Fox & Friends jumped to the defense of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson amid controversy surrounding his remarks on the recent campus shooting in Oregon, continuing the program's pattern of covering for Carson. During an appearance on the October 6 edition of Fox News' Fox and Friends, Carson commented on the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College by stating that had he been there he “would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” sparking “widespread rebuke from his critics,” according to The New York Times. Following Fox & Friends' pattern of defending Carson amid backlash for his controversial statements, host Brian Kilmeade once again leaped to cover for the candidate, noting that he “was shocked this became a 24-hour story.” Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck accused mainstream media of “mischaracterize[ing]” Carson's comments and argued that media outlets were being “completely irresponsible” in their coverage of Carson's statement. From the October 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY: Okay, so that was the question, that was the answer, and then suddenly mainstream media is going, “oh well, it looks like you're blaming the victims for not doing something.”
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: But this is a man who spent 40 years plus bringing people back to life, giving people a chance at life. And the mainstream media wants to now mischaracterize him as someone who is dancing on graves. That's unfair, it's incorrect, and it's irresponsible. It's completely irresponsible to do this man whose life mission has been to give life and who is simply answering a question, which, by the way, a bunch of universities are now training their students to deal with mass shootings, potential mass shootings, as a hazard such as a tornado, a hurricane, a mass flood. They're actually training students to deal with situations particularly in the way that Dr. Ben Carson stated here. He wasn't saying that the victims there didn't do enough to defend themselves.
BRIAN KILMEADE: That wasn't even the question.
HASSELBECK He's alluding to them being courageous enough to put forward a conversation which says, hey, we have to now think about these situations because they keep happening and how our kids can defend themselves in a gun-free zone, which is by the way is a whole nother conversation that needs to be happening right now.
KILMEADE: My intent with the question, Elisabeth, was -- because he is such a religious man, I thought, you know, the gunman allegedly went up and said “if you're a Christian, I'll shoot you in the head.” If you didn't answer, he'd shoot you in the leg. So, if you were given that opportunity, what would happen? And he said, well, for one thing, I'm not just going to stand there, I would charge. There was nothing into that, there was nothing that should have been read into that -- I was shocked this became a 24-hour story.