For over a decade, Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade has used his platform to spew bigotry and misinformation; Fox is now rewarding him with his own weekend show.
Kilmeade is replacing Jesse Watters, who was recently crowned host of Fox News Primetime. Deadline reports that Kilmeade “will remain a co-host of Fox & Friends, as well as a daily show for Fox News Audio and What Made America Great on Fox Nation.”
In a statement discussing his new show, Kilmeade said, “My ultimate goal is to create a program that will always seek solutions rather than sow division.” However, his comments on Fox News over the years have frequently spread anti-immigrant bigotry, public health misinformation, toxic racism, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and casual sexism.
Just this past week, Kilmeade criticized migrant resettlement programs: “You're poisoning these cities, and these towns, and these schools, with people that don't belong there.” This racist rhetoric echoes the Fox host’s long-standing claims that immigrants are “invading” the United States.
Similarly, three days after the 2019 El Paso, Texas, mass shooting that was inspired by the shooter's anti-immigrant sentiment and his belief that there was an “invasion” on the southern border, Kilmeade said, “If you use the term an ‘invasion,' that's not anti-Hispanic. It's a fact.”
Kilmeade's rhetoric is not a new problem; over 10 years ago, Media Matters noted that Fox News has enabled Kilmeade’s bigotry. In giving him his own timeslot, Fox has only elevated Kilmeade’s stature and audience. Here are some of the many bigoted and false statements that Kilmeade has made on his Fox platform over the years:
Anti-immigration rhetoric and conspiracy theories
One of Kilmeade’s biggest obsessions has been suggesting that immigrants are “invading” America from the southern border. His rhetoric has borrowed from the racist “great replacement theory,” a white nationalist conspiracy theory that Fox has brought from the far-right fringe to the mainstream of conservative media.
- Kilmeade compared Catholic charities helping migrants to them “supporting the mob,” adding, “The Catholics are OK giving money to organizations that are helping settle illegal immigrants in our country. … You can have a big heart, but you’ve got to be an American first.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/19/21]
- Kilmeade complained about migrant children appearing “in my school district,” continuing, “People think, well, I don't live at the border, it's not my problem.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/30/21]
- He made an allusion to great replacement theory, saying, “Millions are coming across our border. It's changing the population.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/27/21]
- Kilmeade claimed that migrants seeking asylum are an “all-out invasion on our southern border.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/29/21]
- Kilmeade said children who “don't speak English” are taking resources from “your” children. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/1/21]
- He said that then-President Donald Trump's asylum rules changes will “send a message” that “this is not the time to risk your family." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/12/19]
- Kilmeade defended indefinite family detention as “the most humane thing possible.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/23/19]
- Kilmeade likened overcrowded border detention facilities to a house party with 100 people: “You can have the best facilities in the world but they are so overstocked. … It wasn't their idea to have a wide-open border.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/2/19]
- He praised Hungary's far-right leader Viktor Orban for taking extreme actions to stop refugees: “Maybe Hungary was the smartest. When they saw the illegals coming, they put up a wall.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/21/19]
- He fearmongered that refugees at the southern border are bringing disease into America. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/11/19]
- Again echoing the white nationalist great replacement conspiracy theory, Kilmeade said immigrants are “sneaking into the country” to have children and “change the trajectory of generations.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 10/30/18]
- Kilmeade on family separation: “These aren't our kids. Show them compassion, but it's not like [Trump] is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/22/18]
COVID-19 misinformation and anti-mandate rhetoric
Kilmeade has not just been a source of anti-immigrant hatred, but also public health misinformation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fox host has undermined the severity of the virus and promoted unproven treatments for the disease, such as ivermectin.
