JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade, who slammed the city of Jacksonville on national television and on his radio show, has new criticism of the River City.
It comes the day before he airs an interview with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
Viewers have been telling News4JAX that they want Curry to defend their city and not go into the interview with Kilmeade being meek and mild-mannered.
Kilmeade told his national audience that the Jacksonville Landing was torn down because the city of Jacksonville has too much gang activity and blamed Curry for a failed revitalization project that was being brokered with Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
“The city is not nice. I mean, ask the Jaguars, ask them if they hang out in the city. Ask them how the Landing is going -- oh, they wrecked it because they had too much gang activity and shootings. That’s just the facts,” Kilmeade said Friday on his national radio show.
On the radio show, he talked about the River City with blistering criticism and took aim at Curry.
“So this mayor gets all offended because he’s got projects in the works and it’s come a long way. It doesn’t mean it’s there. It doesn’t’ mean the city hasn’t been let down. It doesn’t mean they’ve been unable to work out a deal with, I believe, the richest owner, I believe, in the NFL, Mr. Khan, Shahid Khan, who runs, owns the Jaguars, to revitalize that city,” Kilmeade said.
It’s unclear why Kilmeade has taken such a keen interest in the city of Jacksonville, although News4JAX has learned he owns a home in Ponte Vedra Beach that real estate websites estimate is worth as much as $3.9 million. Kilmeade’s house is nearly 23 miles away from the downtown of the city that he called a mess on national TV.
“It’s a mess. I mean, the city needs to be revitalized. It has all this potential overlooking the water,” Kilmeade said last week.
News4JAX Insiders commented on our first story about Kilmeade’s comments, seemingly torn on whether he has a point.
“Another Ponte Vedra know-it-all. Move to Duval and then run your mouth! Kilmeade doesn’t pay taxes here not does he vote here. I know that isn’t as sexy as a 5-star hotel with a river view, but one more Hurricane Irma may put his site under water for a few weeks,” Insider “Michael” wrote.
Insider “DC” wrote, “Ahh…he is 100% spot on. We moved here from Melbourne where there were so many ways to access the river and many places to go for a nice meal on the River. Here you need a house on the river for the most part to enjoy the great resource we have. Guess the truth hurts. "
Curry spoke Thursday about the radio interview scheduled with Kilmeade this weekend.
“They were kind enough to reach out. They reached out to me. It’s an opportunity to sit down and speak in context about where we were as a city,” Curry said.
Locals tell News4JAX that they are hoping Curry will passionately defend the city of Jacksonville in his upcoming radio interview, instead of turning the other cheek when a conservative talk show host criticizes his town.
“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 Wednesday on Fox News Radio.
Late Friday afternoon, the city told News4JAX that the mayor recorded his interview with Kilmeade by phone earlier in the day and that it will air Saturday night.
News4JAX wants to hear from you about Kilmeade’s comments on the city of Jacksonville. Is he right to criticize Jacksonville or do you think there’s a lot more positive than negative? Let us know by commenting below. You need to be a News4JAX Insider, but it’s free to sign up. You can do so here -- you just need an email address.