Fox & Friends hosts today derided a July Fourth protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration policy and voiced disapproval of any protests taking place on Independence Day. But in 2009, the show encouraged its viewers to take part in Fourth of July protests against President Barack Obama.
Yesterday, a group of protesters gathered at the foot of the Statue of Liberty holding a banner that read “Abolish ICE” while one woman climbed the statue in protest of the Trump administration’s egregious mistreatment of immigrant families. The next day, Fox & Friends hosts disparaged the protesters, specifically the woman who climbed the statue, with host Brian Kilmeade commenting, “Can’t we agree on one day to celebrate the birth of our country regardless of who is in office? People seem to be missing that message.”
But according to a ThinkProgress article from 2009, Fox & Friends promoted “anti-Obama, anti-tax tea party protests on July 4th” that summer.
Fox News routinely bolstered tea party protests, lauding protesters and providing heavy coverage of the demonstrations throughout Obama’s presidency; network executives went so far as to dub Fox News “the voice of the opposition.” Fox’s promotion of GOP protests comes in stark contrast to the network’s indifference or open hostility toward demonstrations around progressive causes, such as racial justice, women’s rights, climate justice, and gun control.
From the July 5 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Late in the afternoon -- you can see a woman right there, 44-year-old Congolese immigrant by the name of Teresa Okomu, I believe, who was part of the Rise and Resist movement. There she is, 89 feet above the ground, shutting down the Statue of Liberty, all in protest to the president’s immigration policy.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): She did that. She was rising up to the Statue of Liberty’s feet, and she was resisting when police said, “You need to get down.”
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): You have a right to protest. You don’t have the right to put the lives of 16 NYPD officers [at risk] in the process. And as National Park spokesman Jerry Willis said, “I feel sorry for the visitors who had to leave the Statue of Liberty and could not come because it was evacuated.” People have a right to speak out, and don’t think they have a right to co-op the statue of liberty to do it. And that’s -- people say, “Well, America was born on a protest. How appropriate.” No, we were born as a country in a protest. Can’t we agree on one day to celebrate the birth of our country regardless of who is in office. People seem to be missing that message.
This post has been updated with the video from 2009.