Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner on Thursday teed up a segment on the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” by seemingly criticizing the notion that such anti-vaccine activists are “fringe,” instead claiming their beliefs have gone “mainstream.”
Moments later, the program rolled footage of such demonstrators waving flags and signs boosting the crazed far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, which centers on the belief that Donald Trump is fighting a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiliac cannibals.
During Thursday’s broadcast of The Faulkner Focus, Faulkner declared that “Canadians say this is old, we are getting bold” while discussing the most recent developments in the ongoing protest—largely spearheaded by truck drivers who refuse to get vaccinated—against the nation’s coronavirus guidelines and restrictions.
In recent days, Ottawa was essentially shut down when thousands of protesters descended upon the Canadian capital, all while loudly honking 18-wheelers created gridlock by blocking downtown streets. The mass demonstration, which began when some truckers objected to vaccine requirements for crossing the U.S.-Canada border, has since morphed into a rejection of all of the nation’s COVID-19 policies.
After noting that the “Canadian Freedom Convoy” recently blocked a border crossing into Montana, the Fox anchor then brought up the fact that Canadian leaders have denounced the violence and some of the hateful ideology associated with the protests.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to paint them all as a fringe group, but the mainstream is embracing them now! People from other nations with loud support,” the midday news host proclaimed.
She then followed this up with a montage of protesters saying they “are here for freedom” and that they want Trudeau to “give people their freedom back.” Faulkner then turned to Fox News correspondent Molly Line, who pointed out that the Ottawa chief of police has acknowledged they may call on the nation’s military to clear out the remaining protesters in the city.
While Line delivered her dispatch, and after she said the protests had driven “some city residents a bit crazy,” the network aired b-roll footage of a demonstration that prominently featured large QAnon flags and signs.
One sign featured the notorious QAnon slogan WWG1WGA, which is an abbreviation of their rallying cry “where we go one, we go all.” Additionally, protesters also waved a massive United States flag emblazoned with the letter Q.
Line wrapped up her reporting by observing that “there are international elements” to the protests now as it has “galvanized citizens on both sides of the border” and resulted in a GoFundMe page that has raised millions of dollars.
The Canadian police, meanwhile, have set up a hate crime hotline related to the pandemic protests after demonstrators racially abused a homeless shelter guard, harassed a couple with a Pride flag, desecrated memorials and statues with anti-vax messages, and were seen waving swastikas and Confederate flags.
This isn’t the first time Fox News, knowingly or unknowingly, has boosted QAnon on its airwaves. Fox News star Tucker Carlson, for instance, has repeatedly defended supporters of the violent conspiracy theory as “gentle people” who merely love their country. Fellow host Jesse Watters ended up walking back his apparent endorsement of QAnon after he said its supporters have “uncovered a lot of great stuff when it comes to Epstein and it comes to the deep state.”