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Bret Baier throws cold water on firestorm over ‘cropped’ photo of Chinese leader Mao behind Dem Rep

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Keen-eyed Fox News viewers caught an interesting choice of art in the background of an interview Bret Baier conducted with Harold Ford Jr.

The former U.S. congressman from Tennessee raised eyebrows during his interview with Baier on “Special Report” Thursday as viewers noticed a painting of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong over his fireplace mantle.

Twitter users speculated about how the former Democrat lawmaker was okay with portraying the image of the “mass murderer” as screenshots of the Fox News clip were posted.

“Not judging… but sure is interesting that @HaroldFordJr has a print of mass murderer Mao over his fireplace,” lawyer Steve Milloy tweeted.

Others were equally baffled and horrified.

The image sparked plenty of theories before the truth was known.

But Baier finally put out the social media fire, explaining that the reason for the art in the background was not Ford’s personal choice.

“Harold @HaroldFordJr is renting a house in a vacation spot for a few weeks -he doesn’t control the walls. Strong background analysis, but Harold is not a Maoist- he was elected in Tennessee. Thanks for watching!” Baier tweeted in response to one of the many posts questioning the image.

The Fox News host repeated the clarification again a short while later.

Ford himself finally weighed in and confirmed that he was, indeed, renting the property and his own home sports art depicting Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr.

Adding to the social media drama, viewers noted that the Mao painting appeared to disappear mid-interview:

While the near-controversy seemed to be averted, many Twitter users still had thoughts.

Frieda Powers


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