CNN anchor Brianna Keilar mocked Fox News on Thursday for its hyperbolic coverage of the torching of the network’s artificial Christmas tree, contrasting it with the way the conservative network has actively brushed aside and excused the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Early Wednesday morning, 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha was arrested for arson after setting fire to Fox News’ “All-American Christmas Tree,” which was located right outside the network’s NYC headquarters. The suspect appears to be homeless and mentally ill, and has a long rap sheet, including allegedly exposing himself outside the Ghislaine Maxwell trial last month.
Fox News is scheduled to unveil a brand-new tree on Thursday afternoon as a “sign of resilience and hope in the face of a horrible act,” and on-air hosts have expressed outsized outrage over the incident. At one point, the network tied the arson to supposedly lax Democratic policies on crime.
Around the same time Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested the fire was a “hate crime,” Keilar took aim at the network for “extensively” making their burned tree “the centerpiece of their news day.”
Delivering one of her trademark “Roll the Tape” segments, the New Day co-anchor aired a montage of Fox News host alarmism about the tree, including claiming it not only “represents America” but that it is also somehow “about Hanukkah.” The supercut further spotlighted on-air hosts insisting they had a “front-row seat to the rampant crime ravaging Democrat-run cities” and that the fire endangered the lives of “hundreds of people” at Fox News.
“Now, no one was injured in this incident,” Keilar reacted. “But they could have been. This is a serious incident.”
Pivoting to footage of violence during the Jan. 6 riots, the CNN host added: “It is incredibly scary to feel that your workplace is under attack, unless— your workplace is the Capitol. Then, according to many, many Fox hosts, it’s not such a big deal.”
The CNN anchor played another Fox News montage—this time featuring several of the network’s top stars downplaying the insurrection as a “political protest that got out of hand” and was “99 percent” peaceful.
After noting that dozens of police officers were injured during the insurrection and several died in the riot’s wake, Keilar observed that Fox’s own reporters had to take cover inside the Capitol complex during the Jan. 6 violence.
“At Fox, when the target is a Christmas tree at their workplace, it is a sacrilege,” she declared. “But when the target is the seat of American democracy, it’s not.”
Keilar then concluded, “Just imagine if Fox hosts could muster, for an armed attack on the Capitol, the same outrage that they did for their Christmas tree. Perhaps some of the almost half of Republicans who think Jan. 6 was a legitimate protest might actually see it for what it really was.”