Opinion | After calling the burning of his Christmas tree a ‘hate crime’, Fox News is now the Jussie Smollett of cable.

It’s as if Fox News is covering the Great Library of Alexandria fire.

If you tuned into the cable network this week, you saw ashen presenters trying to make sense of a heinous crime: the burning of the All-American Christmas tree.

It happened after midnight on Wednesday. That’s when security outside News Corp’s Manhattan headquarters spotted a man climbing the 50-foot-tall tree. That’s Fox’s second-largest artificial structure, behind only Tucker Carlson’s ego.

Soon, the flames licked up the sky. The suspect in this trees, identified by police as Craig Tamanaha, 49, was approached in Fox Square. He was arrested and charged with seven crimes, including arson. A look at her previous rap sheet, and mugshot, suggests that Tamanaha lost some marbles long before the suspect set this innocent tree on fire as if she was taking bath salts in Burning Man.

Police, according to the New York Times, believe that Tamanaha is homeless. They are investigating “whether drugs or mental illness” were a factor. He was arrested in March “for smoking the synthetic drug known as K2.”

Meanwhile, the New York Post, which is owned by News Corp like Fox, reported that Tamanaha exposed herself to journalists outside of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial last week. The suspect’s father, Richard Tamanaha, told the Post that his son’s motivation for climbing the tree’s conical scaffold before turning the 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights into a bonfire in the center of town was a desire to “receive News”.

If true, your child attacked the correct Christmas tree.

In recent days, Fox News has spent more airtime on this crime than ever on the MAGA insurrection of maniacs. One of the contributors to the network, the Rev. Jacques DeGraff, compared the hell of the trees to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Others wondered why the FBI had not launched an investigation. God yes. Why haven’t the feds convened a task force of 500 agents to catch the suspect who, hopefully, acted alone and was caught seconds after the fire started?

But it was “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade who threw the snowflake to Mars. While discussing this reckless vandalism of a troubled man with no fixed address, Kilmeade asked, “Who says it’s not a hate crime against us, against Fox News?”

And so Fox News became the Jussie Smollett of cable.

A hate crime? Brian, if this suspect stole your sleigh on vacation to take a ride down the nearest slope, he wouldn’t be charged with sedition. Are you seriously suggesting that the destruction of trees is comparable to the murder of Emmett Till? Give your silly head a shake. Also, if this suspect was homeless, how was he watching Fox News to hate him like most of the educated free world? Was Tamanaha loitering outside a Best Buy on Broadway, nibbling on fish bones and reading the subtitles for “Hannity” when she radicalized and hatched this tree? Did you ask Greg Gutfeld for spare change on 6th Avenue and, when ignored, decide to go all Son of Sam at the All-American Christmas Tree?

I’m amazed that Laura Ingraham didn’t Photoshopped Tamanaha to depict her in a Hillary Clinton mask, hanging from burning Christmas branches. I’m not surprised that Mr. Carlson still hasn’t slipped into his “I’m just asking questions” conspiracy stunt, before raising the possibility that it’s a fake tree false flag. No. The burning of the All-American Christmas tree was one of the biggest gifts Tucker was able to receive this year because it allowed him to rekindle perennial grievances about how everything is an attack on “tradition.”

Sorry, Tucker. Sometimes a deranged wacko who burns a tree, hateful as he may be, is just a deranged wacko who burns a tree. It’s not about identity, racing joker. For all we know, the suspect could have been hallucinating when he mistook the All-American Christmas Tree for a dragon that needed to be killed.

Fox News doesn’t want to talk about homelessness or mental illness. He just wants to turn anything into a political hot potato with extra sour cream.

The conservative network has rightly ridiculed disgraced actor Jussie Smollett, who this week was found guilty of staging a hate crime. Now he is doing the same by suggesting that the burning of the All-American Christmas tree was a hate crime. All of this is disgusting to actual victims of hate crimes.

One of the things I tell young, aspiring columnists coming up is to avoid intellectual dishonesty. Follow the facts. Come to reasonable conclusions based on those facts. Is there any evidence that the suspect in The Burning of the American Christmas Tree was “a dangerous anti-Christian psychopath,” as Carlson suggested this week? No. My guess is that a fatwa was not a factor in his exciting death from this festive tree.

Fox News has spent a quarter of a century fanning the dubious “War on Christmas” thesis. But after his tree burned down this week, I heard a lot more uses of “holidays” than ever. Somewhere, Bill O’Reilly is having a massive heart attack. “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt, trying to be inclusive after the arson, even inexplicably suggested that a Christmas tree is a symbol of Hannukah.

Correct. And Spider-Man is a symbol of Diwali.

The burning of the All-American Christmas tree was a crime, not a hate crime.

And not even Fox News can carry out this intellectual dishonesty.


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