Fox News: 911 Operators Should Let Non-English Speakers Fend For Themselves


On this morning’s edition of “Fox & Friends,” co-host Brian Kilmeade was not happy to find out emergency responders in Texas handled life-threatening situations involving non-English speakers the same way that they do with English speakers–even when they’re suspected of being in the country illegally. Watch here.

Kilmeade was speaking with Benny Martinez, the chief deputy sheriff of Brooks County in the Rio Grande Valley. When Kilmeade heard a tape of a 911 call in which a man who only spoke Spanish asked for an ambulance because his cousin was “turning purple,” he asked Martinez if this was a typical situation. Martinez tried to explain that these were life-and-death situations, and his department had to respond to them. But that wasn’t enough for Kilmeade, who asked with a straight face if this was the case “even though for the most part when you get there, you realize they’re not even American citizens?” Martinez replied that due process required them to help even non-citizens. Raw Story reported that when co-host Steve Doocy was teasing this interview, he snorted, “A small Texas town forced to answer 911 calls from stranded illegals in Spanish!”

You expect something like this from Fox News. After all, as we all know, it’s a Republican agitprop outlet masquerading as a news organization. What makes it different, though, is that this isn’t coming from the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee, or the other pundits on that network. This is coming from the news side. But then again, it’s not all that surprising that Kilmeade and Doocy don’t like the idea of 911 operators exercising basic standards of decency. Remember, last month on “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Wallace actually wondered if Bowe Bergdahl should be executed as a deserter–even in the face of overwhelming circumstantial evidence that his Taliban captors had tortured him.

What makes Kilmeade’s suggestion all the more disgusting is that he preceded to tick off the number of people who have turned up dead in Brooks County in recent years while crossing into this country from Mexico–129 last year, and 87 already this year. A number of them come through Brooks County in order to evade the Border Patrol; the nearest city of any size, McAllen, is 75 miles south. And yet, unless I misheard Kilmeade, if it were up to him that number would be even greater, since 911 operators wouldn’t take calls from people who didn’t speak English. The mind reels.

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Darrell Lucus.jpg Darrell Lucus is a radical-lefty Jesus-lover who has been blogging for change for a decade. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.