Memo to Fox & Friends: No matter how many times you say it, Rauf's comments weren't a threat

Blog ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

Never failing to push a storyline that could spark outrage against the proposed Islamic center in Manhattan, Fox & Friends this morning relentlessly pushed the claim that recent comments made by Park51 organizer Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf were a "threat" against America.

Here are the latest remarks made by Rauf that Fox & Friends seized on:

RAUF: My major concern with moving is that the headline in the Muslim world will be "Islam is under attack in America." This will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment. This will put our people, our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens under attack in the Muslim world. And we have expanded and given -- and fueled terrorism.

How desperate was Fox & Friends to stir up more phony outrage over Park51? Hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade referred to Rauf's comments as a "threat" at least 10 times during the show.

On-screen text displayed during the show also drove home the Fox & Friends talking point:

raufthreat1

raufthreat2

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But the claim that Rauf was threatening America -- despite Fox & Friends' insistence -- is absurd. As Media Matters noted on Thursday after Fox & Friends led the initial charge in calling Rauf's comments a "threat," Rauf's remarks echo those of national security experts -- including Gen. David Petraeus -- who have warned of the security implications of anti-Muslim protests.

Eventually, after about two-and-a-half hours of relentless fearmongering by the Fox & Friends crew, Chris Wallace came on to throw some cold water on their claim, stating that he didn't hear Rauf's comments as a threat and noting that Petraeus has made a similar "legitimate argument."

By then, though, the damage was done. Fox & Friends viewers had been bombarded with the message that the organizer of the Islamic center was essentially threatening America. Just the latest example of Fox's relentless stoking of anti-Muslim outrage.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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