Should Fox News be telling you to lie and steal?

Should Fox News be telling you to lie and steal? December 10, 2012

I realize I’m the fuddy duddy around here who is always telling kids to get off my lawn, but there have to be other people who were saddened by this story headlined “Hotel confidential: Secrets to scoring hotel freebies.”

It’s just a silly, cheesy story about someone’s new “memoir of hotels, hustles and so-called hospitality,” published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Late in the story, we’re told about how to tip the concierge:

The Concierge: For something like directions around $2-3 will suffice, but if their getting you reservations at a popular restaurant you should give about $10-20. Even in the era of the Internet and smart phones, concierges still have firsthand experience with the best places in town. “You can try calling for a table yourself, but they’re the ones that will have good connections and real pull to get you that reservation,” [Jacob] Tomsky told

Their? I realize I’m a typo queen, but this is why copy editors are super important. Anyway, the next section is:

Extra Freebies: Tomsky says the overstocked and overpriced mini bar charges are the most disputed on any bill. Although it’s hard to believe in a world where most mini bars have become censored, he insists that all you have to do is tell the front desk you ‘never touched the minibar’ and they will wipe away the charges. “It would be a weird desk agent to say ‘you sure you didn’t have these?’ That’s a terrible stance to take,” Tomsky said.

Apparently free movie rentals are also easy to score. “Once you’ve finished watching your movie just call down to the front desk and tell them the movie just froze in the middle or it turned off suddenly,” Tomsky told “Usually there is a subscription fee that they pay for the hotel as a total so they’re not losing any money.”

Lastly, the luxurious and cozy bathroom robes. Of course they sell them for an outrageous amount in the hotel gift shop but Tomsky says you can take one home for free. “They’re supposed to have robes preset in each room but you can call up and tell them your room is missing a robe. In the time it takes someone to come up and deliver you another one, you can stash the extra robe right into your suitcase.” Tomsky told

I don’t know what a censored mini bar is, so I assume we’re going for “sensored.” But so much more importantly than these typos, for the love of all that’s holy, what is Fox News doing telling people they should steal from other people?

If I were an editor and was presented with a subject pitching a book about how to lie and steal — under the guise of how to get the most out of your stay in a hotel — I would never in a million years give it any publicity of the non-condemnatory variety.

What if the author pitching the book were talking about how to cheat on an exam or how to rape someone or how to commit voter fraud or how to hide a body — what’s the line that FoxNews won’t cross here? Am I just an old fuddy duddy who thinks that the mainstream media shouldn’t run stories about how to lie and steal?

Ten Commandments image via Shutterstock.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I thought the same thing as you when I read this. We live in an age dubious ethics. Here, if the end is good and the effects do not hurt anyone, then it is ok. The “victim” here is an impersonal entity, and therefore incapable of being harmed in the strict sense. Ripping off the hotel of liquor and other room amenities has no moral content, and after all, they SHOULD give this stuff for free, shouldn’t they? For my patronage, I deserve it. It’s only right. We as a society do not know what is right and wrong any more.

  • sari

    What’s scary is the disconnect between the article’s obvious immorality and Fox’s demographics–that someone at the Fox thought the information presented would appeal to their target audience. Wonder if they’ll publish comments, pro and con, and if anyone will criticize their decision.

  • Dan Crawford

    Mollie seems surprised that Fox News might do such a thing.

  • Margie

    I appreciate what you have to say on both the ethics, and the typos!

  • Joy

    Thank you for posting this! I read the article and was mortified.

  • Darren Blair

    Things like soap and mints are meant to be taken with, as they’re single-use and would likely have to be discarded anyway.

    But knowingly and willingly taking towels / robes, lying about movie rentals, and/or stealing from the mini-fridge?

    That’s just theft, period.

    • Will

      Yes, but this writer seems to have bought into the progressivist view that it isn’t stealing as long as you steal from Greedycorporations.

  • Jerry

    I wonder how many articles Fox has run expressing outrage at the Ten Commandments not being displayed in public places. There’s a very old word that can be used to express saying one thing and doing another: hypocrisy. Perhaps we should just say that any such outrage of theirs in the future is Faux outrage.

  • northcoast

    I wonder if this will get a mention on the O’Reilly Factor. (Yes, I watch it.) I never look at that website, but this seems like an extreme example of “We talk, you decide.”

  • FW Ken

    I’m not a fan of Fox News, and don’t watch it, but the outage seems a bit… well… faux. Compared to the fraud propagated in the Savita case, cited in the later post, this seems pretty small beer.