If you had to guess on which cable news channel this morning I learned of the story about, in the words of one chyron, “PATRIOT SQUIRRELS,” you’d say….?

Those of you who guessed Fox News: you are correct!

The news, in a nutshell: a couple of squirrels have been swiping the flags (22, so far) off of graves at a cemetary in Michigan to, according to Fox, fortify (flagify?) their nest.

Or is it because these squirrels hate America? How do we know the squirrels’ motivation? How and why did Fox News decide to frame this as a case of “PATRIOT SQUIRRELS” instead of, say, the just as Foxy (arguably, Foxier) “TERRORIST SQUIRRELS” — flag-desecrating, Stars-and-Stripes-stealing rodents (although one of the segment’s ever-changing chyrons did read, “FURRY GRAVE ROBBERS.”) That must have been quite the newsroom debate. I mean the related Photoshop opportunities, with the story spun the other way, might have been just as compelling as these:













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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.