Fox News Host Laura Ingraham Blames Norway Terror Attacks on Muslims, Links Story to Ground Zero Islamic Center
Fox News has gone Islamophobic again, and once again Fox News is dead wrong.
Filling in for regular host Bill O’Reilly, guest host Laura Ingraham, a reactionary firebrand known for her rabid opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” took the helm of The O’Reilly Factor for Friday’s (pre-taped) show. The Norwegian terror attacks were the day’s big story, and Ingraham addressed them during the ‘Back of the Book’ segment:
“Two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be the work, once again, of Muslim extremists.”
Only problem is, the horrific attacks, which have killed more than 90 people, were not the work of Muslim extremists. They were carried out by a Christian extremist, a right-wing Muslim-hater who targeted Norway’s left-wing government and a youth camp run for supporters of the progressive Labour Party.
As if Ingraham’s blatantly bigoted assumption wasn’t bad enough, she immediately transitioned from her (false) comments on the Norway attacks to a piece on Park51, the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” (in reality, an Islamic community center). “In the meantime in New York City,” the sultaness of specious segue said, “the Muslims who want to build the mosque at Ground Zero scored a huge legal victory…” she continued on about a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by New York firefighter Timothy Brown, who wanted construction of the project stopped.
Media Matters for America reports that by the time yesterday’s episode of The O’Reilly Factor aired, several other media outlets had already reported that the Norway terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, was, in fact, a right-wing extremist.
In fairness to Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor was pre-recorded, and Fox wasn’t the only outlet that reported the attacks were the work of Muslims. According to Democracy Now!, Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid, The Sun, also initially attributed the attacks to Islamic jihadists, as did the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
As Media Matters points out, linking the Norway attacks to Park51 just because both purportedly had something to do with Muslims is flagrantly inappropriate. It is, however, completely in character for Fox News, whose chairman Roger Ailes reportedly “has a personal paranoia” about Muslims. It may be no coincidence that three of the four media outlets mentioned in this post– the Sun, the Wall Street Journal, and Fox News– are all owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Sadly, it’s not just Fox News. One is instantly reminded how in the immediate aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City terror attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building that killed 168 people (including 19 young children), U.S. mainstream media outlets almost universally pointed the finger at Muslims. It turned out, of course, that the horrific attack was the work of Timothy McVeigh, a right-wing Christian extremist.
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