A day after M&M’s canceled their “spokescandies” amid pushback from Fox News hosts who no longer found them sexy, the conservative cable giant found its latest target for outrage: “woke” video game consoles with power-saving features.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Xbox would offer “carbon aware game downloads and updates” as part of the company’s ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions and help combat climate change.
“For example, instead of your Xbox waking up during the nightly maintenance window at a random time between 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m., your console will wake up at a time when it can use the most renewable energy in your local energy grid,” the company said, adding: “This decreases fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money.”
But because the right-wing outrage machine constantly needs feeding, conservative media outlets and Republican politicians seized on the opportunity to proclaim this as the latest battle in a never-ending culture war.
“First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they're gunning for your Xbox,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who seems more interested in being a right-wing entertainer than a lawmaker, tweeted on Monday. (For those blissfully unaware, conservatives have been losing their minds lately about possible future regulations on gas appliances, daring liberals to “come and take it.")
It didn’t take long, of course, for Fox News to jump onboard the faux-rage train. Getting the ball rolling, the network’s digital newsroom published a Monday night piece promoting conservative critics who’d “slammed” the “woke brigade” for coming after video games.
During Tuesday morning’s broadcast of Fox & Friends First, Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone grumbled that “some woke executive at Microsoft thought this was a good idea” before reading off a series of tweets from right-wing influencers mocking the initiative.
“Aware! Is that the best word?!” Fox & Friends First co-host Todd Piro exclaimed. “I’m really stuck on that language. Carbon aware?! I’ve been aware of carbon most of my adult life. It’s a very important element.”
The following hour, however, Fox News warned viewers that the Big Climate Change is coming for their kids because their video gaming system had a new power-saving function.
“Xbox has also announced that they're going woke too because of climate change,” Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt declared. “That they are adding a new feature to their default settings. If you own an Xbox you can upload this new program, and it will turn off after so long to save the environment.”
Fox News Radio host Jimmy Failla then sounded the alarm about children being targeted by left-leaning corporations to care about the climate.
“We understand what this is,” the conservative comedian stated. “It’s not that it’s actually going to offset emissions, okay—the level of reduction is infinitesimal. But they’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at an earlier age; make them climate conscious now.”
“You’re right,” Earhardt agreed. “They’re going after the children.”
Not to be outdone, Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen echoed Cruz by lumping Microsoft’s decision with the rest of the right’s recent culture war grievances.
“They want to tell you how to live your life. We’re gonna say ‘No, you will not drive a gas-guzzling truck and no, you’re not gonna have a gas stove, you will have an electric stove’” he blared on Fox News’ Outnumbered. “Because every building in New York City cannot have gas anymore, right? This stuff is actually happening. If the climate radicals want to alienate Gen Z, the best way to do it is to take away their Xbox!”