Sanity on hold: Fox News warns Democrats: "Don't meddle with our patriotic music"

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Fox News hosts have recently fixated on the House's decision to terminate a pilot program to -- in the words of Bret Baier -- "kill the patriotic tunes callers hear when they're put on hold." Sean Hannity claimed that it "serves as a lesson to the Democrats: Don't meddle with our patriotic music," while Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said the program is "one of the most boneheaded moves of the summer" and claimed "America wins" because the House is once again playing "patriotic" music.

Fox News follows right-wing blogs to New Ledger report

Think Progress: New Ledger report "picked up by various right-wing blogs." In an August 31 article headlined "Why Does Nancy Pelosi Have a Problem With Patriotic Music?" The New Ledger reported that "sources on Capitol Hill informed us this week that the Democratic House leadership has made a sweeping decision that congressional offices now have the options of 'smooth jazz' elevator music or no music at all." Following that report, several right-wing blogs questioned Pelosi's purported "problem with patriotic music," as the blog Think Progress noted. [Think Progress, 9/1/09]

Think Progress: "Fox Pushes Bogus Conspiracy Theory That Nancy 'Music Czar' Pelosi Is Banning Patriotic Muzak." Fox News, led by Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy, then advanced the claim on September 1 and 2 that Democrats were attacking "patriotic music." [Think Progress, 9/2/09]

Fox News fixates on "patriotic" hold music

Fox & Friends: "One of the most boneheaded moves of the summer." On Fox & Friends, Doocy said of the program: "[I]n what has got to go down as one of the most boneheaded moves of the summer, which is now concluding as we approach Labor Day, apparently Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership had said ... we're going to have a test project where, for three weeks, we're going to get rid of the patriotic music." He added: "[I]nstead, members will have the option of either no music or some light jazz. Well, that hit the fan because people thought that was stupid." Later, referring to the House's decision to terminate the program, Doocy stated: "America wins."

Fox & Friends aired the following graphic during the segment:

Hannity: "[L]et this serve as a lesson to the Democrats: Don't meddle with our patriotic music." On the September 1 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity asked: "[H]ave you ever tried to call your representative?" and said: "Now, up until now, you probably have been enjoying lovely patriotic tunes. Well, that is until Nancy Pelosi had anything to say about it. Under the current Democratic leadership, patriotic music was replaced with smooth jazz elevator music." After noting that the House terminated the program, Hannity stated: "Well, let this serve as a lesson to the Democrats: Don't meddle with our patriotic music."

Special Report: "House of Representatives today faced the music." Special Report host Bret Baier claimed of the House's decision to terminate the program: "[T]he House of Representatives today faced the music and reversed a decision to kill the patriotic tunes callers hear when they're put on hold." [Special Report, 9/1/09]

The Fox Nation: "Pelosi Flip-Flops on Patriotic Music." On September 2, The Fox Nation highlighted the House's termination of the program in its "Most Talked About" feature, characterizing it as a "Pelosi Flip-Flop."

Transcripts

From the September 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CLAYTON MORRIS (guest co-host): If you're a little upset and you want to call your congressman over the past few weeks, this is the type of music you would have gotten as you called -- if you called the House. You would have gotten hold music that was smooth jazz.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): You want to go out on a date?

MORRIS: The dulcet sounds of Kenny G is what you would receive.

DOOCY: Well, exactly right. It would be fine if you were calling Congressman Kenny G's office and that music was playing, but in what has got to go down as one of the most boneheaded moves of the summer, which is now concluding as we approach Labor Day, apparently Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership had said we're going to get -- we're going to have a test project where, for three weeks, we're going to get rid of the patriotic music.

Once upon a time, if you were on hold, you'd hear John Philip Sousa and stuff like that. We're going to get rid of that, and instead, members will have the option of either no music or some light jazz. Well, that hit the fan because people thought that was stupid.

CARLSON: Well, including Representative Fred Upton, a Republican, who said this: "Callers routinely -- routinely" -- somebody else say that --

MORRIS: Routinely.

DOOCY: Blame Oprah.

CARLSON: -- "routinely express their delight in listening to a few notes of Americana while briefly waiting for their call to go through. We should proudly embrace our nation's patriotic songs, not callously shun them for elevator music."

Here's my point: Doesn't Congress and all their aides have more to do than worrying about pilot programs to change out music that you listen to when you're on hold to talk about health care reform?

[...]

DOOCY: Let's get the Georges.

CARLSON: All right, now let me ask you this, George.

GEORGE FOREMAN (two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and cookware promoter): The Georges.

CARLSON: When you're getting ready for a big fight, do you like to listen to smooth jazz? Does that get you going? Or do you like to listen to some good old-fashioned patriotic music?

FOREMAN: Patriotic -- it's a necessity, because it's a privilege to be able to call anyway your congressman, your senators. It's a privilege. And you better remember it's only in America that you can do something like that. You better not have that jazz playing.

MORRIS: Well, here's what happened. Here's what happened in Congress. The past three weeks, they switched the phone call music, the hold music, so if George Foreman calls me and I'm a congressman -- that's never going to happen -- but if that were to happen, you used to hear this music. That would get you pumped up.

Now, for the past three weeks, you were hearing this, George. If you were to call, this is the music you'd hear. This was a little smooth jazz. This is what you'd hear. George, you're on hold right now.

[...]

DOOCY: The key is, the House leaders, in their wisdom, decided, you know what? That it was a bad idea; so what we're going to do is we're going to start playing the patriotic music again.

FOREMAN: Good.

DOOCY: America wins.

From the September 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: And have you ever tried to call your representative? Well, if so, you've probably been put on hold. Well, it's the leadership in Congress who decides what music you will be listening to while you wait.

Now, up until now, you probably have been enjoying lovely patriotic tunes. Well, that is until Nancy Pelosi had anything to say about it. Under the current Democratic leadership, patriotic music was replaced with smooth jazz elevator music.

Well, Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, well, he was not about to stand for this. He wrote a letter to the House's chief administrative officer, who reports that Speaker Pelosi, reporting that, quote, "Callers routinely express their delight in listening to a few notes of Americana. We should proudly embrace our nation's patriotic songs, not callously shun them for elevator music."

And guess what? In response to several calls from Fox News, a spokesman for the chief administrative officer said today, quote, "The music has been changed during recess, in an attempt to offer offices a choice of hold music, but based on the negative response that we received, it was changed back today."

Well, let this serve as a lesson to the Democrats: Don't meddle with our patriotic music.

From the September 1 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BRET BAIER (host): And finally, the House of Representatives today faced the music and reversed a decision to kill the patriotic tunes callers hear when they're put on hold. The original music was abruptly restored after a three-week absence because of negative reaction to the smooth jazz standards that had replaced it.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, Fox Nation
Person
Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy, Bret Baier
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends, Hannity, Special Report with Bret Baier
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