Fox Injects Race Into Crime That Officials Tell Fox Shows No Racial Motive

››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

Fox News has continually injected race into its coverage of the murder of Oklahoma college student Christopher Lane, despite law enforcement's insistence that the crime, allegedly committed by three teens -- two black, one white -- has no evidence of a racial motive.

Contradicting Official's Reports, Fox Claims Racial Component To Crime 

OK District Attorney Tells Fox: "There's Nothing" That Suggests Race Played A Factor In The Crime. On August 25, Stephens County (OK) District Attorney Jason Hicks appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the investigation into the death of college student Christopher Lane. Three teens -- one white, two black -- are suspected of shooting Lane while he was out for a jog. Host Chris Wallace asked Hicks why he did not intend to "treat this as a race-related crime." Hicks responded that there was no evidence to suggest race played a factor in the crime:

HICKS: The reason that I'm not going to be treating this as a hate crime is, as far as the evidence goes that is directly linked to the murder of Christopher Lane, there's nothing inside the files and the audio and the reports that we've been given that would lead us to believe that Christopher Lane was killed simply because of his nationality or because of his race. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday8/25/13]

Fox Highlighted DA's Remarks That Race Was Not A Factor, Then Discussed Whether Race Was Involved. On the August 25 edition of America's New HQ, host Shannon Bream aired District Attorney Hick's remarks from Fox News Sunday, where Hicks explained there was no evidence suggesting Lane's death was motivated by race. Yet, Bream then teased an upcoming panel discussion, saying, "There is plenty more to talk about in this case, and whether it was motivated by race or by hate. We're going to have a fair and balanced look."[Fox News, America's News HQ8/25/13]

Fox Guest Chris Plante: Racial Component "Obvious" In Oklahoma MurderDuring the following panel discussion, Bream reported that "authorities do not believe at this point" the crime was racially motivated but then highlighted a racially charged tweet allegedly sent by one of the suspects. Disregarding the remarks from OK officials, Fox guest Chris Plante claimed of the OK murder: "There's an obvious racial component there." [Fox News, America's News HQ8/25/13]

OK Officials And Fox Figures Have Told Fox There's No Evidence Of Racial Motive

District Attorney Told FoxNo Evidence Of Racial Motivation In Lane's Murder. District Attorney Hicks also appeared on the August 22 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, where he explained that "based upon all of the evidence that I have, inside my file at this time -- all of the videos, the police reports and what-not -- I don't have anything in there to indicate that the killing of Christopher Lane was related to either his race or to his nationality." [Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren8/22/13, via Media Matters

Fox's Williams: "There Is No Evidence That The Attack Was Racially Motivated." In an August 22 column on FoxNews.com, Fox contributor Juan Williams explained that the death of Christopher Lane "is being advertised by the right as a race crime" but that two problems exist in this accusation:

First, the boys who committed this atrocity are black, white and biracial.

Second, there is no evidence that racism motivated their mindless assault.

[...]

What is being lost here is the larger problem of criminal behavior, gun violence, random murder - most often among people of the same race and especially black on black. Those daily, ongoing tragedies in our nation never get the attention of the civil rights leaders or the loud voices on the right wing because those stories do not serve their political agenda.

Instead, the tragedies that generate their selective anger are stories that, in the case of the right-wing, put civil rights leaders and left-wing media on the defensive. [FoxNews.com, 8/22/13]

Yet Fox Has Continually Injected Race Into Coverage Of OK Crime 

Fox's Wallace Wondered Why Civil Rights Leaders Have Not Spoken Out About OK Murder. On the August 25 edition of Fox News Sunday Chris Wallace said that "there are some people on the right who note that civil rights leaders and President Obama spoke out quite quickly about the Trayvon Martin case and yet have remained silent in the case of Christopher Lane." Wallace followed this remark by asking Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) whether she believes President Obama should speak out on this case "particularly given his involvement in the Trayvon Martin case." [Fox News, Fox News Sunday8/25/13, via Media Matters]

Fox News WatchAre Media "Ignoring The Race Issue?" In Oklahoma Murder? In a segment on August 24, Fox News Watch aired the chyron "Are Media Ignoring The Race Issue" Host Jon Scott asked Fox contributor Jim Pinkerton, "Should the media be reacting in this case like they did in the Trayvon Martin shooting?" [Fox News, Fox News Watch8/24/13, via Media Matters]

Fox's Bolling Says Oklahoma Murder "Likely Motivated By Race." On the August 23 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling described the OK shooting as a "racially charged stor[y]" and added that the mainstream media weren't covering the story because it "seems they prefer to report on crimes where minorities are the victims." Bolling concluded that the crime was "likely motivated by race." [Fox News, The Five8/23/13, via Media Matters]

Fox's Doocy: "When Exactly Will Al Sharpton's March For Chris Lane Be?" On the August 21 edition of Fox & Friends, the hosts demanded to know why President Obama, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson hadn't commented on the Oklahoma murder. Co-host Steve Doocy asked, "When exactly will Al Sharpton's march for Chris Lane be?" [ Fox News, Fox & Friends8/21/13, via Media Matters]

Fox Guest Buchanan On Oklahoma Murder: "My Guess ... Is That It Is Racial." On the August 21 edition of On The Record, Van Susteren asked frequent Fox guest Pat Buchannan whether Obama should speak about this murder. Buchanan replied that he should, and added, "Now, my guess, what is going to come out of this, quite frankly, is that it is racial. Why would you pick a 22-year-old white male? If you're just shooting anybody." [Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren8/21/13, via Media Matters]

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