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Stephen Colbert Keeps Wading into Fox News Christmas Tree Being Lit on Fire in the Most Cringeworthy of Ways

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

For the past few days now, Stephen Colbert has been trending on Twitter, owing in part to his reaction to the Fox News Christmas tree being lit on fire. Craig Tamanaha was arrested by police on Wednesday for allegedly lighting the tree on fire, but as Leah pointed out, because it's New York City, Tamanaha was released without bail. Despite the sincerity of the issue at hand, Colbert has been tweeting and cracking jokes during "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." 


On Wednesday night, hours after the fire took place, Colbert tweeted, "Flaming Christmas Tree just got its own show on FoxNews!" 

Fox News' Greg Gutfeld took the unfunny joke in stride, responding that it is "already beating [Colbert] in the ratings." The tweet has performed far better than Colbert's. 

Colbert also went after Fox News during his monologue on Wednesday night's show, as he called for "thoughts and prayers," and it got worse from there. "Now, I know what you're thinking, but the ghost of Hugo Chavez has an alibi," Colbert joked. "Of course, this never would have happened if the tree had a gun. Give a squirrel a gun or something like that."

The host also went after a former Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly. "Homeless and mentally ill? Oh my God, the fire was set by Bill O'Reilly! So it doesn't look like this holly jolly arsonist was politically motivated, but Fox News is still going to eight maids a milk it," Colbert joked, also making fun of the suspect.  


Tamanaha, as Joe Marino and Jesse O'Neill reported for the New York Post, is indeed mentally ill. "Oh, he's a nut. I can't control him," Richard Tamanaha of Hawaii said about his son. "Mentally, he's not all there."

Marino and O'Neill also pointed out how Tamanaha is expected back in court on January 4, but the suspect seemed confused about that directive.

As Kristine Marsh highlighted for NewsBusters, Colbert was hardly the only late-night show host to make light of the crime. 

Jimmy Kimmel, on Tuesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," joked that "the fire is believed to have started after Fox News' pants caught on fire" and that "lighting trees on fire is very much in line with Fox's position on climate change." 

Like Colbert did, Kimmel also took aim at specific Fox News hosts, such as Judge Jeanine Pirro, with Kimmel joking that "the fire is believed to have started because Judge Jeanine Pirro ate one too many rum balls and breathed on a cigarette." 

Kimmel went after Tucker Carlson as well. "And I would also add that it's not really a tree that went on fire. I've seen trees; this is not one of them. That is a hollow structure that sort of resembles a tree. In the same way, Tucker Carlson is a hollow structure that sort of resembles a human," he joked. 

On Tuesday, Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" joked that "Santifa" perhaps lit the tree on fire.


Colbert made light of the incident yet again during Thursday's show. As Madeline covered, "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade suggested the fire was a hate crime, which would have been a bail-worthy offense. Colbert just had to have a response to that. 

Liberal media reported on Colbert's antics, too, with Lee Moran reporting that "Stephen Colbert Turns Fox News' Latest Whine Into A Taunting New Chant," even though it's perfectly appropriate to "whine" about arson.

"It's clearly a hate crime against a historically marginalized group? Morons," Colbert joked. He then went on to chant, "Fox Lives Matter! I'll say it, Fox Lives Matter!" 

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