Media

Fox News host suggests Christmas tree fire could have been ‘a hate crime’ against network

Brian Kilmeade, a top Fox News personality, suggested on Thursday that an attack on the Christmas tree outside the network’s world headquarters in New York City earlier this week could have been a hate crime. 

Fourty-nine year old Craig Tamanaha was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with arson, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and criminal trespass after allegedly climbing the 50-foot “All-American” tree located in Fox Square in midtown Manhattan and lighting it on fire, the network reported. 

The incident was widely photographed and recorded by eye witnesses and broadcast live on Fox. Tamanaha, who was arrested on the scene, has reportedly been released on bail. 

“The judge could have found a way to keep him locked up if he felt he was a threat to society,” Kilmeade commented during the network’s morning show on Thursday. “Note to judge: He’s a threat to society.” 

Police have said Tamanaha had a pervious criminal record but have not indicated a motive for the alleged attack. 

Under New York City’s new bail reform laws, co-host Steve Doocy noted, a person can only be charged with a felony in an arson case if the suspect tries to harm another person or is suspected of committing a hate crime. 

“Apparently lighting a Christmas tree on fire is not a hate crime,” Doocy added. 

“But it is,” Kilmeade interjected. “Who says it’s not a hate crime against us, against Fox News?” 

Kilmeade added the judge in Tamanaha’s case “could have asked him and under suspicion kept him locked up.” 

In a memo to staff on Wednesday morning, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott called the incident “a malicious arson” and announced later in the day the network would erect and light a new tree on Thursday evening. 

Several hosts, pundits and guests on Fox throughout the day Wednesday decried the attack on the Fox Christmas tree, comparing it to other instances of vandalism in the country and tying it to rising crime rates over the last year. 

“This is part of a bigger problem,” Kilmeade said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning, just hours after the blaze had been put out.

“It’s the crime surge in this country. … There is so much crime in places that were always safe, including 48th and 6th here. This is emblematic of these cities out of control, defame and defund the police and this bail reform that has these men and women, these assailants, these suspects out before they can even finish the paperwork. This is what you get when you have these left-wing DAs … running these cities, you get chaos.” 

Tags Brian Kilmeade fox & friends Fox News Television in the United States

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