If the creek don’t rise and the snow and ice take a break – and all signs (forecasts) look good — Momma’s West Main Café and the city of Hillsboro will be featured coast to coast and to other parts of the known world with cable and satellite access Wednesday morning from 6-9.
During those hours, Fox’s Pete Hegseth will interview local residents about the issues of the day as they enjoy their ham and eggs at Momma’s as part of “Fox & Friends.”
It should be a fun visit and a feather in Hillsboro’s cap. No matter your politics, it’s nice when a spotlight is shown on our region once in a while in a way that is not as negative or misleading as “Trump Country” regions are sometimes portrayed in the national media.
To the chagrin of its competitors, Fox News remains cable’s top-rated cable news channel, and “Fox & Friends” is the number one morning cable news show.
In 2017, “Fox & Friends” “had its most-watched year in network history, averaging nearly 1.6 million total viewers” each day, which was up 25 percent over 2016, according to the TVNewser website.
And among those regular viewers is none other than President Trump himself, a fact about which the other cable networks often complain. In fact, so devoted is the president to “Fox & Friends” as part of his morning routine that he often tweets about the various segments immediately after they are broadcast.
Who will be featured at the diner on Wednesday’s show? I have no idea. Those decisions will be made by the Fox producer on site and the good people at Momma’s. Typically, based on my viewing of other diner visits, the show prefers regular customers and residents over, say, politicians, and I’m guessing that will hold true Wednesday.
Momma’s co-owners Bobbie Barr and daughter Jeretta Barr are understandably excited about Wednesday’s visit. The “Breakfast With Friends” segments always seem to be fun and entertaining, based on the ones I’ve seen.
Bobbie and Jeretta told me last week they’ll be ready. They and their staff have to be there dark and early to meet the Fox crew and prepare for the big day – but not too much earlier than they usually arrive to get ready for a typical breakfast crowd.
Pete Hegseth, who Fox confirmed to me Monday will be the onsite host, was an infantry captain in the Army National Guard, and has served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay. He holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman Badge for his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the biographical profile.
On air, the former CEO of Concerned Veterans for America is a fierce advocate for the military. In addition to his military background, he has a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University and master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Show off.
It won’t be Pete’s first visit to Ohio for a “Breakfast With Friends” segment. On Election Day 2016, Pete was at Fitzy’s Old Fashioned Diner in Dublin, Ohio, to get the pulse of voters. And in April 2017, Hegseth traveled to Pete’s Restaurant in Canton for another live breakfast piece. So with Wednesday’s visit to southern Ohio he will have covered most parts of the state.
Pete is a Minnesota native, so the cold weather here shouldn’t be too daunting for him. In fact, compared to Minnesota weather, what we’re experiencing here right now might seem like spring.
I visited Minneapolis once during the winter. There’s a reason the city’s downtown area includes covered bridge-like walkways connecting the buildings. It was freezing, beyond what we typically think of here as cold. There’s a bone-chilling level of iciness in Minnesota in the winter.
A Fox producer asked me what’s good to eat for breakfast at Momma’s. I confessed I’m not a breakfast eater and I usually patronize Momma’s at lunchtime. But everything at Momma’s is good, I promised.
The “Fox & Friends” visit should be fun. I appreciate that they’re coming. Welcome to Hillsboro.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @AbernathyGary.