The New York Times continued a trend of passive language in the establishment media when it reported Wednesday that a Christmas tree at Fox News in Manhattan “catches fire,” as if the giant Christmas decoration had spontaneously combusted.
The tree was lit on Sunday in Fox Square, outside the network’s headquarters. Fox News reported: “The red, white and blue themed tree measures 50-feet high filled with 10,000 glass ornaments, 100,000 lights and took over 21 hours to assemble.”
But early Wednesday morning, the tree was seen engulfed in flames, and video immediately appeared across social media:
The Christmas tree outside of Fox News has caught on fire. pic.twitter.com/No7SVK0JeF
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 8, 2021
FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott informed staff that the tree was set on fire in a “malicious arson attack.”
As Breitbart News and numerous local news sources reported, police immediately apprehended a man suspected of setting the blaze. A 49-year-old suspect, Craig Tamanaha, was named as the man arrested; arson was reported to be suspected.
However, the New York Times reported, even after the arrest: “Fox News Christmas Tree Catches Fire in Manhattan.”
The Times noted in a sub-headline: “The police said that a man was in custody in relation to the blaze.” However, the headline marked the latest example of the use of passive language when a news story might be embarrassing to the left.
In last month’s mass murder at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin — an event the media largely dropped once the suspect was identified as a black man with racist views, on bail after an arrest for another violent crime — CNN reported that “a car drove” through the crowd, and the Washington Post reported that the tragedy had been “caused by an SUV.”
Similarly, actor and left-wing political activist Alec Baldwin claimed that a gun on the set of his movie, Rust, somehow fired by itself when he was holding it, after he had cocked it. The bullet killed the film’s cinematographer and injured the director.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.