Fox Ignores Facts To Bash Obama Over Shooting Of U.S. Soldiers In Germany

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN, JUSTIN BERRIER & MELODY JOHNSON

Fox News has repeatedly attacked Obama for not using the word "terrorism" to describe a recent attack on U.S. soldiers in Germany. In fact, U.S. officials have repeatedly said that the attack -- which is being investigated -- appeared to be motivated by Islamic extremism and could be an incident of terrorism.

Fox & Friends Attacks Obama For Not Describing Germany Attack As "Terrorism"

Doocy: "The Administration Refusing To Call The Shooting In Germany Terrorism. Why?" On the March 4 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said, "He shouted 'Allah[u] Akbar' before allegedly gunning down two servicemen earlier this week, but the administration refusing to call the shooting in Germany terrorism. Why?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/04/11]

Carlson: "It's Amazing This Administration Will Not Call It What It Is." Later on Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed that "German authorities did call it an act of terrorism and yet, the Obama administration, as usual, did not call it an act of terrorism." After playing a clip of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, Doocy said, "It sounds like terror to me." Later in the segment, Carlson said:

CARLSON: It's amazing this administration will not call it what it is. I think it's insulting for P.J. Crowley to compare the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and ask reporters there, is that an act of terrorism? That's apples and oranges. That guy was a loon who went on a shooting rampage. He had an obsession with Gabrielle Giffords for two or three years before it happened. Completely different situations. That guy right there, Jared Loughner. It's insulting to compare that to an act of terror. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/04/11]

Kilmeade: "The Obama Administration Won't Call The Attack In Germany An Act Of Terrorism. What's Up With That?" Later on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said the attacker "shouted Ali [sic] Akbar right before allegedly gunning down two of our servicemen and wounding two others, but the Obama administration won't call the attack on Germany an act of terrorism. What's up with that?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/04/11]

O'Reilly: "Nobody Understands Why The Obama Administration Simply Will Not Call Incidents What They Are." Appearing on Fox & Friends, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claimed, "Nobody understands why the Obama administration simply will not call incidents what they are and they just -- it's just inexplicable at this point. But I'll hearken back to my View appearance. I mean, you've got a strain of people -- I don't think many, I really don't -- who simply for whatever reason are not getting -- they don't want to put a label on, you know, Muslim killers. They don't want to do it." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 03/04/11]

In Fact, U.S. Officials Repeatedly Described Incident As Tied To Islamic Extremism, Terrorism

WSJ: "U.S. Official Said Early Indications Suggested That The Shooting Was A Terrorist Assault And Not A Random Act Of Violence." In a March 3, 2011, article on the shooting, the Wall Street Journal reported:

A lone gunman killed two American servicemen and wounded at least two others on a U.S. military bus outside Frankfurt Airport in what officials described as a possible terrorist attack.

[...]

A U.S. official said early indications suggested that the shooting was a terrorist assault and not a random act of violence. German police said they had no evidence of a terrorist motive but couldn't rule one out. A senior military official in Washington said the suspect has "some kind of Islamic ties, but we do not know exactly what those are or how deep they are." The official said it was too early to tell if the suspect was aligned with Al Qaeda or localized Islamic organizations in Kosovo, a former Yugoslav territory that is majority Muslim. [The Wall Street Journal, 3/3/11]

NYT: American Military Official: "There Is Enough Information...To Indicate That He Identifies With Islamist Terrorist Ideology." A March 2, 2011, New York Times article reported:

An American military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the United States was not ruling out terrorism, although it was unclear if the suspect was acting alone or with partners. "I don't know if he's tied to a group," said the official. "But there is enough information at this point to indicate that he identifies with Islamist terrorist ideology." [The New York Times, 3/2/11]

Fox News: U.S. Officials Investigating 'Substantial Evidence That Uka Has Links To Islamic Fundamentalist Groups.'" A March 3 FoxNews.com article reported, "U.S. officials confirm that the suspect was extremely active on the Internet, specifically Facebook. They say they are looking for any potential contacts with the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is seen as the new generation of digital jihadist." From FoxNews.com:

