Fox News Media replaced its "All-American Christmas Tree" and held an on-air lighting ceremony Thursday night after the previous tree in New York City's Fox Square was set on fire early Wednesday morning.


"Even though the arsonist is already out on the streets, probably working at CNN, we want the bad guys to know that you can keep burning down our trees — because we're gonna keep putting up another one," host Greg Gutfeld said during the lighting ceremony.

The ceremony featured a blessing of the tree from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik also made remarks. The previous 50-foot tree had just been lit Sunday night as part of the network's third annual All-American Christmas.

The suspect, 49-year-old Brooklyn native Craig Tamanaha, was taken into custody and charged with crimes including arson, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and trespassing before being released from jail without bail, the local NBC affiliate reported.

He allegedly told investigators that he had "been thinking about lighting the tree on fire all day long" and wanted to create a big scene and scare people. Police said they believed the fire was not politically motivated.

Tamanaha had at least three prior arrests and is believed to have been homeless. No one was injured in the attack, according to Fox News. The arson cost an estimated $500,000 in property damage, according to police.

In a segment Wednesday night, Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson described the burning of the Christmas tree as an "attack on Christianity."

“The DOJ can tell you precisely how many Qurans were burned last year in the United States, but they don’t keep track of Christmas trees,” he said.


Fox News Media and the Fox Corporation both donated $100,000 to the New York City Fire Department and the New York Police Department, who both responded to the attack, Fox News reported.

Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, who called the incident a "malicious arson attack," told staffers in a memo that the tree was being replaced as a message of light in response to the dark moment.