What’s a Fox & Friends host to do when they desperately want to push President Donald Trump’s narrative the “both sides” are to blame for Charlottesville, but their guests want to talk about what’s really going on in America right now?
Abby Huntsman found out Wednesday morning, in a segment first spotted by Mediaite, when she tried to start a debate over the statues of Confederate-era slaveholders but found her guests unexpectedly agreeing with each other about how “morally bankrupt” our president has become on the issue of race.
“It’s beyond a monument. This is about hatred. This is about white supremacy,” Wendy Osefo said, representing the left. “As a mother, to hear the president of these United States not sit here and condemn what has happened,” she added of the white supremacist terror attack that killed Heather Heyer, “as a black woman of two black boys, my heart bleeds. This is not talking points. This is personal. We as a nation, as a country, have to do better.”
Huntsman responded by simply echoing Trump—“there are good people on both sides of this debate”—and trying to get her representative from the right, Gianno Caldwell, to address the statue issue instead of responding to what Osefo had said.
He did not comply.
“I come today with a very heavy heart,” Caldwell said, already starting to tear up. “Last night I couldn’t sleep at all because president Trump, our president, has literally betrayed the conscience of our country.”
“The very moral fabric in which we have made progress when it comes to race relations in America. He has failed us,” Caldwell continued, getting increasingly emotional as he spoke. “And it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says there are good people on the side of the Nazis. ‘They weren’t all Nazis, they weren’t all white supremacists.’ Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis, but certainly they hold those views.”
“This has become very troubling for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday,” he said. “It’s completely lost and [has] the potential to be morally bankrupt.”
“No,” Huntsman could be heard pushing back off screen.
“I’m sorry, no I believe that and I’m being very honest as someone who has been talking about these issues for a very long time, I’m sorry that this is where we are right now. I hope the president learns a lesson from his press conference yesterday. It’s disturbing.”
Acknowledging the “sensitive” nature of the conversation, Huntsman once again tried to get Caldwell to talk about statues, something he had no interest in doing.
By the end of the segment, Caldwell was openly weeping, wiping tears from his eyes as Osefo nodded along in support and started to tear up herself. Hunstman had no idea what she had walked into and no concept of how to handle it.
“Strong emotions there, and, you know, it’s a tough debate,” was all she could muster.
But it wasn’t a debate. For once, both sides on Fox & Friends agreed that President Trump was dead wrong.
UPDATE: Huntsman on Wednesday morning retweeted a woman who appeared to dismiss the tear-filled discussion between Osefo and Caldwell as “theatrics.” The user wrote to Huntsman: “You handled interview with Dr. Wendy and Gianno with class and grace. Theatrics appalling. You let them go and moved on Kudos!” And Huntsman’s reply, ignoring the part about “theatrics”: “Thanks Carol. We are all human beings. Everyone deserves to be heard and feel accepted.”
Huntsman eventually deleted the tweet.