On Fox’s Outnumbered, cohosts Katie Pavlich and Melissa Francis joined colleague Tucker Carlson in recasting the vigilante murder of two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin as support for law and order. When called out on it, they pretended they didn’t. Cohost Harris Faulkner joined in the deceit.
As I previously posted, Tucker Carlson suggested last night that the shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha this week was justified. Two protesters have died and a 17 year-old has been charged with homicide regarding at least one of the murders. Not surprisingly, there has been an outcry against Carlson, sending #FireTuckerCarlson trending on Twitter.
But as Media Matters has pointed out, Carlson was far from the only one making supportive comments about the shooter. Fox hosts Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld and Martha MacCallum did as well.
But those comments were all made yesterday. Today, even after the #FireTuckerCarlson outcry, two Outnumbered cohosts echoed similar sentiments.
PAVLICH: Well, in Portland, anarchists there have been engaging in attempted murder against federal and local law enforcement for months now. When you try to block doors where there are federal law enforcement agents inside and try to light the place on fire, that is attempted murder. When it comes to how you stop this and why people are doing what they're doing, you're making a choice as a leader not to stop riots at the beginning. …
And I have to say, on the argument of vigilante justice, when you have no police around to defend businesses and people who are being attacked, and their livelihoods burned to the ground, then there is a void that is filled. And you have to ask yourself, when resources are offered at the beginning of when these riots break out, and rejected by Democratic leaders over and over again, you have to ask the question why. And this is a pattern of behavior not just now. You'll remember, in Baltimore a couple years ago, when the mayor said that she gave the, quote, "protesters room to destroy," and they completely went through the city and ruined everything. This is a pattern of behavior with Democratic leaders who are not capable of defending their cities and the people who live within them.
FRANCIS: No, that's a great point. The vigilantes are just as much the fault of those local leaders who have failed so miserably. Great point.
Although it’s not in either clip below, cohost Marie Harf challenged her colleagues for ignoring the rise in vigilantism, which Francis dismissed as changing the subject from Portland, before Pavlich's remarks seen in the first clip. Furthermore, Pavlich did not challenge Francis’ interpretation of her remarks, that vigilantes are “just as much the fault of those local leaders.”
In the following segment, the show’s #OneLuckyGuy, Chris Wallace, put up the challenge nobody else did. Francis, Pavlich and Faulkner all insisted we should not believe our lying ears:
WALLACE: I’ve got to push back on something we said at the end of the last segment, because there seemed to be the implication that somehow vigilante justice was understandable or justified by the lack of sufficient police action and authority --
FRANCIS: No. No.
WALLACE: -- and presence in some of these cities. I've just got to say this. Just as it's completely a disconnect --
FRANCIS: That's not what was said.
WALLACE: Well, that would seem to be the implication …
WALLACE: While vigilantes were filling the void from police. Just as it's fair to say that rioting and looting is a completely inappropriate response to George Floyd or Jacob Blake, vigilante justice is a completely inappropriate response to the rioting in the street --
WALLACE: There is no justification for what happened in Kenosha --
WALLACE: And vigilante justice is a crime, and should be punished as a crime.
FAULKNER: We did not say that, and now we have said it --
PAVLICH: Nobody said that.
FRANCIS: But it's a shame that you misunderstood the opening to that segment there.
FAULKNER: We did not say that before -- please let me finish. We did not say that before and now we have.
WALLACE: You were saying it filled a void. I don't think that's right.
FAULKNER: The one thing that Melissa said was nobody is saying that that is the right thing to do, but to actually point out that it is in fact a crime is the nuance of what Chris Wallace is saying. And so I feel like we've had a complete conversation on that.
Then, without any irony, Faulkner “moved on” to “talk about the politics of law and order” in the suburbs.
Wallace’s remarks come at about 2:15 in the second video below. Both videos are from the August 27, 2020 Outnumbered.
I’ll give Harris credit for her sweep-it-under-the-rug phrase “crime is the nuance”, but it would be better repurposed thusly:
Crime is the nuance of the new Republican Party.