In one of today’s top news stories, TMZ has published new and alarming video from the incident in which Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator of an Atlantic City hotel. The footage shows Rice striking Palmer, at which point she falls against the elevator’s handrail and then appears to pass out. When the elevator opens, Rice makes a half-hearted effort to clear her from the elevator.
That’s a new angle on this story: Prior to the emergence of the new video, there was less detailed footage from outside the elevator; it showed Rice attempting to drag Palmer from the elevator. Palmer later married Rice.
For his actions, Rice was suspended by the NFL for two weeks. After a grand uproar about mild punishment, the league subsequently upped penalties for domestic violence.
Whatever the appropriateness of Rice’s penalties, the video itself is disturbing in the extreme. It brings domestic violence graphically right onto your computer screen. It shows a woman assaulted, unconscious, defenseless and degraded, lying motionless on a hotel floor while her fiance appears to be little concerned about the situation.
But at least the folks at “Fox & Friends,” easily cable news’s most idiotic program, can mine it for a laugh or two. After running through the details of the assault this morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade joked, “I think the message is, take the stairs.”
Here’s a screengrab that captures the response to Kilmeade’s quip:
Unwilling to be outdone when it comes to laughing about graphic images of domestic violence, co-host Steve Doocy responded, “The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”
Update 2:30 p.m.: The Baltimore Ravens have made an announcement.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice’s contract this afternoon.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014