Fox News fans and employees alike were shocked this week to watch the 50-foot Christmas tree at the network’s New York headquarters go up in flames in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
According to Fox, police quickly arrested the man they believe is responsible and have since charged him with arson, as well as criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
Officers with the New York Police Department (NYPD) took a man named Craig Tamanaha into custody shortly after the fire was started.
The 49-year-old is said to have been previously arrested on two occasions for drug possession and was picked up once for public intoxication.
No injuries reported
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott addressed the incident in a memo to staffers Wednesday in which she pledged that a new tree would be erected.
“Earlier this morning, FOX News Media’s All-American Christmas tree outside our building on FOX Square was set on fire in a malicious arson attack,” Scott wrote, according to a separate report from Fox.
“The 50-foot tree, which was just lit in a beautiful on-air ceremony on Sunday night, was engulfed in flames and smoke permeated the building,” she added.
Scott said “there were no injuries” reported following the incident, “and thankfully all employees working inside the building remained safe throughout the duration of the fire.”
“An attack on Christianity”
Scott went on to praise firefighters for their work in extinguishing the inferno and thanked law enforcement for quickly apprehending the suspect. Scott also stressed that Fox News’ security personnel “did a great job responding to the incident immediately.”
“This has become a new wonderful tradition on FOX Square over the last three years,” Scott declared. “We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson later suggested that the fire may have been motivated by religious bigotry. “A Christmas tree is a symbol,” he wrote in a tweet. “Torching Christmas trees is an attack on Christianity.”
A Christmas tree is a symbol. It’s a symbol of a specific culture. It’s a symbol of a much-loved tradition that’s hundreds of years old. Above all, it’s a symbol of a religion, the world’s largest. Torching Christmas trees is an attack on Christianity. pic.twitter.com/enFRpnT0mQ
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) December 9, 2021