‘Fox & Friends’ Shake Heads Sorrowfully Over Drug-Addicted ‘Zombies’ on Los Angeles’ Skid Row

‘Fox & Friends’ Shake Heads Sorrowfully Over Drug-Addicted ‘Zombies’ on Los Angeles’ Skid Row

There is an important deep dive to be done on the homeless crisis in Los Angeles. What are its root causes? What do experts who have studied the problem think could be done to mitigate it? What are the city’s leaders doing? Have they requested help from the state and federal governments, and if so, what was the response?

Or a news outlet can do what Fox did, which is to film the most cinematically horrendous-looking homeless encampments in L.A.’s Skid Row and have a reporter proclaim that all the people walking around it look like “zombies” while the hosts of Fox & Friends shake their heads in sorrow. That is also a thing.

Fox News contributor Emily Compagno promises at the top that she and Dr. Drew Pinsky will “examine how both policy decisions and the failures of local officials have brought the area to a state of squalor.”

And then Compagno and Pinsky simply…do not do that.

There is video of some of the squalor, which looks awful. There is a clip of the CEO of the Union Mission Rescue complaining that “nobody throws away people like Los Angeles.” There is Pinsky saying that the ACLU “has blood on its hands” over this situation, though it is never explained why the ACLU has anything to do with it.

There is also mention of Propisition 54, a ballot proposition passed by California voters in 2016 that allowed for the release from prison of more nonviolent felons. The argument seems to be that many of the homeless on Skid Row would otherwise be in prison for felony drug possession, or more dealers would be locked up and so addicts would not have become the down and out homeless of Skid Row.

But mostly, it just seems that Fox wants to show some admittedly horrific footage, have the hosts cluck their tongues over it, and imply that the “Democrat-run city,” in the words of an organization headed by right-winger Tammy Bruce that tweeted out the first part of Compagno’s report last week, is a colossal failure:

Note that Compagno calls the homeless drug addicts “zombies” twice, at the end of both Part 1 and Part 2 of her report. But as far as digging into the lives of some of these people, and how they became addicts and what they need, there is nothing. The segment is simply anger porn for Fox’s audience.

Watch Friday’s report towards the top of this post, via Media Matters.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.