Entertainment And News

Fox News Anchors React After Man Sets Fire To Christmas Tree Outside Fox Building In NYC

Photo: Citizen App / YouTube
Fox News Christmas tree burning

“All American Christmas At Fox Square” read the sign that shone while the Fox News Corporation Christmas tree was engulfed in flames early this morning before the sun completed its rise.

The alleged arsonist suspected of scaling the 50-foot decoration was arrested this morning as he tried to flee the scene, but many at the Fox News Headquarters were quick to share their horror and accuse the suspected arsonist of declaring the “war on Christmas.”

Fox News employees have been reacting rather aggressively to the news of their Christmas tree being burned.

Why was the Fox News Christmas tree burned?

No clear motive has been given for the incident. 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, a homeless man whose last known address was in Brooklyn, was arrested and is accused of setting fire to the tree using a rubbish fire, according to the FDNY

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A lighter was recovered from his person, but it’s unclear whether the suspect had used any form of accelerant on the fire to cause it to set fire so quickly.

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported and Tamanaha faces one count each of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree reckless endangerment, fifth-degree arson, second-degree criminal nuisance, third-degree criminal trespass, third-degree criminal tampering, and disorderly conduct.

However, since the passing of the criminal justice reforms enacted in January 2020, none of these crimes qualify him for bail and he could walk the streets again within hours of his arrest.

In order to qualify for bail, he would have to be charged with arson as a hate crime of the third degree — which the burning of a Christmas tree does not legally qualify as.

"You'd have to intentionally damage a building or vehicle by starting a fire or explosion as a hate crime, which is an extraordinarily high bar for bail eligibility," Manhattan prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer, Mark Bederow, told Fox News.  "Having a personal bias or animus toward Christmas doesn't legally cut it."

Fox News hosts have been weighing in on the burning of the tree. 

Fox & Friends Co-host, Brian Kilmeade, connected the incident with the criminal justice reforms and the “Defund the Police” movement during a feature on Wednesday.

“How soon until this psycho is out again to burn somebody else’s tree down or grab some weapon and harass somebody in the subway,” he said, angry about the tree burning.

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Co-host Peter Doocy took a more cautious approach and warned that “we don’t know the specific details yet. The police report has not been filed. We just heard what some of our security has said.”

New York Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, told WPIX-TV that it “is probably a little preliminary to say what the motivation was. Was mental illness a factor? We are looking at all of that and will probably have more to say.”

According to Shea, the suspect is “an individual that is known to us. He has a series of low-level arrests and drug arrests,” along with appearance tickets and arrests from out of state.

The new, three-year-standing tradition, saw the tree being lit on Sunday, with plans for a new tree to be lit already in the making, according to a memo sent out by CEO of Fox News Media, Suzanne Scott.

“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us,” she added. “We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this.”

As Fox and friends gather their pitchforks and torches to prepare for the “war on Christmas,” Twitter reveled in the opportunity to make jokes about the conservative echo chamber surrounding the so-called war on Christmas.

“The war on Christmas has begun! Now is our time antifa supersoldiers! take to the streets and destroy Christmas once and for all!” tweeted one user sarcastically.

Left-wing Twitter wasted no chances to criticize the rhetoric but voiced that Fox could potentially take it seriously and see it as an attack on their right-wing beliefs — which should be protected under the Freedom of Speech and shouldn’t be burned to the ground.

At the time of writing, no motive has been made clear and Tamanaha is currently being held at the Midtown North Precinct.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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