"Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy's visit to Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock & Roll Steakhouse Friday morning resulted in the rocker getting fired from being grand marshal of the 65th Nashville Christmas Parade amid boycott threats from the mayor and legal threats from one of Rock's fellow businessmen. It also resulted in some more memorable one-liners.
The line that prompted the meltdown was delivered by Rock during his mini-rant on the problem of political correctness in American discourse.
"We can disagree and still be cordial with one another," said Rock, real name Robert Ritchie. "God forbid you say something a little bit wrong; you’re racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, this that and the other. People need to calm down, get a little less politically correct, and I would say, love everybody — except, I'd say screw that Joy Behar b****."
"No, now, you can't—" a flustered Doocy said, while the audience behind the two exploded in cheers. "You cannot say that," said Doocy, gathering himself, but not able to resist laughing. "We apologize for that."
"I mean 'lady,'" said Rock, dripping with insincerity,
"She's just got a different point of view than you do," suggested Doocy.
"Exactly," said Ritchie. "You know maybe we'll go on and I'll hash it out with her and we'll talk about it. But exactly, aside from joking, which I was, just go out and hash it out with people and have your thoughts and ideas, but be able to still go have a beer with somebody and say, hey, we all love this country and let's have different ideas but try to move forward and be more together and realize, at the end of the day, we're all Americans."
When Doocy gave Rock a chance to apologize, he said, "I do apologize for the language, not for the sentiment."
Rock's shot at Behar was a response to her criticism of his visit to the White House, along with Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, which she said was "the saddest day in the history of the White House since the British burned it to the ground in 1814.″
The predictable backlash was swift and strong: Nashville Mayor David Briley announced that he was "inclined not to participate" in the parade if the Behar-insulting Ritchie headlined the event. "When you have the grand marshal of what’s labeled Nashville’s Christmas parade saying hateful things on national television, the mayor obviously does not want to be included in an event with someone like that," Briley's spokesman told AP.
Within hours of Rock's comments, organizers of the parade announced that they were looking to replace Ritchie with the "Waffle House hero," James Shaw, Jr.
"Parade organizers feel that the Grand Marshal should personify the spirit of the Nashville community and have invited James Shaw, Jr., who became a community hero after stopping a shooting at a local Waffle House earlier this year, to be honored," the event sponsors said in a statement published by the Tennessean.
However, Variety reported that the lawyer of Rock's business partner and close friend Steve Smith, who is the majority sponsor for the event, said the performer was going to show up to the parade anyhow. "My best analogy is it'll be a standoff at high noon," said the lawyer, adding, "I guess it’ll be a standoff at 8 a.m."
"Mr. Smith owns 95 percent of the stock," said the lawyer. "The other 5 percent of the people who hold stock held a closed-meeting excluding Mr. Smith and made a unilateral decision to exclude Kid Rock from the parade. It is our belief that, as the major contributor, Mr. Smith has the right to name the grand marshal of the parade."
Despite the threats, Rock ended up deciding to sit this one out, but he did offer a response online: "Well folks, it is official . . . My parade has been rained on!" he wrote Saturday. "But in the end, it is not about me. It is about the kids and the wonderful work they do at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Either way, myself, family and especially my granddaughter, are gonna enjoy today."
The disinvitation of the rocker annoyed some would-be attendees of the parade, as some social media posts noted by The Washington Post indicate:
"I will no longer be attending the parade due to Kid Rock being stripped of the Grand Marshal role," one person wrote late Friday. Another wrote Saturday morning, "I am actually getting tired of the liberalism in the Country Music organization. 1 mean word and all he’ll breaks loose. Really, put your big boy cowboy boots on and let Kid do his thing, we love him"
On "The View" Friday, Behar responded to Rock's statement with her own memorable line. "All I can say is: this b**** and these b****es would be happy to have you on the show and have a beer," she said.