Fox News Runs Wild With Two Very Dumb Easter Outrages

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

What is Fox News outraged about now?

In the latest instance of the conservative cable giant whipping its audience into a frenzy over culture war outrages, Fox News stars have been fuming that the Biden administration is sticking a “thumb in the face” of Christians by merely acknowledging Transgender Day of Visibility and “banning” religious symbols on Easter eggs at the White House.

Like many of the right-wing outrage-industrial complex’s concocted grievances, these claims fall apart upon closer examination. That hasn’t stopped Fox News, however, from running wild with assertions that President Joe Biden is trying to destroy one of Christianity’s holiest days.

“For years, we have been having a campaign to put Christ back into Christmas,” Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen groused on Monday. “Under Joe Biden, we have to put Christ back into Easter, too.”

Just ahead of the Easter weekend, the White House issued nearly a dozen proclamations that included recognition for Cesar Chavez Day, Month of the Military Child, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The administration also proclaimed Sunday to be Transgender Day of Visibility, a day of awareness that was established in 2009 and has been held annually on March 31.

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Of course, Easter Sunday happened to fall on March 31 this year. Even though the two days overlapped purely out of coincidence, Republicans took the opportunity to seize upon the proclamation as proof that Biden was insulting Catholics and evangelicals by supposedly ignoring Easter to celebrate trans awareness.

House Speaker Mike Johnson claimed that the “American people are taking note” that the president “betrayed the central tenet of Easter,” while Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said it was “appalling and insulting” that the Biden White House “formally proclaimed Easter Sunday as ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’” (The former president, meanwhile, spent his Easter Sunday firing off dozens of unhinged social-media posts raging about his legal costs—all after hawking $60 “God Bless the USA” Bibles.)

While the White House was busy pushing back on the “dishonest” criticism of the president’s transgender proclamation, conservatives also got worked up over a flyer inviting children of National Guard members to enter the White House’s egg decoration contest. The flyer noted that submissions “must not include any questionable content, religious symbols, overtly religious themes, or partisan political statements,” prompting a slew of conservative outlets—including Fox News—to run headlines blaring that the White House had “banned” religious designs in this year’s contest.

The American Egg Board, a group that helps facilitate the White House Easter Egg Roll, eventually noted that “the guideline language referenced in recent news reports has consistently applied to the board since its founding, across administrations.” Indeed, the restrictions first took effect in 1978 during the Carter administration and have been in place since—including throughout Trump’s term in office.

Yet, even as the dishonest criticism of these latest made-for-Fox controversies was refuted immediately by the White House and mainstream media outlets, Fox’s personalities have continued to peddle outrage over the stories.

With on-air graphics blaring “Erasing Easter?” and “Inclusiveness Over Holiness?,” the panelists of Fox News’ Sunday night panel program The Big Weekend Show took turns grumbling about the trans day proclamation.

“I’m sorry, but people who live alternative lifestyles shouldn’t get the same dignity and respect from our government as those that… fought in Vietnam,” exclaimed Fox News contributor Johnny “Joey” Jones, adding that Biden’s “turned Easter into a trans celebration.”

Lisa Marie Boothe declared that “this is a clear effort and a coordinated effort to remove God from our society and to replace God with false gods, and in this instance, it’s the trans community.” She further groused: “They clearly want us to bow at the altar of the trans community instead of bow to God.”

Appearing Monday morning on Fox & Friends First, Fox Business Network anchor Cheryl Casone suggested that the White House proclamation was a deliberate “thumb in the face of Christians and Easter,” especially since there was a “lot of commentary that says this was politically motivated.”

Meanwhile, over on Fox Business Network, MAGA host Maria Bartiromo declared that “Christians across the country felt that was a smack in the face,” prompting her guest, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), to claim that “Jesus wept” over the White House’s proclamation. He went on to call transgenderism a “mental illness,” leading Bartiromo to briefly push back before agreeing with his overall sentiment.

“I don’t know what you’re saying in terms of mental illness. I have no idea what you’re talking about in that regard,” she reacted. “But I will say this: Christians want their Easter Sunday, and Easter Sunday happens to be on March 31 this year. So to declare a transgender visibility day on the day of the Easter holiday, the resurrection, when you know Christians and Catholics everywhere believe this is a high holy day. That is outrageous!”

Elsewhere within the Fox universe, FBN anchor Stuart Varney obsessed over the so-called Easter scandals throughout his Monday morning broadcast. His fellow Fox Business host Charles Payne said it was “time for people who do believe in God to fight back,” claiming liberals have been “successful” in destroying Christianity over the past 50 years.

Over on the Fox News mothership, the network’s stars expressed their anger over the president—who is perhaps America’s most prominent Catholic—supposedly disrespecting fellow Christians by both acknowledging trans people and keeping a nearly 50-year-old Easter egg contest rule in place.

“It is an insult to Catholics,” Thiessen groused on America’s Newsroom while anchor Bill Hemmer mused about the alleged “ban” on religious art on Easter eggs: “I thought what the speaker said was very interesting. Mike Johnson said—he called out the White House for banning religious egg designs in the Easter art event. So if you were concerned with the waning of religion in America, here is your example.” (During the White House Easter events, the president called Johnson “uninformed” over his criticism of the administration’s Easter activities.)

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner was absolutely beside herself that the White House “banned religious-themed designs,” dramatically asking colleague Brian Kilmeade, “What in the world is that about?” during Monday’s broadcast of The Faulkner Focus.

“Uh, more stupidity,” Kilmeade responded before claiming Biden was worrying about appealing to certain voting demographics.

“What about the Christian vote? Don’t we count?” fumed Faulkner, who is often touted as one of the network’s “straight news” anchors.

“Not only is it callous and tone-deaf,” Kilmeade added. “I don’t think it’s smart, politically. To me, who are you trying to impress?”

While Faulkner and other Fox News stars further harped on the issue during midday roundtable show Outnumbered, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took a swing at the network from the briefing room.

“We’re grateful that Fox agrees with President Biden on recognizing Trans Day of Visibility,” Jean-Pierre said during Monday’s White House presser. “And I’ll just quote something Fox said about it back in 2021, and they tweeted this: ‘Trans Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people.’”

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