The “Mayor of 9/11,” aka Rudy Giuliani dropped by the friendly confines of Fox & Friends to talk about the upcoming New Hampshire primary. But while he was there, the conversation found its way to, of all things, the Super Bowl halftime show.
Host Anna Kooiman opens the discussion by indicating her disapproval of Beyonce’s part in the show:
But Beyoncé got a police escort there and then she gives a salute to the Black Lives Matter movement.
So the fangs come out right away, with Kooiman going for one of the favorite talking points of the right: Black Lives Matter is anti-cop.
Giuliani then proves that he’s out of touch by saying this:
The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.
Giuliani says that he couldn’t figure out what was going on in the show, but, at least thanks to Kooiman’s prompting, he caught the references to #BlackLivesMatter and the founding of the Black Panthers. And he joins Kooiman’s disgust over Beyonce’s performance. He says:
I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive. And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, okay. We’ll work on that.
Of course, Beyonce didn’t just pull the idea for her performance out of thin air to insult white America and the upstanding folks at Fox News. There’s context here, mayor. The Black Panthers were founded in Oakland, right across the bay from San Francisco, where the Super Bowl was being held. The organization was founded in 1966. The 1966 NFL and AFL seasons led to the first Super Bowl, in January 1967. The entire halftime show was geared around saluting Super Bowls of the past, and Beyonce reminded every one of what was going on as the country prepared for the first of the big games. It is also Black History Month, and no matter what conservative America may think of them, the Black Panther Party is an important part of American history, particularly to black Americans.
One of the teams in the game this year was the Carolina Panthers. Their mascot is a black panther. It’s a wonder that Giuliani and the rest of the group didn’t have something stupid and racist to say about that.
Giuliani wraps up by saying:
You’re talking to middle America when you have the Super Bowl, so you can have entertainment. Let’s have, you know, decent wholesome entertainment, and not use it as a platform to attack the people who, you know, put their lives at risk to save us.
In other words, the entertainers in the Super Bowl halftime show have one of the largest platforms anybody gets all year. How dare they use that opportunity to make a statement we don’t like? Because, you know, white people watch, too.
The discussion ignores Beyonce’s backup dancers holding a sign that read “Justice for Mario Woods.”
Woods was a San Francisco man who was shot multiple times by police in December. There has been outrage over the killing since video emerged that countered the police claim that Woods threatened them with a knife. If the panel had talked about Woods, it would have been harder to claim that Beyonce was insulting the police. It would have also required some serious discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement, something that Fox certainly doesn’t want to do.
And you still can’t escape the feeling that Giuliani was sitting there trying desperately to figure out a way to tie all of this to 9/11.
Here’s the video: