Daily talk shows often gamble on their guests. Those that aren’t known commodities can choke on camera, or stray from the script. Yet a recent “Fox & Friends First” was completely derailed when the wrong guest showed. Barbara L’Italienis a Democratic state senator from Massachusetts, and had some choice words for the crew at Fox & Friends.
The hosts were expecting Democratic Arizona congressional candidate Ann Kirkpatrick. Despite her political leanings, Kirkpatrick is in support of immigration enforcement.
Kirkpatrick didn’t show. Instead L’Italien appeared on the program.
“Good morning. I’m actually here to speak directly to Donald Trump,” L’Italien began.
“I feel that what’s happening at the border is wrong. I’m a mother of four and I believe that separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane. I’m actually Barbara L’Italien. I’m a state senator representing a large immigrant community.”
“I’m running for Congress in Massachusetts. I keep thinking about what we’re putting parents through, imagining how terrifying that must be for those families, imagining how it would feel not knowing if I’d ever see my kids again. We have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents’ arms, stop putting kids in cages, and stop making 3-year-old defend themselves in court.”
“The two Fox hosts tried to derail L’Italien, saying the Trump administration has stopped separating families and is now working to reunite them,” The Huffington Post writes.
L’Italien, though, had the floor. The look on the hosts’ faces showed their confusion.
“Again my name is Barbara L’Italien, and I refuse to believe that our only options are open borders or traumatizing,” L’Italien said. Then they cut her mic.
“Yeah, OK, who is this?” host Rob Schmitt asked. “That didn’t go as planned.”
“We were told Ann Kirkpatrick was going to be on the show,” one host added. “As you saw, somebody else stepped in front of the camera. We are working to figure out how that happened.”
I've always fought for vulnerable people, and in Congress I will use every opportunity I have to make sure powerful people like @realDonaldTrump hear their voices. Here's the full statement I would've given @FoxNews if I hadn't been cut off. #ma3 #mapoli https://t.co/SAe7HoBVRV
— Barbara L'Italien (@teambarbara) July 23, 2018
L’Italien sent out a tweet after the show.
Desiree Dunne, executive producer of “Fox & Friends First” tried to offer an explanation. Joe Katz, a press coordinator for Kirkpatrick, accepted the invitation.
“Katz followed with an email confirming the segment which also included background information and a campaign logo for Ann Kirkpatrick,” Dunne told Huffpost.
“During the actual segment, Barbara L’Italien appeared on camera instead of Kirkpatrick. Despite speaking to producers prior to the interview, L’Italien did not identify herself as anything other than Kirkpatrick until she was live on air, at which point we ended the interview.”
L’Italien’s campaign explained that “due to a Fox News error, L’Italien was contacted in place of another congressional candidate to speak about her views on ICE on Fox & Friends First.”
The “mix-up occurred after the network reached out to L’Italien staffers mistakenly thinking they worked for Kirkpatrick,” they later added.
“They reached out to our staff believing they were reaching the Kirkpatrick office due to their own failure of due diligence.”
“Over the process of getting the interview scheduled, they repeatedly showed very little grasp on the facts, down to whether or not Ann Kirkpatrick was still in Congress. Fox News is where you go when you want to talk to Donald Trump, and Barbara felt she had an obligation to her constituents to take advantage of that opportunity. But this would not have happened to an actual news station. Fox’s lack of attention to the facts normally is a disaster for the country, it just so happened that today it was embarrassing for them.”