When it comes to ethical issues, FOX News presenters aren’t particularly renowned for their tact and moral diplomacy.
And that includes the host of Fox & Friends Brian Kilmeade, who simply offered this advice to the battered fiancée of newly ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, who he attacked in a lift earlier this year: "Take the stairs."
Following a brief panel discussion on the leaked video footage, in which Rice can be seen knocking his partner unconscious, he joked after citing the Solange and Jay Z fight: "I think the message is take the stairs."
The remark was met with laughter from his co-anchors Steve Doocy and Anna Kooiman.
Doocy added: "The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera."
Unsurprisingly, their seeming flippancy towards the issue of domestic violence sparked criticism. Al Jazeera’s Richelle Carey branded Kilmeade’s comments "moronic", while Global Grind news and politics editor Christina Coleman tweeted: "Why am I not surprised? This is how Fox News handled #RayRice video."
And they weren’t the only ones concerned by the coverage:
MORNING!! I'm a little behind this morning!! Ray Rice. FOX News blunders. Harris County has more illegal children than anybody @ktrhnewsMatt Patrick (@Radiomattrick) September 9, 2014
'Take the stairs' is the message to get out of Ray Rice knocking out his wife in an elevator? Compassionate and classy as ever, @FoxNews.Alison Shelesky (@AlisonShelesky) September 8, 2014
Indeed, the leaked footage shocked so many people, the White House has since issued an official response.
"The President is the father of two daughters," it read. "And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society.
"Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors.
"Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football – and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."
While it stopped short of mentioning Rice by name, the statement came in response to a question posed by Fox News reporter Ed Henry about the incident.
The statement will be followed by an address by Vice President Joe Biden at the National Archives. His speech will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.
Rice was sacked following the publication of the footage by TMZ, with the NFL side confirming they terminated his contract with immediate effect.
The NFL had previously given Rice a two-match suspension for the incident before the video surfaced.Reuse content