Ethics Dunce (Live Performance Division): “Fox and Friends” Host Steve Doocy


Boy, do I hate when someone does this.

Especially when they do it to me. Unfortunately, for him, the victim this time was Chris Daughtry.

On June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, Fox and Friends had rocker Chris Daughtry and his band performing (for some reason: D for Daughtry?). Later, during the after-show, host Steve Doocy was overcome with patriotism and bad musical taste and suggested that Daughtry return to sing a “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” extemporaneously with the other hosts, Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers.

Daughtry, nicely but unequivocally, refused, causing an awkward scene, and also bringing down a barrage of abuse on himself from Fox viewers, so much so that he later felt the need to explain and apologize in a video.

He shouldn’t have. Doocy was way out of line, incredibly so, for someone supposedly in a branch of show business. It is rude and unfair to put a performer on the spot in front of an audience and 1) ask him or her to perform something unplanned and unrehearsed; 2) to request musical services that were not required in the contract, essentially as free entertainment,  and 3) worst of all, to frame it as a patriotic act, making Daughtry look like a villain when he refused, as he should have, when the singer was in truth the victim of Doocy’s clueless presumptuousness.

Doocy and Fox owe Daughtry an apology. No performer, ever, should be put in this  position without his prior knowledge and consent.


Pointer and Facts: Mediaite



Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Dunces, Professions

12 responses to “Ethics Dunce (Live Performance Division): “Fox and Friends” Host Steve Doocy

  1. Arthur in Maine

    I have given up on morning shows. They’re all ridiculous – but “Fox and Friends” seems to have set the bar for being vacuous. Although he’s obviously an affable guy, Doocy is a big reason why.

    Clearly enough people like the show to keep the team together, so my opinion doesn’t count for much. Gotta admit, though, that the only Fox News shows I watch with any regularity at all are Special Report with Bret Baer (though the show isn’t quite what it was when Brit Hume was still doing it) and Megyn Kelly’s show..

    • dragin_dragon

      Strangely enough, my wife’s (and my) favorites, as well. As you say, morning shows are for people who are not yet awake enough for real news, and hence, are generally peopled with eye-candy and half-wits. Sadly, O’Reilly has turned into a colossal game show, and promotion for his latest book and/or his show with Miller. But, I guess that’s OK, ’cause “He’s looking out for the folks”. That’d be a lot easier to do if he had an opinion of his own once in a while.

      • Arthur in Maine

        dragin, I suspect it’s because those are the two shows on which you actually get intelligent discussion and expert opinions in response to really good questions.

        Most of the other shows are setups with essentially pre-packaged commentary/positioning points, and you’re never surprised by what the host or guests are going to say. While the positions of the regular panelists on Special Report are relatively predictable if you’ve watched them long enough, they do offer real insight along with the opinion. And Megyn Kelly has the ability to knock guests off their talking points and get them to say what they really think. Her own opinions can surprise as well.

        • dragin_dragon

          Special Report also swaps out the panelists from time to time, presumably to stay slightly less predictable. And Megan is scary. I know she was an attorney, but I wonder if she was maybe a prosecutor. To add to your other comments, Steve is not the sharpest tack on the board, either. The Trivia game he used to play with Martha on O’Reilly he lost more than he won.

  2. Chris Marschner

    I agree with Jack’s assessment but we are all entitled to goof up now and then. I caught portions of the program with Daughtry performing but left the room during the performance for one reason or another.

    It just seems like everyone everywhere is falling all over themselves to be more patriotic or demonstrate that they hold the military in a higher reverence than the next guy. Doocy got caught up in that fervor. Nonetheless, he should apologize but I don’t feel the need for him to CC me on the apology. It’s between them.

  3. Sharon

    Oh…that apology video makes things even worse! The truth would have been much better than that awful pandering. If he had forgotten any words of that song or performed it without “appropriate inspiration” he would be an even bigger villain for not singing the song in the first place. People would be talking instead about how he should have just declined to sing the song. Classic case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Reminds me of the times that I am asked to “say grace” as someone’s dinner guest.

  4. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Daughtry has to be somehow plugged in with the vet scene, he and his band have played at least once at the National Memorial Day Concert, you don’t get invited to do that unless you’re perceived as a patriot (Daniel Rodriguez, Trace Adkins) or the latest big thing (Pia Toscano, Jackie Evancho), or, rarely, a representative of a significant ally (Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins) . This was a no-win situation for Chris since he obviously wasn’t ready to perform any other pieces and had to choose between performing unprepared and saying no. Either way could have, and did, result in significant embarrassment. There are certain constituencies you are simply not allowed to say “no” to, and right now veterans are, I submit, one of those, on par with Jews (refuse to genuflect to the Holocaust and you are an anti-Semite), and gays (march in a parade that insists participants stay on topic and be declared a homophobe). In the same vein, any refusal related to veterans is considered a betrayal of what they stood for and unsupportive.

    I’m a big booster of veterans, and I’d be the first to smack down anyone who deliberately snubbed or insulted them, however, the refusal of a professional musician to extemporize a performance that might have turned out badly (unrehearsed ones sometimes do) does not fall under the category of a deliberate snub or insult. As a performer myself I know all about encores, and there’s never a one that’s not as rehearsed as the rest of the show. Even when it appears extemporized, like the host asking the performers for another tune and the performers obliging, that’s always been rehearsed and the host already knows what the answer will be. Frankly I’m surprised that Doocy didn’t already know that prior to this show. Now, if he’d thought of it before the show went on, he could have made the request privately and they could have hashed it all out out of sight of the audience, and either Chris could have prepared or he could have said it wasn’t possible and please don’t ask on the air.

    As it is, Chris did the best he could do, unfortunately he couldn’t win. It kind of reminds me of the destruction of Ronan Tynan, formerly of the Irish Tenors. He was talking to someone about a nearby apartment for rent which had been looked at earlier in the day by two Jewish women who had apparently behaved in a demanding fashion, and said something to the effect of being glad the next person looking at the place was not the Jewish ladies because “that would be scary.” A bystander, not part of the conversation, happened to be Jewish, got offended, and went to the media. He was subsequently fired from his stadium singing gig with the NY Yankees, solo gigs dried up, he found himself being refused service in restaurants and receiving death threats on the phone, to the point where he finally had to move to Boston. What he said was relatively benign in context and frankly not intended for this other person to hear, yet it essentially derailed his career for a while because he said something about a group you are not allowed to say anything bad about.

  5. Wayne

    Yeah, this was just plain dumb. Chris should have never been put in this position. If they wanted him to do “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee”, they should have suggested it before the show. Perhaps he might have came up with an alternative song he felt more comfortable with.

  6. crella

    ” Unfortunately, I have composed a very non-religious grace, and can deliver it in less than 2 seconds.”

    Anything along the lines of the ‘Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub. Yay, God! Yay, God! Let’s eat!’ of my childhood?

    • dragin_dragon

      Pretty damn close, actually. “We thank you for this food that is on this table because of our own efforts. Amen.”

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