Coronavirus deaths and cases have reached staggering new peaks and our nation’s health care system is dangerously overtaxed but Fox & Friends seems to think its fictitious War on Christmas is bigger news.
Media Matters crunched the numbers yesterday:
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed at least 286,000 Americans, including over 85,000 since mid-September. The U.S. is hitting records for daily averages of new cases and deaths amid the pandemic’s deadliest week yet. On December 8, 2,622 Americans died of COVID-19 -- but the December 9 edition of Fox & Friends never mentioned them.
Instead, Fox News' flagship morning show plowed ahead with 18 minutes of coverage on the network’s two newest War on Christmas stories: a young boy denied a Nerf gun by a shopping mall’s Santa Claus, and a Minnesota nurse who got one anonymous letter complaining about her Christmas lights.
The Christmas lights story was a Fox News twofer, as it allowed for the demonization of civil rights activists at the same time.
Ainsley Earhardt’s “tough journalism” chops were on full display as she excitedly announced in her introduction, “We have found out now” the identity of the woman who got the letter.
Earhardt gave the woman extra Christmas martyrdom by announcing that the lights “give her joy when she comes home from working on a COVID floor.” Too bad Earhardt, Jesus’ most adoring adulteress, couldn’t muster up the same interest in and concern for the woman’s patients.
Earhardt read us part of the letter: “The idea of twinkling, colorful lights are a reminder of divisions that continue to run through our society, a reminder of systemic biases against our neighbors who don’t celebrate Christmas or who can’t afford to put up lights of their own. We must do the work of educating ourselves about the harmful impact an outward facing display like yours can have.”
The letter must have struck an especially deep chord with Earhardt given that she has been “so tired” of protecting rights of “the minority” since at least 2015.
EARHARDT: I mean, come on! Brian, it’s Christmas! She wants to put up lights. We all need more lights. We all need more joy. Look, and it’s not even – it’s not that much.
STEVE DOOCY (COHOST): It’s not Griswold-y.
Of course, on Fox News, just about any story that doesn’t glorify Donald Trump or conservatives is a story that demonizes the left. Cohost Brian Kilmeade was there for the weaponization:
KILMEADE: I mean, that’s the mindset that has people looting stores and taking because you have too much that’s not yours. Society is not equal. Why am I stuck in America? Why has God forsaken me with this horrible group of people with this terrible history?
Personally, I think the letter was uncalled for, rude and inconsiderate. But to me, its point was at least as much about the somber and sorrowful moment of our times as about equality per se. It speaks volumes that all three cohosts missed that part of the message in order to weaponize and politicize it.
I like nurse Kim Hunt’s response, that the lights give her joy, and “I wish we could all celebrate diversity and honor everyone’s traditions. We need to be inclusive of everyone and let’s face it, a lot of people put up holiday lights and decorate their homes for other occasions to bring beauty and happiness to what can be a very ugly world.”
The well-heeled, pandemic-ignoring hosts treated us to their deep, compassion-filed Christmas spirit without troubling themselves with any thoughts about what melancholy or despair may have afflicted the letter-writer. Instead, Kilmeade asked for more excuses to weaponize the holiday:
KILMEADE: By the way, it’s not a sign of affluence, in my humble opinion, if you have lights on your house or even decorate for Halloween.
KILMEADE: A jack-o-lantern needs a jigsaw and one pumpkin, doesn’t mean you’re rich and putting it in your neighbor’s face. If you have lights around your door, it costs – I bought lights the other night. I had to get a roll of 50, I prefer 25 – ‘cause I just, I overestimated the size of my tree and I just needed an additional 25 and I think it cost me $4. It did not, it’s not a sign of wealth that you could pay $4 for lights. That’s just my opinion.
DOOCY: But the letter writer is doing exactly what they accused the homeowner of doing and that is not being accepting of other people.
EARHARDT: Exactly! I hope that other person who wrote the letter feels bad now. This is a nurse on a crowded floor saving lives.
DOOCY: The nurse is taking the high road. Listen, as you said, three other neighbors apparently got it. There’s some question whether or not they knew who the person is. So, don’t be surprised -
EARHARDT: I was driving through a town yesterday and there was a manger scene. And next to it, red, white and blue Christmas trees. I was like, “AAAHHH, I love this town!”
KILMEADE: Right. And we’ll see if there’s an anonymous letter in there. Is anyone else on the high road except this nurse? Anybody else? If you are on the high road, write us. Because no one’s taking the high road any more. It’s good to see.
DOOCY: Not enough people take the high road, that’s the problem these days.
EARHARDT: Why don’t we all just say a prayer for that person who wrote the letter –
EARHARDT: - And hope that she has a Merry Christmas or he does.
You can watch the Fox & Friends holiday spirit below, from the December 9, 2020 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
When the definitive sociological history of the age is written, the blinkered priorities of Fox’n’Fiends deserves a chapter all of its own. This is the perfect example.
- Sorry, I refuse to go along with old Ben Franklin’s timid attempt to kick-start a new and distinct American language by messing with your spelling)