Fox's Brian Kilmeade echoed Jeanine Pirro’s bigoted smear of Rep. Ilhan Omar by “wondering” if Omar “is an American first.” Coming less than a week after someone was arrested for trying to kill Omar makes it all the more disgusting and yes, anti-American. UPDATED
Pirro has only just recently returned from a two-week suspension for her smear of Omar as “antithetical to the United States Constitution” for wearing a hijab. Given that Pirro’s bigoted remarks were part of a scripted commentary, some senior-level producer must have approved them - before Fox decided to “strongly condemn” them 24 hours later.
Less than a week ago, a man was arrested for threatening to kill Omar. His threat described her as a Muslim terrorist.
So it’s unlikely that Fox & Friends cohost Kilmeade would have rattled off such similar sentiments, albeit in slightly more palatable language, without knowing that he had the approval, if not at the direction of, Fox management.
In fact, the whole framing of the discussion was an obvious set up for the “more Muslim than American” smear. It began with cohost Steve Doocy playing some remarks by Omar cherrypicked for an excuse to bring on the bigotry. (Transcript excerpts via Media Matters):
DOOCY: She was last month at an event supporting CAIR, which is the Council on American Islamic Relations. And the sound bite that we're about to play for you that's got some people upset because of how it trivializes September the 11th, the greatest terror attack in our nation's history, which was conducted by terrorists. And here she is talking about how Muslims in this country are scrutinized these days, and then listen to how she describes September the 11th.
We saw a clip of Omar talking about discrimination against Muslims after some “did something” on 9/11. What she clearly meant was not that 9/11 was just a little “something” but that it was a small group of Muslims whose acts were used to tarnish the whole group.
But, not surprisingly, the Trump Friends were oh, so poutraged and so unconcerned with what Omar was talking about other than the chance to jump at suggesting she sided more with the terrorists than America.
KILMEADE: "Some people did something" -- like an unprovoked attack killing people in the Pentagon?
KILMEADE: Thousands in the Pentagon, and, you know, the Flight 93, as well as in the World Trade Center? Really? There's some few people did something? You have to wonder if she's an American first.
Kilmeade was looking at his notes as he “wondered” if Omar is “an American first.” That should dispel any doubt his remarks were pre-planned. But wait, there's more.
After a jag of self-righteousness from Earhardt, Kilmeade began lecturing Omar with dos and don’ts for being a Muslim American:
KILMEADE: So as a Muslim American, you should be more outraged because they sullied your religion. In the name of religion, they kill Americans and still do it on a daily basis.
[T]hese radical Muslims; Al Qaeda, al-Shabaab, ISIS, you name it, they are still out there. And if our people are not working in ways in which we don't even understand in Africa, throughout the Middle East, and elsewhere, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Waziristan, and everywhere else, there would be countless attacks coming our direction. She should use this opportunity as a Muslim leader not to dismiss a Muslim attack -- a Muslim extremist attack.
Watch Kilmeade deliberately follow in Pirro’s footsteps below, from the April 10, 2019 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
10:26 PM update: Apparently facing blowback from his remarks, Kilmeade doubled down on them in a tweet.