- The Washington Times - Friday, February 19, 2021

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer says efforts in Chicago to review statues of U.S. presidents is a cultural harbinger involving biblical characters.

The “America’s Newsroom” anchor made the comments during a segment on The Chicago Monuments Project, which aims to examine and possibly remove statues suspected of “promoting narratives of white supremacy,” “presenting inaccurate and/or demeaning characterizations of American Indians,” “memorializing individuals with connections to racist acts, slavery and genocide,” and other offenses.  

Windy City officials and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are asking citizens to join in the review of 41 statues through April 1.

Historical giants like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are in an advisory board’s crosshairs.

“Way back in the day when I was first working in local news, I was at a CBS affiliate in Springfield, Illinois, and Lincoln was everything,” reporter Carley Shimkus said Friday. “A part of every aspect of the city and there was even a sandwich named after Abraham Lincoln. I don’t think they’ll take the sandwich name away.”

“If they start canceling American presidents, they’ll come after Bible characters next,” Mr. Hemmer replied. “Mark my words, right?” 

The anchor’s prediction, given the destruction of religious statues and buildings during Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots in 2020, is not far-fetched.

Last summer witnessed attacks, for example, at the San Gabriel mission in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the defacement of Virgin Mary statues, and a vehicular attack in which the 24-year-old suspect drove a minivan through Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Florida.

The media watchdog NewsBusters noted at the time that national media outlets ignored five such stories that gained traction across various social media platforms.

“For the three major networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, and their respective three nightly news segments from Friday to Sunday evening, not one second was devoted to this rise in horrific anti-Christian attacks,” NewsBusters reported in July. “That’s nearly 270 minutes of [national] news programming that skipped over assaults against Americans of faith.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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