Fox News Hosts Can’t Understand Why Christmas Tree Arson Isn’t Considered a “Hate Crime”
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade doesn’t understand why the person suspected of setting fire to the network’s “All-American Christmas Tree” this week can’t be charged with committing a hate crime.
The suggestion came as Kilmeade and his fellow Fox & Friends cohosts were bemoaning the fact that the suspect had been released without bail—something Ainsley Earhardt was quick to blame on “new liberal reform laws.” The suspect, Craig Tamanaha, was not eligible to be held on bail because he’s only accused of committing misdemeanor offenses. The hosts seemed genuinely furious at the idea that an unhoused person, as Tamanaha is, might not have to sit in jail while awaiting trial for something he has not been convicted of.
This would only have been a bail-eligible offense if a person had been injured or if the fire was a suspected hate crime, “and apparently lighting a Christmas tree on fire is not a hate crime,” Steve Doocy said incredulously.
To which Kilmeade asked, “Who says it’s not a hate crime against us, against Fox News?”
Brian Kilmeade on the burning of the Fox Christmas tree: “Who says it’s not a hate crime against us, against Fox News?” pic.twitter.com/DFm9qN6eXJ
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) December 9, 2021
Doocy interjected that they “don’t know the guy’s motivations,” to which Kilmeade suggested, “the judge could ask him.” Brilliant plan, Brian.
Doocy is right that, despite what many Fox News executives, employees, and conservative supporters claimed yesterday, no one knows if the fire was deliberate or an accident, or if it had anything at all to do with Fox News or Christmas. Police said they didn’t think there were any “political” motivations behind the fire, and Tamanaha reportedly has a record of low-level criminal offenses—including, just last week, allegedly exposing himself to reporters outside of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial in Manhattan.
Kilmeade was not the only Fox News personality to suggest the Christmas tree fire should be considered a hate crime. (He was, however, the only one to imply Fox News itself is a protected group.)
Tucker Carlson devoted a whole segment to the idea:
The War on Christmas continues. Tonight, Tucker is outraged Merrick Garland isn’t prosecuting people who burn Christmas trees for a federal hate crime. pic.twitter.com/PYraUVszqa
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 9, 2021
This Fox News contributor also raised the question:
Criminal torches @FoxNews Christmas tree that has brought so much pleasure to families visiting NYC. Is that a hate crime?
— Liz Peek (@lizpeek) December 8, 2021
A lot of people online are making false equivalencies between burning a Christmas tree and destroying other (actual) religious symbols. But just yesterday, Ainsley Earhardt insisted that the Christmas tree wasn’t a symbol of Christianity, saying, “It’s about the Christmas spirit. It is about the holiday season. It’s about Jesus. It’s about Hanukkah.”
Ainsley Earhardt on the Fox Christmas tree: “It’s a tree that unites us. It brings us together. It’s about the Christmas spirit. It is about the holiday season. It’s about Jesus. It’s about Hanukkah. It is about everything that we stand for as a country.” pic.twitter.com/fV8Hg2juHI
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) December 8, 2021
Unsurprisingly, Fox News is showing themselves a level of compassion and interest in seeking justice that they have historically refused to extend to victims of actual hate crimes.
F&F after the Charleston church shooting where 9 black people were murdered: “Extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime”
F&F after their Christmas tree is lit on fire: *This* is a hate crime! https://t.co/cbO1sygpjD
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) December 9, 2021
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]