Fox News devoted multiple segments on Tuesday night to defending accused murderer Kyle Rittenhouse, describing the 17-year-old charged with shooting several Kenosha protesters as an “all-American” and a “little boy out there trying to protect his community.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who justified the shootings earlier this summer, kicked off his program Tuesday night by airing a video detailing the August shootings produced by a fundraising group led by Rittenhouse’s attorney, L. Lin Wood.
The heavily narrated video, which purportedly details Rittenhouse’s actions that night, largely uses previously shown footage while portraying the victims as criminals, going so far as to show their rap sheets when identifying them. Rittenhouse, meanwhile, is described as a lifeguard who has devoted hundreds of hours to community service.
The video also tries to sow doubt about whether Rittenhouse actually killed Jason Rosenbaum, the first victim. Acknowledging that Rittenhouse shot four times toward Rosenbaum, the narrator notes that other shots were fired in the vicinity, suggesting that the shot that killed Rosenbaum could have been fired by someone else.
After showing the slickly produced clip from Rittenhouse’s defense team, Carlson turned to pro-Trump Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro, who immediately took the opportunity to defend Rittenhouse.
“We still don’t know if Kyle did the kill shot, because we can’t get the autopsy or the ballistic reports yet,” she said. “But if you move on to the second shooting, what you realize is this kid is not a mass murderer, there were several times he could’ve continued shooting. Twice he shot in the air, once he turned around and the guy put his hands up, he didn’t shoot him, he kept moving.”
After applauding Rittenhouse’s apparent restraint in not shooting more protesters that night, Pirro called on the district attorney to drop the charges against Rittenhouse, saying there’s “no shame in exonerating a defendant if he’s not guilty.”
“Kyle Rittenhouse has been villainized here, and he's been demonized, and I think it should be just the opposite,” she continued, adding: “This one kid is an innocent man, he’s looking to help, he’s all-American, and he’s trying to just make sure his town is safe.”
Notably, Rittenhouse is not from Kenosha, or even Wisconsin. He traveled to the Jacob Blake protests that night from Antioch, Illinois, roughly 20 miles away.
The following hour on Trump confidant Sean Hannity’s show, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi—who served on President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team—piggybacked on Pirro’s portrayal of Rittenhouse as a clean-cut kid trying to make a positive difference.
After Hannity played a bit of the video, Bondi said she was glad Wood was the attorney before justifying Rittenhouse’s alleged actions, saying Kenosha was a “war zone.”
“You have got a 17-year-old out there trying to protect his state,” she exclaimed. “He is helping people who have been injured. He has paramedic training for being a lifeguard. He is taking graffiti off walls. He is trying to mitigate the chaos out there.”
Once again, it should be noted that Rittenhouse is not from Wisconsin.
The “video speaks volumes,” Bondi said, adding that the victims were criminals who were “chasing him down” before claiming that it is “too soon to charge him” with anything.
“They charged him two days later and there were bullets flying everywhere. Other people were firing,” she said. “This kid was out there trying to help people. Were people killed? Absolutely.”
“We have a little boy out there trying to protect his community,” Bondi continued. “Should he have been out there with a gun? No. But should he have been charged with murder? We just don’t know yet and they charged him two days later. So it’s a war zone out there.”
The former attorney general concluded by seemingly placing the blame for the shootings on local leadership, asking, “What’s it coming to in these liberal cities when teenagers have to go out there to try to provide aid to other people who are getting injured by these rioters?”