Drunk Fox News Anchor Roughed up by Cops
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Drunk Fox News Anchor Roughed up by Cops


I usually avoid getting too political here, but I’ll just say that generating empathy for a Fox News anchor is my spiritual equivalent of a Crossfit workout. Back in May, Fox News personality Gregg Jarrett, who normally looks like this, was arrested after being visibly drunk in an airport bar. Now Jarrett’s arrest video has been made public, and it’s a little unsettling.

This Calls for a Rehab Refund

According to the incident report, this is what went down. Jarrett had been released from an apparently ineffective treatment facility with a pocket full of Gabapentin, a drug initially designed to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain but sometimes prescribed to ease the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. I hope he didn’t spend too much money on that rehab, because the first thing he did when he got to the airport was order a drink at Northern Lights Bar where the bartender, concerned about Jarrett’s level of intoxication, called in the airport police. The 59-year-old repeatedly denied having taken any meds (until they were found in his pocket without a prescription), though he admitted he’d started drinking vodka around three hours before.

Police Took Extreme Measures

But when they got to the holding cell, where firefighters tried to assess Jarrett’s medical condition, things escalated quickly. In fact, the description of the altercation in the police report doesn’t completely gel with the video, so it’s hard to say how trustworthy the rest of it really is. We see Jarrett mouth off at the cops and blame them for “making him do this” (total addict move, by the way), but his body language doesn’t seem nearly threatening enough to merit such a rough response from the blue team. The cops seem to go from relatively chill to Stone Cold Steve Austin in about half a second once Jarrett stands up and supposedly grabs Officer Mark Doresy’s arm. When Dorsey wrote that he “brought Jarrett down to the bench,” after using an arm bar on him, he left out the word “slammed.” Sure, Jarrett was being obnoxious and “obstructing the legal process” (which is the charge that put him in jail), but it seems a bit drastic.

Some of the disparity between the cops’ account and the video could be just misremembering of dialogue. “This is all your fault” is pretty interchangeable with “You made me do this.” And while Jarrett didn’t actually yell “Fuck you” twice, he did call the officer a “fucking stupid ass,” which is kind of worse. But regardless of whether the police were intentionally skewing their report of the incident, it’s hard to believe that level of violence was needed. It’s also not unheard of for police to yell “Stay down, stay down!” to create the impression that someone is resisting, when in reality he is lying quite still.

Feeling His Pain

For anyone who’s been that loaded, it’s hard not to feel for Jarrett when the cops slam his head into the bench. It really seems to knock the sass out of him, since he finally answers a question with a simple “Yes,” and the female officer who entered near the end of the video almost seemed like she was trying to do some damage control with her relatively soothing tones. After the dust-up, Jarrett was transferred to Hennepin County Adult Detention Center in downtown Minneapolis and was released on $300 bail.

Does this mean we can expect the family values folks over at Fox News to come to a more sympathetic viewpoint on addiction? Unlikely. But I’ve had my moment of unexpected empathy for the day, so anything is possible. Here’s hoping Jarrett’s next stint in rehab is more fruitful.

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About Author

Erica Larsen AKA Eren Harris blogs at Whitney Calls and Clean Bright Day. Their writing has also been published on Salon, Selfish, Violet Rising and YourTango. They live in Los Angeles with their husband and their enormous cat.