A segment on the Friday morning edition of Fox & Friends showcased a racist, anti-Obama photo during the show’s profile of an Arizona-based pro-Trump fan-shop.
The Trumped Store and Cafe in Show Low has been around since 2016, after President Trump won the election. Previously the location of northeastern Arizona’s Trump headquarters, owners Karen MacKean and Steve Slaton say they saw a demand for pro-Trump merchandise and decided to capitalize on it.
“In the beginning, we started with just a couple tables, a couple [of] T-shirts and some hats. Now we have 27 T-shirts and 28 hats and a variety of different products that people just love,” MacKean told KTVK earlier this week.
Another item the shop apparently sells: a card featuring a photo of Trump at his presidential desk with the words, “First time in history that a billionaire moves into public housing vacated by a black family.”
Fox & Friends decided to prominently display that card when it profiled the shop in a taped segment aired during the first hour of the show Friday.
After panning through the shop, with its “Adorable Deplorable” merchandise and “Women For Trump” shirts and bedazzled hats, the Fox & Friends camera focused in on the racist card, which was propped up against a yellow Minion doll, next to a “Make America Great Again” hat.
“I am a very conservative Republican,” one customer said earlier in the segment. “And I like people to know that that’s who I am.”
“We should have shopped there and gotten a card for [co-host Steve Doocy], because today’s his birthday, and said ‘make your birthday great again,'” Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt said enthusiastically, after the camera cut back to the studio.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the segment. The Trumped Store has not yet responded to questions about the card itself.
The racist image was first flagged by Media Matters researcher Bobby Lewis on Twitter.
Fox & Friends has faced criticism over racist comments and segments in the past. More recently, in June, host Brian Kilmeade faced pushback after comments he made during a segment on the Trump administration’s family separation policy.
“Like it or not, these aren’t our kids,” Kilmeade said, referring to the outrage over the president’s decision to forcibly remove infants and children from their parents and detain them in immigration prison facilities. “Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.”
Earhardt added, “[Trump] just wants to make sure we vet who’s coming across the border, in case it’s MS-13 or drugs.”
Kilmeade later attempted to clarify his remarks, tweeting that he had “compassion for all children, especially for all the kids separated from their parents right now.”
“Nobody wants to see children in these circumstances and glad they are on their way to being reunited with their parents,” he wrote. (Kilmeade added in a separate Fox & Friends segment that he still believed it was important to prioritize Americans.)
Earlier in March, Kilmeade and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly — who was dismissed from the network in April 2017, after it was revealed he and his employer had paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle multiple sexual harassment suits — found themselves under fire, after O’Reilly compared Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to James Brown.
“I didn’t hear a word [Waters] said,” O’Reilly said, after watching a video clip of the congresswoman discussing Trump. “I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.”
“It’s the same one,” Kilmeade added, jokingly. “And he’s not using it anymore,” “They just, they finally buried him.”
Earhardt at that point stepped in, saying it was unfair to mock a woman for her looks, but her comments went largely unaddressed.
Just this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was also criticized following his comments on the morning news show. After remarking on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) DNA test, which she says proves she has Native American ancestry, Graham claimed he would take one of his own in order to prove he had more Native blood than Warren.
“I think I can beat her,” he said, joking that if he won the bet, he wanted a “casino and million bucks.”
Later in the segment, he added, “I’ll be probably be Iranian. That’d be like, terrible.”
Kilmeade responded quickly, “They’re great people, just bad leaders.”
“Bad leaders,” Graham replied.
UPDATE (10/19/18): In an email to ThinkProgress Friday afternoon, Steven Slaton, owner of The Trumped Store, said the racist anti-Obama meme was a “funny Birthday Card.”
“[F]or your information Its not racist!!!!” he wrote. “We bring in fun things to laugh at. If you or someone takes it as Racist, sorry we can’t help them.”
UPDATE (10/22/18): In a statement over the weekend, Fox & Friends guest co-host Ed Henry addressed the racist anti-Obama meme, saying it was displayed in the original segment unintentionally.
“Yesterday we aired a story about a store in Arizona…dedicated to Trump memorabilia,” he said. “We showed off items from inside the store including one with an offensive message on it. It is not a message we endorse and we certainly apologize for that error.”
This article has been updated with Kilmeade’s follow-up remarks on Trump’s family separation policy.