The Grinch who stole Christmas, am I right?
The Fox News Christmas tree was set on fire at approximately 12:15 early Wednesday morning.
A 49-year-old male suspect is in custody for allegedly setting a large Christmas tree on fire outside the Fox News headquarters in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/gxK5SeMsjT
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) December 8, 2021
— Matthew Sturiano (@Msturiano) December 8, 2021
It’s alleged a 49 y.o homeless man climbed the 50 foot tree and set it on fire.
No reports have mentioned this was politically motivated (yet).
No one was injured.
Gothamist has more on the story:
A 49-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly setting a Christmas tree outside the Fox News headquarters in Midtown on fire last night.
An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist the incident happened around 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning in Fox Square at the corner of 48th Street and Sixth Avenue, right outside the News Corporation building where Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post are all located.
A 49-year-old man, identified by police as Craig Tamanaha, allegedly was observed by Fox News security climbing the 50-foot Christmas tree (which, as you can see in the photo above, is technically a “metal superstructure” made up to look like a tree) and then setting it on fire.
Tamanaha was taken into custody at the scene. He has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal nuisance, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 8, 2021
What’s scary, the man arrested over this could be back on the street in a matter of hours.
The Daily Mail had this to say about it:
The 49-year-old ‘arsonist’ arrested for setting fire to the News Corp’s 50-foot Christmas tree could be back on the street in hours because of the city’s lenient bail reforms.
Craig Tamanaha, who is described as homeless and ’emotionally disturbed’, faces six misdemeanor charges for torching the tree and under the 2020 criminal justice reforms that means judges are advised to release the accused.
Arson is only constituted as a felony in New York if the perpetrator harms or attempts to harm a person or if the act is considered a hate crime.
Fox News employees called police after watching Tamanaha climb the tree at 12.14am Wednesday and set it on fire. He tried to scramble away, but was taken into custody.
“There’s no question that the legislature has got to reevaluate the nooks and crannies of the bail statute because it’s leading to absurd outcomes,’ Mark Bederow, a former Manhattan prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer, told Fox News.
Tamanaha caused about $500,000 in property damage, sources told the New York Post. It is still unclear why he targeted the News Corp. tree. NYPD detectives told DailyMail.com that it was a completely random act and not politically motivated against News Corp, which owns The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Here are some of the reactions
Fox was right all along, there IS a war on Christmas
— Magical Shiba Boy (@Dark__Man) December 8, 2021
Fox News’ Christmas tree in midtown was set ablaze last night. Some eyewitnesses who aren’t fond of the Network were heard describing it as a "fiery, but mostly peaceful Christmas tree."
— Desi Cuellar for Congress (NY-14) (@DesiJCuellar) December 8, 2021
Hate crime towards Christianity
— PlaidShirtYogaPants (@Pldshrtyogapant) December 8, 2021
They laughed when I said the War on Christmas is real. Now the Antifa Grinch has set the Fox News Christmas tree on fire. Tucker Carlson had us dreaming of an all white Christmas & they’ve ruined it. I don’t even know if it’s worth putting the elf on the shelf this year. pic.twitter.com/BWwwONmtZP
— Guy Who Does His Own Research (@DYO_Research) December 8, 2021
It’s strange isn’t it?
A senseless random crime committed by a homeless person, who allegedly acted alone.
But hear me out, setting fire to a 50 foot Christmas tree takes work.
A LOT of work.
He had to climb 50 feet, then light some papers on fire, put it in the tree, make sure it caught fire, then climb down.
The only thing he had on him when taken into custody was a lighter.
But who’s to say he wasn’t PAID to light this tree on fire?
He could’ve easily stashed the money somewhere else before lighting the tree on fire.
With New York’s loose bail restrictions, knowing he would probably be out of jail within a few hours, I’m sure he could easily hide money somewhere for a few hours.
Just a thought.
Tweets everywhere are referring to this man as the grinch and for good reason.
This is a Grinch that stole Christmas
— Gi Gi Sanders (@kyaqarius) December 8, 2021
Scroll to 2:05 for the reference.
“Don’t be a grinch”
As I am walking by @FoxNews last night, I took this quick photo of their pretty red, white, & blue tree, not thinking several hours later it would be burned to the ground. Don't be a grinch and burn down #Christmas trees; it's just wrong. pic.twitter.com/o3OHfJGrC1
— Jen Burch (@_jenburch) December 8, 2021
But fear not, Fox News is not planning on giving into the war on Christmas or the grinch.
Fox News Christmas spirit will not be deterred by this and they are working on getting a new Christmas tree stood back up.
CEO Suzanne Scott states in her memo :
“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us. 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.”
It is rumored they plan to have a new one up by the end of the week.