Fox News hosts inaccurately tied the parade crash to progressive efforts to reform the criminal justice system.
"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday advised Republicans to "take advantage" of the parade crash that occurred in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, saying the party should use the incident to attack Democrats for being soft on crime.
The Fox News program sought to draw a connection between the tragedy and unrelated efforts by progressive groups to reform bail, highlighting a clip from former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who blamed "politicians" and "activist judges" for "caring more about criminals than actually protecting our community."
While Wisconsin has not enacted such bail reforms, and the Wall Street Journal has noted that "local officials haven't significantly debated such reforms," Kilmeade advised:
Republicans should take advantage of this. Go right to the inner cities, offer an alternative. Don't say the urban community doesn't vote for us. Go in there and offer an alternative to keep them safe with law and order in a way in which it would resonate with the community.
Within the segment, Kilmeade also noted that President Joe Biden does not support defunding the police or "letting criminals out of prison."
Prior to the crash, suspect Darrell Brooks had been released from jail after posting $1,000 cash bail on Nov. 11 after being charged six days earlier with disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering safety. According to the criminal complaint, he was accused of punching the mother of his child and running her over with a vehicle.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said in a statement on Monday that bail was set "inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges" against Brooks
Chisholm also indicated that the district attorney's office would be conducting an "internal review" to reveal why the bail amount was too low.
A judge on Tuesday set Brooks' bail at $5 million after he was arrested for driving into the parade, which has resulted in 6 deaths.
Cash bail has been shown to disproportionately affect the poor, keeping them in jail at a higher rate than those with more money and disproportionately harming their families and communities. Supporters of bail reform seek to more equally dispense justice while protecting the rights of minorities and those with lower incomes.
The misleading segment on Fox comes a day after the network invited former British politician and anti-immigrant Brexit champion Nigel Farage on air to discuss the crash in the context of illegal immigration and terrorism. Neither immigration nor terrorism has been cited by authorities in connection to the crash.
Fox has frequently aired reports on crime as part of a campaign to give the impression that the Democratic Party is "soft" on crime.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.