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Fox News Doesn’t Think Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Is Patriotic Enough

Fox News Doesn’t Think Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Is Patriotic Enough

Written by Travis Waldron

Gabby Douglas was the topic du jour for Olympic commentators throughout last week, but over the weekend, she became a centerpiece in another manufactured controversy at Fox News, America’s top outlet for manufactured controversies. Douglas’ pink leotard, Fox host Alisyn Camerota lamented, was emblematic of an Olympic “trend” (one that, Fox wants you to believe, is part of a liberal-left conspiracy to rid the world of red, white, and blue) of athletes wearing colors that don’t appear on the American flag.

“Some folks have noticed that the American athletes’ uniforms don’t carry the stars and stripes look as much as they have in past years,” Camerota complained, without any evidence of who “some folks” might be. “The famous flag-styled outfits worn in year’s past replaced with yellow shirts, gray track suits, pink leotards.” Radio host/Tea Partier David Webb later chimed in with a sad tome about how America has “lost over time that jingoistic feeling” because “a soft anti-American feeling that Americans can’t show their exceptionalism”:

Camerota and Webb apparently haven’t watched much of the Olympics, or else they would have noticed the multitude of Americans donning red, white, and blue uniforms. But even if they have, Fox has apparently decided to use the Olympics to advance the false notion — one it began cultivating shortly after 9/11 — that anyone who doesn’t constantly wrap him or herself in the flag isn’t sufficiently patriotic. A politician who doesn’t wear a lapel pin isn’t American enough; an athlete who wears pink doesn’t appreciate her country the way she should (even if her father serves in the military, hasn’t seen her in two years, then shows up to surprise her with a giant American flag at the Olympic trials).

Aside from the fact that athletes eschewing the colors of their home countries isn’t a particularly radical development, the Fox version of patriotism isn’t patriotism at all. Rather, it is a hollow display of jingoism that, despite Webb’s concerns, we don’t need any more of. True patriotism doesn’t come from the color of an athlete’s clothes, it is determined by how they act and compete on a world stage while representing their country. It comes in many forms, from celebrating on the medal stage as the national anthem plays to crying because it doesn’t, and it even comes in the form of protests that aim to make one’s country — and the world — a better, more equitable place or feats, like Douglas’, that highlight the overwhelming socio-economic barriers facing many of our greatest athletes.

That might be anathema to conservatives like Webb and media outlets like Fox, who have spent the last decade trying to convince America that true patriotism comes from putting on a “These Colors Don’t Run” t-shirt and pointing an accusatory finger at anyone who doesn’t do the same, but it’s true.

“I’m proud to be an American!” Webb declared during the segment. So am I, and so too, I presume, is Gabby Douglas. She just doesn’t need to wrap herself inside the flag to prove it.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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5:02PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

Actually I don't expect anything from Faux/Fox News. I don't watch it either! The only time I see anything from them is if Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert show clips on their Comedy Central shows. - Terry

7:52AM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

Did you really expect any better from Fox?!?!?!

2:52PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Wendy S, thanks for the quote.

We had better listen to Sinclair's warning.

6:16AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”-Sinclair Lewis, American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright.

9:43AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

You had it in the first four words of the title...."Fox News Doesn’t Think"

What does the color of your clothes have to do with your patriotism? This trend in thinking is similar to: "If you don't believe in MY God, my way- you must be 'saved' by my imposing my rules on you."

Have I mentioned that I rebel when people try to impose their will on me? Hmmm, should have mentioned that up front.....

11:46AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Some of you actually have the nerve to bitch about Faux News, yet say you don't watch and only know what is on the Fox News Channel by watching The Daily Show . . . A REAL FAKE NEWS SHOW! Seriously? I suppose the other channel that provides your 'news' is MSNBC!

Bahaha! It can't get much better than that!

NO, I am not a Fox News Junkie, BUT I do watch to see what's going on for myself, along with CNN and my local news too. That way I decide for myself without ANYONE telling me what to think.

WE have become to damn lazy and a bunch o'damn sheep . . . I am sick and too tired of all the separation created by people who love to point and blame. FREE YOUR MIND!

7:45PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

I don't think Fox News is patriotic,enough.

This is just another RACIST comment coming from the mouths of RACISTS.

3:36PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

A whole network of trolls. Pathetic.

11:37AM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

The headline should have stopped at "Fox News Doesn't Think." They have no right to say anything about this Olympic hero.

1:12PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Glenna, As for Faux/Fox I don't even go there for news. I only see and hear about their comments while I'm watching The Daily Show or on this site. Life's too short to put up with their ignorance and prejudice.

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