On Fox News, where “White Lives Matter” seems to be worth celebrating, threatening “death con 3” on all Jewish people is a bridge too far.
The network spent a good part of last week hyping up Kanye West’s for sporting a “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week, complete with a two-night sit-down interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight. But in the days since, the hosts have slowly come to the realization that they may have chosen the wrong hero.
It started on Sunday, when Fox & Friends Weekend hosts Will Cain, Pete Hegseth, and Rachel Campos-Duffy spent an early morning segment characterizing West’s Instagram suspension—for claiming that rapper Diddy was being controlled by Jewish people—as “totally totalitarian,” “totally anti-American,” and “just wrong.” They also suggested that West never would have been censored on social media had he not appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show.
But apparently, the hosts made those comments before seeing the subsequent tweet that led Twitter to lock his account. That message, which was posted late Saturday night and has since been removed by the platform, read, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death [sic] con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Just two hours after declaring West a victim of unfair censorship, the Fox hosts were forced to make a sharp reversal. After learning what he had actually posted, Cain called the comments “shocking” and “pretty ugly,” while Hegseth said called them “unfortunate.”
“We talked about it earlier without knowing about these tweets and saying of course they’re going to put a target—after what he said with Tucker, there’s going to be a target, no doubt,” Hegseth said. “But in this particular case, I mean he brought the target with that.”
Cain then made the roundabout argument that if you really want to “expose” racism and antisemitism, then society should not “constantly silence, censor and cancel” those who espouse it. Doing so will leave us unaware of what is lurking “under the surface.”
“It’s a good point,” Hegseth said.
The backtracking continued on Monday, when Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo expressed both her support for West’s fashion statement and disgust at the antisemitism on his Twitter account. “There was nothing wrong with his ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt, okay? Because white lives matter, Black lives matter, everybody’s lives matter,” she said. “But this tweet is just totally off the wall.”
And while Fox News has been stressing West’s struggles with mental illness following the tweet, with one reporter pointing to reports that he’s “in the middle of a psychiatric episode,” Tucker Carlson had a very different message for viewers just a few days earlier.
After airing part two of his lengthy interview with the rapper, Carlson directly rebutted the idea that West is “crazy or mentally ill or bi-polar or struggling with mental illness.” “The theme is always the same,” he said. “The guy’s a nut, don’t listen to him.”
“Not crazy,” he concluded. “Worth listening to, even if you disagree with him.”