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‘Fox & Friends’ host says Jacksonville ‘is a mess.’ His comments aren’t sitting well with city leaders

Jacksonville city leaders are responding to the scathing criticism the city received on national television during a recent “Fox & Friends” broadcast from host Brian Kilmeade.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville city leaders are responding to the scathing criticism the city received on national television during a recent “Fox & Friends” broadcast from host Brian Kilmeade.

The Fox News morning co-host, who owns a house in St. Johns County, said Jacksonville is a mess and needs to be revitalized, adding that city leaders should be embarrassed at what they’ve left the people.

Kilmeade started out talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars before the unsolicited criticism last week.

“It’s a mess. I mean, the city needs to be revitalized. It has all this potential overlooking the water,” Kilmeade said.

The comments are not sitting well with members of the Jacksonville City Council and the chamber of commerce who are now responding to Kilmeade’s statements. One council member is questioning, if Jacksonville is so bad, why did Kilmeade’s family buy a house in Ponte Vedra Beach?

“When somebody just takes a shot at, you know, Duval County and Jacksonville, I think they might need a little kick in the a**,” said City Council Member Matt Carlucci, not hiding his anger and disappointment at the statements made by Kilmeade.

On Fox News Radio on Wednesday, Kilmeade also took aim at Jacksonville city leaders, after apparently taking heat for his comments.

“Now, they make it I’m the enemy, and I think, use me whatever you need, to rebuild the city because the city officials should be embarrassed by what they left the people. The people of Florida and Jacksonville deserve better. The Jaguars deserve better,” Kilmeade said.

News4JAX tried to reach Kilmeade, as well, but he has yet to respond.

″I mean, he’s sitting back in Ponte Vedra, in probably a very large house, and enjoying his trappings and so forth, while there’s a lot of people in Jacksonville who are doing the hard work, the day-by-day work of making Jacksonville better,” Carlucci said.

Carlucci pointed out that Kilmeade failed to mention Jacksonville’s ongoing renovation projects, the beaches or the people of North Florida who Carlucci considers to be one of North Florida’s greatest assets.

On Wednesday afternoon, News4JAX also heard from the JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis, who said about Kilmeade: “He obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s welcome to come to Jacksonville anytime, and I’ll be happy to show him why we are one of the hottest markets in the country.”

It’s worth noting that Davis is seen as a potential candidate for mayor and that his political committee has raised more than $3 million since January 2021.

News4JAX learned late Wednesday that Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has agreed to appear on Kilmeade’s show this weekend. Curry said earlier this week that he invites Kilmeade to see the billion-dollar renovation projects that are under review, saying he thinks Kilmeade would be impressed with Jacksonville.


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.