I’m stumped over the calls for apologies from Fox & Friends. Furthermore I’m confused about the outrage. Anyone who has ever watched Fox News, especially anything with Tucker Carlson, knows that this is a propaganda machine which has generated and fueled the idea of numerous Culture Wars in America. Their greatest success, by far, is the non-existent War on Christmas. This is a business and their product is fear-mongering, hate mongering, and opinion masquerading as news .
Look, this entire mess of bigoted statements has very little to do with the Pagan community. This “attack” is really just another propaganda salvo in the Fox arsenal. In vying for the attention of right wing Christian viewers Fox News spins stories to appeal to the paranoid culture war mentality that has become their bread and butter. This wasn’t an attack on Wiccans. It was fuel for the culture war that Fox is heavily invested in, that happened to include Wiccans.
Let’s examine the actual statements made on the show:
They made the obligatory joke about Halloween being the most important holiday.
Carlson stated that every Wiccan he knew was either a “compulsive Dungeons & Dragons player or is a middle-aged, twice-divorced older woman living in a rural area who works as a midwife.”
Carlson said that “they hate orthodox Christianity, that’s what this comes down to.”
Bruce furthered this stating that Wiccans are “being used for a political agenda to downgrade what’s important to a majority of Americans” and that they should be “angry about being used by the establishment.”
She continued stating that the same American values that Wiccans are so against, were the only ones allowing them to live their lives freely. Both her and Carlson wished Wiccans good luck in finding those American freedoms in any other country.
All they left out was the accusation of Satan worship and a subtle suggestion that people keep their pets indoors after dark around MU’s campus. So where are Wiccans targeted in any meaningful way? All I’m seeing is Fox’s own wacky brand of hateful mad libs. Replace Wiccan with any faith and you get the same effect.
Fox News, didn’t give their target any thought, they fired up the cameras, filled in the blanks, spun Tucker’s tie and pointed him at the camera. Their goal was to agitate, anger, and increase the social media conversation of this issue along heavily polarized lines. Here the tactic worked very well. So well that many of the Pagans who would be thrilled to know that Missouri University had recognized the eight holidays on the Wheel of the Year, were flooding social media crying for Tucker Carlson’s blood and/or an apology. We forgot to celebrate, and instead focused on demanding things. We played right into Fox’s hands. They want us angry. They want social media spreading the story. They want their audience engaged with us in heated polemic.
So stop being angry at Fox for doing what they do and do your best to counter it.