Fox News’ double standard for protesters is again on display as it encourages the truckers in the Canadian convoy to block traffic, after previously encouraging violence against anti-Trump and Black Lives Matter protesters who did the same.
Canadian truck drivers in the “Freedom Convoy” have blocked streets in Ottawa, causing gridlock since late January, and have also shut down some crossings along the Canada-U.S. border to protest vaccine mandates. Most Canadians oppose the Ottawa protest; polling found that 70% of Canadians support to some extent a vaccine mandate for nonexempt adults. Additionally, there are 60 ongoing investigations into crimes allegedly committed by convoy participants. Despite these disruptions and reports of criminal activity, Fox News has fully supported the protest and has encouraged similar protests against vaccine mandates in the U.S.
- Following reports that the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Ontario and Michigan forced a shutdown of a Ford plant in Detroit, Fox contributor Jason Chaffetz praised the truckers, saying they are “able to express themselves in a peaceful, peaceful way.”
- After claiming that racist flags seen in the convoy were from a “plant,” Fox host Jesse Watters asked one of the truckers, “Since you are able to shut down the northern border, could you head down maybe to Texas and shut that border down? We could use your help down south.”
- Fox contributor Newt Gingrich criticized the Canadian government’s handling of the protest, saying it was “acting ferociously” and claiming, “All over the world, people are getting fed up with governments that have become remarkably authoritarian and are willing to use their police powers to really go after people in a serious way.”
- Fox host Sean Hannity praised the convoy on February 2, saying, “Tonight the tide is officially turning. The freedom movement is growing. Farmers are now joining, this is an amazing scene unfolding, with truckers in Canada and the U.S. demanding to end every and all mandates.”
- Hannity continued to praise the convoy and its movement toward Ottawa on February 3: “The “freedom convoy” of Canadian truckers, they’re still driving full speed ahead tonight standing up for human dignity, liberty, freedom, and for the ability to make medical decisions that are best for them and their families and in consultation with their doctors. Now it is enraging the left, including the sad pathetic excuse -- so-called leader Justin Trudeau who is suggesting the convoy is racist and transphobic.”
- Fox anchor Dana Perino said she would join the protest if she were in Canada: “There is a huge groundswell of support for the truckers. Heck, if I lived in Canada, I think I would join them.”
In the past, Black Lives Matter protests resulted in an onslaught of negative coverage and vitriol from Fox News, which included highlighting arrests of protesters for blocking traffic. Fox Nation and some Fox personalities seemed to support people running over BLM activists, and other protesters opposing Trump and his immigration policies, if they were blocking traffic in any way:
- In 2016, then-Fox News commentator Todd Starnes posted a tweet encouraging people to run over protesters of a Trump rally.
- In 2017, Fox Nation republished a video reel from The Daily Caller “showing one vehicle after another driving through demonstrations” and set to a cover of the song Move Bitch from Ludacris. The headline of the post was “Here's A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road.”
- During a 2019 interview on his show, then-Fox Business host Lou Dobbs commented that “it must just gladden your heart to see” a guard at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility run over protesters who were blocking his path.
- And in 2020, Fox host Tucker Carlson lauded a Republican-backed “anti-riot” law in Florida, which made it easier for people to drive over protesters by giving them civil liability protections for doing so. A federal judge later blocked at least part of the law from being enforced.