The arrests keep coming for people who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 in an effort to stop Joe Biden from being elected president at Donald Trump’s behest. With those arrests will come dozens of legal cases and arguments about what happened in Washington, who did what and how those involved in the deadly MAGA riot will be punished.
The sheer number of arrests, more than 440 so far, inevitably means that a number of different defense strategies will be used. And apparently at least one will be that watching too much Fox News is the equivalent of contracting an illness. As The Daily Beast detailed on Thursday, one rioter’s lawyer tried to claim that their client had “Foxitus” from watching too much conservative TV.
Attorney for Capitol defendant Anthony Antonio said his client had “Foxitus” and “Foxmania” from watching six months of Fox News and started “believing what was being fed to him” by Fox News and the president. pic.twitter.com/aHMppeb1yc
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 6, 2021
According to the story, a man named Anthony Antonio had his attorney try this defense. The moment came as part of what was a chaotic hearing over Zoom, largely thanks to another accused rioter, Landon Kenneth Copeland, who screamed and reportedly invited friends to join the call and troll the proceedings.
The chaos began even before Copeland’s hearing, as he shouted while other accused rioters made their appearances before the judge, forcing court officials to put him on mute. At one point he tried to object to another defense lawyer claiming his client had “Foxitus” after watching six months of Fox News during the pandemic.
The second he was taken off mute, Copeland began to scream, “I’m going to tell the truth.”
“I don’t like you people… you’re a robot to me… you can’t come get me if I don’t want you to… F*ck all of you… F*ck all of you,” he shouted during his tirade, at which point a judge put him in a separate Zoom room so that he could no longer interrupt the proceeding. “I wanna talk in open court you motherf*ckers!”
Copeland’s expletive-filled ranting was obviously a major story as well, but the idea that watching too much Fox News could be grounds for a real legal defense is what lit up Twitter as the story circulated. “Foxitus” started to trend in some regions, as people had plenty of jokes about the idea that watching Fox News can make people delusional.
Hopefully one day Affluenza and foxitis can be fully eradicated.
— Eros and Jupiter (@erosandjupiter) May 6, 2021
— bleepo Sr. (@bleepo) May 6, 2021
Many people are saying that Patient Zero for "Foxitus" was Individual One, aka Fullofshitticus. https://t.co/V8iUgJojkx
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) May 6, 2021
And it may not actually be a bad defense considering the network’s own on-air talent has tried to argue that no one should believe what they say in the past. So perhaps this attorney is on to something, though that doesn’t exactly fix the problem of the network continuing to broadcast misinformation in the first place.
[via The Daily Beast]