KEY POINTS

  • Fox defended Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse Tuesday, characterizing him as a child only in Kenosha to provide aid
  • Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha from another state to join roaming militias. Two men were killed and a third injured after being shot during an altercation with him
  • Tucker Carlson played a sympathetic video provided by Rittenhouse's attorneys

Fox News guests and hosts continued to defend accused Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse on the air Tuesday, casting doubt on his motives and culpability while disparaging his victims.

Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, a guest of Sean Hannity's, characterized  Rittenhouse as a “little boy… trying to protect his community.” But the Trump supporter at first neglected to say that that accused shooter wasn't in his community.

Rittenhouse traveled from a neighboring state to join militias roaming Kenosha and clashing with protesters. He was charged with six counts including two homicide charges after two men were shot and killed during an altercation with him. A third man was injured.

Bondi later clarified to Newsweek that he was “defending a nearby city” rather than his home community.

“It’s a war zone out there. What’s it coming to in these liberal cities,” she asked, “when teenagers have to go out there to try to provide aid to other people who are getting injured by these rioters?”

However, the only fatalities from the riots were Rittenhouse’s victims. The Washington Post reported that before the shooting, Rittenhouse told a reporter that he didn't bring any nonlethal means of defense with him.

"We don't have nonlethal," he said.

Two more armed out-of-state militia members were arrested outside of Kenosha after law enforcement received a tip that they were coming to “loot and ‘pick people off.’”

Fox host Tucker Carlson also defended Rittenhouse on Tuesday, airing footage from Rittenhouse’s defense lawyers. He began the segment saying, “Much of the city of Kenosha Wisconsin was burned to the ground. … A peaceful middle-class city was destroyed  [by] mobs of Biden supporters.” 

Police in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha used tear gas on August 25, 2020 in a bid to break up a demonstration sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, as his three children watched Police in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha used tear gas on August 25, 2020 in a bid to break up a demonstration sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, as his three children watched Photo: AFP / KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI

As emotional music played over footage of Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti and rioters starting fires, the video spelled out the criminal records of Rittenhouse’s victims. Carlson said afterward, “So that’s what happened that night in Kenosha … it’s on camera, you can assess for yourself what you think of it.”

In the video, Rittenhouse’s lawyers make the case that gunshots were fired before and after Rittenhouse opened fire and cast doubt on whether Rittenhouse fired the bullets that killed the first victim, Joseph Rosenbaum. Ballistics analysis has not yet been released. 

Carlson’s sympathetic portrayal contrasts with his response to another 17-year-old, climate activist Greta Thunberg. After the teenager made a speech to the United Nations  condemning its members for not taking action against global warming, Carlson mocked her remarks as “you stole my childhood, do what I want you to do or else you're evil.” 

“When you use children to demand power they become a kind of human shield. You can hide safely behind them, no one can criticize you," Carlson continued. "But who would do something that unscrupulous? Anyone who would do that is someone who would literally do anything to seize control. And that's exactly what they're doing.”