From the May 6 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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Fox host Greta Van Susteren claimed the White House "has not yet connected" the Garland, TX shooting to terrorism. In fact, the White House described the shooting as "an attempted terrorist act" earlier that day.
On May 5, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the May 3 shooting in Garland. CNN noted that the group "offered no evidence" of their connection to the attack, and quoted an FBI agent saying the shooters "may not have had formal contact" with ISIS and that he did not think "they were directed by ISIS."
On that day's edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren claimed that "the White House has not yet connected this to terrorism," and asked: "Is the Obama administration being overly cautious and could it hurt national security?"
But the White House had referred to the shooting as an act of terrorism earlier that day. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that what "we can say definitively, because of the quick, professional, brave work of local law enforcement forces, is an attempted terrorist act was foiled."
The criticism represents another instance of a long-standing trope at Fox News. Fox has repeatedly suggested that President Obama did not call the Benghazi terror attack an act of terror. In 2014, an on-screen timeline asserted the White House did not call the attack an act of terror until September 20, when in fact Obama described it as such in his initial statement on September 12. In January, Fox personalities were not satisfied by the White House calling the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack an "act of terror" and insisted the administration specifically mention "Islamist terror." Last year, Fox host Ainsley Earhardt complained that Obama had referred to the Pakistani Taliban terror attack as "terrorism" but had not specifically mentioned the Taliban.
From the April 22 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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From the April 20 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:
UPDATE (4/5): In a statement issued to media outlets on April 5, Chris Wallace apologized for his remark. He stated: "I sincerely apologize to Kelly Clarkson for my offensive comment. I admire her remarkable talent and that should have been the focus of any discussion about her."
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren called on colleague Chris Wallace to apologize for his "obnoxious" remark that singer Kelly Clarkson "could stay off the deep dish pizza."
During the April 3 edition of The Mike Gallagher Show, Gallagher asked Wallace: "Have you seen Kelly Clarkson? You know the singer, Kelly Clarkson? Holy cow, did she blow up."
Wallace remarked that "Clarkson's got a lovely voice" but "she could stay off the deep dish pizza for a little while."
Van Susteren referenced Wallace's remarks on her FoxNews.com blog -- in a post headlined, "Chris Wallace owes Kelly Clarkson an apology" -- and wrote that Wallace was being "obnoxious. He should apologize."
Wallace's remarks are below:
Right-wing media are indignant that President Obama appeared in a BuzzFeed video taking a selfie and saying "YOLO" as part of a promotion for HealthCare.gov.
Fox News' Greta Van Susteren injected race into the beating death of a Bosnian man, connecting the murder to protests in Ferguson, despite multiple statements from St. Louis police department ruling out race or unrest in Ferguson as a motivating factor for the crime.
On November 30, 32-year old Bosnian Zemir Begic was fatally beaten in St. Louis, Missouri. According to CBS News, three juveniles were later taken into custody in connection with the crime. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that there was no indication that Bergic was targeted because of his ethnicity.
During a December 1 discussion of Bergic's death on Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren and former homicide detective Ted Williams suggested that the crime may be linked to protests in Ferguson. Van Susteren admitted that police said the attack was not racially motivated, but called it "the big elephant in the room" and suggested that "we have incomplete facts" about the role of race in the attack. Williams added that Bergic's death "may very well be connected" to Ferguson, claiming the situation there is "like the war between the North and the South":
But the attack was not connected to the protests in Missouri. As St. Louis Police spokesperson Schron Jackson told FoxNews.com, the city's investigators "don't believe the incident is in any way related to Ferguson" and that the attack "is not being investigated as a hate crime."
The Department of Homeland Security definitively debunked the persistent right-wing media conspiracy theory that Islamic State fighters have attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the rumor is not supported by any "credible intelligence" and knocking the claim that the terrorists have been apprehended at the border as "categorically false."
What began early this summer as an unsubstantiated claim from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) that "people that are coming [across the U.S.-Mexico border] from states like Syria that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes and terrorist operations," (a claim PolitiFact Texas rated "Pants on Fire"), has morphed into a full-blown right-wing conspiracy theory. Conservative media and elected officials are hyping fears that members of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group are utilizing the U.S.-Mexico border to enter the U.S. and launch terrorist attacks, a chorus that has only grown louder in the ensuing months to attack immigration reform.
In September, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) claimed to have seen information detailing "four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border who were apprehended at two different stations that do have ties to known terrorists organizations in the Middle East," a story subsequently hyped by Fox News. Nearly a month later, the number had jumped from four terrorists allegedly apprehended to 10.
Fox News' On The Record provided a platform to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) who claimed to have first-hand knowledge of the terrorists crossing the border. Host Greta Van Susteren replied to Hunter's allegations by asking, "Do you have any information, or any evidence, that they are actually coming in the southern border now?" And Hunter responded, "Yes. ... I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas," citing information he'd received from border patrol agents.
But the right-wing talking point is "categorically false," according to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border security. On October 8, DHS spokesperson Marsha Catron refuted the rumor that Islamic State terrorists had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, telling The New Republic:
Fox News is increasingly fixating on the gruesome workplace beheading last week in Moore, Oklahoma by a recent Muslim convert, suspect Alton Nolen. Perhaps sensing a way to once again fan its patented flames of Islamophobia while simultaneously blaming President Obama for being indifferent to the threat of terrorism, Fox is treating the murder as a national story with sweeping political implications.
