Fox News’ Dr Seuss obsession enters week three with warning that America is ‘going down a dark road’

Conservatives and Fox News’ TV personalities continue to lament decision by Dr Seuss Enterprises to cease printing six books containing racial stereotypes

Related: John Oliver rips apart Tucker Carlson for being ‘most prominent vessel in America for white supremacist talking points’

If you’ve been busy paying attention to arguably less important things like the Covid-19 pandemic – which, despite the onslaught of misinformation is real and persists to this day – you may have missed out on the latest controversy raging on at Fox News

Fear not, however: the conservative network has got its viewers covered, as it officially entered week three of the Dr. Seuss/Cancel Culture scandal of the century, as one of their opinion hosts might call it.

After Dr Seuss Enterprises announced it would no longer print six books containing racial stereotypes, calling the move a “moral decision” in a statement, Fox News TV personalities have taken to the airwaves in uproar, decrying what they said was the latest example of cancel culture at work in America. 

On Monday, the network’s Gillian Turner began a segment on cancel culture by including the Dr Seuss news in an opening line about the alleged silencing of conservative voices. 

“From Dr. Seuss to the Muppets and broadcasters losing their jobs for sharing their opinions on TV, we are witnessing really a growing movement in America to silence opposing minority voices by a social media mob,” the host said. “Cancel culture is spreading like wildfire. There is a call for Generation X – that is ‘X’ – to lead the charge to save America from the social media mob. Can they do it?”

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Elsewhere, conservatives and others were still lamenting the news of what Dr Seuss Enterprises described as a product recall rather than a reflection of cancel culture. 

Tim Young, a columnist for the Washington Times, suggested in a tweet the lyrics to a sexually-charged song recently released by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion were “more welcome in some schools than Dr. Seuss books”, adding: “just let that sink in for a minute”.

Dr Seuss Enterprises has defended itself amid conservative backlash, as the stepdaughter to Theodor Geisel, who wrote under the pen name Dr Seuss, told the New York Post it was a “wise decision” to recall the six books. 

Dr Seuss books remain popular across the country and around the world, having sold an estimated 700 million copies globally. 

Some Republicans also came out in full force to defend the books for children, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who posted a video to social media of himself reading a passage of Green Eggs and Ham.

On Monday, Ms Turner continued to rail against the decision to no longer print the books containing the racial stereotypes. 

Mike Hennesy, who recently wrote an Op-Ed on the Dr Seuss controversy, joined the show and warned Ms Turner’s viewers at one point: “When we start down the road of policing speech that we don’t like, we’re going down a very dark road indeed.”

“We have a chance to turn the tide,” he continued. “If we don’t, I’m afraid things are going to get real ugly in 10 or 20 years time and we may not recognise the country that we grew up in.”

Critics have slammed the outrage over the Dr Seuss Enterprises announcement, while calling on lawmakers who have weighed in on the matter to instead focus on issues like the rising death toll from the pandemic, which has surpassed 5340,000 people nationwide according to the latest tracking data, or other critical issues, like supporting state economic relief. 

Molly Jong-Fast, editor at large for the Daily Beast, wrote in a tweet: “Democrats are passing Covid relief And Republicans are reading Dr Seuss.”

Don Lemon, a host for CNN, also mocked the House minority leader on TV, saying: “While Americans are desperate to get vaccinated and desperate for Covid relief, here is what Kevin McCarthy is doing right now.”

“That really happened,” he added. “Those are your Republican leaders.”

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