Bias Watch

Fox News claims Target is “sexualizing Christmas for children” in unhinged segment

Jesse Watters and the Santas using wheelchairs
Jesse Watters and the Santas using wheelchairs Photo: Screenshot

In an unhinged segment on his Fox News show, host Jesse Watters and fifth-place swimmer Riley Gaines raged at Target for selling a nutcracker with a Pride flag – which the store has been selling since at least 2021 – and a Black Santa Claus using a wheelchair.

Watters started the segment by lying about Target selling “a line of clothes for trans toddlers, Tuck’ems, yes, Tuck’ems,” while showing an image of an infamous swimsuit that Target was only selling in adult sizes. He also claimed that stealing up to $900 worth of merchandise in California is legal. Such theft is classified as a misdemeanor in the state, but it has become an article of faith on the right that California simply allows it.

Watters said that he sent a producer to Target to “investigate” what they were selling for the Christmas season as if he didn’t already know about the Pride nutcrackers, which have been getting attention from conservatives online all week.

“They found this: gay nutcracker! Complete with a rainbow hat, a trans flag,” he said, misidentifying the Progress Pride flag.

“Target also sells Santa ornaments, but Target Santa is in a wheelchair and is Black,” he complained as the image on-screen showed both Black and white Santas using wheelchairs, as well as other Santas on another shelf that were standing, because what’s really happening is that Target is selling a diversity of products for its diverse customer base. Watters didn’t explain why he was offended by the Black Santa in a wheelchair.

Watters then welcomed Gaines onto his show. A former swimmer for the University of Kentucky, Gaines tied for fifth place with trans University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, which she has spun into a career in conservative punditry.

Gaines claimed that Target banned the word “Christmas” in 2005, a claim that was rated “false” by Snopes over 15 years ago. Gaines then said, “I believe that is still in effect,” despite it never being in effect, and wondered how Target “is allowed” to sell Christmas merchandise at all, as if Target hasn’t been selling Christmas merchandise uninterrupted for decades.

“They’re allowed to have Black disabled Santa?” she asked incredulously. “And a gay nutcracker?”

Gaines claimed that the items don’t “represent the overwhelming majority of how this country, really how the world, feels on this issue,” showing her inability to comprehend both that some things are just not for her and that a majority of the people in the world are not Christian and a majority does not celebrate Christmas.

Watters claimed that he was “not upset” about the ornaments – then why do this whole segment? – but that he’s really worried about the children.

“This guy’s one thing,” he said, holding up the Black Santa in a wheelchair, “but the gay nutcracker, I mean, this- this appeals to children, the Christmas spirit.”

“Is this sexualizing Christmas for children?” he asked.

Don't forget to share: