and how fast it’s gone from a very specific thing where we talked about... needing police reform to now obviously ripping down statues and talking about renaming towns. I’m not sure this is helping achieve any of the goals... in fact it’s probably creating more of a backlash in places like Ohio.” He predicted it would become a focal issue in the 2020 campaign.