- Kilmeade praised an organizer of an anti-vaccine protest that stormed Barclays Center. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/25/21]
- He said the government is sowing doubt in the vaccines by recommending booster shots. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/24/21]
- Kilmeade compared unvaccinated New Yorkers who can't go to bars and restaurants to Americans forced to shelter in place in Afghanistan. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/18/21]
- While guest hosting for Fox’s Laura Ingraham, Kilmeade declared: “I don't think you can mandate someone to get vaccinated, I'm pretty sure that we've never done that before.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 7/30/21]
- Kilmeade: “The vaccine is not nearly as effective against this delta variant as they say.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/20/21]
- He said it's “counterintuitive” for Americans to have public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic because we settled the West: “We went to Texas to start anew. There was no social safety net, there was no welfare, there was no unemployment insurance.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/19/21]
- At the start of the pandemic, Kilmeade said, “We've shut down an entire country for 0.3% of those who get it lose their lives.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/26/20]
On Fox, Kilmeade’s bigoted comments and casually racist remarks have shown disdain for modern racial justice movements and downplayed historic injustices against people of color.
- Kilmeade defended President Andrew Jackson’s role in the Indian Removal Act, Trail of Tears, and other incidents, saying: “Yes, he fought Indians. But the American Indians were the tribes that fought with the British against us in the War of 1812. I don't know if you were rooting for the British in the War of 1812, but I'm not.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/13/20]
- He said NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee “because it was convenient and he was depressed.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 9/17/19]
- He said that Kaepernick's protest was “the laziest form of activism I have ever seen” and could “cause Black and white division.” [Fox News, America’s Election Headquarters, 9/12/16]
- Kilmeade asked Fox anchor Harris Faulkner, who is Black, if she makes Kool-Aid with her cobbler on Thanksgiving. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/25/15]
- Commenting on former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s name, Kilmeade said, “I've eaten there before.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/28/11]
- Kilmeade went on a racist rant claiming Americans don’t have “pure genes” like the Swedes because “we keep marrying other species and other ethnics.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/8/09]
- He likened protesters against police brutality to terrorists, saying, “Lock them up and interrogate them, almost like you would Al Qaeda. Because they are undermining our country the same way the Islamist extremists were doing it.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 9/8/20]
Kilmeade has repeatedly used anti-Islamic rhetoric, tried to blame the Muslim community for acts of terrorism, and excused abuses of the United States government’s war on terror.
- Kilmeade claimed America was accused “of trying to take Iraq when we were just trying to liberate Iraq and leave.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/6/19]
- He smeared Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Muslim immigrant from Somalia: “You have to wonder if she's an American first.”He added, “She should use this opportunity as a Muslim leader not to dismiss a Muslim attack -- a Muslim extremist attack.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/10/19]
- Kilmeade endorsed anti-Muslim British antagonist Tommy Robinson saying, “We’ve got your back,” and, “It’s great what you’re doing.” [Media Matters, 6/11/13]
- He has repeatedly blamed Islam for terrorism, saying, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” and claiming it’s a “fact” that “every terrorist is a Muslim.” Additionally, Kilmeade argued that “we have to profile” Muslims, saying “if you're a 20- to 30-year-old Islamic male, even if you have no evil intentions, expect to be delayed,” and suggested the “Islamic community” is “gloating” by building a community center near the World Trade Center. [Media Matters, 10/18/10]
- He also claimed that Muslims “have to understand” being profiled because of “the war that was declared on us.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/10/09]
Kilmeade has also engaged in casual sexism during his news “analysis.”
- Kilmeade on Nancy Pelosi: “I'm not getting into gender, but she is emotionally losing it in every public event.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 2/6/20]
- He said of Deborah Ramirez, who said now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in college: “She's a valedictorian who ended up at Yale. Things could be worse.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/18/19]
- Kilmeade joked about football player Ray Rice assaulting wife on the elevator: “The message is, take the stairs.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/8/14]
- Kilmeade talked about his female colleagues during a segment, saying, “Let's see if the girls have clothes on.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/9/14]
- He advised women lawyers to use their “great body” to get ahead in court. [Media Matters, 3/27/14]
- During his radio program in 2012, Kilmeade remarked that Fox hires female hosts by looking at “the Victoria's Secret catalogue,” asking, “Can any of these people talk?” [Media Matters, 11/16/12]
- Kilmeade made a comment about removing a woman's “missile defense.” [Fox News, The Five, 1/5/12]
- In a single Fox & Friends segment on consumer car preferences in 2010, Kilmeade referred to women as “babes, chicks,” and “skirts.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/22/10]
These comments only scratch the surface of Kilmeade’s disqualifications. He is also just not smart.