Fresh off of their most recent faux-rage news cycles about a pregnant Joker and “woke” M&Ms, Fox News found something else to be spitting mad about this week: A scandalous photo of First Lady Jill Biden using a gas stove.
The picture that prompted the right-wing outcry and sparked several Fox News segments showed Mrs. Biden cooking with gas back in September 2020. Yes, that’s the scandal.
How did we get here? Well, earlier this week, U.S. Consumer Product Safety commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg about the steps his agency may take to address the safety and health hazards associated with gas stoves. Recent studies have linked increased risks of childhood asthma in homes to the appliances, as well as other environmental concerns.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka said on Monday. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
Despite Trumka later clarifying that the agency “isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves” and that any potential regulations would only impact new appliances, a political firestorm quickly arose. Republican lawmakers and Big Oil lobbyists pounced on Trumka’s comments, insisting the Biden administration would have to come and take the gas appliances from their cold dead hands.
The conservative backlash grew so loud that CPSC Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric issued an additional statement on Wednesday reiterating that the agency isn’t “looking to ban gas stoves” and is not “proceeding to do so.”
Eventually, trollish Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)—who appears more interested in podcasting than legislating—joined other right-wing social media personalities in roasting the first lady for an old tweet of her sautéing some spinach.
“Rules for thee but not for me,” the failed presidential candidate tweeted on Tuesday.
With conservatives dunking on the Biden photo as proof of the White House’s hypocrisy on a politically ginned-up controversy, it was only a matter of time before Fox got on board. Before long, the conservative cable giant’s digital writers had whipped up several articles about the “roasting” Mrs. Biden received online.
On Tuesday night, former Bill O’Reilly toady-turned-primetime host Jesse Watters complained at length about the possible regulations that could or could not be implemented in the future. After claiming Democrats believe gas stoves are “racist” and are looking to kill small businesses with the potential ban, he then turned to the photo.
“Maybe somebody needs to break the news to Jill,” Watters quipped. “How will she make spinach artichoke dip?”
By Wednesday morning, the network had devoted at least another four segments to the growing outrage over the first lady cooking on a gas stove. “First Lady Jill Biden getting roasted for cooking on the thing this administration is looking to ban,” Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone declared on Fox & Friends First. “You can’t make that up,” co-host Carley Shimkus replied.
Shimkus also appeared on the network’s flagship morning show Fox & Friends a few hours later to introduce a headline report on the 2020 pic, claiming “First Lady Jill Biden now catching some heat on social media” over the two-year-old photo.
“Yikes,” she added.
The channel’s so-called “straight news” daytime programs, meanwhile, also jumped aboard the outrage train.
“In the kitchen, your gas stove may be buh-bye,” America’s Newsroom co-anchor Bill Hemmer snarked.
“There is an effort to eliminate them from the kitchen,” he continued. “Which takes us back to September of 2020, where Jill Biden was doing this unfortunate thing in her own kitchen using a gas stove.”
Hemmer then referenced Cruz’s tweet before once again pointing out that the first lady had used gas for cooking, prompting anchor Martha MacCallum to note “of course she’s got a gas stove!”
And the following hour, The Faulkner Focus anchor Harris Faulkner brought on pro-wrestling Fox News contributor Tyrus to speak at length about the apparent hypocritical actions taken by the Biden family.
“Stuff like this is really inconvenient for the side that wants to force us to cook without gas,” Faulkner huffed before running through a list of conservative tweets mocking the first lady.