U.S. officials tell Fox News that German authorities are investigating "substantial evidence that Uka has links to Islamic fundamentalist groups in Germany." Officials also say evidence supports the view so far that Uka did act alone -- which he stated -- but no final conclusions have been reached. [FoxNews.com, 3/3/11]

Fox News Repeatedly Attacks President Obama For Supposedly Not Recognizing "Terror" Threat

Sammon Slanted Fox News' Coverage Of Obama's Cairo Speech Claiming He Didn't Use "The Words 'Terror,' 'Terrorist' Or 'Terrorism.'" As Media Matters noted, on June 24, 2009, a couple of hours after President Obama delivered his much-anticipated speech in Cairo regarding America's relationship with the Muslim world, Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon sent an email to Fox staff pointing out that Obama did not use "the words 'terror,' 'terrorist' or 'terrorism.' " In fact, Obama devoted a significant section of his remarks to denouncing and confronting Al Qaeda and other "violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security." Despite this, Sammon's "cursory check" quickly became the editorial focus for Fox News journalists covering Obama's speech, and was repeated (in some instances almost verbatim) by the network's hosts. Sammon himself appeared on Fox shortly after sending the email and claimed that Obama, in not using "terrorism" or any of its variants, showed that "he has taken us off a war footing as a nation." [Media Matters, 2/8/11]

Kilmeade, Rumsfeld Attack Obama For Not Using "War On Terror Language." During the February 15, 2011 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Kilmeade conducted an interview with Donald Rumsfeld in which he said, "Let's talk about the war on terror. We can call it that. This administration didn't want to call it that." Rumsfeld responded by saying, "If you're not willing to identify the enemy, I think you're unlikely to prevail." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/15/11]

Carlson: "Let's Face It," "When It Comes To Terror" The White House's "Tone" Is "Not Quite That Serious." On the January 8, 2010 edition of Fox & Friends, Carlson asked political analyst Doug Schoen about the "tone ... specifically in the White House right now when it comes to terror" and whether there is "a war waging behind the scenes between the CIA and the White House." After Schoen said that "there is no clear division of responsibilities or plan to deal with the inevitable conflicts," Carlson added, "Is that why everyone felt comfortable being on vacation, because the tone -- let's face it -- is not quite that serious?" [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 1/8/10]

Baier: "Words That You Did Not Hear In The Speech - Terror, Terrorist, Or Terrorism." Fox News anchor Bret Baier stated in a June 4, 2009, broadcast that a speech made by President Obama at Cairo University "lasted a little over 55 minutes" and "was 6,000 words." He added: "Words that you did not hear in the speech -- terror, terrorist, or terrorism -- although the president did talk about the 9-11 attacks and a lot of other topics." Baier did not discuss or report possible reasons for Obama's word choice. [Media Matters, 6/5/09]

Fox News Host Sean Hannity Criticizes Obama For Not Invoking "Terror." During the June 4, 2009, edition of his Fox News program, Hannity stated, "[I]n his remarks, Mr. Obama refused to use these words -- 'terror,' 'terrorism,' 'terrorist' -- or even that term, 'manmade disasters.' But he repeatedly quoted the Quran and even accused Americans of overreacting to the 9-11 terror attacks." Additionally, on his radio show the same day, Hannity said, "By the way, 'terror,' 'terrorism,' 'terrorist' -- how many times do you think those words were mentioned in the speech? It wasn't. Not even 'manmade disasters' -- that wasn't even mentioned. 'Me': six; 'my': seven; 'I': 50; 'Christians': six; 'Muslim': 39. He quoted the Quran far more often than he did the Bible." [Media Matters, 6/5/09]

Doocy Criticized Obama's Cairo University Remarks Because Obama "Avoided Using 'Terror' In [His] Speech." During the June 5 edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy stated that Obama "had a 6,000-word speech, and yet, of those 6,000 words, not once did he use the word 'terrorist,' 'terrorism,' or 'terror,' 'war on terror' or any of that stuff." During the program, on-screen text read: "President's Word Play: Obama Avoided Using 'Terror' In Speech"; "Terror Term Dropped: Doesn't Appear Once In 6,000 Word Speech"; and "What Obama Didn't Say: Pres Ditches Words 'Terror,' 'Terrorism.'" [Media Matters, 6/5/09]

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