Sounding the jihadist alarms, Fox News and the right-wing media are eager to label the ghastly crime an act of Islamic terror. Law enforcement officials, however, aren't in the same rush, noting that the attack came immediately after Nolen was fired and stating that they've yet to find a link to terrorism. While that story continues to play out, it's worth noting that an actual act of political terror remains in the news. It's just not a priority for Fox.
On the night of September 16, 31-year-old marksman Eric Frein was allegedly laying in wait outside the Blooming Grove police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, preparing to assassinate state troopers. Shortly before 11 p.m., Bryon Dickson was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his overnight shift, trooper Alex Douglass was shot and seriously wounded by a bullet fired from a .308-caliber rifle.
Described as a "survivalist," Frein disappeared into the Poconos Mountains woods where he's been hiding ever since, eluding law enforcement and its massive manhunt, which includes hundreds of law enforcement officers with assistance from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Considered "extremely dangerous" and possibly armed with an AK-47, officials were forced to close local schools in fear Frein might attack again. Lots of businesses in the area were ordered to stay dark, and some U.S. mail deliveries were suspended out of fear postmen might be exposed as possible targets for the shooter.
And what was the possible motivation for the killing spree?
"He made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and to commit mass acts of murder," state police commissioner Frank Noonan warned the public at the time. Another official noted the shooter has a "longstanding grudge against law enforcement and government in general" dating back to at least 2006.
A friend was even more explicit. "He was obviously a big critic of the federal government," a friend name Jack told CNN. (The friend did not give his last name.) "No indications of really any malice towards law enforcement in particular. Most of his aggression was (toward) the federal government."
Sounds like homegrown, anti-government terrorism, right?
"We have a well-trained sniper who hates authority, hates society, hates government, and hates cops enough to plug them from ambush. He's so lethal, so locked and loaded, that communities in the Pocono Mountains feel terrorized," wrote Philadelphia columnist Dick Poleman. "He kept camouflage face paint in his bedroom. He toted the AK-47 on social media. He collected, according to the criminal complaint, "various information concerning foreign embassies.""
But turn on Fox News and you don't hear much about Eric Frein from the channel's high-profile hosts. You don't hear much about the anti-government zealot who murdered a cop, while trying to assassinate two. And you don't hear evening hosts diving into Frein's background trying to figure out what sparked his murderous streak.
There's simply no interest.
Fox News' coverage of an evidence-free "bombshell" from Benghazi hoaxster Sharyl Attkisson took just hours to morph from a reiteration of her claim that a disgruntled former State Department employee "couldn't help but wonder" if Hillary Clinton's staff had turned over "scrubbed" Benghazi documents to investigators into full-blown allegations that documents had been "destroyed" -- allegations that remain baseless.
Fox News pundits questioned President Obama's engagement in world affairs following a press conference in which the president announced historic investments in Africa and took questions from journalists on a wide range of pressing international and domestic issues.
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren sharply criticized Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes for "very bad taste" over tweeting petty attacks on the president in response to the deadly crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Starnes has tweeted that Obama isn't "interested" in the crash because it doesn't involve "beer or golf," "Russia bracing for a severe hash tag from the Obama Administration," and "Obama won't comment on Malaysian jetliner crash until he's had a chance to read tomorrow's paper."
In a post on her blog headlined, "NOTE TO FNC's TODD STARNES: THIS IS VERY BAD TASTE, 295 PEOPLE DIED," Van Susteren wrote: "I was just sent a Mediaite article with these tweets on it. I don't know Todd Starnes (he works in NYC), but I do know he works at Fox News Channel and so do I. I don't like his tweets. They are very bad taste. This is not the time to be snarky or some pathetic attempt at humor. Let me repeat... 295 people died."
From the June 27 edition of Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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For two years, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been peddling the theory that the IRS intentionally leaked its donor list to a gay rights organization as part of an Obama administration conspiracy. Two separate investigations and a ruling by a Reagan-appointed judge have debunked that theory. But right-wing media, which have widely touted NOM's initial accusations, have largely ignored or denied the conspiracy theory's demise.
In the spring of 2012, an IRS employee inadvertently leaked an unredacted list of NOM's donors in response to a public records request. The pro-equality group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) got its hands on the list, highlighting past contributions to NOM by prominent conservatives like then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Noting that key HRC officials were prominent supporters of President Obama's re-election campaign, NOM alleged a conspiracy between the organization and the Obama administration aimed at embarrassing NOM and its supporters.
In April 2012, NOM filed a formal letter of complaint to the IRS. Conservative outlets like The Daily Caller and The Weekly Standard touted the complaint, focusing particularly on the revelation that Romney was one of the group's donors. For most of the next year, however, media interest in the story was scant.
That changed in the spring of 2013. In May, U.S. Attorney General Eric holder ordered the FBI to begin a criminal probe into allegations that the agency had targeted tax-exempt conservative political groups. While the IRS actually scrutinized progressive groups more extensively than conservative ones, the IRS "scandal" became a rallying cry for right-wing media. The controversy also meant newfound interest in NOM's allegations against the agency.
Mainstream and conservative media outlets were quick to pick up on NOM's call for an investigation into the IRS's activities.
The Wall Street Journal 's James Taranto spotlighted NOM's claims in a column on the IRS controversy, asking "How pervasive is the Obama IRS scandal?":
From the June 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
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