'Beyond tragic': 'Fox & Friends' hosts say the Christmas-tree fire outside their studio is proof of 'the crime surge in this country'

A security camera shows the Fox News Christmas tree on fire.
The Christmas tree in Fox Square Wednesday morning in midtown Manhattan.Fox News
  • A Christmas tree outside Fox News headquarters became engulfed in flames Wednesday morning.

  • The network's Christmas tree in Fox Square caught fire, and a suspect was apprehended.

  • "Fox & Friends" morning hosts said the incident was a sign of lawlessness taking hold nationwide.

The hosts of "Fox & Friends," who are usually upbeat and cheerful when kicking off their three-hour weekday-morning show, began on Wednesday in a visibly dour and, at times, scornful mood.

Just a few hours before Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy went on air, the giant Christmas tree outside the network's headquarters along Manhattan's Sixth Avenue caught fire.

"Normally, during the Christmas season, we start the program by showing an outside shot of our all-American Christmas tree on Fox Square, but last night, shortly after midnight, somebody climbed up in the tree and lit it on fire," Doocy said. "It's beginning to look a lot like arson."

A suspect was taken into police custody, Doocy added.

The segment then began to take the form of a Fox News staple, the so-called war on Christmas, a seasonal assertion by the conservative network as reliable as fall's pumpkin-spice lattes.

"I mean, it's just part of the rampance that no city is safe, no person is safe, from the subway on down," Kilmeade said, later adding that the suspect was "tackled to the ground" by security "within two seconds."

Earhardt lamented that tourists would see security tape around the tree instead of its lights, music, and other seasonal elements.

She described New York City as "a city we used to love" as the panel used the incident to make a broader comment about crime in President Joe Biden's America — a complicated subject that involves a record spike in murders from 2020 but fewer nationwide than in the early 1990s, as well as a continuation of the overall crime rate lowering.

"This is beyond tragic," Kilmeade added. "This is part of a bigger problem. It's the crime surge in this country."

In response to a request for comment, a Fox News spokesperson referred Insider to an internal memo from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott.

Scott wrote in the memo that there were "no injuries and thankfully all employees working inside the building remained safe throughout the duration of the fire."

"We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us," Scott added later in the memo. "We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this."

Scott added that there were plans in the works for a "lighting ceremony" to unveil the new tree.

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