“Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth praised President Donald Trump for blaming “many sides” after neo-Nazi white supremacists carried torches in Charlottesville, Virginia,shouted anti-black and anti-Jewish slogans on Aug. 11. One white racist killed a woman, Heather Heyer, and injured 19 people by violently driving into a crowd on Aug. 12.
Hegseth offered a defense of Trump by exaggerating the president’s statement, notes Media Matters:
I think the president nailed it. He condemned in the strongest possible terms hatred and bigotry on all sides as opposed to immediately picking a side out the gate…
Hegseth went on to create a false equivalence between the white neo Nazis and Black Lives Matter:
Just putting out that [Anti-Facists], though, also ought be called out. Just like the violent aspects of Black Lives Matter ought be called out.
Hegseth also defended the white nationalists by claiming they had a “grievance”:
None of that justifies racial preferences or violence at all. But there’s always a grievance underneath it that it’s worth talking about. And we should never live in such a politically correct culture that we can’t at least have a conversation. There’s a reason those people were out there. Some of it is outright racism and needs to be condemned. A lot of it, though, is I feel like my country is slipping away and just because I talk about nationalism — not white nationalism — doesn’t mean I’m talking in code that I’m a racist.
(Source: Media Matters)