Fox host cops social media backlash for saying waters should be cleared of sharks

© Jonathan Ernst
Social media users have criticized comments by a Fox news host, who wondered why waters can’t be cleared of sharks for surfing competitions. The comments came after three-time World Champ surfer Mick Fanning was attacked during an event in South Africa.

READ MORE: Jaw-dropping: World champion surfer battles shark on live TV in S. African competition

Fox News commentator Brian Kilmeade was discussing the recent incident in which the veteran Australian professional surfer narrowly avoided being bitten by a shark during the final of a World Championshuip event at Jeffreys Bay on South Africa’s southern cape. The horrifying moment was broadcast live on TV.

“Oh my goodness, it could happen anywhere,” exclaimed Kilmeade. “You would think that they would have a way of clearing the waters before a competition of this level.”

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His co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck immediately agreed with the ‘genius’ measure of getting rid of sharks in the ocean.

“If a three-time world champion surfer isn’t safe, who is? The shark should be afraid of him,” she added. “That was a tough punch he gave there.”

Social media users mocked Kilmeade’s comments, with some suggesting some other scenarios for what else could be eradicated from the planet. Twitter users suggested clearing Fox News of its employees or even feeding the TV personality to sharks.

Kilmeade is no stranger to controversy. In 2009, while discussing research on Alzheimer's disease, he said that in the US “We keep marrying other species and other ethnics.” In 2010, regarding 9/11 he said that “all terrorists are Muslims.”

Fox News hosts generally have a history of utterances that are later echoed in social media. In 2013, journalist Megyn Kelly reacted to an article from Slate magazine which asserted that "Santa Claus should not be a white man anymore." Kelly explained that “Santa just is white, but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa,” adding that Jesus was also white, a claim which most commentators were quick to refute.

In 2008, Fox and Friends aired photos of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe that turned to be superimposed, apparently to show the journalists in a bad light. This was not lost on social media users at the time.