By Kyle Jarrett
It’s long been obvious that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Fox News and Republican politicians like South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Following in the footsteps of the Trump Administration, politicians like Noem use Fox to amplify and refine their messaging, while at the same time taking their cues about what messaging resonates with their extremist base directly from Fox’s own programming.
Take this interview (12/30/21) between Noem and Fox personality Pete Hegseth. She’s ostensibly been invited On-Air to wax philosophical about State’s Rights, and Personal Freedom, but Hegseth can’t even let her do that in a way that reads as anything other than the two of them reading rehearsed talking points off a teleprompter. “Uh,” Hegseth stammers, attempting to set Noem up for a softball question about what solutions she (drawing on her relevant experience as the governor of a tiny rural state) would suggest for the Democratic governors of (massively populated states like) New York and California, “As a governor of a ‘free state’,” he finally manages to sputter, “Who’s taken an approach of actually balancing science and freedom, what are your advice to governors like Governor Hochul in New York, or…”
Yes, let’s ask Kristi Noem for her relevant advice.
Because Fox News’s first responsibility is to inform its viewers about relevant, up to the moment concerns, right? And to promote critical thinking re: those concerns? To offer, in Hegseth’s own words, a balance between science and freedom?
And that’s exactly what Governor Noem’s small state experience qualifies her to opine about, right?
Noem, that Thor-like champion!
Famous, (like Thor), for defending America against Fox News’s wholly invented threats to the Conservative Way-Of-Life. The same Noem who recently introduced legislation in her rural, enormously Native American state to block the imaginary threat of Critical Race Theory. And who also recently introduced cynical, transphobic legislation to block the imminent and “Very Real” threat of trans student athletes participating in South Dakota high school sports. And who’s responsible for the important gubernatorial work of going on the Fox program The Ingraham Angle to defend the Sturgis motorcycle rally against the non-existent threat of vaccine mandates. (Seriously, did anyone, nonetheless President Biden, even make the remotest suggestion that there ought to be vaccine mandates for Sturgis??)
Well, what important, relevant advice did Noem take time out of her busy Governor’s schedule to join the Fox News audience and impart?
“Well, first of all they should talk to their general counsel. […] And then number one, turn off the TV. Stop talking to the White House. Go out and walk the streets.”
That’s right folks. Kristi Noem’s important advice to the governors of America is to turn off the TV and go…out and walk the streets? Talk to their constituents? Constituents of states like New York, where nearly 70% of voters approve of mask and vaccine mandates? Yes, sage advice from Noem, and certainly a valuable use of the Governor’s time as she works hard for the people of South Dakota to increase her national profile and pick up cues from Fox about what issues motivate the presidential base she hopes to woo in 2024.